Self-Compassion is handy for psychological purposes, life planning, and ensuring success, but it is also a pretty good diagnostic medical tool. I do not mean that you should use it to substitute seeing your PCP or visiting your local emergency room. However, it can be helpful in determining what is causing your current state of dis-ease, and what steps you might take to rectify it.
For instance, say that you are experiencing stomach symptoms. If you acknowledge your experience, name it, and locate where you are experiencing tension in the body, you might get a sense of its seriousness. If it is located in one part of the stomach, and accompanied by a general queasiness, then see if softening around it helps to subdue the discomfort. If so, it is likely related to stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, or a mixture of the three. If the location is more general, and softening around the area only sensitizes you further to the pain, then it is probably something more serious.
Headaches are another great example. Again, follow your self-compassion diagnostic steps. Acknowledge the headache. Name it. Then, locate where you are experiencing tension. See if softening around this tension relieves the pain, or makes your more sensitive to the pain or other pain areas. If it is the latter, it is probably pretty serious, and it would be prudent to go see the doctor. If it is the former, try treating it with self-compassion.
Healing The Self With Self-Compassion
In both cases, if it turns out to be a development brought on by lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, and a reaction to something in the environment, it still requires a lot of self-compassion. It is important to acknowledge that you come by this pain naturally, and that it is only there to remind you what the body needs to be well again.
If you are lacking in sleep, then find time to catch up. If you have too much stress, then find time to unwind in an active way through biofeedback breathing, mindfulness meditation or walking. Make sure you are hydrated. Being dehydrated can cause stomach issues, headaches, and a myriad of other health issues. Most importantly, take the time to recover. Just because it does not require you to go to the hospital does not mean that the body does not need time to recuperate, and heal. The greatest source of wealth will always be your health.
Wishing you many days of wellness, and much self-compassion on the days in which you are not feeling well at all. May you take the time to rest, and recover. May you model this good self-care to others, and may you surround yourself with people, who love you enough to support this work.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 176. In The Books.