You don’t navigate hard times relying solely on being optimistic and blind faith; it requires flexibility. We all possess a measure of resiliency, and the more struggle we face, the more likely that trait is to grow stronger.
Hopefully, you won’t have to experience a lot of struggle to develop yours. You can learn to harness it properly to significant effect. The tips provided below will help you do so, but they might not work in every situation or all of the time.
There will be trial and error at play, but as long as you are willing to get back up, dust yourself off, and try again, you’re in a good place.
Let’s build on that good place by focusing on five healthy and self-supportive ways to get through hard times.
A very effective way to provide yourself with self-support during the most challenging times is to extend yourself the same support that you would offer a friend in the same position. We are often our own worst enemy because we are almost always our most prominent critics.
By being hard on yourself, you will do better next time or teach yourself to be stronger. The reality, however, is that you are tearing yourself down and making the hard times that much more difficult. Pay more attention to how you speak to yourself, correct it, and treat yourself with the same compassion you would offer a friend.
A Writing Exercise
If you are struggling to cultivate self-compassion, then this might be a helpful way for you to address the issue. It is similar to the advice above, but it requires you to put it into writing.
Write yourself an encouraging letter, just as you would to a friend who was struggling. Write about your positive qualities and your flaws from an observational point of view. It doesn’t need to be criticism.
Think about what your most supportive friend would say to you. Think about what you would say to your most cherished friend.
It is a mantra, an affirmation, an intention, whatever you call it; however, you play it. A go-to phrase is an excellent way to remain self-supportive and compassionate.
This phrase will be the one you repeat and rely on when you find critical thoughts creeping in. It’s the one you’ll whisper to yourself when self-defeating thoughts come for you. Use a phrase that reminds you not to judge or a phrase that will remind you that you are strong enough to make it through.
When you think of mindfulness, you probably think about meditation and its calming effects. While this is true, it can also help anyone who wants to develop self-compassion and improve their self-supportiveness.
You can practice mindfulness at any time, and the internet will provide you with plenty of free guided options to help you improve self-support and compassion.
The idea of self-compassion can be overwhelming, especially if it’s something you struggle with now. You might want to start with a self-compassion assessment that will help you learn where you fall on the self-compassion spectrum. Self-compassion will give you a better idea of where you need the most work. It might seem like a lot, but self-compassion walks hand-in-hand with self-support.
You cannot develop the latter without first addressing the former. You can incorporate different practices daily to add to improve your self-compassion. With that habit under your belt, you will start to notice how much easier it is for you to be self-supportive. It’s all there inside you, just waiting for you to tap into it.
- What do you do to feel self-supportive of yourself?
- What strategies have you used when you have hit hard times?