The proven power of being kind to yourself – Self compassion (book)

Edition 26 January 2018, by Anastasiia Myronenko

By Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

The start of a new year is often the time when many of us begin to look back at everything that happened in the last twelve months and to make plans on how we could improve our lives in the future. One of the best things that we can do to ourselves and to the people we love is to introduce the concept of self-compassion in our everyday life.

Self-compassion is a term that Dr. Kristin Neff presents in her innovative and captivating book “Self-Compassion: the Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself”. How often do we tend to be too hard on ourselves, to judge ourselves for our behavior and opinions, for our thoughts and desires? How often do we think that being negative towards ourselves is the best motivation we can have? And how often do we feel anxious, depressed and sad because of that? Kristin Neff affi rms that there is another way – a better way that will help us to continually feel good about ourselves. By treating ourselves with compassion, as we would treat a good friend who needed help, we can improve our lives, feel more confi dent, more generous and become more understanding for other people.

Filled with anecdotes, personal stories and scientifi c facts, this book teaches us step by step how to start feeling more self-compassionate. It covers various spheres of life – our work, relationships, family and friends. It helps to fi nd motivation and to fi gure out why we might not achieve what we are so restlessly striving for. It is about the art of seeing yourself clearly, past your mistakes and judgments, understanding how to take care of yourself and fully realize all your potential. The book also touches on the aspect of mindfulness, which is believed to bring more harmony and structure to one’s life. Additionally, it focuses on the art of parenting. The author tries to show how important and positive it would be to raise our children with the notion of selfcompassion, how it would help them to be more perceptive, generous, kind and, above all, happy. And this is what every parent wants for their child.

Clearly, one of the strongest points of this book is its practical part, which consists of several thematic exercises in the end of every chapter. They essentially add a proactive refl ective element that enhances the perception of the information and helps to give a deeper understanding of what the path towards a happy and self-compassionate life should be.