What's More Powerful than Willpower? Compassion
Katelyn Sander

What's More Powerful than Willpower? Compassion

Living Well

Specifically: Self-Compassion.

That little voice in your head can be very rude and loud: “Not good enough. Not strong enough. Too lazy. If only I was more…”  The tough thing is our brain is hard-wired for this negativity bias. Our ancestors paid keen attention to potential threats, who even over-estimated danger, were prepared for the worst-case scenario. They rested well when the opportunity afforded, and gorged on fruits and vegetables brimming with natural sugars and starches when such nutrient dense foods could be found. Those are the characteristics of survivors. 

Powerful survival mechanisms aren’t necessarily optimal for our health and wellbeing. In the case of adopting new, healthful habits we need a more positive survival strategy: we need to remain flexible, open (even curious!), and positive. We need to become self-compassionate.

Individuals with higher-levels of self-compassion are more adaptive. They are resilient in response to unpleasant events and bounce back faster. They engage in positive coping strategies to deal with stress. They persevere. They have higher self-worth.

Turns out self-compassion is just like a muscle. We can train it to be stronger:

Tackling your inner critic requires a solid dose of self-awareness and understanding, and a whack load of patience:

  • Speak to yourself as you would your very best friend. Honestly: become your own, vocal cheerleader. You don’t have to do it out loud, but have the dialogue in your head or write it down. You’ll be amazed at how effective this simple exercise can be.

  • Practice Forgiveness. Accept that you are not perfect. Then examine more closely the things you would like to and think you can change.
  • Know that your self-worth is multifaceted. So maybe you were a lousy athlete on Tuesday. Likely that’s because you were knocking it out of the park as a parent, a boss, a coworker. Tomorrow the athlete deserves and needs to be your priority.

  • Be forward focused. Yes, learn from the past. And stay focused on the future. Tomorrow is loaded with fresh opportunities. And you will be better prepared.
  • Embrace a Growth Mindset. Reframe obstacles as opportunities. Because they are. See other’s strengths and successes as inspirations.

One more important fact: Being compassionate with yourself (or anyone) does NOT translate into being a pushover. A compassionate voice is able to levy constructive criticism as well. Setbacks, lapses, unforeseen barriers are all inevitable. And perfect opportunities to grow and learn and set yourself up for better success moving forward:

  • How could I have planned or prepared better?
  • What was the negative trigger?
  • Do I need more help? Support? Technical knowledge? Information? Accountability?
  • Have I tried to take on too much too soon? Is there a more manageable change I can take on first?

Cultivating self-compassion encourages emotions such as gratitude, kindness, joy, awe, and delight. This in turn will shift the brain to a positive bias creating openness, optimism, responsiveness, and the ability to collaborate. So, you don’t just feel better, you function more effectively.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693418/

https://self-compassion.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/Physicalpsychwellbeing.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790748/

Podcast:  https://peterattiamd.com/kristinneff/

Today’s Inspiration

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

Today’s Live Workouts

Today is going to be a great day because we’ve got our THREE regular live workouts for you to join!

MOBILITY & STABILITY WITH ADRIANA

Join Adriana for your morning pick-me-up! This workout will focus on moving through a full range of motion and develop your full body control, flexibility, and usable range.

Recommended equipment: yoga block or pillow

Join Adriana at 7:30am (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 812 2541 6617
Password: 013104

CYCLING WITH JAMES

Get an amazing cardiovascular workout on an indoor bike. The workout will simulate an outdoor ride, including a mix of intervals and hills.

Recommended equipment: bike trainer

Join James at 11:00am (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 862 7308 7908
Password: 263088

RIP IT UP WITH GAVIN

This workout will challenge you to your max! Come out and perform the prescribed workout for the day. This workout utilizes all your skills, from coordination to endurance and strength. No equipment necessary, you’ll just need your body weight!

Join Gavin today at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 842 2984 9491
Password: 510345

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Click here to view this week’s schedule.

To learn more about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren directly.

Today’s Trainer Moves

On December 1st, Lauren began her very festive 12 Days of Fitness, adding a new exercise every day, with the goal of creating a complete workout at the end of the 12 days.

Today is day 10! But, we’ve compiled the first 9 days so you can catch up now! To follow along, head over to Lauren’s Instagram account - @fitnessfuelkindness.


For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Lauren here.

Featured Bite

Vegan Burrito Bowl

This is one of our new favourites! Eaten warm or cold, this simple burrito bowl is a tasty, satisfying treat! You can easily add any protein to this recipe, if you wish.

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips – store bought or make your own chips from soft corn tortillas: Cut them into wedges, spritz with water, and bake at 300F until crisp.
  • 2-4 cups cooked grains, rice, quinoa, buckwheat feel free to experiment
  • 2-4 cups canned beans, we like black beans, chickpeas or medley
  • 2-4 cups chopped romaine lettuce or steamed kale
  • 2-4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • 1-2 cups canned corn
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Fresh salsa
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil

Instructions:

  • Break a handful of the chips into pieces in the bottom of each serving bowl.
  • Spoon some of the cooked grains over the chips, followed by some of the beans, then layer on the rest of the toppings: lettuce or kale, tomatoes, onions, corn, and avocado. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with the salsa. (Use more or less of all these ingredients, as desired.)
  • All canned products can be substituted for fresh or frozen, cooking time will vary by the product.

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Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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