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Can you be 10 percent kinder to yourself today?

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Aldous Huxley, author of "Brave New World," once said that his best advice was to be a little kinder to each other.

But what if we could turn that compassion around and give it to ourselves?

Psych Central's Dr. Elish Goldstein recently wrote a piece on the power of being 10 percent kinder to ourselves - and how this simple act has the ability to transform our lives.

"Would we be a bit more giving and forgiving?" she asks. "Would we feel a bit safer? Would we be a bit happier? Would we feel a greater sense of belonging?"

The Inner Critic

Eating disorders often go hand-in-hand with having an inner critic: the voice inside that constantly shames and blames.

"Consider all the moments of the day when that self-critic arises telling you that you’re not good enough, or that you’ll never get ahead, or something is wrong with you," Dr. Goldstein wrote.

She calls this a "moment of difficulty" that requires a radical approach: treating yourself the way you would treat a loved one or friend, with gentleness and care.

In its simplicity, self-compassion, Dr. Goldstein continues, involves four action steps:

1. Recognizing the critic
2. Realizing that difficult moments are part of being human
3. Asking yourself, "What do I need in this moment?"
4. Affirm to yourself that you are loved, at ease and accepted - or whatever other affirmation that feels good.

This simple practice of being 10 percent kinder to ourselves, she wrote, can help change long-standing habits when practiced continuously.

"If there’s one thing we know about the brain, it’s that when you intentionally practice and repeat something, over time it starts to feel more natural as it becomes automatic."

Source: Psych Central