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Giving a gift to one’s self

December 23, 2011

Auglaize County Medical Director Dr. Juan Torres

All the festivities surrounding Christmas time may not leave everyone feeling happy.
Auglaize County Medical Director Dr. Juan Torres said this time of year people can be prone to getting the “holiday blues.”
“People want to do more, to find the perfect gift, have the perfect holiday, it puts a lot of stress on people,” Torres said. “In Sunday School, we are taught to love our neighbor as our we love ourselves, but many times we love our neighbors but we do not love ourselves.”
Torres said often we can accept from them what may be viewed as shortcomings in oneself.
“We don’t always have self-compassion,” Torres said.
Citing medical studies, Torres said those most critical of themselves were more likely to experience depression and guilt.
He suggested writing a letter to a friend and then oneself regarding the same situation and see how the words differ.
“Those with self-compassion can look failure right in the eye, accept it and move on,” Torres said. “They are happier, less angry and less likely to dwell on the negative. They focus on the overall good rather than on one little glitch.”
Meanwhile, those without self-compassion screen out the positive and focus on the negative, no matter how insignificant it may be in comparison.
“Having self-compassion is more important than having self-esteem,” Torres said. “It means recognizing we’re only human and everyone messes up, breaks up, goofs up. Those with self-compassion can accept what happens without denial or blaming someone else.”
This holiday season he suggested giving the gift of self-compassion.
“Talk to yourself with kindness like you would a friend,” Torres said. “Give that gift to yourself before you worry about giving gifts to other people.”

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