Mental Health Innovators: Molly Zive Interview — Planting Seeds of Self Compassion to Youth

Abigayle Peterson — AP

Molly Zive — MZ 

AP: How do you encourage your own patients to practice self-love besides positive affirmations?

MZ: I like to assess what makes them feel really good. So, when do you feel your best? Is it first thing in the morning when you wake up? And then what do you like to do? I like to create — some people have morning routines, I like to call them rituals — kind of like a way to come home to ourselves, where we just really get in a positive mindset. I recommend that my clients write down five things they’re grateful for every morning, especially the people who are suffering from anxiety and depression. I think it’s really important to start with gratitude and then your brain starts to attract similar thoughts. If I stay grateful for certain things, then I’m going to start attracting more thoughts that make me grateful. I think gratitude is the number one thing — doing it first thing in the morning — would be incredible. Going back to the assessment with each person, I think each person has different inspirations and things that light them up. Let’s say you love reading books, going for a bike ride, or taking a walk — we can’t do the obvious chore, that’s not good for mental health. The obvious chore of having to do the dishes, yes it is helpful for your mental health, but that’s not taking care of your mental health. So, I think having a good relationship with yourself and doing things that you would do for a loved one. Again, going back to self-compassion, how would you talk to a loved one that wasn’t feeling well? How would you treat them? Turn that into yourself.

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