kristin neff

LifeTip: Self-compassion and how to be as kind to yourself as you are to others

Guess what? Being kind to yourself isn’t selfish! In fact, letting yourself off the hook every now and then can give you the freedom to be more authentic in your relationships. And contrary, to popular belief, compassion is actually more motivating than criticism. Think of the most caring mentor you have had in your life. Now contrast that with the hostile, angry, yelling coach who always left you in tears. Which one gives you strength and confidence? 

Have you ever considered why it’s so easy for us to be kind, compassionate and loving to others, but not ourselves? Dr. Kristin Neff provides an excellent intro into the benefits of loving yourself, flaws and all, and how the daily practice of self-compassion actually allows you to better care for others as well. She also distinguishes between self-compassion and self-indulgence. Compassion tells us to be kind to ourselves while also holding ourselves accountable.

Hungry for more? Check our recommended reading list for more books on self-compassion!

Love Thyself

With Valentine's Day approaching there are many messages sent out to us both implicitly and explicitly to share the love and show others that you care. While this is DEFINITELY something that we feel is very important to do, we also want to send out a message of loving yourself.

One of our most talked about topics in GirlTalk Therapy groups is about self-compassion. We've written many GirlTips on the subject of self compassion and for a brief look about it you can re-read

this post

For those of you who struggle with negative self talk and criticism, it might be time to do a little self evaluation. Kristin Neff, the pioneer of this "movement," has a

brief quiz

that can give you some indication of just how self-compassionate you are being. Take a moment this week to try it out.

If it seems like you could use an extra dose of love for yourself, then go a step further and try out some of the

suggested exercises

on her website www.self-compassion.org.

When we take the time to be kind to ourselves then there is more for us to give to others. Happy Valentine's Day!