Mindfulness is about being aware and present-moment focused.

Mindful self-compassion involves being kind to yourself and not judging yourself.

How much self-compassion do you feel you have for yourself right NOW?

Looking back on my life I realize how hard I have been on myself. In my twenties, I wondered when I would find the career of my dreams or the job I wanted. I would get upset at myself when I felt I wasn’t where I should be at that stage in my life. Later in life, I can think of many times when I scolded myself for not doing a “good enough” job as a mother. I remember days leaving work and being upset at myself for not being able to finish something I felt I should have.

Can you relate to any of this?

  • Why are we so hard on ourselves?
  • What happened to being grateful for all that we do have and are able to achieve?
  • What about simply being kind to ourselves and saying it’s OK.
  • And not fretting so much about what we thought we should have done (or not done!).
  • Accepting who we are – as the beautiful and unique individuals we are!!

Try this exercise to help you reflect:

FIRST, reflect on how you would treat a friend or family member who was upset, in pain or suffering? Close your eyes and really visualize yourself sitting with this person, hearing what they are saying. Consider your body language, how you would listen to him or her, what you may or may not say. Close your eyes and take your time to visualize and reflect on this.

NEXT, close your eyes and see yourself feeling upset or hurt. Reflect on how you would treat yourself if YOU were upset, hurting or suffering? What do you say to yourself, how do you act towards yourself?

Not the same is it!!

Now why is it even important to have self-compassion?

Research has shown that self-compassion is associated with increased psychological well-being (Neff, 2009). Higher levels of self-compassion are linked to increased feelings of happiness, optimism, curiosity and connectedness; as well as decreased anxiety, depression, rumination and fear of failure. All these can positively influence personal and professional life.

So next time you catch yourself judging yourself or beating yourself up about something you did or didn’t so, said or didn’t say – remember the research.

And more importantly, remember how you would treat that dear friend or family member of yourself when they are upset or suffering.

Written by Avdeep Bahra OT Reg. (Ont.)

Avdeep Bahra is an occupational therapist that uses various techniques to enhance her clients’ mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. She offers one on one appointments, mindfulness meditation classes and mindfulness workshops in the Greater Toronto Area. She has co-facilitated at the University of Toronto on spirituality, health and wellness. Furthermore, she has educated viewers on Rogers TV on the topic of holistic health.

Avdeep has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She offers client appointments in person or over Skype. Occupational Therapy services may be covered under your benefits.

Contact Avdeep to Get Started! avdeep.bahra@gmail.com or 416-709-0530

Sign up for a complimentary guided mindfulness exercise, upcoming education, and tips at www.avdeepbahra.com