Stress and anxiety are emotions that will accompany a person throughout his life. When these feelings and the accompanying emotional and cognitive processes arise, we can sometimes find life unbearable. Stress and anxiety are disliked because of the cognitive, physical, behavioral and emotional responses they elicit. However, a certain degree of stress and anxiety are very important sources for human life.
However, if the level of stress and anxiety is higher than the tolerable and manageable levels, especially in the case of certain specific situations and events, some interventions should be made in order to provide physical, mental and emotional recovery at this point. Consulting a physician, having the necessary medical examinations done, meeting with a psychiatrist, starting a psychotherapy or psychological support and counseling process with a mental health professional are among these interventions.
At this point, in addition to professional support, we can offer support ourselves. Self-compassion awareness-based practices and meditations are at the forefront of these self-support practices. It may be helpful here to look deeply into what self-compassion is and how one can support oneself through self-compassion.
Self-compassion is often perceived as self-pity and self-pity. On the contrary, self-compassion corresponds to offering support to oneself when experiencing stressful, traumatic and challenging life events, as well as to offering support to a loved one who is suffering. Self-compassion is basically a person’s approach to himself in the context of love and unconditional positive acceptance.
The importance of approaching oneself with self-compassion comes from the recognition that all emotions are included in life. It is important to accept all emotions, challenging and non-compulsive, and open the heart to all emotions. “What exactly do I need right now?” The question most fundamentally points to the essence of self-compassion. Being able to be our own friend when we need it most points to the main purpose of self-compassionate awareness.
Through self-compassion, when we recognize our personal shortcomings and needs, we begin to understand the importance of approaching ourselves in a more supportive and hopeful way rather than harshly and critically. In order to better understand self-compassion, we need to review our evaluations of life.
We often think that life is just a straight line of progression. When we evaluate life events, we forget the fact that all human beings are developing. At this point, we can remember some of the things we should not forget by approaching ourselves with self-compassion and evaluating the world, our experiences and other people in this context.
First of all, life is not just a straight line of progression and regression, it is a process of experience that develops in various ways, sometimes flat and sometimes bumpy. Everyone can make mistakes from time to time and have experiences that are considered failures. However, life can open new doors for us by bringing with it various possibilities and potentials.
The pains and difficulties that everyone experiences and will experience throughout their life may differ from each other. This difference does not mean that every person does not experience pain and difficulties from time to time depending on certain situations or events, that is, there is no common human experience of pain and strain. The common experiences of humanity, one of the three pillars of self-compassion, gain importance in this sense.
When a challenging life event is experienced and a compelling emotion accompanies us, it is possible for us to accept this challenge with awareness as well as the common humanity experience and to support ourselves in this process by approaching ourselves with self-kindness. Awareness and self-kindness are the other pillars of self-compassion at this point.
Self-compassion says that a perspective that is free from the social preconceptions that impose on us that we should be perfect and that fosters the belief that a self-acceptance and self-compassion beyond being better is possible is possible. In this process, especially if life events and emotions that challenge us have emerged, it will be a healthier way to take an attitude that recognizes and accepts the degree of impact of this difficulty in our approach to ourselves and the emotional changes it causes in us.
In the face of the negativities, failures, mistakes and difficulties we have experienced, trying to approach ourselves with kindness and compassion, as we would approach a relative with similar experiences, will support us in establishing self-compassionate awareness. As a matter of fact, this will be a beneficial step not only for ourselves but also for other people. Because to the extent that we can approach ourselves in a compassionate way, we can be more concerned, accommodating, compassionate and supportive in our relationships with other people.