girl-624223_960_720Kristin Neff’s research and information on self-compassion can be powerful and helpful for all of us. She calls herself a self-compassion evangelist. Her main message, which I’m summarizing in case you don’t have time to listen to her YouTube TEDx talk or read my notes, is that self-criticism activates the body’s defense system, flooding us with stress chemicals. This results in a double whammy – we are the attacker and the attacked. Instead of motivating us, as some erroneously believe, self-criticism actually undermines our motivation.

Self compassion, on the other hand, taps into our mammalian care-giving system activating oxytocin and opiates, which are the feel-good hormones. When we feel safe and comforted, we are in the optimal mind state to do our best.

You can listen to her YouTube by clicking on this link. You may read my notes on her talk by clicking here.