Mindfulness Activity #45

Those of you who know me, know that I am a science-person. I love it when research and facts line up with clinical wisdom and experience. Today, I want to revisit a concept we have explored before…self-compassion. Self-compassion involves responding in the same supportive and understanding way that you would with a good friend when you yourself have a difficult time, fail at something, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Guilt and shame are part of being human, but an interesting thing is that we often experience those feelings when, objectively, most people would say we have done nothing wrong. We can often be our own worst critic. Research has shown that this harsh inner critic can become internalized from societal expectations of perfectionism or toughness, or that unjustified feelings of guilt or shame can come from experiencing trauma in our lives.

Today, I’d like to share some science with you about self-compassion and getting through difficult times. Please click this link to watch a very brief TED Talk (less than 2 minutes) by a researcher named Dr. Kristin Neff as she discusses the relationship between self-compassion and resilience.

If you can spare 20 minutes (now or later), I highly recommend watching this longer discussion of Dr, Neff’s research on self-compassion…

For practice today, please settle, take a few breaths and click the following link for a brief guided practice by Dr. Neff designed to cultivate self-compassion.

Now, as you make your way through your weekend try to observe when anything feels difficult to you and instead of blaming yourself or telling yourself to “just do it,” take one moment to say, “this is hard,” like a friend might do.

Enjoy the weekend.


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