Research on self-compassion shows that people who are compassionate toward themselves are happier, more resilient and optimistic. Our bodies have a built in self-care mechanism that releases the “feel good” hormone oxytocin, activated during such moments as parent-child interactions, tender caresses and breastfeeding. Higher levels of oxytocin increase feelings of trust, calm, safety, generosity, connectedness, warmth and compassion.
We can tap into our body’s natural self-healing system at any time through soothing touch. In this mindful technique, we'll practice giving ourselves a hug. Try this next time you are feeling stressed or upset, or whenever you just want to feel good!
Be still wherever you are.
Find a comfortable position for your body.
If you choose to, close your eyes.
Feel the breath moving in and out of your nose.
Allow your face to relax.
Feel the warmth of your heart.
Now wrap your arms around your heart and your chest.
On a deep in breath silently or out loud say “I” and on the out breath say “am loved”
Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold, and exhale slowly.
Notice how you feel.
What thoughts, feelings or emotions arise when you hug yourself?