“The difference is: loving yourself isn’t contingent on making things better, you love yourself regardless. But because you love yourself, you’re also going to take action to improve things at the same time.” Dr. Kristin Neff explains how crucial fierce self-love and self-compassion are right now. So often, givers put themselves last. But being fiercely dedicated to taking care of yourself is the only way to have the fuel to truly take care of others.
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host Dhru talks to Dr. Kristin Neff. Dr. Neff is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and co-author of The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook as well as Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals. She is also co-founder and board president of the nonprofit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Neff dive into the negativity bias and why our brain is like velcro for negative information. They discuss why it is so easy to be overly hard on ourselves and the biggest hurdles that stop us from self-love. They also discuss empirical scientific research on the documented benefits of self-compassion. To wrap up the episode, Dr. Neff leads us through a powerful practice she calls “Working With Difficult Emotions.”
In this episode, we dive into:
- Dr. Neff and Dhru’s background on getting into self-compassion (5:39)
- The power of checking in (9:08)
- Why beating yourself up or being overly hard on yourself isn’t the best approach (15:48)
- Where self-criticism comes from (22:53)
- Where negativity bias comes from (27:14)
- The biggest hurdles that stop people from loving themselves (32:58)
- Empirical scientific research on self-compassion (37:50)
- The importance of wisdom (44:13)
- Breaking down our internal voice (48:42)
- Dr. Neff’s personal story that led her to research self-compassion (51:08)
- How and why to have a dialogue with yourself (57:34)
- “Working With Difficult Emotions” practice with Dr. Neff (1:02:05)
- Where you can find more about Dr. Neff (1:10:40)
For more on Dr. Neff, you can follow her on Twitter @self_compassion and through her website here. To learn more about her books: Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook.
To access Dr. Neff’s 5-minute “Self-Compassion Break” practice, go here. To access Dr. Neff’s 15-minute “Soften, Soothe, Allow” practice, which is what today’s exercise was based on, go here.
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