Be gentle to yourself and to your tinnitus
Usually we are kind to other people, we help loved ones when they need help and we try to cheer them up when the are down and try to make them happy.
So why do we keep kicking ourselfes when we are down?
I have never been the biggest fan of myself, but since I got my tinnitus, especially since it is so loud – I have been even harder on myself. Instead of trying to feel good, I have brought myself down on several occations.
With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend. – Kristin Neff
Dr. Kristin Neff researched the topic and developed a programm to reach a higher level of self-compassion. She says that self-compasion is no different from showing compassion to others.
Firstly to be able to show self-compassion – you need be able to feel compassion in general.
What does it mean to have compassion for others?
- You need to notice that someone is suffering.
- Feel for the suffering of the other person – suffer with them, wanting to help them.
- Realizing that this suffering is part of human life – so it is shared with others.
So it is a kind act of understanding and supporting rather than judging someone.
Doesn´t sound so hard, does it?
So, self-compassion is following those steps, but for yourself.
It is about caring about yourself and accepting who you are – accpeting that you are human with human faults. Not judging yourself for it, notice your own suffering and feel for yourself, but at the same time, not dramatizing it – it is part of life, something others are going through also.
Krisitn Neff says there are three parts to self-compassion:
- Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment
She says you feel worse about yourself and about life when you stress and get mad about difficulties in life, when something is not working out the way you want. Be kind to yourself and accept that it is part of life.
- Common humanity vs. Isolation
This part was very important for me to read, as I have felt that way so many times since I got my tinnitus. It is about accepting that you are not alone, that suffering is a part of being human and everybody is going through something in some way.
- Mindfulness vs. Over-identification
It is about accepting how we feel and what we feel, not denying them but at the same time not identifying with your feelings either. It is more about observing them, acknowledging that they are there, but not getting sucked into a vicious circle.
Sounds all a little too theoretical?
Dr. Krisin Neff prepared some guided meditations and expercises: http://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/#exercises