Oh my God! She has bangs! Hey guys! I apologise for looking in the viewfinder a lot this video. I don’t know if you noticed but there’s been a slight change in my appearance aaaand I can’t stop looking at myself. As you guys know, I am obsessed
with mindfulness and self-compassion and positive psychology in general,
mental health in general. I have a whole video diving into mindfulness, I have a whole video diving into self-compassion. Those are linked up here: the little “i” with the thing that just stuck out. If you wanna watch them, click that.
It’ll be there, the whole video. But for today’s video, I want to go
over those topics again, just briefly, give you kind of an overview. And then, dive a little deeper. So, let’s start by talking about mindfulness because I really think that this is
the base of all these practises. To sum mindfulness up in one teeny little sentence, mindfulness is paying attention
to the present moment non judgementally. Let’s break it down. “Paying attention”. Not only paying attention, but choosing to pay attention. So you can be paying attention to something passively. The attention that I’m talking about is active. “To the present moment”. I think I said this in my last video but I’ll say it again: YOLO!
[You Only Live Once] When we are being mindful
– we are practising mindfulness – we are choosing to pay attention to THIS moment. The past has already happened.
The future is yet to come. Now is the only time we’re actually alive. And the third part is “acceptance”. Accepting what is, accepting this moment, the good and the bad for whatever it is. Those are the basics of mindfulness. Moving on to self-compassion, again, self-compassion comes in three parts, the first of which is “self-kindness”. Can we offer ourselves the same forgiveness, the same kindness, the same understanding that we do to someone that we care about? The second piece is a shared “common humanity”: understanding that suffering
is a part of the human condition, recognizing that you are not alone in your suffering. And third: “mindfulness”. Surprise, surprise! In order to see when we’re suffering and offer ourselves compassion
and kindness in those moments, we first have to notice that we’re suffering and that requires mindfulness. But mindfulness serves a dual purpose here: it also reminds us to hold
that suffering – once we noticed it – in a balanced awareness. Boom! That’s self-compassion! So, let’s talk a little bit about the
physiology of self-compassion. Self-criticism actually taps into our reptilian brain and it triggers our body’s threat defense system in the same way that a physical threat would. So, when you’re faced with a physical threat, your amigdala’s triggered
and your body releases cortisol and adrenaline which are stress hormones. Not fun. And this prepares us to fight, flight or freeze. I’m sure you’ve heard of that before. And that’s super effective for physical real life in-your-face threats. Not so much for threats in your mind. When we face a threat to our self-concept, when we feel inadequate, we respond by attacking the problem: ourselves. This threat defense system is turned inward. It’s flipped around and turned back toward the self. We’re attacking the attacker. Just like we would in a physical fight. But when it comes to self-criticism, we are both the attacker and the attackee. Both the predator and the prey. The fight response turns into self-criticism. The flight response turns into self-isolation, – mentally fleeing from other people. And the freeze response turns into self-absorption. But I have good news! Self-compassion is the antidote to each of these things: quite literally they match up piece by piece. So, the fight response – self-criticism –
is remedied by self-kindness. The flight response or self-isolation is remedied by common humanity. And the freeze response – the self-absorption – is countered by mindfulness. What?! But I’m not stopping there.
I wanna take this one step further. Not only do we have the threat defense system that comes from the amigdala – our reptilian brain – but because we’re also mammals, we have something called
“mammalian caregiver system”. And through triggering this system, they release opioids and oxytocin into our bodies. Feel-good hormones. And the best part of all of this is
that we can do this for ourselves. And here’s where the exercise
of soothing touch comes in. Physical touch is an immensely powerful tool when it comes to self-compassion. And each person is going to
experience soothing touch differently. Everyone is gonna find different
forms of touch comforting. So, I’d like to help you find yours now. I’m gonna go through a list of different gestures, different forms of touch and I’d like you to follow along with me while you’re watching this video and test these touches on yourself. We’ll touch ourselves together. Not like that. Stop it. Follow along. Try these with me and see what feels good for you.
Let’s start simple. A little self-hug, just crossing your arms. Giving yourself a gentle squeeze. Another one is just holding one hand over your arm. Hand on your cheek, maybe
both hands cradling your face. The classic soothing touch is hand over the heart. This is my personal favourite. You might try both hands over your heart. Some people find a fist over their heart with a hand then cupping over top. This version is a bit less intimate and can help if you struggle in that regard. Some people like to place their hands on their belly. And lastly, just hands crossed or
hands cupped in your lap. Play around with the different touches,
see what you like best, see what you don’t like. This is just a great way to offer yourself a little bit of kindness, to trigger that mammalian caregiving system in a really under-the-radar way. I can do this anywhere. Everything that I went over in this video is going to be used in the practise of the month, which if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you gotta go over to my Patreon page. Each month I’m recording an audio file of a practise: it’s a guided meditation from me to you. And this month’s practise is gonna
be “Affectionate breathing”. And while we’re talking about Patreon, I’d like to thank the sponsor of this video: you guys. No, I’m just kidding: there’s no sponsor of this video. But really, it is you guys on my Patreon. If this month’s meditation
is something that interests you, the link is in the description to become my patron. That is it for this video – uh, I gotta get a cat. And that is it for this video! Please, give it a thumbs up, if you enjoy videos like this when I talk about mental health, when I talk about positive psychology. I love you guys, oh so very much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my current patrons and all of my future patrons and all of my past patrons as well. And I will see you guys on Friday. Bye! Soothing touch. Soothing touch. No, this isn’t your soothing touch. You like a hand over the heart. Like this? Hand over the heart? Is that very soothing for you? You seem agitated, I’m gonna put you down.