5 Ways to Add Mindful Self-Compassion to Your Fitness Routine


Mindful self-compassion sounds so nice, but what does it mean exactly? To start, let’s define mindfulness.

As defined by the American Psychological Association, mindfulness is “A moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them.”

Self-compassion, as it sounds, is defined by the Mindful Self-Compassion Center as “Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.”

Finally, according to PositivePsychology.com, mindful self-compassion can be defined as, “the process of combining the skills developed through mindfulness with the emotional practice of self-compassion.”
 

If fitness has become a chore or you’re only focused on changing yourself on the outside, it might be time to do some serious reflection.

 
This concept of mindful self-compassion sounds like a breath of fresh air, right?! You are not alone if you’re craving a little more self-compassion and kindness in your fitness routine, whatever that may be.

We all know moving our bodies is supposed to be rooted in self-care and wellness, but most of us at one time or another have fallen into less than healthy fitness habits. . .

After all, if you’re spiraling into self-doubt and negative body image during your sweat sessions, it may be time to reconnect to the true purpose of working out and mindfully and compassionately add more kindness into your fitness mindset.

Read on for tips to help you replace debilitating self-criticism with mindfulness and self-compassion.
 

 
 

5 Ways to Add More Mindful Self-Compassion Into Your Fitness

Whatever your current fitness routine looks like, here are five tips for how to practice mindful self-compassion while moving your body.
 

1. Reconnect With Your Greater Purpose

Blame Instagram’s unrealistic body standards or toxic diet culture, but many of us have ended up with fitness mindsets that couldn’t be more backward.

We’re not saying to only care about the internal and emotional self care aspect, though that’s certainly key. There’s nothing wrong though with taking pride in your chiseled bod or wanting to build a booty!

But can we do so from a place of self compassion, while celebrating our bodies as they are and connecting with the real point of movement.

Your Body Is Already Beautiful! Use These 5 Tips to Find Confidence and Body Acceptance

If fitness has become a chore or you’re only focused on changing yourself on the outside, it might be time to do some serious reflection and figure out other perks you can gain from caring for your body (not just in ways you can physically see).

This self-reflection is the basis of mindfulness and will help strengthen your self-compassion muscle.
 

2. Remove Any Arbitrary Rules

One of the best ways to have more mindful self-compassion is to bring some joy back to your fitness mindset! The diet and fitness industry has sold many of us on outdated rules and it’s time they go.

Want to dance instead of lift weights for your workout? Craving to do arms two days in a row? Want carbs after dark? Live your best life. By removing restrictive rules that can turn fitness into a way to beat yourself up, you’ll have space for mindful self-compassion and actual joy to show up.
 

 
 

3. Practice Body Neutrality

Body neutrality is a concept rooted in self-compassion that reminds us our self-love doesn’t have to be conditional on our relationship with our body at all.

Body neutrality goes a step further than telling you to just love your body how it is, which can feel trite and unhelpful if you’re a long way from that. It says that we may not always love our bodies, and that’s okay.

If you struggle with your body image, practicing body neutrality could be the gateway to greater self-compassion that you’ve been looking for.

Body Neutrality Movement: What It Is, Why It’s So Important + 5 Accounts to Follow
 

4. Triggered by Mirrors? Don’t Use Them!

One simple answer to how to have more self compassion? Psychology Today recommends that you try breaking up with the mirror, or at least taking a break.

Yes, mirrors can be helpful for checking our form, but they can also send us into a cycle of picking apart our own bodies. (Be honest with yourself, how many times does your inner mean girl lash out when you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror?)
 

Body neutrality is a concept rooted in self-compassion that reminds us our self-love doesn’t have to be conditional on our relationship with our body at all.

 
See what happens when you cover them up for a week or so and notice if you’re feeling greater self-compassion and mindfulness, and less of a fixation on the exterior.
 

5. Ditch the Comparison Game (We Know, Easier Said Than Done)

Even just inching away from (if ditching it altogether seems unrealistic) constantly comparing your body or ability to others’ is a huge mindful step in cultivating self-compassion in your fitness mindset.

There will always be someone farther along in their handstand skills or with more ripped abs, and that’s okay. Send them peace and love and then let it go. They are not you, and you are not them. Their struggles, challenges, and wins will be different from yours and that’s ok! This awareness is a key aspect of mindful self-compassion.
 

By removing restrictive rules that can turn fitness into a way to beat yourself up, you’ll have space for mindful self-compassion and actual joy to show up.

 
Reconnect with your real purpose for moving your body, and remember half of the defined abs and cellulite-free legs you see on Instagram are all lighting and angles anyway.
 
 

Cheers to Mindful Self-Compassion Fueling Your Fitness

When you really think about it, there’s no pairing more natural than greater self-compassion and fitness. After all, your fitness mindset is supposed to be all about self-care and self-compassion. As we all know though, that relationship can become muddled and complicated.

If you’re ready to add more mindful self-compassion to your fitness mindset and routines, know it may take time to strengthen that self-love muscle, like any muscle group!

Remember the best fitness routines are ones infused with self-compassion, and no matter how long it takes to get you there, you’re beyond deserving of that radical self-love.

Did this article resonate with you? Are you interested in learning more about mindful self-compassion after reading this? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

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