"Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally." Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994)
❈ Self- Compassion:
"Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism". Kristin Neff
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a practice derived from Eastern meditative techniques that helps us to become aware of the different aspects of our experience in the present moment. We can become aware of how we move, how we feel (both physically and emotionally), and how we respond or react to each life event.
More than 30 years of scientific research in Mindfulness supports its effectiveness in:
- Integral health improvement
- Stress reduction
- Increased attention and concentration
- The development of relational skills
Seven key attitudes of mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn)
Non-judging. Be an impartial witness to your own experience. Become aware of
the constant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experience.
Patience. A form of wisdom, patience demonstrates that we accept the fact that things sometimes unfold in their own time.
Beginner's Mind. Remaining open and curious allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our own expertise.
Trust. Develop a basic trust with yourself and your feelings. Know it's OK to make mistakes.
Non-Striving. The goal is to be with yourself right here, right now. Pay attention to what is unfolding without trying to change anything.
Acceptance. See things as they are. This sets the stage for acting appropriately in your life no matter what is happening
Letting Go. When we pay attention to our inner experience, we discover there
are certain thoughts, emotions and situations the mind wants to hold onto. Let your
experience be what it is right now.
WHAT IS SELF COMPASSION?
"Self-compassion involves being kind to oneself when confronting personal inadequacies or situational difficulties, framing the imperfection of life in terms of common humanity, and being mindful of negative emotions so that one neither suppresses nor ruminates on them." (Neff &Beretvas, 2012).
Three elements of self-compassion (Kristin Neff):
1. Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment.
Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.
2. Common humanity vs. Isolation.
Frustration at not having things exactly as we want is often accompanied by an irrational but pervasive sense of isolation - as if "I" were the only person suffering or making mistakes. All humans suffer, however. The very definition of being "human" means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect. Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience - something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to "me" alone.
3. Mindfulness vs. Over-identification.
Self-compassion also requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. This equilibrated stance stems from the process of relating personal experiences to those of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be "over-identified" with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.