How to Use Compassion to Help Shy Bladder Stress

Compassion beats stressSo you’re not perfect. You suffer from bashful bladder and maybe a few bad habits. Perhaps you hog two parking spaces instead of one or leave the lid off the ketchup when you’re through.

Most of us could go on and on about our faults and imperfections, or at least what we see as imperfections, digging ourselves into a hole of depression, self-hatred and despair. When we pile on such emotions we increase our stress levels which, in turn, can increase the severity and frequency of paruresis symptoms.

That means you are not likely to have a nice day.

But it also means you are bringing the stress on yourself and you can turn the tables at any time. You can start with a little compassion.

Compassion Explained

You offer compassion to friends, to family, maybe even to stray dogs on the side of the road. But we tend to get stingy when it comes to offering it to ourselves. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality says you can express self-compassion when you:

  • Are kind to yourself when you are in pain or experience failure
  • View your own experience as part of the fabric of the overall human experience
  • Become aware of but not overcome by or over-identified with painful feelings and thoughts 

The study examined 177 people and their levels of self-compassion, finding that those who had it were significantly happier than those who did not. Self-compassionate folks also had higher measures of optimism, personal initiative, wisdom, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion and positive emotions such as self-assurance and excitement.

If you’re looking for ways to beat stress, self-compassion is definitely on your list!

So How do You Get It?

As much as you may want to snap your fingers to create self-compassion, it might take a bit more work than that. Like many other things in life, you need to practice it to get any good at it. You can start with a few basics that follow the well-known formula of awareness, acceptance and change.

  • Be aware of your negative thoughts and outlooks as soon as they crop up
  • Accept that you have made a habit of these thoughts, which doesn’t make you a good or bad person, it just makes you human
  • Change the way you think 

Other Tips for Developing Self-Compassion

Self-compassion can indeed become second-nature the same way self-depreciation has become. A few useful tips can help you develop it.

The first comes from Heidi Grant Halvorson’s article in Harvard Business Review. Halvorson, associate director of Columbia University Business School’s Motivation Science Center, points out a perfectly human tendency that typically tends to backfire:

“Most of us believe that we need to be hard on ourselves to perform at our best, but it turns out that’s 100 percent wrong,” she says. “A dose of self-compassion when things are at their most difficult can reduce your stress and improve your performance, by making it easier to learn from your mistakes.”

Additional tips for developing self-compassion:

  • Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend
  • Use analogy. Instead of beating yourself up with the proverbial sledgehammer every time you think you do something wrong, switch out the sledgehammer for a feather. Change the “station” in your head, much the same way you change the tuner on the radio.
  • Focus on the positive rather than the negative aspects of your day, your life, the world
  • Make a list of positive qualities and accomplishments you have and have made. Refer to it often. 

One more major tip is to remember you’re only human and, alas, we humans are not perfect. Give yourself a much-needed break!