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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

Self-Compassion...Give it a Try

As leaders, we're often so focused on others that we forget that we need reenergizing, rejuvenating, and often times we need to just step back and cut ourselves some slack.

That's where self-compassion comes in.

Scientists have discovered that self-compassion really does make a difference. How do you process when things go wrong? Do you blame yourself? Beat yourself up? Have simply unreal expectations for your performance and abilities to the point where you'll never quite live up to your own thoughts?

When we take care of ourselves and practice self-compassion, our bodies release oxytocin - the same same feel good hormone released when mothers nurse babies, positively affecting social behavior and emotions. But it also has an anti-anxiety effect, and increases romantic attachment and empathy.

Now that I have you convinced that its worth paying a little attention to, do you know where to start?

Start by acknowledging that you're not perfect. Because you're not.

Look at screw ups as something that happens to all of us, and find a way to spin it into a learning experience. Yes, easier said than done, but even if you are able to spin a few a week, that self-compassion will begin to take hold.

Self-kindness has an impact on one's health and outlook. You'll feel less distressed and motivated to eat better and even sleep better.

Finally, connecting with friends for reality checks work well. Think of the lifelines from "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Use those friends as buffers while you expand your skills in better living and self-compassion. They can help you level set and be more responsive to your own reality.

Ultimately, your physical and mental health are game for improvement, so why not give it a shot?

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