"Are you practicing self-violence? According to Moffitt (2017) “people are very willing to talk about the violence that the world does to them, but they're much less willing to own the violence that they do to themselves.” Violence in our society is usually discussed in terms of people inflicting harm on other people. However, most people do not recognize the negative self-talk we inflict upon ourselves each day. If you sleep well, eat well, and exercise frequently, your body may be healthy, but it’s equally as important to focus on the self-care and compassion we give to our mind.  Comparing ourselves with others, telling ourselves we “can’t” do something or aren’t good enough or worthy enough are all examples of harming language we use to label ourselves each day.  These daily thoughts that we inflict upon ourselves are detrimental to the mind and to the body. Often, we strive for success in the future, or worry about failures in the past, which means we are not being mindful of the present. In order to apply mindfulness principles to self-violence, we must first to accept our feelings and thoughts as they come, rather than aiming to change them. Moffitt (2001) mentions the word ahimsa, or the practice of non-violence including towards oneself. In order to achieve ahimsa, we have to recognize our present thoughts, and be consciously aware of them without judgment. By practicing living with things as they are, rather than what we would like them to be, our experiences in life become more enjoyable. Rather than continuing down a path of self-violence, practicing mindfulness can help us remain aware of our circumstances and accept them willingly and lovingly. I encourage you to take some time today to practice gratitude for yourself, and make it a point this week to be mindful of self-violence.”

bailey caitlin

Caitlin Bailey, M.Ed., LPC