This is the official thread for Section 3.1 of the TMS Recovery Program donated by Alan Gordon of the Pain Psychology Center (PPC). This section is entitled "Generate Self Compassion." Neither Alan nor the PPC necessarily endorses this thread or any of the viewpoints presented in it. Please keep these official threads on topic and put your best thoughts down, as these threads will be read by many people. All posts in this thread should all relate to section 3.1 of the TMS Recovery Program: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program#Generate_Self_Compassion Section 3.1 marks the beginning of Part II of the TMS Recovery Program. In his introduction to Part II, Alan writes the following: Part II Part II focuses on what’s going on underneath the surface. Often the abusive or neglectful way that we treat ourselves, consciously and unconsciously, can lead to the development of symptoms. The underlying message of Part II can be summed up in four words: be nice to yourself. Of course you’ve probably heard this many times, and it’s about as useful as telling you to grow six inches or change your eye color. What I aim to outline is how you may be treating yourself cruelly, show you what it looks like, and teach you what you can do to change that. In section 3.1, Alan writes the following: Generate Self Compassion Before getting into it, I’d like you listen to a segment of a session I had with Brandon during one of the TMS webinars. Brandon beats himself up, pressures himself, and scares himself. But what’s most alarming is that he doesn’t seem to care. If you’re not invested in how you’re being treated, it’s a lot harder to change that behavior. Pay particular attention to the stance that Brandon takes toward himself, and to the shift in his attitude over the span of eleven minutes: Listen to Alan's session with Brandon Click here to download the mp3 audio Around the 9 minute mark, Brandon starts to care that he treats himself poorly. It matters to him. Essentially, he begins to generate self-compassion. This is so important, because you need to care about the fact that you’re suffering before you can really work toward changing it. The following technique can be helpful in generating self-compassion: Exercise in Generating Self Compassion Some people have posted on the Support Forum recently with the problem of generating self compassion. They admit they are perfectionists and have trouble with the expectations of their bosses or coworkers. I have had this problem in the past and still have it, but have been learning not to push myself as hard as I have been, to meet the expectations and deadlines others impose on me and that I impose on myself. I pace myself better now, doing what I can in the time I have each day for each of the projects on my plate. That’s all we should expect of ourselves. And take breaks to get up and away from a project, especially as it stresses us. Take a walk, empty the garbage, do some deep breathing, meditation, tapping. Then we can go back to a project and, remembering not to pressure ourselves to do more and more, we can accomplish more without stressing ourselves. I especially liked the technique in the exercise that suggested looking at photos of myself as a child and at other times. I have an old photo of me at the age of about four, sitting with my brother who was about eight. He used to be mean to me, but not when that photo was taken. We were pals in the photo and it reminded me of the times when we had fun together and not when he threw me on the couch and stomped on my stomach with both his feet. I also looked at my college graduation photo and I enjoyed reliving those days working on the school newspaper. And that I looked so young! My college years were some of my happiest, when I was away from home and had new friends and achieved a lot, from my own hard work. Both photos make me feel good about myself.