Are there elements about yourself that you dislike? Things that make you feel frustrated, angry, anxious or embarrassed? We all have aspects of ourselves that we find it difficult to be with, and when our inner critics take over, they can be incredibly harsh and belittling. Leaving us feeling unworthy and ashamed.
Compare this to the way we might talk to a friend when they’re feeling low or unhappy with themselves. Why are we so quick to show kindness and compassion to others and yet have zero patience for ourselves?
A Letter of Self-Compassion is a positive psychology intervention tool which aids in boosting self-compassion, so whenever you’re giving yourself a particularly hard time, or in need of some self-love, see what positive impact this might have:
- Take a pen and paper
- Sit down and think about one of your perceived flaws, or something you’ve been giving yourself a hard time about
- Write in detail about how this inadequacy makes you feel
- Now turn the page, and start to write yourself a letter from the point of view of a loving and supportive friend or family member. Address your perceived flaw but from someone who loves you unconditionally, someone who accepts and forgives you
- Think about how they might write to you, what they might say and the tone in which they might say it. If it’s difficult, think about ways you might talk to a friend in need or struggling with self-criticism
- Put the letter aside for half an hour or so
- Read the letter and really absorb the words. Feel the love, compassion and support wash over you. Keep it somewhere close by so you can keep referring back to it whenever you wish