Why Treating Yourself Like a BFF Makes You Healthier
Think about the last time your best friend was feeling bummed about her looks. It’s likely that you tried helping her out with a hug, a sympathetic text or a shoulder to cry on. Being that booster for your bestie is what friends do, right? Now, a new study says that giving yourself that same cheerleading treatment may actually help you look and feel better.
A recent study published in the journal Body Image found that self-compassion is the key to looking and feeling our best. Specifically, it has an impact on the way we eat and how we view our bodies.
To understand the relationship between eating habits, body image and being more forgiving of yourself, Canadian researchers studied 92 college women, asking them to complete a nightly online survey recording their body mass index, levels of self-compassion and self-esteem, eating patterns and various body image measurements. The researchers found that on days when women treated themselves more compassionately, they felt better about how they looked and also ate better.
Unlike self-esteem, which depends on being above average or meeting certain goals, self-compassion is practicing caring, sympathetic and non-judgmental attitudes regardless of performance. The researchers noted that forgiveness may stimulate feelings of safety and security, which should help women feel more positively about their bodies in a less restrictive way.
How To Practice Self-Compassion
Kristen Neff, founder of the Mindful Self-Compassion Program, describes self-compassion as a genuine, sympathetic concern for our own well-being. Simply put, it’s the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.
To practice self-compassion, Neff recommends being kind and understanding about our personal failures and honoring and accepting our humanness. She suggests several ways to practice self-compassion:
1. Treat yourself like a friend. Think about how you’d help a friend in a similar situation, then respond to yourself in the same compassionate manner.
2. Take a self-compassion break. Take five minutes out of your day to tell yourself that it’s okay to feel disappointed at times. Gently remind yourself that you’re learning to love your body just the way it is.
3. Start a self-compassion journal. Jot down anything for which you judge yourself and write yourself a supportive answer right back. You can even write encouraging and happy phrases on Post-its and place them around your home or office!
If you’re curious about your level of self-compassion, you can test yourself on Neff’s website. Like any new skill, being kinder to yourself can take time. But by channeling the part of ourselves that cares for others, we can begin to give the same unconditional love and gratitude to our bodies.
Do you practice self-compassion? Share your story with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)