When the demands of our lives stretch us to our limits and we feel the overwhelming pain of grief, heartbreak, or hopelessness, we might respond in one of two ways. We might struggle against the discomfort by shutting down, isolating or lashing out. We might be consumed by our feelings and sink into the quicksand of self-criticism and negative self-talk. We might even cycle through these modes in a self-perpetuating negative spiral that fuels stress and jeopardises our mental and physical health. We can’t avoid distress entirely, but it doesn't have to be this way. Instead of being consumed or trapped by the intensity of our emotions, we can learn to engage our innate emotional intelligence through self-kindness and mindful awareness.
In this episode of Mentally Stronger, I delve into psychologist Kristen Neff’s research on self-compassion and the body’s threat response, and introduce the self-compassion break practice. I guide you through a mini meditation that can serve as a source of support and strength when needed most, helping you navigate your darkest times with compassion, mindfulness, and gentleness.