#139 - Kristin Neff, Ph.D.: The power of self-compassion

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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Kristin Neff is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, author, and a leading expert on mindful self-compassion. In this episode, she shares how developing a self-compassion and mindfulness practice was the most effective tool for relieving her own suffering, and provides strategies and tactics to improve self-compassion and well-being.

We discuss:

  • The life crisis that turned Kristin to mindfulness and self-compassion (3:30);
  • How mindful self-compassion relieved Kristin’s feelings of self-judgement, and the psychology that says we all have the capacity for self-compassion (9:45);
  • Peter’s history of self-criticism and his personal practice of self-compassion (17:15);
  • The problem with prioritizing self-esteem over self-compassion, and how self-compassion produces a more stable version of self-worth (20:15);
  • An argument for self-compassion over self-criticism for optimizing performance (26:15);
  • How and when to introduce self-compassion to children (31:45);
  • Learning her son had autism—a personal story of how Kristin used mindfulness and self-compassion (36:45);
  • Self-compassion for cases of childhood trauma, PTSD, and overcoming a “fear of compassion” (44:00);
  • The relationship between self-compassion and physical health (49:30);
  • Distinguishing between self-compassion and self-pity, and the three necessary components self-compassion (52:30);
  • Why self-criticism comes from a desire to be safe, the circular pattern of self-judgment, and self-compassion as the ultimate motivator (55:45);
  • Potential role of a self-compassion practice for addiction and other maladaptive behaviors (58:45);
  • Clinical applications and practical uses of self-compassion (1:01:30);
  • Why you don’t need to meditate to learn mindfulness and self-compassion (1:04:45);
  • Kristin’s personal meditation practice (1:08:40);
  • Resources for learning self-compassion (1:11:45); and
  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/kristinneff Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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