Literally speaking, when any solid object blocks the light given from a light source, there is a dark area that corresponds to the shape of that solid object; this dark area is referred to as a “shadow”. Without doubt, we have all seen shadows, including our own.
OMG! Before being used as an abbreviation for “laughing out loud” or “lots of laughs”, LOL was used in the 1960’s to refer to “little old ladies”! To date, LOL is used so often in our communications that it has been officially added to dictionaries of the English language!
In the last two articles, we have been exploring the skill of communication: verbal and non verbal forms and different styles of communication. In this article, the focus will be on the highly effective and reciprocally beneficial style: assertive communication.
In my last article (Communication: Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say – Part 1), we began exploring the intricate skill of communication; in particular, we focused on non verbal forms of communication and how there can be inconsistencies between what we say out loud and what the body says without words.
Us humans are neurobiologically wired for connection with others. Effectively connecting with those around us helps our overall mental health and well being: having a secure social support system can actually improve mental health and also act as a defense against anxiety.
Inevitably, we all find ourselves in different circumstances at any given time and on any given day: be they in the form of minor details (for instance, what you wear or the weather forecast) or major events (like childbirth or the loss of a loved one, as examples), they all represent challenges.
Be it looking into a surprisingly empty bag of chips that was full when you first picked it up or scooping up the last fudgy scoop of ice cream in a carton you just opened when you sat in front of the TV, mindless eating is characteristic of the eating habits of busy people in today’s busy 24/7 society in which we live; meals are commonly scarfed down as quickly as possible or eaten while working on a report, talking on the phone, checking emails, etc.
Research has unequivocally supported the benefits of practicing self compassion for one’s mental, physical, and relational health. Just like no two people are exactly alike in every way, shape, and form, it is not likely that everyone would benefit from the exact same way of practicing self compassion.
It is only natural for us humans to want to protect ourselves from harm (our survival instinct); as such, when you have had more than your fair share of tough times and pain and suffering, it is likely that your heart and mind tried to help you out by constructing fantastic doors and barriers to keep painful and negative events and/or emotions out.
Offering yourself kindness and compassion might not make sense to you or just feel uncomfortable; it is, after all, a radically different way of relating to yourself or responding to sufferings and missteps than what is practiced in our society! It is understandable, then that the process could be misunderstood and viewed with some skepticism or reservations.