Self-Compassion

Compassion can be extended towards oneself when suffering occurs through no fault of one’s own – when the external circumstances of life are simply painful or difficult to bear. Self-compassion is equally relevant, however, when suffering stems from one’s own mistakes, failures or personal inadequacies.

Abstract: Self-compassion involves relating to oneself with calm, caring attention in moments of pain or suffering. Neff defines self-compassion as encompassing three key elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-compassion allows individuals to accept themselves as they are, including the limitations and perceived inadequacies that make them human. An expanding empirical literature indicates that self-compassion is a positive psychological strength that strongly predicts psychological well-being and resilience. It is associated with increased motivation, improved body image, adaptive health behaviors, and better interpersonal relationships. Self-compassion also appears to be a trainable skill, and interventions have been developed to help individuals cultivate a self-compassionate frame of mind.

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