“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” — Jack Kornfield
Self-compassion is the art of soothing ourselves, responding “just as we would a dear friend in need”. And while it’s something that newborns learn to do, somehow many of us unlearn this skill as we grow older — letting only self-criticism determine how we manage failure, anxiety, and disappointment in our lives.
And yet self-kindness is a necessary and legitimate response to stress. Mentally, it gives us the resilience and strength to push through to a solution. Physically, many studies have concluded that self-compassion is important for our health, with a study by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford finding that acts of self-compassion calm the heart rate and switch off the body’s threat responses. And that’s no small thing: previous studies have shown that threat responses harm the immune system, and that switching off this response may help lower the risk of disease.
There’s much to unpack here, but today I’m gonna just focus on the art of finding the love in a busy, busy world.
To many of us, working out how to build in time for self-kindness can feel like Yet One More Ask. But I’ve also come across many who manufacture their micro-moments with what they already do. My husband, for instance, escapes by folding laundry alone in our bedroom. It’s repetitive and meditative — and has the added bonus of shoring up my undying gratitude and affection. 😉 Some read a poem or blast a favourite song to anchor themselves. Others light a scented candle. Still others, like Dance Central Founder Julie Scheer, pamper their bodies and calm their souls through a routine of slathering themselves with yummy moisturisers before bedtime. Touch is a big part of showing compassion, and it works on the self just as much as it works on others.
If you’d like more ideas on building self-compassion, Julie has the perfect short-and-sweet workbook — with worksheets and everything! Get your copy for only $5 from our DC Shop.
BOUNCE YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHIER YOU!
Our Adult Bounce classes suit anyone just starting out. That, and all other DC Fit classes, can be booked as casual classes on our website. Check out our timetable.