Compassionate Self-Awareness, A New Concept

Personal change begins by knowing what change you want to make. You think about what you are doing now and what you would like to be doing differently in the future. And, if you are like many people, you try to understand why you do what you do. How you go about all of this introspection is important because it's the vehicle you use for relating to yourself.

Confronting your fears with a 'friendly voice'

Sadness, anger, fear, and any other feeling of distress can be overwhelming and strike terror into the heart of anyone. To defend themselves, people often tense up as they try to block or fight those feelings. Sometimes this works, but - more often than not - it is a brittle defense. Eventually, it crumbles under the force of emotions, or cracks in places where the emotions pour through.

Feeling stuck? How to get free

Sometimes life just hands us metaphors to live our lives by; and I recently had such an experience. I was walking a main trail in New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park when a staff member pointed out a small path off to the side. He suggested that I check out the "wolf den." It consisted of a few boulders wedged together, leaving a small covered opening to squeeze through. When he mentioned that a number of people have gotten stuck in there, I asked how he gets them out. He chuckled and said, "Well, we can't move the rocks."

The Shame Game

Shame. It's a destructive emotion that I see all too often when people enter therapy. One frequent reason for it is that people feel ashamed of needing to seek out professional help. It says to them (and they fear it says to others) that they are weak.Along these lines, the advice to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" is a vivid expression that conjures up images of strong, self-reliant people. But it's also a ludicrous recommendation. 

Work Out For Your Well-Being

 People usually think of the phrase ‘No Pain, No Gain’ as applying to their physical bodies. Exercise, like jogging or lifting weights, breaks down muscles—and you ache. But you know it’s a good pain associated with getting strong. Still, you have to be careful not to overstrain. Equally important is the need to rest your muscles so that they have the chance to rebuild. As it happens, a similar process occurs in your psychological self.    

The secret of success: Lower your expectations

Contrary to what you might think, sometimes you can actually benefit by lowering your expectations for yourself – at least that’s what the researchers Polivy and Herman (2002) say in an article that I recently stumbled upon. It’s an initially counterintuitive proposition that really does make sense once you look at it a little more closely.   

Self-awareness is vital to self-improvement

The first step in solving any problem is to identify and become intimately familiar with it. This is as true for overcoming depression and anxiety as it is for cracking cases on TV's CSI (Crime Scene Investigation), or even solving a crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, when people look at their personal difficulties, they often have blind spots that they don't even know are there.

Generating self-esteem, positive thinking, and other improvements

Has previous advice on how to improve yourself failed? Repeatedly? While this can be discouraging, it does not mean you are doomed to your present situation. You really can think more positively, lose weight, be more assertive, and whatever else it is that you want to do to be happier. The first step is locating a map for how to get there. Fortunately, that map to improvement is already inside of you.

Getting Advice? Here's how to make it work

 Are you unhappy? Want to be thinner? Stop smoking? Be more assertive? Have better self-esteem?...Want to finally make that change, now?Well, I can't tell you exactly how to do it (as so many people and programs claim to do), but maybe I can help you to make better use of the advice that's already out there... perhaps even advice that's previously failed to work for you.First, a little background... 

The power of positive thinking; put in perspective

Think happy thoughts is common wisdom that many people rely on for getting through feelings of depression, and painful or difficult situations. Often, people try to be happy when they're not; hoping that they will become the happy person they're impersonating.

Finding the right path to change

  Research can help narrow the choices.

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