I have done several gifted coaching sessions this week and what has really struck me is just how difficult it is for people to allow themselves just five minutes self-care a day. I have also realised just how self-critical people are, and the negative impact this has on our health.
All too often people find it difficult to accept that they are fully deserving of health, happiness and fulfilment unconditionally, and that prioritising their self-care is non- negotiable. It is human nature to care for others but if people are constantly putting other people’s needs before their own, they will only end up depleted. We live in a culture where hard work is celebrated, and the importance of rest very often overlooked. However, we all know deep down, if we pause long enough to think about it, that we simply cannot continually give to others without pausing to refuel ourselves.
However, the biggest light bulb moment of this week for me has been the true impact of self-compassion. I really want to help people create better health for themselves, but I now firmly believe that it all starts with being kinder to ourselves…
I was so struck by the first slide that the brilliant Bhavik Shah shared with us at the last supper club…
‘Self-talk is the most powerful form of communication because it either empowers you or defeats you.’ ‘It is the largest contributor to our experiences & happiness.’
I am also a huge fan of David Hamilton who has written several brilliant books about the mind/ body connection. Through his research he has shown that self-compassion reduces physical inflammation in the body.
I have known for years that that chronic inflammation in the body is one of the biggest causes of chronic disease. I also know that stress causes inflammation in the body. However, it is only recently that I have connected the dots and acknowledged that negative self-talk is actually a very significant cause of stress!
David Hamilton cites many studies in his books and one study ‘found that those who had more self- compassion had a lower level of stress induced inflammation.’
I think this is hugely significant. If we do not also make a conscious decision to treat ourselves with self-compassion, we will be unable to fully experience true health and well-being. If we are continually criticising ourselves, we will be causing ourselves unnecessary stress, and creating inflammation that will inevitably compromising our health.
I love the brilliant quote by Louise Hay ‘You have been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.’
However, it is crucial that we also remember that as with every healthy change we try and create, there is no quick fix. If you have been ‘criticising yourself for years’ you will not miraculously be able to change this overnight.
With every change we make in life it is vital that we start small and practice it over and repeatedly.
As we concluded our first session of group coaching this week, I encouraged them all to write down (or even better say out loud) three kind things to themselves every day. In order to make this a habit and create sustainable change the key is to do this every day at the same time, and to help them achieve it, to attach it to an existing habit.
I would like to invite you all to start to treat yourself with kindness. You will be unable to experience true health unless you begin right there!!
Take good care, and please share this blog with anyone who needs to hear it.
I am currently offering gifted 1:1 health coaching sessions. If you know anyone who is really struggling with stress at the moment and would benefit, please do invite them to get in touch or share this link. I am happy to offer any support I can at this challenging time.
Take good care, and please be kind to yourself.