Self-compassion for better health
The trap of investing your self worth in your fitness regime
So many people place incredible pressure on themselves to perform the ‘perfect’ healthy lifestyle.
They continuously strive for the ‘right’ exercise regime, the ‘right’ eating, and the ‘perfect’ body.
There’s so much anxiety to sustain all these things when you’ve invested your sense of self worth in them. When you’re constantly striving to ‘measure up’ to what others are doing or prove to yourself that you are ‘enough’.
I’ve learned that self-compassion is the basis for all self-care.
Until we practice self-compassion we cannot:
• listen to and trust our internal cues and needs
• let go of comparing ourselves to others and constantly trying to measure up.
When we practise self-compassion we’re able to be mindful of what we truly need for good health and let go of all the extremes and messages telling us what we ‘should’ do.
How self-compassion changes your approach
Instead of feeling compelled to go for a run despite our sharp knee pain, we’d listen to the signal and allow ourselves time for rehab. Instead of pushing ourselves to get to the gym despite feeling very ill, we’d instead allow ourselves the rest we need. Instead of going hungry all day on a Monday because we feel guilty about ‘overindulging’ on the weekend, we’d just kindly respond to our hunger by giving our body the food it needs.
Practising self-compassion also reminds us that we’re all human, we’re all imperfect and our innate worth has nothing to do with what foods we eat, the exercise we do, or how we look.
I think most people recognise that our friends and family do not love us for the foods we eat, the weights we lift, how fast we run, or what size clothes we wear! With self-compassion we can come to realise that we can love ourselves too without all these conditions.
We don’t need to perform like a dancing pony to be worthy humans! We’re already enough.