Self-Criticism and Soothing Touch | Mindful Self-Compassion

Self-Criticism and Soothing Touch | Mindful Self-Compassion


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.

100 thoughts on “Self-Criticism and Soothing Touch | Mindful Self-Compassion

  1. Me, trying to escape from my learning sheets for psychologie – ending up here. Well… damnit. But even if this was not gettin me away from the exam stress, i really liked this vid, thanks for sharing this ๐Ÿ˜€
    I watched a bunch of old videos of you in the past few days (as i said – exams atm :'D ) and i was surprised, since how many years i am following this channel, and i am really happy i found you , your positiveness (and your cats.) . And it s pretty interesting to follow the evolution of your channel and recognice you also you evolved. I like the way, the channel is growing, without losing the roots.
    In short – go on, miss fenderr, go on ๐Ÿ˜€
    (sorry for this mess of a try speakin english , thats why i am one of the silent viewers most time ^^)

  2. For me i like being pet so alot of the time i like lightly pet around the corners or really soft spots of my hair. Not only does it help cause its soft but its something i already find comforting with others

  3. Hand over the heart is literally the only thing I haven't been criticized on, and so it feels like the best one for me, so thank you!

  4. All of your talks on mental and self health are so incredibly helpful! I've been looking for something like this and I think I've found it. Thank you for being willing to put this out there to help those like me! This is so important.

  5. I'm SO SO glad the I Didn't Bi It merch is back! I immediately bought a shirt
    โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ

  6. Hey Alayna, can you do a video on your tongue piercing experience? I've been wanting to get one for awhile. Was interested in how it went for you

  7. Also, MY I DONT BI IT MERCH IS BACK!! With some brand new options :):) Check it out here, if you're interested: https://teespring.com/stores/i-dont-bi-it

  8. In my psych class we started talking about mindfulness last week and today and I mentioned that I was aware of what mindfulness is because of a YouTuber (cough* Alayna*) that I watch. My professor really liked the fact that more people were talking about it online ๐Ÿ˜Š

  9. So, I put down a piece of chocolate to try the touches with you. Definitely liked both hands on face the most. Now, back to my chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. your positive psychology helps me so so much on my journey to self love and freeing myself from negative patterns and habits. the way you articulate the methods and behaviors in your videos is really helpful and even soothing. please please continue your amazing work with these positive psychology videos, they are an amazing tool for people like me!! ๐Ÿ’–

  11. I love all of your videos but the mental health videos are so helpful ๐Ÿ˜Š thanks (p.s. fellow Canadian) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  12. I love, love, love your hair. Maybe thicker bangs (that's what she saidish?) would be also good. Sorry if that sounded mean.

  13. Thank you so much for this video. I really needed so kind of positive reinforcement today n your videos always help me get back to what's really important thnk u so much!!!!!!

  14. I rub my ears and massage the back of my neck (not at the same time that would lopk goofy) when I'm stressed out or feeling anxiety, it really helps, especially the ears since it's a pleasure point on the body.

  15. I'm a Master of Social Work student. We teach this to so many people but often forget to apply it into our own lives as practitioners. Thanks for the reminders!

  16. whoa, for about 2 years now whenever i feel self conscious or anxious i always put an open hand on my chest/heart, i never realized that it legitimately can help. i always figured i was just weird

  17. Really awesome mindfulness video. Do you combine mindfulness with Buddhist practice, or just kind of "stand alone" mindfulness?

  18. beautifully done video. As a psychology grad I am super impressed at how you broke down the concepts of positive psychology. Always awesome to see :).

  19. I really needed to hear this right now, it's so inspiring especially during tough times. Your bangs look so good btw!!

  20. I really love these videos. It's not something I had ever heard of before coming across your channel but the more I find out about it the more I love it. You have no idea how much you have helped me in my day to day life with my anxiety. So thank you for sharing all of that wonderful knowledge you have! It makes a big difference <3

  21. I love these mental health videos of yours, I find it difficult to find practices and ways of thinking that actually help with my anxiety (mainly because my brain tends to just reject whatever I'm trying to think so it ends up having the opposite effect) but this actually makes sense to me. Also your hair looks great!

  22. I loved this video! You should do a video titled 30 different soothing touches to choose from or something. I leaned so much. I'm literally painting the equation at 3:34 so that I can remember this all the time. Thanks girl.

  23. I really needed this, yesterday was such a shitty day I didn't have energy for anything, miss fender I love you <3 one of the best youtubers ever

  24. i just want to say, that you are looking smokin' hot! You had said, you wanted to change up your style a little. This new hair really suits you!

  25. I've now had Flight, Fight or freeze mentioned to me twice today, at my course this morning and now, in this video, also conflict was mentioned in both, that's weird but awesome, also god damn i'm loving the bangs ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. ahh im having such a good mental health week for some reason (I literally never get good weeks) and this soothing touch thing and mindfulness make it so much better)

  27. Ooo boy did I need this video. Been really hard on myself lately and it just makes my anxiety worse. Thanks for the tips as always โค๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  28. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOUR HAIR? Is it alive? Is it a brain parasite? Are you an evil twin of Alayna? It keeps distracting me. At this rate I might need to unsubscribe.

  29. When you play rugby and you constantly have 'the physical threat' for 80 minutes every Saturday… good video – really helpful with a situation of many choices my partner and I are going through. Thank you!! <3

  30. I put my hands over my heart and I cried. It's helped me to feel comfortable letting my emotions go where they wanted.

    thank you Alayna (I'm bad with names sorry if I wrote it wrong)

  31. I think I've been having the freeze/self-absorbed response, although I'm not sue what to, as I don't feel that I have any physiological issues or anything like that. But I've been trying lots of mindfulness and it helps a lot!!
    Also I was wondering if it's possible to experience feel good hormones and stress hormones at the same time?

  32. You're so intelligent I always learn new things every time I watch your videos โคโค you're too cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  33. Thank you, Allayna. ๐ŸŒธ This video is honestly helping me a lot with whats going on in my life right now. I need help with self-isolation currently and now I know that my hand over heart and in my lap are most comforting. but I'll definitely try the others!

  34. I do the hand over the heart and hand on the stomach when im stresses or on the verge of a panic attack and never knew it was a thing that actually helped people….kinda just thought i was weird since i never saw anyone else do it.

  35. ALAYNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These videos are SO incredibly helpful. I have struggled with anxiety and depression and couldn't really find anything that really worked with coping. But I watched your positive psychology series and have been looking into and practicing mindfulness and ITS ACTUALLY HELPING! Thank you so much for putting this out there and just know that you've at least helped me and made my life 100 times easier, so thank you!

  36. It's so weird that I've never really practiced mindfulness except for recently, but I've been doing soothing touches without knowing there was a name for it! Whenever I feel anxiety I've learned to respond by holding my arm and kind of hugging myself to center myself. Really informational!

  37. This video is based on information from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (HUGE THANK YOU TO THEM): http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/

  38. idk why but with that haircut i am waaaay more attracted to you now. it gives off a sexy vibe๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. I had never realized that when I'm going through my rougher days with depression or when my anxiety is at a high, I do every single one of the soothing touch techniques you showed. I usually pat my chest to get my heart to calm down or I'll entwine my fingers together. It really hit me when I saw you doing the things that I do on a daily basis to let myself know that I'm okay and that I'm still here.

  40. I'm a New subscriber. (thanks to the internetkids doc.) Idk how I never found you before considering how into meditation and self-positivity I am. I feel like I've been on a spiritual journey the past 3 years. I was just trying to get my mind in a right and healthy place all that time. Turns out the habits I would pick up and what I would tell myself and the way I was improving and evolving upon myself, were actual techniques. These things I thought were kinda weird for doing, turns out, they all had names and were common practice. It's like I was naturally following the MSC program without ever going through it. So that makes me feel like I'm on a good path. I feel thankful that I've found you at this time and I look forward to exploring you, your videos and anything positive I can absorb from you. Keep it up!!

  41. i would love to find an article or something about the evolution & biologically around the mammalian caregiving system

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