Austin Therapy for Self-Compassion
Most of us know what it means to have compassion for others, but what about how to apply that to ourselves? And why? Thanks to the research of UT's own Dr. Kristin Neff, we now know that self-compassion is a complex tool for emotion regulation, resilience and relationships. Learn more about how cultivating self-compassion can support you.
Being kind to yourself sounds easy, but in reality can be really hard for many of us who are used to self-criticism. When we learn how to develop a more tender inner voice, we can change the way that our brains & nervous systems respond to stressors. Self-kindness doesn't mean letting ourselves off the hook or doing whatever we want, whenever we want. It's about learning how to bring the same gentle voice to our own failings, mistakes and shame that we would use with a good friend. And it's a game changer.
Mindfulness is a way of being, rather than doing. A way of tuning in to our emotions and acknowledging them as they are, without minimizing or dramatizing them. Mindfulness is about paying attention, with curiosity rather than judgment, to what our inner experience is, to what our emotions are telling us in the moment. A way of sitting with discomfort without getting swallowed by it. A focus on the present, rather than the future or the past. When we practice mindfulness, we learn how to be more attuned to ourselves and the people around us.
We are all in this together. You are not alone. When we hurt, it can be so hard to keep perspective. We can feel like we're the only ones who have ever suffered this much, or we can shame ourselves for how much we're hurting when "other people have it so much worse." Common humanity is not about minimizing your pain, or comparing it to another's as better or worse. It's about holding onto connection, seeking out intimacy through vulnerability, being willing to let others see us as the perfectly imperfect beings that we are.