Sara Schairer’s contribution to Covve’s workshop on “Prioritizing Your Social Health,” particularly through her activity focusing on self-gratitude, reflects a deep understanding on the importance of compassion and gratitude in personal and social well-being.
As the founder and CEO of Compassion It, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire compassionate actions and attitudes, Schairer emphasizes the significance of being connected with others and supporting them.
This approach naturally extends to how we view and treat ourselves. Sara shared a very simple and powerful tool for self-gratitude that is strongly interlinked with our social health – our connection to others.
How to Practice Self-gratitude With Sara’s Activity
Partner up with someone and ask them, “what do you appreciate about yourself?”.
They will respond with one thing they appreciate about themselves. Repeat this question for two minutes, following their reply of another one of their traits that they appreciate, and then switch roles.
It is as simple as it sounds. Its simplicity helps bring to surface the difficulties we often face when identifying our positive traits, while we are quick to find our faults.
This activity serves multiple purposes:
- Self-Reflection: It encourages individuals to reflect on their positive qualities and achievements. This reflection is crucial in fostering a sense of self-worth and confidence.
- Positive Reinforcement: Hearing and saying positive aspects of oneself reinforces these qualities. It helps in internalizing positive self-perception, which is often overshadowed by self-criticism or societal pressures.
- Gratitude: Practicing gratitude, especially self-gratitude, has been linked to numerous mental health benefits. It can increase happiness, reduce depression, and foster resilience.
- Empathy and Compassion: By participating in this exchange, individuals develop empathy. Understanding and appreciating one’s own struggles and achievements can lead to a greater capacity for empathy towards others.
- Creating a Supportive Environment: This activity fosters a supportive environment where individuals feel safe and valued. It allows for a space where self-appreciation is not just accepted but encouraged.
The importance of gratitude, both outwardly and inwardly, cannot be overstated. While it’s common to express gratitude towards others or for life’s blessings, self-gratitude is often overlooked.
Appreciating oneself can lead to a healthier self-image and contribute to overall well-being. It encourages a positive mindset, which can affect how we interact with others and perceive the world around us. When we are grateful for our own qualities and achievements, it can motivate us to continue growing and striving for personal betterment.
The activity proposed by Sara Schairer is more than just an exercise in positive thinking. It’s a tool for cultivating a compassionate attitude towards oneself, which in turn can radiate outward, positively influencing our relationships and interactions with others. It highlights the interconnectivity of self-compassion and compassion towards others.
Written on 09 Feb 2024.