3. NOTICE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS AND SENSATIONS
Another step towards mindful self-compassion is to become aware of the feelings associated with your story. These feelings are both emotional and also sensory-based. For example, common feelings in the body involve stiff muscles, clenched jaws, biting nails, hot flushes, chills, increased heartbeat, numbness, sweating, dizziness, etc. Common emotions involve shame, guilt, grief, anger, embarrassment, rejection, and anxiety. Becoming aware of your triggers takes a lot of practice. Often I uncover a string of triggers involved in my storylines.
4. FACE WHAT YOU ARE AVOIDING
Consciously allow yourself to feel the mental, emotional, and physical triggers that arise during your day. Notice your tendency to run away from them, dramatize them or distract yourself from them. Accept this tendency and show yourself compassion. Allow yourself to open up to whatever you feel. Notice how temporary the thought or feeling is. Allow it to pass in and out of consciousness.
5. BECOME YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND
Ask yourself, “How would I treat myself if I was my own best friend?” Reflect on the way you treat yourself when your story is dominating your mind. Are you cold-hearted, critical, and ruthless? Would you treat a friend like that? It’s OK, we’re all like that sometimes. Allow yourself to forgive these tendencies and replace them with gentleness, kindness, and tolerance — as you would with a good friend.
6. ACKNOWLEDGE THE SHARED HUMANITY
When your story takes hold, allow yourself to acknowledge the shared humanity of these feelings. You are not alone in your feelings — how could you be? And yet your story would convince you otherwise and keep you feeling isolated.
Related: The Problem With Faith: 11 Ways Religion Is Destroying Humanity
You can counteract this feeling of being alone in your suffering with a powerful phrase or mantra such as:
- This is a moment of suffering. I will let it pass.
- I unconditionally accept myself in this moment.
- May I be kind to myself right now?
Very few of us take the time to actively explore and observe our inner storylines. But when truly examined, our thoughts and feelings are seen for what they are: temporary, changeable and passing. They are not truly “us” no matter what we tell ourselves, or what others make us believe.
Mindful self-compassion is so dynamic because it combines two of the most powerful practices out there: mindfulness and self-love.
Have you practiced mindful self-compassion ever? How did you feel? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Aletheia Luna
Originally appeared on LonerWolf