It is important to be a good friend to ourselves.
How we treat ourselves, what we say to ourselves, and what we think about ourselves tremendously impacts us. We are the closet person to us.
And so if we treat ourselves in a continually hostile or cruel manner, it can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and worthlessness.
On the other hand, if we treat ourselves with continual compassion, support, and respect, we can create a safe and loving space for ourselves. This space is a refuge in the worst of times and a joyful abode in our life in general.
That is what true friendship is.
Here are five things you can do to be a good friend to yourself.
One–Show yourself compassion in hard times.
Life can be extremely painful, confusing, and overwhelming sometimes. All of us, no matter who we are, face really difficult situations at one time or another.
Often when we face difficult times and are emotionally overwhelmed, we feel like we have to toughen up and repress our feelings.
We may receive pressure from other people to “just get over it”.
Trying to “just get over it” is rarely a good idea. That’s because repressing and denying our feelings usually makes them more severe and volatile. And even if we are able to repress them for a while, they come out in other ways that damage ourselves and other people.
One of the best ways we can be a friend to ourselves is to allow ourselves to feel sad and overwhelmed about life when we do. When I am suffering, one of the ways I show compassion to myself is to say things like the following:
It is okay that you feel sad.
And it is okay that you don’t understand what to do in this situation. That’s a normal feeling.
You don’t have to fix anything right now. And you are allowed to feel what you are feeling.
When we allow ourselves to be sad and to feel painful feelings, we create a safe space. In that space, we can express our feelings, gain distance, and then think about helpful actions to take in the situations we are dealing with.