‘The three elements of self-compassion’ by Kristin Neff

NeffI continue to look at Kristin Neff’s views on self-compassion from her very informative and helpful website. Here, she describes the three elements that underlie self-compassion: 

Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. 

Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.

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‘What is self-compassion?’ by Kristin Neff

Unknown-5Some of you will have seen Kristin Neff’s video on self-compassion on this website. Here is how Kristin defines self-compassion:

‘Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like.

First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is.

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‘Self-Compassion’ by Kristin Neff

‘… and you forget to say, “This is really difficult, this is really stressful. I need some soothing and comforting”. Most people forget that they need to give that to themselves.’

Self-compassion is not just essential for recovery, but also just for life in general. Kristin Neff, a leading expert in the ‘field’ of self-compassion, has a wonderful website on the topic.

Here is the first in a series of introductory videos on self-compassion that Kristin has made. You can link to the other videos from the YouTube page that this video is on.