Have you been watching the news and social media feeds and feel like the world is out of control and spiraling down a cruel slide? Are you looking for ways to insert kindness into your life? Did you know that injecting kindness into your life always has to start with you? It has been said that the cause of stress and unhappiness is, drum-roll please, in our own heads. That’s right, the little voice in your head that can chime in and tell you that you are not enough, you are not good enough or that you are wholly unlovable, is at the root of your anxiety and depression.
That’s right your inner voice can keep you balanced but it can also cause you to be unfairly cruel to yourself. In a world that is often cruel for no reason we feel that it is important to inspire kindness that starts within. We must change the tone of the the voice that we allow to speak to us. But how do we go about this? Well, it’s a process. But have no fear, we have answers for you and some great tips that will help you change that voice and help it to become more kind.
It is important to note that a certain amount of self criticism is good. It helps to pinpoint areas that can be improved. It will also help you identify weakness and give you areas that you can focus your strengths on. Lastly this critical voice can help you to accept your limitations and refocus on what you CAN do. However, if that voice has become abusive, you may be headed for trouble. If you treat yourself poorly then often times people around you will follow suit. Or it will lead you down a depression spiral so deep that you have a hard time climbing out.
If your inner voice is judgmental, critical and just plain cruel then you need to stop and listen for a moment. This will help you to identify the negative self speak to begin your kindness transformation. You have to ask yourself “would I allow a loved one to be spoken to this way?” If the answer is no then you now have a basis from which to turn that around. It is time to turn the negative into positive and start being kind to yourself.
Think about the tone this voice speaks to you in for a moment. Does it remind you of anyone at all? Researchers have said that negative ideas bout ourselves are born in early childhood. Now we are not trying to make family gatherings stressful nor are we blaming anyone of starting this negative view of yourself. We are only trying to help you understand why it does not have to remain this way.
Often our influences are simply trying to see you do well or keep you safe or they are just passing on their own negative self speak onto you. Perhaps they are trying to help you see what you ‘must’ do in order to become what you ‘should’ be. However, if you were to look inside their heads and listen to their inner voices, you would more than likely see that their voices are far more cruel than your own. It is important for you to understand that if you are strong in your own self-esteem then these things would not stick and hurt so terribly. This is why it is important to correct this negative voice and begin the journey to kindness.
When you become used to the voice telling you that all you are is what it tells you that you are, you don’t necessarily stop and question what it is telling us. If you have low self-esteem then you may just accept what this voice is telling you and deny anything positive that is said about you by anyone else. But if you take a moment to analyze what you are telling yourself, you will see that they are unfounded and exaggerated greatly in a way that makes you feel poorly about yourself. To properly analyze the words being spoken in your head you must realize that you are not all bad or all good, you are not going to see the world end if you make a mistake and the world is not all black and white. It’s time to check the negative voice a the door and find the kindness that we know dwells within yourself.
Compassion is the latest buzzword around the mental health professionals these days. And we have to admit, we kinda dig it! Compassion is far more simple than kindness. Being that the way we choose to understand our brains and encounter the world armed with this understanding is our responsibility to other as well as to ourselves. Compassion is often seen as weakness or an indulgence however, this could be further from the truth. It takes an incredibly strong person to show compassion to themselves as well as the world at large.
Cultivating compassion takes courage. However, the benefits for self and others are so great that it will actually reduce your own stress as well as help liberate you from inherited negative self speak. Research is proving that cultivating compassion helps to stimulate physiological systems that helps you improve your health and happiness.
Just as we have a negative inner voice, we also have the potential for a compassionate self. From caring for our nearest and dearest friends to the whale that is stranded on the beach, we possess compassion. Now we need to turn that kindness inward toward ourselves. “We can never find peace in the outer world until we find peace with ourselves,” said the Dalai Lama.
From making yourself a bowl of soup when you feel the onset of illness to taking a hot bath to relax after a stressful day, you are being compassionate. So, the next time you are looking at yourself in the mirror and you are fully engaged in the typical negative speak, turn down the volume. Become your own best friend in this moment. Ask yourself “if I were speaking so someone that I loved this way, would I be okay with allowing this?” If the answer is ‘no’ then you know that you need to switch to listing the good that you see. It can start as small as “Man, I am wearing some GREAT earrings today and they look awesome!” In no time you will find that you are listing greater things about yourself and that your self-esteem has taken a great boost! When your self-esteem is boosted so is your kindness and you will see that it extends far beyond just how you speak to yourself.
As you see that your kindness extends beyond yourself you will also see that it is infectious to those around you. You see it is the power of suggestion that helps this. Have you ever heard someone say that they are clumsy and then trip on something? That is the power of suggestion. So what if you told a person that they are great at handling stressful situations? You will most likely see a raise in their self-esteem and the spread of more kindness. As well as seeing that the person’s ability to actually handle stress well become greater as well.
Consider this, if you change the way that you are talking to yourself then you are practicing self-compassion and this is the key to stopping self-abuse as well as improves your ability to relate to others which strengthens your relationships. Wouldn’t you agree that in a world of hate and mistrust that beginning this journey to kindness is essential? We sure feel that the world could use more kindness.
If you are interested in finding a more physical way to release stress then you may be interested in a Reiki session to help realign the flow of energy in your body. Or you may be interested in the benefits of a great massage to help ease stress. If you want to book either of these great services to help you get your mind ready for the kindness cure then be sure to contact us today!