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Quick Hit: Self-compassion

March 26, 2011

Recently a friend shared a New York Times article called “Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges” all about how treating yourself well is an important step to better overall health.  The article talks about the work of researcher Dr. Kristen Neff, who has pioneered this relatively new area of study.   At her website, you can take a self-compassion quiz — a series of statements like “When I fail at something important to me I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy” and you rate how frequently you engage in that behavior. The test not only figures your self-compassion score, but also how you feel/act in terms of  self-kindness, self-judgment, common humanity, isolation, mindfulness, and over-identification.  This might sound a little new-agey to some, but there is research to back it up.

Sometimes when I read articles like this, I think “Well dang, I’m not very self-compassionate.  What the heck am I supposed to do now?”  Fear not!  Dr. Neff’s website self-compassion.org has some really great guided meditations, exercises to increase your self-compassion, recommended reading, and tons of research on self-compassion.

It’s a lot to take in, so go easy on yourself.

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