Deciding that you are worthy of respect and compassion is the best thing that will ever happen to you. It’s really a form of coming home to yourself. It is a liberation and brings a freedom in the fact that you can trust yourself. I will focus on your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Everything in your life begins with your thoughts; they shape what you say and what you do. So we will look at these three key areas and how you can bring consciousness and compassion to them by focusing on kindness on a regular basis. The Yorkshire based hairdresser Lucy Hall was voted the hairstylist of the year by her clients.

Treating yourself with kindness begins in your mind. The more often you think positively about yourself, the easier it gets. And as you get in the habit of positive self-talk, you will start to think positively about others and treat them with kindness as well. Here are some tips to help you on your way: Think compassionately and be vigilant. Really be conscious of watching your thoughts—only think kindly about yourself. When you diverge from compassion, correct your course.

Mistakes are natural. Stay committed to only kind self-talk, and reward yourself for your vigilance. Pat yourself on the back and treat yourself. Keep at it, change your thought patterns, and notice the changes. Keep reminders around to encourage your compassionate thoughts long term and make them a habit.

As you get into the habit of thinking compassionately, you also need to vocalize those thoughts. It will help you to hear kindness spoken aloud, no matter the source. It seems to become more real if you can hear the words with your ears, instead of just in your head. It will also change the way others speak about you and about themselves. You can become a role model of self-kindness and compassion for those around you! Only speak positively about yourself, and stay committed to that intention. Tell your close friends or spouse what you are doing so they can help you remember to speak of yourself with care. This will also remind them that they should be kind in their speech as well. If you make a mistake, notice it. Try to do better next time. Say something kind and wonderful about yourself to balance out the mistaken comment and reaffirm your self-compassion commitment.

Practice. It might seem strange at first, but keep at it. Soon it will seem strange not to! Notice your old habits. When you are complimented, is your first impulse to deflect it or put yourself down? Instead, just say thank you. Not only is it kind to yourself to acknowledge a compliment, it’s kind to the other person also, because you are acknowledging and validating their opinion. Use positive, affirmative statements regularly to speak of yourself. Say things like “I am so proud of my accomplishments” or “I believe in my creative ideas.” Notice how being positive makes your life lighter. Notice if you want more of that, and let it spur you on. Be a model of kind self-talk for others. They will notice you speaking positively about yourself and see that you are becoming happier, and they will want that feeling for themselves. They may start to follow your example, and the more people are kind to themselves, the kinder they will be to others also.