BY: DR. MICHAEL EVANS-ZEPEDA PSY.D.
The New Year holiday is often a time for us to reflect on the year that has passed and set goals, resolutions, and intentions for the year to come. Taking the time to review our year gives us the opportunity to: acknowledge and celebrate aspects of our experience, reinforce what we have learned and identify areas for continued growth, accept and grieve any losses or disappointments, and practice gentleness with ourselves. Developing a practice of self-compassion can support us in this process and our daily lives. What is self-compassion and how do we develop it as a practice?
In her book “Self-Compassion”, Dr. Kristen Neff delineates self-compassion into three primary elements of self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness has two primary components. The first component is taking the time to understand and accept our mistakes, failures, and areas for growth instead of punishing ourselves for them. It also encompasses an awareness of the harm we cause ourselves through constant self-judgement and criticism. The second component is engaging in behaviors that soothe and assuage our distress. Through self-kindness we respond to our own suffering as we would to the pain and distress of someone we love. We treat ourselves with the same level of kindness that we often extend to others. The next primary element of self-kindness is recognizing that our experience, though unique to us, is shared by other people in the present moment. Our experience is an interconnected one even when we feel separate and unique in our pain. The last primary element of self-kindness is mindfulness. Through mindfulness we are able to be with our felt experience as it is versus minimizing or aggrandizing it.
The next question becomes how do we practice self-compassion? How can we integrate this different way of being with ourselves into our daily lives? On her website, https://self-compassion.org/ , Dr. Neff has resources that speak to this challenge. One such exercise that I have found very helpful in my daily life is the self-compassion break. The initial step is to recognize and accept that we are experiencing a moment of suffering or pain. We can name those moments through such statements as: This is difficult, I feel stressed, I am experiencing pain, etc. The next step is to remind ourselves that we are not alone through such statements as: Other people struggle with this as well, someone else is feeling this too, I am not alone, etc. The last step is to actively be kind to ourselves. We can do this through comforting and soothing questions or statements such as: What might I need right now, may I be gentle and kind with myself, I am enough, etc. A more in depth break down of this exercise can be found at https://self-compassion.org/exercise-2-self-compassion-break/ .
Most of us are more compassionate with others than we are with ourselves, and it can be difficult to conceptualize how we might treat ourselves with more gentleness and kindness. Overtime, a practice of self-compassion can help us give the same love and care to ourselves as we so often give to others. Over the course of this New Year, I invite you to explore this and other self-care practices. I wish you and yours all the best in the New Year as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
Written by: Dr. Michael Evans-Zepeda, Psy.D., PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSISTANT PSB94024891 WORKING DIRECTLY UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF DR. MARLENE ELIZALDE-PESCHECK, LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST 30285
My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought
I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
Look forward to looking into your web page for
a second time.
Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!|
Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?|
Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check
it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will
be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and great design.
We stumbled over here different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward
to going over your web page again.
I like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.
I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space .
Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site.
Reading this info So i am glad to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
I most without a doubt will make sure to don?t overlook this website and give it a look regularly.
When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now eachtime a comment is added I get several emails with the samecomment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?Appreciate it!