I personally believe that one of the main reasons why a person continues to put off meditation is because of the fear surrounding what they might hear going on between their two ears if they practiced inward reflection for 20 to 30 minutes. The truth is, whether or not a person pays attention to this negative self-speak, it’s there. And like with everything else, the only way around it, is actually through it.
Krisin Neff pens this recent Huffington Post on the importance of self-compassion and how using practices like meditation, kindness exercises, and common sense can help many people to begin to shift the negative self-talk that they are so unconscious of, yet so accustomed to telling themselves. According to Neff, the benefit of mindfulness is that by bringing one’s pain into the present moment, a person has the opportunity to meet it with comfort and compassion.
Mindfulness can be defined as the clear seeing and acceptance of what is occurring in the present moment. It involves being aware of one’s painful feelings in a balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor exaggerates personal suffering.
Paradoxically, the more you’re able to admit the pain of being a limited human being and accept this fact with kindness and equanimity, the more you’ll be able to heal your pain. By soothing and comforting yourself, just as a caring mother soothes and comforts her child when he or she is hurt, you will be able to rebound from setbacks more quickly. You will have the emotional resources needed to take on new challenges and reach your full potential. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anyone — least of all yourself.
Read more from Neff on using meditation to change your negative self-talk here.