7 ways to show yourself more kindness (especially when you’re feeling down)

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As children, we’re soft, sweet, and innocent. We’re filled with happiness and the only thing on our mind is how to have more fun with ourselves and those around us.

We seek out new adventures and learn new things with an unmatched eagerness for as long as we can.

But as we grow older, we tend to develop nasty and toxic attitudes—self-doubt, insecurities, body image issues, and more.

We start to loathe ourselves in dozens of small ways, until all the happiness we once knew is sucked out of us.

We let others convince us that we’re not good enough, that we’re small and pathetic and sad, until eventually those are the only traits you believe you have.

But this cycle of self-hatred doesn’t have to continue just because you have it now. You can rediscover how to love yourself again with a few simple techniques. For example:

1) Treasure Positivity

There is one curious habit about people that we can’t seem to get over that makes our life much more difficult than it has to be: we emphasize negativity while ignoring positivity.

When someone insults or criticizes you one time, you take it to heart and let it fester within.

But another person can give you compliments all day long and you won’t let it sink in at all.

It’s time to turn the tables and start collecting the positivity, not the negativity.

Write down all the good things that happen to you—everything from little acts of kindness to major life events.

Show yourself that your life is great and that people around you love you. The more you write down, the more you will remember: life is good.

2) Concentrate

In everything you do, it’s important that you find complete and absolute concentration. This is sometimes referred to as “the flow”, and it is only in this state of mind that we can produce the best work possible.

All your distractions just fade away, from your self-doubt to your self-consciousness, and the only thing that matters is the task at hand.

3) Ask Yourself

Quick: what’s one opinion or stance that you’ve believed in your entire life? Now ask yourself—have you ever questioned how true that belief actually is?

When we learn something at a young age, we tend to believe in it for the rest of our lives without question.

This is because it makes up the foundation of our reality; it’s part of that initial platform where we built the rest of our knowledge and mindset on.

But sometimes these “obvious truths” aren’t as true as we believe, and the sooner you ask yourself these important questions, the sooner you can open your mind to newer things.

4) Become Intimate with Those You Admire

We all have our personal heroes.

These could be historical figures, politicians, or even celebrities.

But as much as we admire them, we also have the tendency to turn this admiration into a kind of self-doubt.

We start to believe that someone like Steve Jobs was such a brilliant and innovative man, that we could never achieve even a fraction of his greatness because we’re filled with so many flaws and imperfections.

But the truth is, everyone is wracked with flaws. It’s time for you to learn about your heroes: read about them in books or online, and find out the person behind the achievements.

You will see that no matter which person in history you study, you’ll find that they had their own insecurities and personal demons to deal with.

But they still achieved success anyway, and you can too.

5) Now Get to Know Those You Envy

After studying your heroes, now it’s time to study those you envy. This is because self-loathing usually comes from a dark place of comparisons.

We see the prettier or smarter person at school or work and we think about how great their life must be, and horrible yours is in comparison.

But get to know them. Learn about them, understand them, and figure out the issues going on in those minds.

You will see that as soon as you get a bit of perspective from their eyes, you will learn that their life isn’t as perfect as you hyped it up to be.

6) Be Compassionate

Everyone tells us to be kind to others, but how often are we reminded to be kind to ourselves?

The first person you must be compassionate towards is yourself.

The more you push yourself excessively, the more you judge yourself, and the more you raise your expectations so high just to fail them once again, the more you will hate yourself as you go to bed every night.

So be kind. Realize that as much as you want to achieve your dreams, you are only human with a set amount of energy and time per day.

You will get there, wherever it is you want to be; just be patient, and let it come one day at a time.

7) Find Peace with Your Demons

Finally, let’s talk about your demons.

The nasty voices in your head that keep you from falling asleep; the dark memories of mistakes and regrets that haunt you and call you out in your darkest moments.

It’s time for you to stop shutting your eyes and turning away from these voices. Instead, you need to face them once and for all.

Accept that they exist within you, and give them a place in your mind to rest.

Don’t deny them their existence just because you don’t like them; they are a part of you, and the sooner you learn to be kind to even your worst inner voices, the sooner you will find peace and quiet.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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