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How to Use Self-Compassion to Move Ahead

By Sandy Schroeder

About this time every year, I start to question what I am doing and what I am not getting done. If you can relate, you might be interested in the Greater Good Science Center's recommendation for turning things around.

Their writers and researchers suggest we start being our own best friend. Instead of putting ourselves down for everything that's not getting done, we might be smarter to take the time to practice a little self-compassion.

Start with mindfulness - Pay attention to how you really feel. Instead of just forging ahead to get the job done, ask yourself what is really bugging you. Why is everything twice as hard as it should be? Why do you start out OK in the morning and then just lose traction? Spend a little time sitting quietly to just breathe and see your world as it really is. Later you may have clearer thoughts about what really should happen. When we let our minds settle, things tend to become a little less complicated.

Pause and lend a hand - Take a moment to be your own best friend. When friends are in trouble, we automatically reach out to them and take the time to listen to their troubles. We brainstorm solutions and make the effort to help them find answers. Extending this spirit of kindness to yourself could mean leaving room for exploration and time for trying out new solutions. Don't just paper over the problem. Dig around a little to find the best answers. Also skip the name calling, and go the extra mile to support your own efforts. That's what friends do.

Recognize shared problems - Finally, get real and realize whatever you are dealing with right now, lots of other people may be too.  Sick kids, budget strains, work pressures are not uncommon.  Recently a special uncle of mine fell and broke his leg. He went through a series of steps from surgery to rehab, but he never blinked. He just kept going until he was moving again and headed home.

Look around at the people that you know and see how they are coping with everyday issues. You may have friends who have solved their work pressures with schedule realignments. Or you may have family members who are exercising more and eating better to make sure they stay healthy. Copy the solutions that might work for you and keep looking for the best answers.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Maple Grove, Minn.

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