Self-Compassionate Awareness-Based Coping Methods with Stress and Anxiety

In the course of life, we may encounter various difficulties and compelling emotions from time to time. At this point, it is very important to be able to express with compassion to ourselves what these experiences mean to us, what they are trying to tell us, and that they are not permanent but temporary experiences. Adopting a self-compassionate approach that will strengthen our self-awareness will support us in recognizing our own resources and making them more functional while coping with the challenges we face.

At this point, the following exercises are important in terms of improving our emotional awareness on the basis of self-compassion awareness, making our emotion regulation skills more functional, and facilitating our contact with our emotions and experiences in a compassionate and unconditionally accepting way.

If you are going through a process in your life that forces and overwhelms you, causing you to be with compelling emotions and watching it intensely, you can benefit from the exercises below. If you need further and professional support at this point, you can contact me.

The Walk of Feeling and Savoring: Self-compassion not only enables the individual to realize their negative emotions and confront their pain, but also actively nurtures positive emotions. The main purpose of this application, which is based on the phenomenon of negativity bias, is to make individuals realize that they deal with the situations and events they encounter in their daily lives by focusing only on their negative aspects, and therefore they miss the positive progress in their lives.

In this sense, what is required of you is to take a walk for about 15 minutes at a slow pace, especially in a relaxing area such as a garden or woodland. During this walk, you should try to focus on the eye-catching objects around you by using your five senses. The purpose of walking is not to enjoy or do things. It is simply allowing the environment to be experienced by being noticed. Notice something beautiful, interesting, or inspiring during your walk. When you come across something enjoyable and beautiful, let it go, enjoy it, and when you lose interest in it, turn your attention to another interesting good thing.

Labeling Emotions: Naming the compelling emotions experienced due to difficult life events prevents that emotion from getting lost in it, and makes it possible to realize that it is lived with the emotion. At this point, in this activity, you are asked to think about a current problem that gives you mild or moderate stress and to name the uncomfortable feeling that this problem brings about. While doing this, you should be in a quiet room where you will feel peaceful, with your eyes closed, and take a few relaxing deep breaths before starting the activity. If you are experiencing many emotions related to the event you remember, choose the strongest of these emotions and name it. Say the named emotion out loud to yourself in a gentle and understanding tone.

Awareness of Emotions in the Body: Emotions experienced have mental and physical components. It is easier to work with the physical sensations of the emotion, namely the bodily (somatic) markers, than to deal with a difficult emotion at the thought level. This activity can be thought of as a continuation of the Labeling Emotions activity, or it can be done as a separate activity. What is required of you in this activity is to realize in which parts of your body the discomfort or tension caused by a current mild or moderate life event that causes discomfort to you is most evident. By noticing the relevant body area, you need to head there with your whole mind and fully experience the physical sensations that awareness makes.

Soft-Soothe-Allow: When a loving and accepting relationship is established with difficult emotions, it is much more possible for these emotions to become more temporary and to be overcome more easily. It is very useful for difficult feelings to be accepted beyond mere recognition and embraced on the axis of compassion. This activity can be considered as a continuation of Labeling Emotions and Awareness of Emotions in the Body, or it can be done as a separate activity.

In this activity, it is aimed to think about a life event that is currently mild or moderately stressful and to soften the relevant area after the discovery of the area that causes discomfort in the body. For this, you should put your hand on the area in question and make soothing contact, while you think that you need to hear. “I’m sorry you feel this way.” “I care deeply about you.” “Oh, it’s so hard to feel that.” You should say comforting things like At this point, if you wish or if you want to stop the exercise, you can open your eyes and become aware of your breathing. Essentially, what is desired in this activity is to allow the experienced discomfort to be experienced without being removed.

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