A few weeks ago I posted a photo on instagram highlighting the flaws I see in myself. Some people commented they still see perfection, some mentioned not noticing those flaws until I pointed them out. In posting the photo I wanted to draw attention to something that I had just discovered that I felt compelled to share. Let me explain…

A few weeks prior that IG post, I was finding that many girls who were writing me for advice, were pointing out “flaws" in themselves. One said she felt ugly, another called herself undesirable, many said they were fat (please note that none of these girls are fat). It broke my heart to read these messages, I couldn’t understand how they could be so mean to themselves.

Then I noticed something that very evening, I caught my inner voice telling myself that I was ugly when looking at my own reflection in the mirror. I, too, was beating myself down with the same negative thoughts being exhibited by these girls. 

It was only when I listed to this TED radio hour podcast from NPR that I felt like I could begin to do something about it. 

Psychologist, Guy Winch, makes the case for practicing emotional hygiene: “taking care of our emotions with the same diligence we take care of our bodies". 

This resonated with me – simply by making the comparison of taking the time and energy to clean our mind, in the same way we do our bodies, gave me a refreshing perspective on the subject, inspiring me to do some further research.

What I discovered was a lot of evidence for the need to clean your mind, being less critical and more self-compassionate. As this one article says, “Self-compassion involves being kind and supportive towards yourself, treating yourself with the same caring attitude that you’d treat a good friend.” 

It was at this point that I came across this wonderful video by Dove. It honestly captured everything I wanted to say better than I ever could so I won’t try to elaborate. I just hope that, like me, you come away with the realisation that we must dismiss the notion that others are worthy of kindness and we are not. Treat yourself like you'd treat a friend ♡