Mirror Meditation: The Power of Neuroscience and Self-Reflection to Overcome Self-Criticism, Gain Confidence, and See Yourself with Compassion

Mirror Meditation: The Power of Neuroscience and Self-Reflection to Overcome Self-Criticism, Gain Confidence, and See Yourself with Compassion

by Tara Well PhD
Mirror Meditation: The Power of Neuroscience and Self-Reflection to Overcome Self-Criticism, Gain Confidence, and See Yourself with Compassion

Mirror Meditation: The Power of Neuroscience and Self-Reflection to Overcome Self-Criticism, Gain Confidence, and See Yourself with Compassion

by Tara Well PhD


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Discover the power of mirror meditation to help you awaken self-compassion, increase self-awareness, and gain the confidence needed to thrive.  

Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t always easy—especially in the age of social media. Technology has eroded our capacity for authentic self-reflection. As a result, we feel more anxious and depressed, have shorter attention spans, and have become more estranged from ourselves and each other. We’ve also become more critical of our physical appearance, and this self-criticism can damage our confidence and stand in the way of our happiness. In order to heal, we must come face to face with our true selves—not the images of ourselves that we alter and post online. If you're ready for self-reflection that has nothing to do with selfies, this book will reveal the way.

Based in cutting-edge neuroscience, Mirror Meditation offers mindful practices for increasing your self-awareness, managing stress and emotions, developing self-compassion, and increasing your confidence and personal presence. Using the three principles of mindfulness meditation—attention to the present moment, open awareness, and kind intention toward oneself—you’ll realize just how much your self-criticisms are affecting you. Then you’ll have a choice—and a practice—to treat yourself with more self-acceptance.

Self-awareness can help you break free from both your inner critic and the external world that stokes the fears and anxieties that we are never good enough, never have enough, and are never safe enough. The simple self-mirroring technique in this unique guide isn’t grounded in technology—just a commitment to be present with yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684039678
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 06/01/2022
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 524,913
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Tara Well, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York, NY, where she developed a mirror-based meditation called “a revelation” in The New York Times. As an expert on self-awareness, body-image, self-compassion, emotional resilience, and meditation, Well has appeared on NBC Nightly News and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Vice, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, Shape, Allure, and other media publications. In 2019, she gave the TEDx Talk, “What Mirror Meditation Can Teach You.” Her blog, The Clarity on Psychology Today, has more than a million readers. You can learn more about Well at www.mirrormeditation.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Explore Your Mirror Wisdom 1

Part I Facing Yourself-Navigating Self-Awareness

1 The Magical and Mundane Mirror 6

2 Going Mirrorless 8

3 In the Beginning, There Was a Face 10

4 Reflections Are the Key to Coordination 13

5 Two Sides of Self-Awareness 16

6 Facing Yourself Mindfully 19

7 Ready to Try Mirror Meditation? 21

8 Befriending Your Resistance 23

Part II Your Beautiful Distraction

9 The Trifecta of Self-Cruelty 26

10 Self as Object 28

11 The Neuroscience of Intense Self-Objectification 31

12 Transforming Self-Scrutiny 34

13 A Model Faces Herself 36

14 Looking at Aging and Invisibility 38

15 Mirror Meditation to Accept Your Appearance 40

Part III Witness and Choose Your Self-Talk

16 Why Is Self-Talk So Powerful? 46

17 The Benefits of Self-Talk 48

18 Exploring the Voices in Your Head: Uncovering the Inner Nurturer 51

19 Compassion at the Mirror 53

20 Exploring the Voices in Your Head: Taming Your Inner Critic 56

21 Ways to Express Your Inner Voices 60

22 How to Do Self-Reflective Video Journaling 63

Part IV Beyond Selfies and Looking for Likes

23 Sign of the Times 68

24 Selfie Addiction 70

25 Ideal Images Versus Self-Reflection 73

26 Trying to Maintain Image Control 75

27 Attempts at Emotion Management 78

Part V Tame Your Anxiety Through Reflection

28 Facing Anxiety 82

29 What's Driving Your Attention? 85

30 Anxiety Can Distort Your Vision 88

31 Self-Mirroring for Self-Soothing 90

32 How to Unfreeze Yourself 92

33 Taking Flight and Coming Back from Dissociation 95

34 Letting Go of the Fight to Heal the Heart 97

Part VI A Safe Space to Explore Your Emotions

35 How Emotions Are Reflected 100

36 Social Display Rules 102

37 Discovering Your True Feelings 105

38 Emotional Labor and Authenticity 110

39 Facing Anger 113

40 Facing Sadness 116

Part VII What Narcissus Can Teach You

41 Reflecting on Narcissus 120

42 Empathy: Feeling What You Feel 124

43 Compassion: Knowing What You Feel 127

44 Why Compassion Might Be Better than Empathy 129

45 Compassion for the Narcissist 132

46 Using the Mirror to Find What's Missing 135

Part VIII Reflections on Loneliness, Aloneness, and Attachment

47 How Do You See Loneliness? 140

48 Loneliness on Your Face 142

49 The Capacity to Be Alone 144

50 Attachment Patterns in Self-Relating 147

51 Looking at Anxious Self-Attachment 150

52 Looking at Avoidant Self-Attachment 153

Part IX Risk Being Seen

53 Others Are Our Mirrors 156

54 Reflections That Shape Your Identity 158

55 Self-Objectification Revisited 160

56 Gaslighting 163

57 Be Consistent to Build Trust 165

58 If You Really Knew Me 168

59 Trust Yourself to Be Seen 171

Part X See Others with Clarity and Compassion

60 Seeing Others: What Are You Looking For? 176

61 Looking Through the Eyes of Love 179

62 See Compassionately and Take Action 183

63 Reclaiming Your Projections 186

64 When Others Look Threatening 188

65 Out of the Shadow: Facing Contempt 190

66 The Beauty Bias: Idolizing Others 194

Conclusion: Living Reflectively 197

Acknowledgments 201

Endnotes 203


Well resides in New Haven, CT.

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