The Chemicals of Care: How Self-Compassion Manifests in Our Bodies

In my work I have defined self-compassion as having three main interacting components: self-kindness, a sense of common humanity and mindfulness. Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding with oneself rather than being harshly critical or judgmental. Instead of taking a cold “stiff-upper-lip” approach in times of suffering, self-kindness offers soothing and … Read moreThe Chemicals of Care: How Self-Compassion Manifests in Our Bodies

Embracing Our Common Humanity With Self-Compassion

One of the most important elements of self-compassion is the recognition of our shared humanity. Compassion is, by definition, relational. Compassion literally means “to suffer with,” which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect, that we are all fallible. … Read moreEmbracing Our Common Humanity With Self-Compassion

Does Self-Compassion Mean Letting Yourself Off the Hook?

A common stumbling block when thinking about self-compassion is the belief that it just means letting ourselves off the hook. When we say “it’s only human,” isn’t this just a way to blow off personal responsibility for our actions? But let’s look at this more closely. First of all, isn’t it strange that admitting the … Read moreDoes Self-Compassion Mean Letting Yourself Off the Hook?

Self-Appreciation: The Flip Side of Self-Compassion

Sometimes it’s more difficult to see what’s right about ourselves than what’s wrong. For some of us even thinking about our positive traits makes us uncomfortable. Praise and compliments can make us squirm, and we often don’t know how to respond without self-consciousness. Flattery feels a lot better than insults, of course, but how many … Read moreSelf-Appreciation: The Flip Side of Self-Compassion