The Healing Power of Self-Compassion

 Bruce Miller by Della Chen. Tomales Bay, CA

Bruce Miller by Della Chen. Tomales Bay, CA

An easy way to calm and comfort yourself when you're feeling badly is through soothing touch. It seems a bit silly at first, but your body doesn't know that. It just responds to the physical gesture of warmth and care, just as a baby responds to being held in its mother's arms ... If you notice that you're feeling tense, upset, or self-critical, try putting your hand on your heart, or tenderly stroking your arm or face, or gently rocking your body.

 What's important is that you make a clear gesture that conveys feelings of love, care, and tenderness. If other people are around, you can often fold your arms in a non-obvious way, gently squeezing yourself in a comforting manner. Notice how your body feels after receiving the hug or caress. Does it feel warmer, softer, calmer? - Kristin Neff

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