Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday Science Times Article on Self-Compassion

Tara Parker-Pope wrote in the Science Times section of the New York Times this week about a new book by Dr. Kristin Neff, associated professor of human development at the University of Austin in Texas. The book is about self-compassion. Dr, Neff points out that, while most people show compassion for friends, they show little for themselves, when they make a mistake. I can relate: I recently lost a bracelet. I am not sure if it was real if I’d found it or it was a present. I had allowed a man to get on my nerves. As I took off my jewelry at the gym and was not present. I remember thinking that I am not being careful where I am putting my bracelet, and would lose it. I then recalled several items, including heirlooms, I lost lately. I just looked for a pair of gorgeous shoes and can’t find them. Well, usually things turn up when you don’t look for them. I tempered this with thinking of how much I handle each day well.

The article author went on to say self-compassion is needed when one goes off a diet (although I believe in dieting once in a while, but not diets) or missing a workout. I have written about this in Pocket Guide to Fitness and the Acceptance and Being Grateful blog posts. Do a search. She writes accepting imperfection, although I advocate thinking of oneself as perfect. Who can tell you otherwise?

A key point is that, if one is not self-compassionate, they may get emotionally, and then give up on their nutrition and workout regimen. In a 2007 Wake Forest University study of two groups and diet, the group with the instructor who said: Everyone in this study eats this stuff, so I don’t’ think there’s any reason to feel real bad about it” ate less candy It is important to remind yourself that everyone has feelings of inadequacy once in a while. Dr. Neff will conduct a controlled study to see if self-compassion can reduce anxiety, depression and stress.

You can take a self-compassion test at

This was cross-posted on
My new fitness book is out now!

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