Be mindful: Learn to be kind to your mind

It's good to have a friend who can help us cope, get things off our chest and say positive things. But if there's no-one there when unpleasant thoughts, memories or feelings can sometimes come up out of the blue can you do it on your own?

Self soothing sessions, developed by Mersey Care psychologist Dr May Sarsam are being used within mental health/wards to challenge feelings of worthlessness, self-blame, and low self esteem left by negative life experiences. But we can all benefit from the tecnique. Psychologist Donna Gardiner explains.

"We all have an inner critic, a voice in our heads that leaps on any chance to give us a hard time. It’s up to us to develop a kind mind – the equivalent of a good friend whose words or actions stop the negativity, accept us for who we are and make us feel worthwhile again.

Donna’s tips:

• Develop a 'sunshine' image – something that reminds you of happy times
• Notice when your inner critic appears and question it there and then
• Go to your 'sunshine' image and think of your good qualities
• Do something relaxing and soothing, lighting a scented candle, get into comfy clothes, listen to relaxing music, walk near nature.