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Elizabeth Guinto on Self-Compassion

From Audio: Being Kinder to Yourself

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station description Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on th... read more
The Science of Happiness
Duration: 04:22
Award-winning professor, Dacher Keltner, interviews psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto about escaping the perfectionistic trap imposed on women today. And how self-compassion, understanding, and forgiveness, allow people to diffuse their anxiety and stress.
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Award-winning professor, Dacher Keltner, interviews psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto about escaping the perfectionistic trap imposed on women today. And how self-compassion, understanding, and forgiveness, allow people to diffuse their anxiety and stress. In Keltner's opinion—which is based upon independent research—women balancing careers and personal lives face even greater standards of perfectionism than most people, and learning self-compassion might be extremely helpful to them in particular.
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We do have this epidemic, if you will, of in particular women balancing work and life and family and raising kids and paying bills. And there is a certain Some have called it almost a perfectionistic trap that people fall into and we're doing so much and there's a lot of pressure. Is that part of the context that lead you to the choose the self compassion break? I think it is something that everyone could. I don't know anyone who wouldn't benefit from being able to implement more self compassion into their life, and it really is a skill I was very wary of. First I It makes me nervous. It feels uncomfortable, but I can see how it can be potentially life changing too. And I bring up women because a lot of the young women that they teach today, I think there is additional stress placed on them and the data bear this out just for not only being kind but also being powerful and being exceptional at work and being a great mom. And it's a lot of lot of pressure in the back of my mind, especially because I'm pregnant right now and I'm doing just to thank you. In a few months, I have this pervasive thought in the back of my head like this is just going to get worse. In a few months, everything is going to be worse. And that thought seems to book. And like a lot of other times when I'm having anxiety or or worrying about something, I feel like I always have to be on top of everything. And if I did drop the ball on one or two things, then things would just unravel quickly. And there's always like a constant kind of voice in my head saying like other people can do it. This isn't that hard. That's the inner critic in me. Always this nagging voice in my head that reminds me that my friends seem to be really happy and enjoying the professional personalized, and they're doing it. So why is this so difficult for you? So let's listen to how the self compassion break went for you. Step number one. Think of a situation in your life that is difficult and causing you stress okay, number to call the situation in mind and see if you can actually feel the stress emotional discomfort in your body. Yeah, I can definitely feel it in my neck and shoulders. I know that's where I carry a lot of my anxiety. OK, step number three. Stay to yourself. This is a moment of suffering. This acknowledgement is a form of mindfulness, of simply noticing what's going on for you emotionally in the present moment without judging that experience is good or bad. You can say to yourself, this hurts or this is stress use whatever statement feels most natural to you. So this sucks. How many more days left of this Do I have so just saying this is dressed or this sucks. But that's okay. Those are statements that feel natural to me, Step for, say to yourself. Suffering is a part of life, this recognition of your common humanity with others that all people have tried experiences and these experiences give you something in common with the rest of humanity. Other options include other people feel this way. I'm not alone or we all struggle in our lives. I think the I'm not alone. Statement really resonates with me. I think that a lot of other active duty military psychiatrists probably have somewhat of a similar sentiment. Just that knowledge that you're not alone. It really, really helps. Number five. Put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands in the gentle touch of your chest and say May I be kind to myself? This is a way to express self kindness. You can also consider whether there is another specific phrase that would speak to you in that particular situation. Examples include May I give myself the compassion that I need? I learned to accept myself as I am. May I forgive myself? May I be strong? And may I be patient? Oh, may I learn to accept myself as I am? I think that really hits the nail on the head.
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