THE POWER OF COLOURS

To make all your re­la­tion­ships stronger, you need to be kinder to your­self. JEN­NIFER TAITZ, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist and the author of How to Be Sin­gle and Happy, ex­plains why that’s not one bit hokey – and how to mas­ter the art.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

Sur­round­ing your­self with the right hues can boost your productivity in ways you’ve never imag­ined.

SHAPE: YOU SAY THAT MOST OF US ARE PRETTY HARD ON OUR­SELVES. WHY IS THAT?

DR TAITZ: I think we be­lieve self-judg­ment will push us to do bet­ter. But in re­al­ity, self­com­pas­sion is mo­ti­vat­ing. Stud­ies show it helps you make more progress to­wards your goals than be­ing crit­i­cal. Also, by build­ing a health­ier relationship with your­self, you’ll feel more in­de­pen­dent and ful­filled over­all, and that sense of well­ness will im­prove your re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers. You’ll make plans with friends be­cause you care about them and en­joy their com­pany, not be­cause you’re look­ing for them to make you feel bet­ter.

SHAPE: HOW CAN WE LEARN TO BE KINDER?

DR TAITZ: Start your day with a lov­ingkind­ness med­i­ta­tion, when you tell your­self, “May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” Then di­rect the state­ments to­wards oth­ers in your life. When you’re in a pos­i­tive mind­set, you act pos­i­tively and feel more con­nected to your­self and oth­ers. Dur­ing the day, re­place judg­men­tal thoughts with fac­tual ones. If you catch your­self think­ing, “I’m such an idiot. I to­tally botched that,” pause, then say, “Next time, it would be help­ful to...” You don’t have to force your­self to think pos­i­tive. Just drop the un­help­ful mind traps.

SHAPE: WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO TO BUILD OUR IN­NER STRENGTH?

DR TAITZ: Treat your­self well – slow down, eat a de­li­cious, healthy meal, read a good book. Act­ing as if you mat­ter cre­ates the be­lief that you are wor­thy. I also sug­gest link­ing your daily to-dos to your long-term val­ues. Next time you feel over­whelmed, take a step back to re­mem­ber what matters to you beyond your sched­ule. If you’re hav­ing lunch with a friend who needs help, re­mind your­self how this aligns you with the life you want to live – by be­ing sup­port­ive, say. Peo­ple at­tuned to their pur­pose tend to feel hap­pier and more re­silient.

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