“When the stress response is triggered by a threat to our self-concept, we are likely to turn on ourselves in an unholy trinity of reactions. We fight ourselves (self-criticism), we flee from others (isolation), or we freeze (rumination). These three reactions are precisely the opposite of the three components of self compassion, 1. self kindness, 2. common humanity, 3. mindfulness. ”
(Above) From the work of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. “The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook.”
One of the first steps is to become aware, observe, without judgement.
Consider taking a self compassion break when a difficult situation arises, it could go something like this:
Think to yourself, “this is stressful” (mindfulness), “I am not alone” (common humanity), “May I be kind to myself” (self-kindness).
It’s easy to fall into repetitive behaviors that do not serve us. In yoga the term “samskara” resonates with me because “samskaras are individual impressions, ideas, or actions; taken together, our samskaras make up our conditioning. Repeating samskaras reinforces them, creating a groove that is difficult to resist (Yoga Journal).” We can create positive patterns or negative patterns in our thoughts and actions. The above compassion break is about beginning to change these patterns from negative to positive in a way that is supportive and nourishing.
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