Some people tend to judge themselves harshly when they have problems and try to use discipline and Teflon tactics to resolve them. But with some problems something completely different helps best: self-compassion.
The theme is on October 10, World Mental Health Day mental health in focus worldwide – but actually it should be 365 days a year. There are still far too many people who are ashamed of their mental health problems. Who can only accept that they are not doing well and that they need a break when the Fierbert thermometer shows 38 degrees and more or when the blood test leads to an alarming call from the: the responsible doctor: in. Tired? Sad? Limp? Motivatedless? When faced with such symptoms, many simply say to each other: Don’t stand in line, grit your teeth and fight, an Indian knows no pain. But it often doesn’t get any better – on the contrary.
In some cases, a lack of self-compassion or a lack of awareness of one’s own needs and psychological well-being is the cause or catalyst of many a symptom. Do any of the following problems sound familiar to you? Then a first step towards a solution could be to develop understanding and compassion for yourself – instead of putting pressure on yourself to feel guilty or being angry at yourself.
If you have these problems, self-compassion may help as the first step
1. You can hardly motivate yourself – not even for small things.
Anyone who has difficulty getting up and doing them, even with smaller to-dos that take less than 15 minutes, is usually doing himself a disservice by: putting her down and telling himself that he: she is or is lazy good for nothing. Persistent lack of drive can have deep-seated causes that cannot be overcome with self-conquest and discipline alone. A self-compassionate approach, for example, openly tracking down and asking what makes it difficult for us to do an activity, may therefore rather contribute to sustainable problem solving.
2. You worry a lot about upsetting or embarrassing someone else.
Some people try to compensate for the fear of doing something wrong and therefore not being perceived by other people as they wish by optimizing and controlling their behavior as much as possible. They are always thinking about what they are saying, doing, saying, or doing and are harshly judged when they may have looked stupid or bothersome. The catch: even if we do everything right, we cannot control how others perceive us and what they think of us. In addition, we tend to tense up when we think too much, and in many contexts that is a hindrance.
Those who can muster understanding and compassion for themselves take the pressure off and behave more relaxed and authentic. By the way: We have this understanding for others – and they usually have it for us.
3. You usually take longer to complete tasks than you intended and are still dissatisfied with the result in the end.
If we do not progress with a project as quickly as planned and are ultimately not satisfied, it is less due to our incompetence than to our standards – which are probably too high. Often in such a situation there is an inner voice that says: “Come on!” or “You can do that better!” counterproductive. More helpful and appropriate would be understanding words such as: “It just doesn’t work better at the moment” or “Doesn’t have to be finished today”. By the way: It is almost always enough if we meet our requirements to 70 or 80 percent in order to do something well.
4. You struggle over and over again with the same questions, worries, or thoughts about things that you regret.
We cannot indulge ourselves unrestrainedly in recurring ponder impulses and drive one hour after the other in the thought carousel. But warding off them as a matter of principle, getting annoyed that they keep coming up and fighting against them may not be the best way. What is the carousel about? Which triggers trigger the impulses? What feelings are associated with it? Sometimes a friendly, empathic relationship with ourselves can help to better understand brooding attacks and to find a way to get rid of them sustainably.
5. You have a goal, but you do nothing to achieve it.
It can be insanely frustrating and angry at ourselves when we know what we want but just don’t take the necessary steps to achieve our goals. But anger and frustration usually do not help, they only make the path even more difficult because they cost and strain us energy. In order to take some pressure out of the kettle, we can basically say to ourselves in a situation like this: There are reasons why we are not zealous. What these are – fears, overload, too high demands, lack of conviction (perhaps the wrong goal?) – must then be explored in a self-compassionate, interested and self-tolerant manner.
Self-compassion alone is not a panacea
With all the praise for self-compassion, it alone is the solution to very few problems. After all, it is not enough that we all take more care of ourselves and reduce a bit of pressure, performance and aspiration. We need a society and social structures in which it is possible and natural to take care of ourselves and our health. Doctors who take us seriously when we tell them something is wrong. Superiors who set an example for us and convey that a job is not worth wrecking ourselves so much that we no longer have the strength to meet friends in the evenings. A political and public environment that removes taboos and destigmatizes mental disorders. People who have been informed that body and psyche form a unit that there is more to our health than blood values and a body temperature of 36.8 degrees.
In a first step and on a small scale, it certainly can’t do any harm if we treat each other in a more friendly and compassionate manner when faced with problems like those mentioned, instead of judging ourselves for them. But further steps must follow – also on a large scale.
Are you seeing any signs that you might need help? The telephone counseling offers help. It is anonymous, free and available around the clock on 0800/1110111 and 0800/1110222.
Source used: psychologytoday.com