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Q & A with Dr. B. – How do you teach loving self-care and self-empowerment?

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this website, my book, and the Community Education course I teach at the College of Marin, is to teach people how to live a vibrant, meaningful life through the cultivation of self-empowerment and self-efficacy. In this weekly Q&A column, I post questions from students and from people who attend my presentations along with my answers.

Here is this week’s question:

QUESTION: How do you teach loving self-care and self-empowerment?

ANSWER: The starting point is mindfulness practice, which forms the foundation of the class, upon which all the other skills are built. The reason is that living consciously and mindfully allows you to objectively observe your thoughts and beliefs. The ability to objectively observe your thought processes then enables you to see what type of messages you are giving yourself throughout the day. This is referred to as self-talk.

The way you talk to yourself influences your health and wellbeing. Healthy self-talk may seem unnatural in instances where you have been practicing negative self-talk all your life, but the more you practice healthy, positive self-talk, the more natural it will begin to seem. This is also because, as the healthy self-talk begins to improve your success at achieving your personal values and goals, you will be cultivating self-efficacy. Your newly acquired self-efficacy then leads to greater joy and life satisfaction.