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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

When Keeping Calm and Carrying On is Not Enough

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 17th 2012

heartOne of the facts as we grow older is the recognition that life can be hard at times. Yet the messages we’ve been told are to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and keep moving. “Keep calm and carry on,” was a slogan introduced by the British government during WWII, but has now since been picked up by many private companies to sell products. This is heading in the right direction, but can been taken a bit further. 

What’s needed more of in life is simply the recognition of those difficult moments as they’re occurring and perhaps in the midst of keeping calm, we could add the ingredient of self-compassion. 

This is simply a moment of inclining the heart toward oneself, recognition that this is a difficult moment and a desire to help oneself.

The simple exercise to understand the value of this exercise is to ask yourself, what would the days, weeks and months ahead look like in this world if more people experienced more compassion for themselves and others?

International bestselling author and Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, has a famous quote that reads, “Peace in oneself, Peace in the World.” Think about that, it’s likely true. While human conflict may be inevitable to some degree, if people were more at peace with their difficult emotions, there would likely be less conflict. 

In Daily Now Moments there is a week of compassion and one of the dailies is about bring this to ourselves. Here it is:

 Allow this to be a moment of self-compassion:

  1. Take a few deep breaths.

  2. Put both hands over your heart, feeling the pressure and warmth.

  3. Breathing in, "I feel my heart"; breathing out, "I relax."

Put your judgments aside, practice this twice a day for a week and see what you notice. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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