Category Archives: Edmonton Mental Health Program

Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is one of the most important ways to improve our relationship with ourselves.

Society has taught us to be perfect, work harder, achieve more,  and be the best at everything we do.  While it is great to have goals in life to help us grow and develop, unfortunately, many people struggle with not knowing when to stop and are constantly self-critical.  When our self worth depends on being “better” than others, we become anxious, insecure, and self critical.  This competition and frequent self judgement, can lead to social isolation.  This self-criticism gets in the way of our brain’s social wiring goals – which is to belong and be loved.

Self-compassion is not artificially boosting ourselves up, being too easy on ourselves, or giving up.  It is the actually the opposite – the source of learning, empowerment and inner strength.  Our performance after failure can also be improved through self-compassion, and it helps us maintain peace of mind throughout the day.  

Kristen Neff, one of the leading researchers and practitioners in the field of Self-Compassion says, “Self-compassion soothes the mind like a loving friend who’s willing to listen to our difficulties without giving advice, until we can sort out our problems for ourselves.” 

Self-compassion involves facing mistakes, failure or insecurity in a different way.  Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same support, kindness, and concern you would show to a child, loved one or close friend.  When facing with struggles in life (which we all experience), self-compassion involves responding with kindness rather than harshness and judgement.  For example, “Mallory, that sucks you are struggling with feeling left out of the group.  That feeling is normal and many people feel the same way.”  I like to use my name my self-compassion statements (see my tips on positive self talk).  If you would like to learn more about self-compassion, here is a Ted Talk by Kristen Neff I strongly recommend seeing.

Kristin Neff also has some free guided Loving Kindness Meditations as well – that are a great way to learn how to speak to ourselves differently, especially if you have no idea where to start.

And finally, here is a Self Compassion Exercise that I use with clients and myself, to practise self compassion.  It often does not come naturally, so we need to have a script to repeat to ourselves – until it becomes automatic.  If self-compassion is something you want to work on in your life, I often suggest practising either a meditation, repeating your own personalized self-compassion scripts (set an alarm), and use the worksheet – and then personalize the worksheet to situations in your life that you are currently facing (feel free to get some ideas from family and friends too).

Edmonton Healthier You Challenge

I am thrilled to be partnering with CTV EdmontonBody by BennettRevive Wellness and Maya Nishiwaki, General Practitioner on an exciting and life-changing 12 week challenge to make over the lives of two Edmonton.  If you would like watch the journey of these two amazing couples, you can visit the CTV Healthier You Page.  To learn more about the Georges and Godfreys, and discover why they joined the challenge, see these videos. They will also be discussing their journey on air with CTV Health Reporter Carmen Liebel and on social media ().  Watch for Carmen’s weekly Healthier You stories airing every Thursday on CTV Edmonton at 5:00 and 6:00 pm.

Over the next 12 weeks, I will be supporting these couples in re-training their minds to thinking healthy, and sharing many psychology strategies for them to use throughout their journey and in the future.  Psychology is a very important part of this challenge, as we know that a healthy mind is critical for a healthy body.  The mind and body are so interconnected, and psychological health is a prerequisite for overall health – similar to a well-functioning engine is required for a car to be great.  Just a shiny exterior won’t do!  I will also be making resources available to others who are interested in joining the couples on making their lives healthier.

Check back here for information and resources you can use to join these Edmonton Couples on their journey and make a Healthier You!  Click below see what we worked on each week for the Healthier You Program:

Phase 1: Healthier You – Foundations for Success  

Week 1 – Motivation, Defining Success, & Intro to Healthy Thinking About Food

Week 2 – How to Create a Mindfulness Practice – With Food, Life and Relationships

Week 3 – Identifying & Navigating Through Potential Roadblocks (ie. Difficult Emotions, perfectionism, all-or nothing thinking)

Week 4 – Happiness and Living Life With Intention 

Phase 2: Healthier You – Improve Your Mindset

Weeks 5 & 6 – Decluttering the Mind: Changing Negative Self-Talk to Something Helpful

Week 7 – Improving Our Relationship With Ourself

Week 8 – Self Compassion

 

Phase 3: Healthier You – Relationships

 Week 9 – How to Have Healthy Conflict

Week 10 – Love: Ways to Show Love (and fill your partner’s love meter)

Week 11 – Play: How to Have Fun As Couple and a Family

 

Phase 4 – Planning for Success

Week 12 – Relapse Prevention and How to Continue a Healthy Life

Presented in partnership with:

Maya Nishiwaki, General Practitioner

 

 

 

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