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  • Writer's pictureDr. Elisabeth Paige

Day 1: The Self-Compassion Break

Soothing Touch Raises Oxytocin Levels

Well, day one certainly helped me launch the blog! My mother just sent me an email saying she doesn’t want to be a coauthor with me on any future books (we wrote two books together). I feel free in some ways to do what I want, but also hurt and lonely because I spoke with her daily about our work and enjoyed our conversations and now I’ll truly be alone in my writing. So, what do I do?

How about a self-compassion break introduced by Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer from the Center for Mindfulness Self-Compassion?

First, is the acknowledgment that it was painful to receive the email—this is a moment of suffering (Mindful Awareness).

Then, is the recognition that suffering is a part of life and lots of people feel this kind of pain and loneliness, especially when dealing with their families—I am not alone in this experience (Common Humanity).

Next, I touch my hands over my heart to raise my oxytocin levels. The soothing touch can be hands over the heart, one hand over the other, hands on the thighs, whatever is comfortable to you (Gentle Touch).

Finally, I say "may I be kind to myself?" I am doing the best I can. The project is going the way I want it to and my mother is not the right person to work with right now (Self kindness). This is something I might say to a friend who was going through a similar situation.

Now I notice my body sensations just as they are allowing my body to be just as it is in the current moment.

Although I don’t instantaneously feel better, it does help a little. Writing about my feelings always helps me so I write through the self-compassion break along with doing it in my head or following a guided version on the Center for Mindfulness Self Compassion website:

I hope this helps! I would love to hear your experiences with the Self-Compassion Break...

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