Faith Friday: Let’s talk about self-compassion

Teacher, psychologist and author Tara Brach shares advice on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
4:42 | 05/29/20

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Transcript for Faith Friday: Let’s talk about self-compassion
ABC and today it's all about self-compassion and here to talk about this is teacher, psychologist and author of "Radical compassion, learning to love yourself and your world with the practice of rain," we have Tara brach with us. You described the current time a cluster of IFS. What are you teaching right now to help us deal with that? One of the big ones, Amy, when we're anxious and when we're stressed we turn on ourselves and we can be vicious in our self-judgment. I'm not parenting well enough, I'm not doing the homeschooling, I'm eating too much, I'm not writing that novel, I'm not doing the pandemic right. I'm not helping others. It's so painful. And it helps to know that others are feeling this, too. We're not alone. It's really natural the more stressed we are, the more reactive we get, and there's a pathway to finding a kind of inner calm, or inner refuge, and what I guide people with is kind of two main elements and one is learning how to pause and come right here into the moment, take a few deep breaths, be right here, notice the color of the sky or notice the feeling of the air on our skin, notice again the feeling of the movement of the breath, but be right here. And the second element is, off some kindness to yourself. You know, there's an understanding that be kind to everyone you meet is struggling hard and that includes ourselves. When we can offer some kindness inwardly, I'm putting my hand on my heart, because I'll often just gently touch my heart, it's okay, sweetheart, you're trying your best, it's okay. Some comfort. Then we find that we're much more open hearted with each other. It's like being together, you know, on a boat right now in a storm, that's what's going on. And if we know how to get to that inner refuge of being calm and being present and open hearted, we can help others make it through. But the challenge as we know is, so many of us get caught in that obsessive fear of thinking and get lost and get reactive, and then there's a lot of pain during this crisis. Yeah, that obsessive fear thinking tends to hit me right when I'm going to bed. Where would you advise people to channel that obsessive thinking that I think a lot of us are dealing with during these times? We are. That's what happens when we get to anxious. The mind speeds up. We can learn to pause, the sacred art of pausing, we actually stop and say, okay, that's the story, what's right here? And maybe take a few long deep breaths and feel ourselves right back in our body and in our senses and there are other things that we can do, I'll often say to my fearful thoughts, thank you for trying to protect me but I'm okay right now, because usually right now we are okay and sending that message helps to calm us down. Other ways we can quiet our mind is, moving. Moving mindfully. Moving in nature. Nature really helps us to calm down, and I think the big one, Amy, is we need to stay connected with each other. I mean, again, everyone's struggling hard. And it's so powerful to start wondering, well, how are you doing? How is this other person doing? You know, what's it like being you? And offering our care and so much science shows us in the moments we're caring and compassionate toward others, actually our hearts lighten up some. And the last thing I'll mention, in terms of obsessive thinking, in the moments when something lovely happens, like you see, you hear your child's laugh or you see a beautiful spring flower, whatever it is, pause. And take it in. Three full breaths just appreciating, gratitude is the sweetest thing in the world. I love that. And I have to say my shoulders have relaxed just listening to your words of wisdom and your voice. So thank you. Tara brach, we'll put it into practice starting this weekend. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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