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INSPIRE #218: The Proven Power of Mindful Self-Compassion & Why It’s So Important + Guided Meditation

Kristin Neff Shares the Proven Power of Mindful Self-Compassion & Why It’s Important For Relationships, Happiness, Career & Kids! + Guided Meditation

Listen to the podcast below!



If you ever feel berated, pushed around, down-trouden, guilted, shamed, or run-over, and all by the voices in your mind, then do we have the compassionate, life-changing show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Dr. Kristin Neff, psychologist, researcher, and pioneer in the field of self-compassion. She’s also the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and her family’s amazing healing journey is featured in the award-winning documentary, The Horse Boy, …one of the most powerful and beautiful documentaries I’ve ever seen…just bring plenty of Kleenex!

Today we’ll be talking about self-compassion or true caring, concern and love for you; what it really looks like, what it feels like, why it’s different from self-esteem, and why it’s so incredibly important and needed in our lives (despite what we’ve been taught).

That plus we’ll look a squeegee man, a hugging practice, the lake Wobeggon Effect, and how connecting with horses truly changes lives.


Kristin Neff is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion over a decade ago. In addition to writing numerous academic articles and book chapters on the topic, she is author of the book “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself,” released by William Morrow. In conjunction with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, she has developed an empirically supported eight-week training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, and offers workshops on self-compassion worldwide. Kristin is also featured in the bestselling book and award-winning documentary The Horse Boy, which chronicles her family’s journey to Mongolia where they trekked on horseback to find healing for her autistic son.



Kristin Neff, PhD Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Key Topics:

  • How her autistic son taught her self-compassion
  • Where did the desire to study self-compassion come from?
  • How studying Buddhism turned Kristin toward self-compassion
  • What’s it mean to relate to ourselves?
  • How and why do we talk to ourselves as inner enemies?
  • Why our safety system (threat defense mechanism) causes us to attack ourselves
  • What’s a freeze response?
  • Why we treat our good friends different than we treat ourselves?
  • Why it’s easier to trigger the care-giver system with our good friends
  • What happens with children of very critical or even abusive parents
  • What Kristin Neff is finding in over 10 years of studying self-compassion
  • How we have self-compassion backwards (and how it makes us stronger, rather than weaker)
  • Why the rod and stick (spare the rod, spoil the child) is backwards and leads to self-criticism and undermining self-confidence
  • What’s the difference between self-compassion and self-esteem
  • What’s wrong with self-esteem and what’s the backlash from promoting self-esteem?
  • Why self-compassion doesn’t seem to have the negative side-effects that self-esteem does
  • Why we’re more likely to take responsibility because it’s safe to do so.
  • How self-compassion gives you the emotional resources to be at our best
  • What is self-kindness?
  • What are the three main triggers of the compassion mechanism?
  • What’s the hugging exercise?
  • Why you want to touch yourself or put a hand on yourself to help calm you down and put you in a place of self-compassion (yes, this is touchy-feely)
  • Language you can use for yourself to train your brain for self-compassion
  • Why tones are so important and often more important than the language itself
  • What is common humanity and why is it so important
  • What differentiates self-compassion from self-pity?
  • Why imperfection is what connects us to other people, not separates us
  • What does mindfulness have to do with self-compassion?
  • What exactly is mindfulness?
  • Why it’s so important to be aware of their own ‘suffering’ (any instance of emotional pain, which is a common Buddhist term, but doesn’t have to be).
  • What’s a self-compassion journal and how do you use one?
  • What is emotional resilience?
  • What is mindful self-compassion (a program with Chris Germer)
  • What is a simple practice for mindful self-compassion?
  • Why men who do high fives and fist-pounds to basketball teammates perform better
  • How do we shift past self-criticism?
  • Why we want to turn with understanding and compassion toward self-criticism
  • Why we don’t want to judge ourselves for judging ourselves
  • What do you do when you get lost in your emotions or a storyline
  • How do we use a mindful self-compassion flashlight?
  • What’s a self-compassion backdraft?
  • What’s a self-compassion detox?
  • Why is compassion for others so important for ourselves
  • Why it’s so important for parents to model self-compassion for their kids
  • How to take the self-compassion scale
  • A short guided meditation or practice on self-compassion called ‘The Self-Compassion Break”

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #160: The Life Changing Power of Loving Kindness + Guided Meditation! (Chris Grosso, Everything Mind)


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