The importance of being compassionate towards yourself

I was scrolling the other day through Instagram and came across a post by Eckhart Tolle, which said « Be compassionate with yourself ».  I shared it, wrote a small caption with it. But what does that mean, being compassionate with yourself? What does being compassionate even mean?

Defining as a compassionate being

Generally speaking, people who are compassionate are concerned about the feelings and state of being of others. They show compassion, meaning they feel sympathy for the other person. Thus, they are more enticed to help the other person if they need it.

women with kind words

How about yourself?

I never used to feel sympathy towards myself, my feelings. And I still struggle a lot with this today, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I tend to more tell myself to not think this, or not feel that. I usually criticize myself for thinking or feeling a certain way. Does that sound familiar to you?
The problem is that I have never really learned to say that I feel sad, or that I feel angry, or that I don’t agree with something (and whenever I did say it either didn’t come out right or I was aggressed for speaking my mind) I never really learned to acknowledge feelings and emotions. So whenever something is up, I tend to tell myself it is not normal to think that or feel that way. This in return creates resistance and negative energy…If you fight something, it only stays and it will only grow stronger and more persistent.

i love me

Instead of judging yourself for the feelings you have, instead of making yourself small because of your emotion, show yourself compassion. Accept yourself as the wonderful being that you are. Learn to recognize any patterns of emotions or ways of thinking that you have and try to understand yourself. If you do, you can be compassionate towards yourself and kind.

This sounds easy, but it is not. I struggle with this every day. If you feel that you are slipping into a depressive episode or that unexplainable sadness is dwelling up inside you or you notice a fit of anger building up – it is ok. It is ok to feel the way that you are feeling. Tell yourself this and take it from there.



Pleasure vs Happiness

Pleasure and happiness are two different things – let’s explore why.

Pleasure defines as ‘A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment’ and ‘Enjoyment and entertainment, as opposed to necessity’. 

Happiness defines as ‘The state of being happy’. 

What is pleasure? What is happiness?

I would say that pleasure if something fleeting, something that is momentarily, something that can go by as easily as it appeared. It is something rather hedonistic, geared essentially towards oneself and the fulfilment of one’s own ideas so as to maximise the enjoyment. And since we can get so easily used to something that gives us gratification, we naturally strive for more of it. 

Happiness on the other hand is a state, something longterm, something lasting. It is not something that you constantly pursue (pleasure is , though) but it is something that you learn, that you come into. It is a state of mind. 

But can pleasure bring happiness? I think so – I think it depends on your mindset. You could for example take a walk in the park, see some beautiful flowers. Do you think ‘these flowers are nice, they would look great at home’ or do you think ‘wow what beautiful flowers’? Enjoy the moment and the things not for your own pleasure but simply because of the beauty of it. 

happy womean in sunset

Last year I did two 30 day challenges – the 1st one was to post every day on Instagram a story with one thing that brought me pleasure or happiness and the second one was to find out what made people happy. I will write more in detail about the second challenge later on.

For now, lets focus on the first one. You have read my last post about the 30 small thing to brighten up your day. I tried to find each day some small thing that I enjoyed just for the beauty or the moment of it of when I was in a state of feeling at ease and peace with myself. When was the last time you did something because your wanted you too? When was the last time you enjoyed something simply because? 

Thank you for reading.



30 small things to brighten up the day

Dear friend,

In my last post, I was writing about my first 30 day challenge – about finding during 30 days things that I enjoyed just for the beauty of it, where I was in the moment and above all, that I am really grateful for. Some are just moments, others are things or people.

So here goes the list:

  1. Listening to a song, K.T Tunstall “Suddenly I see”, i think it’s a very positive and energizing song
  2. I was sick that day and my partner was cooking dinner, literally throwing the food into the pan. That made me laugh so hard.
  3. A simply beautiful sunrise. I love to watch the sun rise and set, the magical colors of the sky. Taking a deep breath. Enjoy. Be.
  4. Coming home after work, dancing wildly to some music like nobody’s watching.
  5. A glass of wine and a good book.
  6. A childs laugh.
  7. Simply cuddling up in bed on a Sunday morning.
  8. A nice dinner and a good laugh with colleagues.
  9. A “roadtrip” with colleagues can be quite funny.
  10. The excitement you feel when you are planning a trip and looking forward to it.
  11. Just being. Did you ever realise who much you can enjoy just being present, here and now.
  12. The feeling of being in a place that you love (I have been living for 10 years in Lausanne and I am still in love with that city)
  13. Taking a cooking class (yes, I looooooove cooking!)
  14. The feeling of waking up without an alarm clock and staying in bed just a little while longer
  15. Listening to a song you haven’t heard in a long long time
  16. Enjoying some nice meal that is home made
  17. A car with a smiley sticker on it
  18. The feeling of being happy for someone else
  19. A night out with the girls
  20. Spending time with my family
  21. A good hearty laugh
  22. Catching up with friends
  23. A walk in the park during bright sunshine
  24. The feeling of signing up for a course you wanted to take for a very long time
  25. Enjoying sunshine a little bit more
  26. The first breakfast outside on my balcony
  27. First Bike excursion of the year
  28. The fresh evening air that brings with it the smell of rain
  29. Moving my body – yep , feeling good after it
  30. A beautiful artsy cappucino
sunrise over water , seen through grass
Nature. Sunrise. Hope.

You might not agree with me on all of these points but thats ok. I simply wanted to show you that it is possible to enjoy and be happy with small things, because often enough, we are not concentrating on the essential things in our life.

Our vision gets clouded so much either by outer influences or by our busy schedules or simply because we don’t look close enough. We tend to think and focus so much on the bigger picture. We think that we must do this or have to buy that. But in the end, it’s the little things that give you the goosebumps. It is the little things that make up the big thing.

What moments did you truly and fully enjoy lately? Let me know!



My definition of happiness – what is yours?

Dear Friend, I could have started this post with a headline like “The ultimate definition of happiness” or something similar. The fact is however, there is not one definition of happiness because there are loads of them. Probably as many definitions as there are human beings on this earth. We are all different, we have different life stories, different philosophies, different ways of thinking. So it is only natural that one person doesn’t have the same view on something as the person next to them.

First, lets have a quick look on the etymology of happiness. In English, it is related to the late 14th century word “HAP” meaning “chance, fortune”. The German word “Glück” means happiness and chance/fortune/luck at the same time. And in French, the word “ BONHEUR” comes from “ BON” (good) and heur , which is derivates from the latin word “AUGURIUM” meaning fortune. Is does actually mean luck and fortune in a lot of languages as well. Interesting, isn’t it?

The Oxford dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” and the definition for happiness in return is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. Other definitions include “emotions experienced when in a state of well being”.

To me, happiness has more than one component:

  • Happiness comes with being at ease with one self

Oh boy. That’s a big one. For me, being at ease with one’s self is probably one of the hardest things to do. There is always something that I don’t like or that I want to change. I would (and still can) be so obsessed with thinking about this one thing that it drains so much energy from me, makes me so tired and irritable . Sometimes also, outer influences make it so very hard to simply accept us as the beautiful beings that we are. So being at ease with yourself is hard but it can be learned. It is an ongoing process, something that you can work on.

  • Happiness comes from acceptance – you cannot change other people

Yup. That’s what I think. You cannot change another person. I used to have usually high expectations of people ( ok I admit, I still sometimes do and maybe that’s a bit naive in a certain way) and would be or get angry when people wouldnt be as I expected them or imagined them. One good (and yeah, naive) example is that I automatically assume that people are friendly, good-willing. And then it sooner or later turns out, for some, that they are not. And then I would be sad, angry, disappointed. I would wreck my mind about what is wrong with me (why could I be so completely off track) or what’s wrong with people. At some point it hit me – people are the way they are. And it is up to them to change. If they want to.

  • Happiness comes from concentrating on yourself and not worrying about other people’s opinions

This one is a bit related to the first one. Speaking of outer influences that can impact the perception you have of yourself, in a negative way. I learned one thing now – people will always (like literally, ALWAYS) find something negative to say. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. People are jealous, people want to cherry pick. So it is your job to find the people who actually matter. Those whom you trust, who are valuable to you. Their opinions matter.

I hope I gave you a little insight into my definition of happiness. What’s yours? Share in the comments below or send me feedback!

Thank you for reading.