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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

How to be kind to yourself

Updated: Jan 17

Have you noticed you can be kind to friends, family or even strangers, but you are quite critical of yourself in the same situation?

For example:

Your friend Jessie forgot an important meeting at work. Feeling upset, Jessie calls you and tells you about it.

What do you think? How do you react? What do you say to Jessie?

Now imagine you forgot to show up for an important meeting at work.

What are you thinking now? How are you reacting? Are you saying the same things to yourself that you said to Jessie?

Being unkind to yourself has a negative effect:

Lack of self-compassion and harsh self-criticism can lead to chronic stress and poor mental health.

It IS possible to start being kinder to yourself. Here’s how:

Ask yourself:

What would I say to my friend in this situation?

Remind yourself:

Everyone fails sometimes, and I am no exception. I am human.

I value being kind, so I’ll start with myself.

Celebrate yourself:

I am okay with being imperfect. I have had successes and proud moments in the past, and I have had my share of failures and mistakes.

How will being kind to yourself help you?

Allowing yourself to be imperfect creates room for failures and faux pas that are inevitable in life. Give yourself a margin of error. This will allow you to grow, to move on beyond setbacks, and to live a full life. You may be able to make progress towards your goals.

You can be healthier, more satisfied, and have more meaningful relationships by nurturing compassion and kindness for yourself.

Be kind and stay healthy.

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

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