Improve your self-compassion by doing a Metta exercise.
This exercise comes from Buddhist practices. You may feel awkward at the beginning, but it’s really working. Greater self-compassion will reduce your anxiety, depression, and self-criticism. It will improve your relationships, feelings of social connectedness, and satisfaction with life.
Follow the steps, or if you prefer, you can listen to the recording and follow the instructions: It’s good to do this exercise every morning.
- Sit down comfortably, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths.
As you inhale, imagine drawing in masses of clean air toward the top of your head. Then let it whoosh through you from head to toe as you exhale, washing all your concerns away.
- Think of an occasion in your life when you performed a good deed, however great or small.
Just one good action—one moment of truth, generosity, or courage. Focus on that memory for a moment.
- Now think of one being, whether present or past, mythical or actual—Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama—who could have great affection for you.
This could be a person, a pet, or even a stuffed animal.
- Imagine their warmth, kindness, and compassion.
See it in their eyes and face. Feel their warmth radiating toward you, enveloping you.
- See yourself through their eyes with warmth, kindness, and compassion.
Feel them giving you complete forgiveness for everything your inner critic says is wrong. You are completely and absolutely forgiven.
- Feel them giving you wholehearted acceptance.
You are perfect. At this stage of development, you are perfect.
At this stage of growth, you are perfect.
At this stage of perfection, you are perfect.
With everything that’s in your head and heart, you are perfect.
With all your imperfections, you are perfect.
For this phase of growth, you are perfect.
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