“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and overworked?

You are not alone.

Like many, you likely entered into the new year feeling inspired and ready to start anew; with goals and ambitions to make the necessary changes to finally reach your potential at work, fix that relationship, get your finances in order, etc.

And yet, here you are.

January is often accompanied by low moods, feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression.

Winter is hard – on everyone.

Which is why now, more than ever, what you need is . . . compassion.

Reaching out to trusted friends, professionals, coworkers, and family members for some much needed understanding might be the first step in overcoming some of your struggles.

However, even more likely, the person you need some gentleness from right now is actually . . . You.

Many of us were raised to believe that softness with ourselves meant that we were letting ourselves off the hook; which ultimately meant we were excusing laziness or bad behaviour.

We fear that ignoring that critical voice, or seeing it for what it really is, would be giving into self-indulgence and cause us to slip up and fail.

Well, what if you knew this was actually false? And that self-criticism over self-compassion was actually less effective and resulted in lowered productivity, higher levels of stress and increased suffering?

Dr. Kristin Neff was one of the first researchers to study self-compassion as a measurable tool and published the findings addressing the importance of this particular internal resource.

Self Compassion, defined by Dr. Neff  is, “the ability to extend compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering”.

How wonderful would it be to offer ourselves some comfort when we are experiencing our darkest and most challenging times?

As Identified by Dr. Neff, the 3 components of self-compassion are:

1) Self-Kindness

2) Common humanity

 3) Mindfulness

Dr. Neff found that the development and application of this skill had remarkable impacts on self-confidence, increased productivity, better stress-management, higher levels of perseverance, better coping strategies, and a heightened overall sense of wellbeing.

Thank you, Dr. Neff!

So, if you are struggling – which so many of us are – remember COMPASSION.

Consider allowing your thoughts towards yourself to soften; take a breath, and say to yourself,

“You are doing the best you can with what you have, right now.”

Feel those words, and let them sink in.

Practicing regular self-compassion can be what you need to get out of the rut and onto the path to fulfilling your true potential.

Working with a professional to address and heal your inner-critic while building a practice of self-compassion can be truly transformational.

Start with yourself, and let it flow to those around you.