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Kindness Matters

We can all recognize kindness in others. The way they talk to you and act toward you lets you know whether they are a person with kindness in their heart. The water, however, gets a little bit murkier when we’re trying to decipher self-kindness. We often tend to be harsh on ourselves, especially when we have dealt with trauma and have unhealthy coping skills. Today, The Guest House wants to help you focus on self-kindness. Continue reading for more!

When We Aren’t So Kind to Ourselves

Sometimes, people may not know what self-kindness looks like. Usually, however, they know what it’s not. When we are unkind to ourselves, we may be unnecessarily harsh on ourselves, expecting too much, and when we cannot meet our expectations, we may punish ourselves unknowingly.

Think of a time when you were kind to yourself. This might be a little harder than thinking of a time where you were unkind to yourself. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back or cut yourself a break during a hard moment? If it’s been too long to remember, it’s time you start practicing some self-kindness.

When we aren’t so kind to ourselves, we know it. We know we’re being harsh. We know we’re being unfair. But, when we try to replace the unkindness with genuine kindness, we may feel self-indulgent. Kindness is not self-indulgent; kindness is necessary.

Kindness Is Not Self-Indulgent

If you wouldn’t talk negatively to your friend, you shouldn’t be talking to yourself in that way, either. Showing yourself the kindness you give others isn’t self-indulgent, it’s necessary for a healthy recovery. Many of us need to work on the self-talk that runs through our heads.

Without even realizing it, you have a constant stream of thoughts. Some are negative and some are positive—that’s normal! What isn’t okay is when your self-talk is harsh and cruel most of the time. Some may counter that by saying, “I’m just being honest!” or “Being a bit hard on yourself is a good thing!”

We know that honesty is key and we shouldn’t always take a laid back approach to recovery. However, if you are being harsh and cruel to yourself because you feel like you are selfish if you practice self-kindness, you’re missing out on the beauty of recovery. Self-kindness is not self-indulgent.

How to Practice Self-Kindness

If you are struggling to be kind to yourself, think about how you talk and treat others. If you think you are kind to others, start by adopting that kindness with yourself. You can start complimenting yourself here and there when you do something worthy of recognition. Remember, you don’t have to wait for others to recognize the great things you do!

Practice self-reliance and give yourself that compliment to help you move forward. Then, think about this: would you remain friends with someone if they talked to you the way you talk to yourself? For many people, that answer is no. You shouldn’t let other people treat you poorly, so why do you expect that treatment from yourself? We aren’t talking about being “real” with yourself. Being real is a necessity.

However, you can be real with yourself and still be kind. Lastly, self-kindness means acknowledging your feelings. Acknowledge how you’re feeling and what that means in your recovery. Acknowledge what you need in the present moment. Allow yourself the kindness you deserve.

Go With Small Displays of Kindness

Instead of trying to pull off a huge kind gesture for yourself, try to do something small at least once every day that shows yourself some kindness. It can be as small as recognizing that you’re being hard on yourself and giving yourself a break from the negative thoughts.

You can do this by journaling or talking to a trusted friend. Showing genuine kindness is what you want to do for yourself, not large things that you’re doing just for the sake of doing something. Make it worthwhile. Whatever you need, allow yourself to partake in it. Small displays of kindness can mean the world to you when someone else does them, so why not show yourself that same appreciation?

We Are All Fighting Our Own Battles

There’s a saying out there that goes something like this: we are all fighting our own battles that others know nothing about. Keep this in mind when you’re practicing being kind. This is a great way to exude kindness because you don’t know the kind of day that the people around you are having.

This is why it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and be kind, no matter what. Adopt this concept in your own recovery and see where it takes you. You have the privilege to know firsthand how it feels to go through difficult things, so you know that others would love to be treated with kindness if they were in your position. Because of this, treat yourself with the utmost kindness.

The Guest House is here to help you get through your trauma and co-occurring illness or addiction with humility and kindness. We have programs that can benefit you at any stage of your recovery. We know that everyone is their unique self, so we have individualized treatment that will fit your needs. Call our trained and experienced staff at (855) 372-1079. We can’t wait to speak with you! Call now!