How to cultivate strong self-compassion with best-selling author Kristin Neff

every Monday Very good mind podcast, Amy Morin, the editor-in-chief of LCSW, interviewed experts, writers, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians and other inspiring people to learn about strategies that help them think, feel and do their best in life.

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Meet Christine Neff

Kristin Neff is a pioneer in self-compassion research. She has been studying self-compassion for more than 15 years.

She is the author of the best-selling book “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power to Be Kind to Yourself” and the co-creator of a training program called “Mindful Self-Compassion”.

She is also an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

She wrote a new book called Fierce Self-Compassion, in which she describes how to know when to practice gentle self-compassion and when to practice intense self-compassion.

Why Christine Neff is mentally strong

Christine talked about her own experience of self-compassion. She shared the steps she has taken over the years to cultivate self-compassion.

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She made it clear that she was not perfect. She talked about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned in the process.

In her book, she described the strategies and techniques she applied to her life. And invite others to try strategies that work for her.

What will you hear in the show

  • The difference between gentle self-pity and intense self-pity
  • Why are women socialized to practice tender self-compassion, while men are taught to practice intense self-compassion
  • Why you shouldn’t humiliate your inner critics or beat yourself for being too harsh on yourself
  • The benefits of self-compassion for emotional, social and physical health
  • How to start developing self-compassion
  • How to replace shame and blame with self-encouragement
  • How to use physical contact to calm yourself down
  • Why suppressing emotions doesn’t work
  • How to balance self-acceptance and self-improvement

You will learn about mental health and mental strength

Your conversation with yourself will greatly affect your mental health. Being too critical of yourself can lead to mental health problems. The more mental health problems you have, the less likely you are to talk to yourself kindly.

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This is a cycle that is difficult to break.

Treating yourself well helps to increase your spiritual strength. In turn, it may improve your mental health.

But as Christine said, you shouldn’t begin to develop self-compassion just to relieve pain. Instead, practice being kind to yourself, because you deserve to be kind.

When you respond to unhelpful thoughts with a kinder inner dialogue, you begin to create positive changes. Changing your way of thinking requires conscious effort, but with practice, it will become easier to be kind to yourself.

Christine Quotations

Christine Neff

Someone stood up and said,’You won’t hurt me anymore. This will not work. You can’t treat me unfairly. This is self-pity.

— Christine Neff

  • I realize that many people have misunderstandings about self-compassion. They think this is just the gentle, tender, and accepting side.
  • Too soft and not fierce, as if complacent. But too fierce and not gentle enough is hostility.
  • We must accept and change at the same time. We must accept that this is painful now, and I will do my best to help myself in the future.
  • We know very clearly from our research that if we deny negative emotions or try to suppress them, we actually only make them stronger.

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