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Gemma Sandwell, Bsc.Hons.

Mindfulness Teacher & Chief Happiness Officer

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Kind over matter - am I really kind to myself and how can it make me more effective?

As I sit and reflect this morning after carrying out some metta meditation (which means loving kindness and is one of the most powerful forms of meditation for the brain.) One of the biggest things I have noticed is people not being kind to themselves, not just in mindfulness or meditation but it in life in general. Not taking the time they need to replenish their own energy before helping others, the time they need to be themselves. Beating themselves up about things they said they would do but didn’t have time for on their endless to do lists, feeling guilty about having rest and reflection time, feeling guilty about saying NO to something even though they don’t have the time or know it will deplete their energy or make them unwell.


I know this all too well and it rings so true with me as all of the above was me! In fact sometimes still is me until I remind myself of what I’m doing. Sometimes I feel life just carried me away from being present and this is when this happens, sometimes I get swept up in life and forget. This morning even doing my metta meditation I started thinking about how the different aspects of metta could help other people I know, family, friends and clients and almost started making a to do list in my head of who I was going to text so I could help them knowing they needed it! I had to stop myself and realising I was getting into this cycle just realise I was doing the meditation as I needed it! I needed to replenish my energy and help my brain be at its bet so I do have the energy and brain power to help everyone else.

Even as I sit here writing this blog I’m thinking about who will read this and what help you might need?


Being kind to myself has been a bit of a journey, I felt like I didn’t have the time or it wasn’t a priority as everyone around me rushed on with their busy lives. Last year I went on a mission to work smarter and not harder based on some feedback I got and actually the way I did this effectively? It was simply through this kindness to myself. By allowing myself space to think, to reflect and to be me it meant my brain actually was more productive when I was working, the science behind this shows this makes a lot of sense! Giving ourselves kindness increases those neurotransmitters our brains need to succeed.


So what is holding you back from being kind to yourself? What limitations have you imposed on yourself? How can we help?


Credits for photo go to Matthew Kerslake (Kindness to my picture provider too ;-) )

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