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Loving Self-Care Builds Self-Empowerment

We are fully capable of practicing all the behaviors leading to optimal health and wellbeing. In some cases, we may need help from someone else or from a supportive community of some type because changing some behaviors, such as those involving addictions, can be too difficult to achieve on our own, but we always have a choice to seek that help. Choosing to take action to get the support we need is a way of practicing loving self-care and self-empowerment.

Making a commitment to live with loving self-care means objectively observing all our behaviors, ranging from the way we breathe to the way we think and feel. Every thought and feeling influences our health and wellbeing. The course, book, and website teaches self-empowerment, which has a positive influence on how we experience our thoughts and feelings. Loving self-care means that we make a practice of moment-to-moment choosing to engage in the healthiest behaviors for ourselves. If we find ourselves eating unhealthy foods, loving self-care involves replacing those choices with healthier ones. If we find ourselves feeling anxious or depressed, we take whatever action can best serve us. Anxiety and depression can be managed well without medication, but that requires a commitment to working on skill-building. In the College of Marin class, in various places on this website, and especially in the book, I describe the skill-building practices that will allow you to optimize your wellbeing (despite living with a chronic medical condition) as well as to successfully manage anxiety and depression.

The various breathing practices are quick calming practices. Long-term, one of the most empowering habits to practice is that of learning how to identify unhealthy beliefs. An unhealthy belief is one that disempowers you. An example is a self-deprecating core belief, which has been with you through most of your life. The most difficult challenge is in learning to discern beliefs from reality. It can be helpful to look for evidence to disprove unhealthy beliefs and look for evidence to support the healthier ones. It can also be helpful to learn to practice mindfulness as a way to disentangle from those unhealthy beliefs. Mindfulness practice can also help you to spot unhealthy thinking throughout the day. Once you are able to recognize unhealthy modes of thinking, you will then see new choices open to you.


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The purpose of these videos and my website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live with self-care mastery. It is for all medical patients, caregivers, and advocates who want to learn how to collaborate with physicians to optimize the efficacy of your medical care.

Loving Self-Care Builds Self-Empowerment

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Berkelhammer is a retired mind-body medicine psychologist. He writes about mindfulness-based practices with a unique emphasis on optimization of wellbeing and health. Dr. Berkelhammer also lectures at San Francisco State University and UC San Francisco, and is currently teaching a class in Marin County through College of Marin. He is the author of the book "In Your Own Hands; New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions".

See his extensive website:

In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing - College of Marin Community Education

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APA Reference
Berkelhammer, D. (2016). Loving Self-Care Builds Self-Empowerment. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Jun 2016
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