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Self-Empowerment Through Mindful Choosing

Self mastery, self-empowerment, and self-efficacy are achieved by learning how to take advantage of a simple fact: that every moment of your day presents you with an opportunity to choose how you will live. These moment-by-moment choices will largely determine the quality of your life—usually far more so than external events can determine it.

The ways you respond to these myriad opportunities to choose—the thought processes and attitudes you employ and the behaviors you select—constitute a daily practice. In this sense, life is a practice. Discovering this reality for yourself and acting in accordance with it are immensely freeing. You learn that you have a great deal of room to move despite any limitations or constraints that may accompany your particular life challenges.

Taking advantage of your freedom to choose entails becoming fully responsible (response-able) for making conscious choices in every moment: making an earnest and repeated effort to choose to behave in ways that are aligned with your personal life values.

Mounting evidence from brain scan research clearly demonstrates that every time you make a fully conscious choice, you reinforce the neural circuit for that choice, which makes it easier to make that choice again. So when you begin to recognize and act upon the choices that align with your personal values and promote health and happiness, you have the opportunity to make use of your own physiological circuitry to create wellness, consciously enlisting an aspect of your brain’s functioning that usually operates outside of your awareness.

In order to make conscious choices throughout the day that are based on your personal values, you must first get clear on what you stand for—your personal life values. Then, it is important to learn how to practice mindfulness so that you can be aware of all your moment-to-moment choices throughout the day. With that skill, you will then want to commit to stepping up and taking responsibility for your life, starting with taking action in accord with your daily, moment-to-moment choices.


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Self-Empowerment Through Mindful Choosing

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. (2017). Self-Empowerment Through Mindful Choosing. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Feb 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.