The Importance of Self-Compassion in Overcoming Mental Health Challenges

We all make mistakes and often are doing the best we can with decisions we have in our lives especially as young adults. You are still encountering many situations you have never dealt with before and are unsure what direction to go in.

All too often many of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else and sometimes we are so harsh it can sound like an internal bully. Thoughts like “why did I do that?” “what is wrong with me? I am such a loser” or “I never do anything right.” These harsh thoughts can wreak havoc on one’s self-esteem and cause an increase in depression. Healing can never happen if you continue to allow yourself to beat yourself down with every mis step and never encourage yourself.

One way to overcome this is to tap into your self-compassion. Self-compassion is recognizing how difficult a situation may be for yourself, learning to validate your own feelings and encouraging yourself to keep going. Here’s an example of negative self-talk and how to change it to self-compassion:

Negative self-talk:

I screwed up again, I never do anything right.

A way to show more self-compassion: This was a hard decision for me and I really struggled. I may not have made the best choice but did the best I could at the time. I know I can learn from this and make better decisions in the future.

Do you see the difference? It can take a lot of practice to unwind so many years of negative self-talk and transform it into a more self-compassionate talk and view of yourself. Sometimes it can help to simply write out what thoughts are going through your head and transform them to the self-compassion self-talk. You may even have to practice saying it out loud and allow it to really sink in.

So the formula goes like this:

Validate your feelings and situation: Example: “This was a challenging situation for me but I know I didn’t have experience with this.”

Recognize any mistakes: “I now see a better choice I could’ve made”

What good can come out of this situation “I know I will be able to move past this and make a different choice next time”

Its important to really take note of how you feel after using self-compassion. It will help lead you down the road to an improved self-worth and can ease some symptoms of depression. It also can make you more hopeful for the future. As a young adult, therapy can be an option to assist you in making better decisions, improving your self-compassion and helping overcome any anxiety or depressive symptoms. Reach out to Path to Hope Counseling today for a free consultation at 984-500-2021.