Stop Waiting For Adversity Before Learning Self-Compassion

Why do we wait until we hit adversity before realising we should have self-compassion?

I had the most wonderful conversation with a 71 year old lady called Maeve today.  I got chatting to Maeve at the end of my Zumba class this morning and she told me that she had checked herself out of hospital last night so that she could come and do Zumba this morning and will have to go back into hospital today. She is currently undergoing treatment for bone cancer and said that dancing makes her feel so wonderful that nothing would stop her from coming!  She also said that she was told last year that she had 3 months to live and now they are saying that she has at least 3 years and that she is a Miracle!  I have no doubt that her decision to keep doing something she loves like Zumba has given her greater longevity.

There is more and more research being done on the effects of our mindset and our thinking on our health.  Negative thoughts create illness and disease in our body and positive thoughts and beliefs help keep us well and heal our bodies.  In an American Psychological poll in 2008[1], Adults reported that their physical and emotional symptoms due to stress increased 47% over the past year. This poll also found that 47% of parents with children under 18 reported that stress affected their everyday life.  So if stress is contributing to ill health and disease then it is up to us to change that for ourselves.

We all know that exercising regularly and eating well help to keep us healthy but we often forget about the toxic effect of negative thoughts.  Looking at your life in a negative frame will cause you to be uptight and stressed which makes your cortisol levels rise and puts your body under great duress.

So what would you rather be creating in your body?  An environment of health or disease?

We can all learn a lesson from Maeve.  She obviously has some challenges in her life, she has hit adversity, but she also knows that doing something for her soul is important in coping with that adversity.

Let’s not wait for adversity in our own lives.  Let’s not wait for disease and illness to change our priorities. Let’s decide right now to be self-compassionate.

Emma Seppala [2] says that self-compassion is about self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. She says this is different from self-esteem which is knowing that you are better than someone else at something or better looking than someone else. With self-compassion we respect ourselves and so make wise health choices that are beneficial not harmful.


So let’s have a look at some of the way’s we can be self-compassionate.


Always look for the positive angle in challenges.

Ask yourself “What can I learn from this”


Work out what makes you feel good.

Is it walking on the beach, or being out in nature? Is it reading or singing or listening to music?  Schedule some time in your week to do these feel good activities.


Appreciate your own characteristics.

Instead of complaining about your fat thighs start to focus on other things.  Things like: I am a great listener or a loyal friend or a caring mother.  Make a list of all your positive characters so

that you know what to focus on. (If you are having difficulty thinking of any, ask your friends.  They will know what they like about you!)


Let others care and nurture us.

We don’t have to be a superwoman doing everything on our own.  Ask for help and receive it when it is offered.


Think like a star

S = Special 


  • Believe you are just as special as any other person on this earth.
  • Believe you have great qualities and can contribute positively to this world.


T = Talented 


  • You have many talents that make you who you are.
  • Plan to acknowledge and use more of your talents to make your life as positive as you can.


A = Authentic 


  • Be honest, vulnerable and real.
  • Don’t put on a face for others
  • Authentically show who you are.


R = Responsible 


  • Take responsibility for your own actions and where you are in life today.
  • You have the choice to change your thoughts and take responsibility so that you can move forward in your life



The benefits to our body when we are self-compassionate are huge.  When we treat ourselves with love and respect then our stress levels reduce. Our heart rate and breathing rate lowers, our muscles relax, our posture opens up and our hormones re-balance themselves.

Learn to relax by being kind to yourself, practice self-compassion and keep your body healthy.






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