Be Patient With Yourself

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“Be patient with yourself. You are growing stronger every day. The weight of the world will become lighter… and you will begin to shine brighter. Don’t give up.” – Robert Tew

Compassion is not only for other people but also for ourselves. Self-compassion is a relatively new concept that has piqued the interests of psychologists lately. Researchers are eager to find out more about how being kind and patient to ourselves impact our perception, habits, and the decisions we make.

Some of you may ask, “Wouldn’t self-compassion lead to self-indulgence?” Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field, would tell you to not get self-compassion mixed up with self-indulgence or leniency. “Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation,” she maintains.

A 2007 study by researchers at Wake Forest University could illustrate her point. Divided into 2 groups, 84 female college students were asked to eat doughnuts at the beginning of the experiment. However, in one group, the participants were taught not to feel real bad or guilty about it since everyone in the study is doing it. At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that women who were instructed to be self-compassionate ate less than those who weren’t given the message.

The reason why the other group ended up eating more can be rooted to the guilt of eating the doughnuts. Being hard on themselves resulted to “emotional” eating. On the other hand, the group who understood that it was only part of the experiment and permitted themselves to enjoy the food didn’t overeat.

Despite their imperfections, we can’t bear to hurt or give up on the people we love. Now why can’t we do the same to ourselves?

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