Why did we create this blog
This blog was created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, USA, where 20 first-graders ages ranging from 6-7 were massacred by an angry 2o year old gunman. This took place on the 14th of December, 2012. We believe if he was taught how to love himself, how to be kind to himself, how to be compassionate to himself and how to appreciate himself, from an earlier age (pre-school) none of these things would have happened. It was a very sad occasion to all of us and it is time now to change its course. We have to acknowledge this happened, forgive the person who did it and learn from this tragedy. -Devni W.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Created Feb 8 2012 - 7:57pm
The 2,500 year old Buddhist tradition contains some fundamental truths about human nature that Western science is slowly beginning to embrace. One of these is that humans, like all members of the animal kingdom, are inherently social beings.. Our brains are wired for love, connection, and cooperation. The individualism, social isolation, and competition of modern society have led to imbalance within ourselves, in our relationships, and with nature. We see the results in the current epidemics of anxiety, loneliness, pain, and obesity. Yet, if we lack connection in the external world, we have the ability to create it in our internal worlds through compassionate practices, and thereby reap some of the health and psychological benefits.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama
What is Self-Compassion?
Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin is the pioneer of self-compassion as a tool to promote psychological healing, well-being, and better relationships. She contrasts self-compassion with self-esteem in that it does not require us to elevate ourselves above other people and compete with them. While high self-esteem is generally based on evidence of superior achievement, self-compassion is a more constant personal quality, in which we value ourselves and treat ourselves kindly just because we are human. And this caring attitude to ourselves helps us to recognize our similarity and connection with other humans, who share with us common aspirations and sources of suffering.
Does Self-Compassion Make us into Wimps?
Self-compassion does not make us spoiled or weak, but rather is a learned coping strategy that research shows can decrease anxiety and enhance resilience and recovery from the effects of stress. It also does not require us to deny and suppress negative aspects of our experience. In fact, part of Neff's definition of self-compassion is mindfulness - or a balanced holding in consciousness of all facets of our experience, without overreacting to them. The essence of self-compassion is to acknowledge our own emotional suffering and then deliberately comfort ourselves by generating feelings of warmth, softness, and care towards ourselves and, by association, all living beings who are suffering.
How Do Children Develop Self-Compassion?Self-Compassion is a skill that can be learned and improved through learning. Children learn by watching how caretakers, especially parents, react to them. If children get punished for expressing anger or sadness, they learn that it is bad or even dangerous to feel these states. If their sharing about life's disappointments and rejections results in stern criticism and expressions of contempt, they become contemptuous and critical of themselves. Therein lie some of the roots of human misery. The normal social and academic challenges presented by school and peers become compounded by social learning. Children with critical, neglectful, or rejecting parents now learn a layer of negative labels to put on themselves when they are less than perfectly accepted and successful. On the other hand, those lucky ones who have caring, attentive parents learn, via the experience of being warmly comforted and cared for, how to take care of themselves when they are sad or have been let down by life. Research shows that securely attached children are more self-compassionate than children with anxious or disorganized attachment styles. Cultural factors also play a role. If the culture emphasizes fear of punishment as the basis of learning, levels of self-compassion will be lower overall.
What are the Benefits of Self-Compassion?
Research by Neff and colleagues shows that self-compassion decreases anxiety in evaluative situations, such as being asked about one's weaknesses in a job interview. Self-compassion is also associated with higher and more consistent levels of well-being than self-esteem. When self-evaluations are not dependent on constant proof of achievement, we feel more relaxed and better about our lives. Self-compassion is also associated with more curiosity and exploration. When we don't beat ourselves up for failure, we are freer to try new things and make mistakes as part of the normal pattern of learning and growth. More self-compassionate people are also more willing to take responsibility for their contribution to situations that don't turn out as planned. When making a mistake is not the end of the world, we are freer to confront our mistakes, learn new skills, and make amends, rather than hide away in shame.
A 2007 study by Neff and colleagues suggests that self-compassion may be an important tool in weight-management and overcoming emotional eating. Students were given donuts to eat and half were assigned at random to hear a compassionate comment from the experimenter, such as 'Don't beat yourself up about eating these; subjects eat them all the time." The other half received the donuts without the comment. Later that day, when given the chance to eat candy, those who heard the compassionate comment ate less. Therefore, self-compassion may help to prevent emotional eating resulting from feeling bad about breaking dietary restriction rules. Future research is needed to look at whether these benefits are also found in clinical populations such as obese people or those with eating disorders.
In summary, self-compassion appears to have many benefits. When we treat ourselves kindly, we learn to soften and open ourselves to all kinds of experiences, including our own emotions. We may also become more accepting of others when we focus on our common humanity. Watch for my next post which will focus on how to become more self-compassionate.
Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and expert on life change, relationships, health integrative & behavioral medicine, chronic stress and pain, who has published research in academic journals. Previously a Professor, she is now a practicing psychologist, national speaker, and media consultant.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
L- Love yourself first. There is no other person that deserves your love more than you.
O- Others love themselves too, fiercely. Therefore respect others and refrain from harming all living beings.
V- Voice your love to yourself and others as often as possible. Contemplate on this everyday and spread your positive thoughts to all living beings.
E- Extinguish any guilty feelings. Forgive yourself and then others. You don't need to carry the baggage of the past. Guilty feelings weigh your mind down. Thus it is best to let them go.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
October 14, 2010 - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speaks on the centrality of compassion in Maples Pavilion at Stanford University. He shares his thoughts on the necessity of friendship, altruism, family, selflessness, and religion, from the perspectives of such wide-ranging disciplines as education, social psychology and the neurosciences.
Check out this video on YouTube:
Check out this video on YouTube: