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Learning to Be Kind to Yourself: Understanding Self-Compassion

As a teenager, have you ever noticed how it’s easier to be nice to your friends than it is to yourself? Showing kindness and understanding to yourself (AKA: self-compassion) can be tricky. But it’s super important for feeling good about who you are. Let’s dig in to why this is and how you can learn to be kinder to yourself.

Think of self-compassion like giving yourself a big hug when things aren’t going well. It’s about treating yourself with the same care and kindness you would give to a friend who’s feeling down. Sounds nice, right? But sometimes, it’s tough to do.

One reason it’s hard to be kind to ourselves is that we don’t always feel good about who we are. That feeling is called self-worth. It’s like believing you’re awesome and valuable, just because you’re you. But sometimes, we compare ourselves to others or worry about not being good enough. That can make it tough to feel good about ourselves.

Then there’s self-esteem. This is how much you like and believe in yourself. It’s important, but sometimes we tie it to things like getting good grades or being popular. When we don’t meet those expectations, our self-esteem can take a hit.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Even though it’s tough to be kind to ourselves, we’re usually really good at being nice to our friends. We listen to them, support them, and cheer them up when they feel down. But when it comes to us, we’re often our own worst critics.

So, how can we change that?

  • Pay attention to how we’re feeling – being mindful. Instead of ignoring our feelings or being mean to ourselves, we can try to understand why we’re feeling a certain way.
  • Practice being kind to ourselves.
    Instead of saying mean things like “I’m so dumb” when we make a mistake, we can say something like “It’s okay, everyone messes up sometimes.” Treating ourselves with kindness and understanding can help us feel better about who we are.
  • Remember that nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes and have flaws, and that’s okay. Accepting ourselves, flaws and all, is a big part of being kind to ourselves.
  • Focus on the things we’re good at and the things we like about ourselves. Maybe you’re really good at drawing or making people laugh. Celebrating our strengths and the things that make us unique can help boost our self-worth and self-esteem.

In the end, learning self-compassion is a journey. It takes practice and patience, but it’s worth it. When we treat ourselves with kindness and understanding, we feel happier, more confident, and better able to handle life’s ups and downs. So, let’s be our own best friends and give ourselves the love and compassion we deserve!

Isaiah Counseling & Wellness loves helping young people on this journey of self-compassion. Providing counseling for teens, our therapists help you figure out and embrace all the things that make you, you!

Learn more about Isaiah Counseling & Wellness.