Want to know the quickest route to lower anxious thoughts, boost your mood and overall energy? Cultivate compassion and mindfulness, aka “being in the moment”.

I attended a conference in May 2014 at Harvard University on Compassion & Positive Psychotherapy. Two days, and 15 speakers later, I came away with a renewed sense of how important teaching and practicing compassion for self and others is. I was then able to bring this knowledge forward in a presentation that I did at Western Connecticut State University, to their Master of Arts in Teaching program.

One of the presenters at Harvard was Dr. Christopher Germer; he really stood out to me as someone who was authentic and easy to connect to. When he said, “compassion is the beating heart of mindfulness”, it really stuck with me, as so many of my clients are trying to be mindful, to be in the moment and really live their life. He has partnered with Dr. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion, to develop a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program that is open to not only those in the helping professions but to the general public as well. I attended  Dr. Germer’s, three-day Core Skills training at Kripalu in May 2017, and was blown away by the loving kindness meditation practice he had all of us practice.

Here is a video from Kristin that I share with new clients who are learning about the concept of compassion or as a refresher; they usually tell me they absolutely love her gentle approach:

Also, here are some quick affirmations that you can silently say to yourself to help you cultivate compassion for self and others.

Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”

Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”

Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”

Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”

Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”

I love this article, it describes in a more in-depth way to help yourself using compassion: http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-cultivating-compassion-in-your-life-with-7-practices/

I work with couples and individuals in my psychotherapy and coaching practice. My clients make progress! I offer email support in-between sessions to my clients as part of our work together. Find Your Strengths at http://www.kelleyhopkinsalvarez.com. Let’s continue the “conversation”, text 203-948-0938 or email me @ kelleytherapy@icloud.com.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

Kelley Hopkins-Alvarez, Licensed Professional Counselor, NCC, BCC
Address: 100B Danbury Road, Suite 201D, Ridgefield, CT 06877 (behind Union Savings Bank)

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