With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s easy to find yourself channeling a lot of energy into either your relationships or dating. But it’s also crucial to pay some extra love to yourself now — and every day. A new infographic from Happify, a website geared towards enhancing emotional well-being through scientifically-proven activities, highlights how practicing self-compassion can have a hugely positive effect on your health and happiness.
As outlined below, self-compassion consists of three main elements: self-kindness (being gentle to oneself), understanding of common humanity (that humans make mistakes), and mindfulness (being aware of other people's lack of clarity). Practicing these compassionate behaviors — instead of constantly being hard on yourself and others — has been proven to make people feel happier, more optimistic, and more grateful.
Why? Those who have self-compassion tend to have stronger feelings of self-worth and are often more resilient than those who don’t. They are also better able to forgive others more easily, likely making it easier to sustain relationships. For women, having self-compassion also has the added benefit of causing a more positive body image, no matter what weight or shape you are.
So how do you work on being less critical and more self-compassionate? It’s important to keep tabs on how you talk to yourself (yes, I’m talking about those conversations inside your head). If you notice a tendency to be too critical, try to switch up your inner tone to be more understanding and less harsh. Taking some time to meditate or practice yoga has also been found to help increase further compassionate tendencies.
Check out Happify's full infographic below, and learn how you can work on your self-compassionate behaviors.