2. “The good news is that stress is not the problem. The problem is that the strategies that deal with stressors have almost no relationship to the strategies that deal with the physiological reactions our bodies have to those stressors. To be “well” is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you.”
4. “Self-compassion is emphatically not self-esteem. Self-esteem is about self-evaluation, your perceived value as a human being, which is often contingent upon your sense of personal success in comparison with others. Self-compassion, by contrast, is unconditional and nonevaluative. We can have self-compassion when we’re doing well and when we’re struggling – because life has treated us harshly or because we made a mistake.23.”
6. “That is not what “positive reappraisal” means; it’s not as simple as “look on the bright side” or “find the silver lining” or “enjoy the journey.” Nor is it about not feeling frustrated by the persistent gap between what is and what could or should be. Nor does it mean sticking your fingers in your ears and going, “La la la, nothing is wrong, everything is fine!”
12. “Rest” doesn’t just mean sleep – though of course sleep is essential. Rest also includes switching from one type of activity to another. Mental energy, like stress, has a cycle it runs through, an oscillation from task focus to processing and back to task focus. The idea that you can use “grit” or “self-control” to stay focused and productive every minute of every day is not merely incorrect, it is gaslighting, and it is potentially damaging your brain.”
15. “If we turn toward someone with our difficult feelings – sadness, anger, hurt – and they tune in to our feelings without judgment or defensiveness, it helps us to move through that feeling, like a tunnel, to the light at the end. This definition of trust can be boiled down to one question: “Are you there for me?”17 Trustworthy people are there for each other, and that mutual trust and trustworthiness maximizes wellness for both people.”
16. “And even though I’d love you to find meaning in every page, every paragraph of this book, cherry-pick from here, too. We’re all different, so what’s relevant for you is definitely, absolutely not the same as what’s relevant for me or for any of the many hundreds of women I’ve taught. Take what’s relevant. Ignore what isn’t; it’s there for somebody else who needs it.”
19. “We’re raising women to be sexually dysfunctional, with all the ‘no’ messages we’re giving them about diseases and shame and fear. And then as soon as they’re eighteen they’re supposed to be sexual rock stars, multiorgasmic and totally uninhibited. It doesn’t make any sense. None of the things we do in our society prepares women for that.”
29. “Emotions are physiological cascades that want to complete their cycles, and they will complete those cycles when you allow them to; they want to be travelers, not residents. They want to move on. Let them. You may tremble or shake or cry or curl up in a ball. You may notice your body doing these things without your volition. Your body knows what to do, and it will do it as long as you sit calmly with it, as you would sit calmly beside a sick or grieving child.”
34. “Most of us have spent our whole lives being taught to believe everyone else’s opinions about our bodies, rather than to believe what our own bodies are trying to tell us. For some of us, it’s been so long since we listened to our bodies, we hardly know how to start understanding what they’re trying to tell us, much less how to trust and believe what they’re saying. To make matters worse, the more exhausted we are, the noisier the signal is, and the harder it is to hear the message.”
43. “Bodies are imperfect, and sometimes they let us down. They are susceptible to disease and breakage and entropy. Our bodies can disappoint us, and the world can punish us when our bodies aren’t what they “should” be. So we are not suggesting that you “love your body,” like that’s an easy fix. We’re suggesting you be patient with your body and with your feelings about your body.”
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