Self Compassion

Dr. Kristin Neff has done extensive research of the topic of self compassion. Her work has created an operational definition for self compassion. She states, "Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism".

She identifies three important elements of self compassion.

1. Self Kindness

2. Sense of Common Humanity

3. Mindfulness

Using mindfulness as a moderator, Dr. Neff explains that we must have a "willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness". Our collected experiences form both negative and positive memories that can impact our current self beliefs. Using a mindful approach we can be non-judgmental, yet observant of these collected experiences and internal messages without trying to suppress or deny them.

Neff. K.D. (2011). Social and Personality Psychology Compass 5/1 (2011): 1–12, 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00330.x Social and Personality Psychology Compass a 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd