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Self-Compassion: How Your Cells Are Listening to Your Thoughts

Your cells hear what you say and know what you think. They act by releasing chemicals, like the love hormone, when you hug your child or a loved one, oxytocin is released, making your bond even stronger. Your thoughts can release many chemicals, when you see and smell food and even start thinking about eating, the brain readies the digestive tract for nourishment. This anticipation stimulates the secretion of enzymes in saliva and gastric juices in the stomach.

So be careful how you talk to yourself...

A recent study done at the University of Texas showed that people who are high in self-compassion treat themselves with kindness and concern when they experience negative events.

Self-compassionate people tend to rely heavily on positive cognitive restructuring.

In essence, self-compassion involves directing the same kind of care, kindness, and compassion toward oneself that one conveys toward loved ones who are suffering.

According to¬†psychologist Kristin Neff from the University of Texas ‚Äúself-compassion involves being open to and moved by one‚Äôs own suffering, experiencing feelings of caring and kindness toward oneself, taking an understanding, nonjudgmental attitude toward one‚Äôs inadequacies and failures, and recognizing that one‚Äôs experience is part of the common human experience‚ÄĚ

Try This:

Treat yourself as you would a small child

This mainly suggests considering what a child might want or need in a hurtful or stressful situation. That child could be your own, or you could imagine yourself as a child. You can also think of the way you would treat a good friend, or even a beloved pet, and then begin treating yourself accordingly.

Practice Mindfulness

We are constantly putting ourselves down ‚ÄúI'm so stupid for saying that‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúI can never do that! I'm not good enough‚ÄĚ.

If we had another person telling us that every day, we wouldn’t have it. But when we are saying it to ourselves, we accept and internalize it. Mindfulness is a state of non-judgmental awareness. Be aware every time you call yourself stupid. This goes hand in hand with compassion, being understanding with yourself. and being patient. You can find yourself training your brain and being more positive. This ultimately leads to less stress and happier self and the release of happy chemicals.

Remember that you’re not alone. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. And work with a friend to coach you into incorporating these small changes in your life.

Further Reading:  How To Not Be Overwhelmed

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