“Dont overlook the power of self-soothing touch,” Dr. Neff says. She suggests putting your hands on your heart or giving yourself a little hug, which can reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This soothing touch also taps into the caregiving/attachment system, releasing the cuddle hormone oxytocin. (Not comfortable trying this yet? Start with asking your friend with a shoulder rub, or even treat yourself to a massage.)
If you don’t think you’re harsh enough on yourself to deserve this TLC, keep this in mind: “We all carry some sort of self-hatred or judgment and it’s so subtle that some people don’t even know it,” Happiness Expert Matthew D. Della Porta, M.A. says.
You can test how self-compassionate you are with Dr. Neff’s Self-Compassion Scale.
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