Give yourself a break!

Check out this website:  www.greatergood.berkeley.edu. In an article dated May 27, Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem, author Kristin Neff makes the case for giving yourself a break!  She explains that in our heads most of the time we play the top-dog/underdog or “one-up” game with people around us.  It seems to be human nature to compare ourselves to others and size ourselves up, giving ourselves a grade, constantly.  When we can convince ourselves that we are better/faster/more in any given situation, it feels so good!  But!  many times we come up short – whatever we’re doing, someone else is doing a little bit – or a lot! better.  This feels terrible.  Worse, neither of these situations is helpful, really, in feeling basically OK or content.  And, as an ugly side effect, studies are now showing that as a result of all this attention on pumping up self-esteem, we’ve created the monster of rampant narcissism.  How to get off the roller coaster ride of hi-lo self esteem and brutal self criticism?  Dr. Neff suggests self-compassion.  Here’s her definition: “As I’ve defined it, self compassion entails three core components.  First, it required self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental.  Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated in our suffering.  Third, it requires mindfulness-that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.  We must achieve and combine these three essential elements in order to be truly self-compassionate.” Check out the article – I vote we all give it a try.  flowersspring08-007

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