Reducing Anxiety through Self-Compassion
With the hype on social media and the internet on success and image, it is easy for people to feel pressured to measure up to the image and idea they see online. Some people may feel inadequate and insecure when comparing themselves with what they see online. And when they experience setbacks in their studies or when someone in authority gives negative comments, they feel like a failure. They start to blame themselves for any mistakes and become highly self-critical. They become anxious about making mistakes. Unfortunately, the more critical they are of themselves, the higher the anxiety. The fear increases the possibility of making a mistake.
Some symptoms that you may have high self-critics include:
Negative self-talk (e.g., "I'm not good enough")
Constantly being on edge - hyper-vigilant.
Spending so much time trying to make things perfect, even when it is a minor task
Being angry with yourself for minor mistakes
Highly critical self-talk (e.g., "stupid," "why can't you get it right," "you always make mistakes," etc.)
Being overly critical of yourself increases the sense of insecurities which leads to high anxiety. The opposite of being highly critical is self-compassion. Self-compassion is being kind to yourself and forgiving yourself for your mistake. It is not an excuse to make more mistakes but looking at what has happened as a learning experience to improve yourself. After all, you can't change what has happened. Instead of looking at setbacks as a total failure, you will encourage yourself to learn from the setback and move forward. Being compassionate to yourself goes beyond positive self-talk or positive psychology. It is learning to develop a nurturing relationship with yourself and becoming a healer and a good friend to yourself. As you become kinder and more forgiving towards yourself, you will become less anxious. Therefore, being compassionate to yourself improves your mental well-being, leading to the capacity to be more focused on the goal and the task at hand.
Restoring Peace Counselling & Consultancy provides counselling and psychotherapy services for anxiety and various mental health challenges, including helping you to increase self-compassion to reduce anxiety. For more information, visit us at www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
Keywords: Singapore, mental health clinic, psychotherapy services, counselling, therapy, anxiety, self-compassion, self-acceptance