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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful...
I bought this book because I was experiencing reactive depression. I am now gentler on myself because this book taught me it is ok to be loving and kind to yourself. I was amazed at how the simple actions in this book calmed and soothed me at difficult times. I've gone from berating myself for every little "mistake" to kindly reminding myself it is impossible to...
Published on 18 May 2013 by Ro

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intro to self compassion
This is a good intro to self compassion with a range of info, research and stories, but for me something about the style of the book was difficult to read which is unusual for me as I normally love this type of book. Although I appreciated the authors vulnerability with some of the things she shared from her own life, some of it didn't land for me and detracted from the...
Published 18 months ago by Jen Smith


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful..., 18 May 2013
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This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
I bought this book because I was experiencing reactive depression. I am now gentler on myself because this book taught me it is ok to be loving and kind to yourself. I was amazed at how the simple actions in this book calmed and soothed me at difficult times. I've gone from berating myself for every little "mistake" to kindly reminding myself it is impossible to be the perfect being I seemed to think I should be! Thanks, Kristin.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The healing power of self-compassion, 11 Dec. 2011
By 
Niki Collins-queen, Author "author" (Forsyth, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Leading psychologist Kristin Neff's groundbreaking book, "Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind" shows us how to let go of debilitating self-criticism and learn to be kind to ourselves. Using personal stories, empirical research and practical exercises she explains how to heal destructive emotional patterns to become healthier, happier, and more effective.
Our ultracompetitive culture, the relentless pursuit of high self-esteem and the need to be above average to feel good about ourselves makes our sense of self-worth rise and fall in lockstep with our latest success or failure. She says many experts now see self-compassion as a more powerful and effective alternative to self-esteem. Their research shows that people who are compassionate toward their failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly judge themselves. The feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are highly stable and kick in precisely when self-esteem falls down.
Current research shows there are holes in over emphasizing high self-esteem as an indicator of healthy behavior. Neff says high self-esteem is a consequence rather than a cause of healthy behavior. Narcissists and sociopaths generally have extremely high self-esteem (inflated, unrealistic perceptions of themselves) and tend to blame others for negative consequences. Jean Twenge's book, "Generation Me, the Narcissism Epidemic Living in the Age of Entitlement" speaks eloquently about the problem.
Neff says thoughts and emotions have an effect on our bodies: self-compassion triggers oxcytocin the hormone of "love and bonding" and "tend and befriend" whereas self-criticism elicits an increase in blood pressure, adrenalin and the hormone cortisol.
Self-compassion stops self-judgment and actively comforts us just as we would a dear friend. Warm tender feelings towards ourselves (self-compassion) makes us feel safe, calm, content, trusting and stops us from operating from a place of fear.
She says self-kindness, recognition of our common humanity and mindfulness form the basis of self-compassion. Mindfulness is noticing our pain without exaggeration, interpretation and over identification. Self-compassion enables us to face emotions head-on and allows positive emotions to replace the negative ones.
Self-compassion asks us to accept and acknowledge our pain, remember suffering is a part of life, be kind and compassionate with ourselves and learn from our mistakes.
Neff warns that self-compassion is not a magical cure to resist or eliminate pain; it's a way to shift the focus from "cure" to "care."
Self-compassion enables us to define our worth not as a label, judgment, or evaluation. It relates to the mystery of who we are - a dynamic work in progress. It honors our strengths and weaknesses, does not define us by our success or failure, does not depend on an outcome, being special or above average. The emphasis is on the value of experience and on the journey not the destination.
Self-criticism asks, "Am I good enough?" Self-compassion asks, "What's good for me?" It taps into your inner reserve to be healthy and happy.
When tense, upset, sad or self-critical Neff recommends giving ourselves a warm hug and using sympathetic language with ourselves. Pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional.
Her book powerfully demonstrates the importance of self-compassion and the need to give ourselves the same caring support we'd give to a good friend.
This book has the power to change lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and transformational, 14 April 2013
This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
Just finished this book and just want to say how enjoyable and inspirational. Very well written with lovely easy flowing style and while evidence-based, not dry and 'academic'. I appreciated the fact that she acknowledges sources with substantial notes section for each chapter - unlike so many self-help books. Her own story makes the book a very personal illustration of how to live life with self-compassion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new way, 1 Sept. 2013
By 
Dave (Worcester, Worcestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Self Compassion (Kindle Edition)
I started reading about mindful self compassion a few months ok. It immediately made sense and I felt weights beng lifted from my shoulders, having spent an awful lot of time beating myself up and trying to deal with difficult emotions in ineffective ways. Pain x Resistence = Suffering. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with Kristin and Chris Germer (look up The Mindful Path to Self Compassion) learning more about this area and have begun to genuinely see my emotions for what they are, whilst surprising myself with how much less time i spent thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

Just one note of warning- the initial euphoria is often followed by a period of doubt. I found myself frustrated because the practices weren't 'working'. Stick at it, don't expect just practice. The meditations don't and won't always feel like they're working and that's ok. As Chris Germer says, 'we practice because we feel bad, not to feel better'.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring & Practical Wisdom, 5 May 2011
By 
Kate "Kate Diggory" (Chester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is an excellent book introducing the concepts and benefits of self-compassion from one of the world's leading self-compassion researchers. Kristin Neff's writing style is engaging and jargon free. She shares her own experience of the impact of self-compassion in her life in honest and moving detail.I love the fact that this is a practical down to earth book based on solid scientific research which Kristin Neff translates into encouraging and positive explanations making the idea of self-compassion both compelling and imminiently 'do-able'. She also extends self-compassion into many areas including the body, relationships and parenting. I found this to be a very enjoyable and inspiring read. As a counsellor and compassion coach I will definitely be recommending this book to my clients.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by my counsellor, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
Was feeling like a failure personally and professionally for several reasons I won't go into here....some real, some perceived but all valid in my particular circumstances. Needed to learn how to deal with those feelings...and learn how to be compassionate to myself rather than beat myself up about being 'a failure'. Being the sort of person to say to myself 'just pull yourself together', it sounded to me ridiculous that I should have to learn to be compassionate to myself but I get it now. I couldn't just pull myself together, I had tried but I needed some help. Self compassion seems to be much more than just 'looking after number 1'. I'm not a psycho babble sort of person. This is accessible reading and, for me, it made a lot of sense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intro to self compassion, 7 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
This is a good intro to self compassion with a range of info, research and stories, but for me something about the style of the book was difficult to read which is unusual for me as I normally love this type of book. Although I appreciated the authors vulnerability with some of the things she shared from her own life, some of it didn't land for me and detracted from the message.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will take you from self-hatred to self-love., 15 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
This is an utterly amazing book. I haven't read it all yet but I dip into it regularly when I'm feeling low or consumed with anxious thoughts about myself. It has never failed to make me feel better and to lift me out of anxiety and depression. I hesitated to buy this book but now I wish I'd bought it sooner. Kristen Neff has a rare ability to relate to anyone and any situation with love and compassion. Her exercises and examples are so relateable and there is no flowery language. I particularly recommend it to anyone who beats themselves up, has experienced a difficult childhood that is echoed in their adulthood or who engages in self-harm. This book is powerful and allows us to see ourselves as we really are: worthy human beings deserving of love and compassion.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practicle Spirituality in Plain English, 6 Feb. 2012
By 
Mr. M. J. Moore (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
I have only read chapter 1 so far, but it is a really great book.

Spiritual traditions and religions at their deepest core are only really about a few simple but important things - seeing the wholeness and interconnection of things, peace, compassion and love. Most of the rest is complete nonsense. :)

This book is about these things.

Though it is titled self compassion, it isn't just about that. It is more complete compassion, for yourself and others - at the deepest level they can only come hand in hand. If you are always judging yourself positively or negatively and monitoring how you are doing it's like living in a haze. How can you connect with your fellow human, animals, nature or universe when you are worrying about your negative (or positive, or threat to positive) self image.

But then doesn't this just give us something more to feel bad about.. like 'I shouldn't be worrying about my self image and living in a haze'... the thought - am I just a bad self centered person for thinking these things.. at some point you can start to see it is a spiral.. feeling bad about feeling bad.

The reason this is a good book is that it helps you to see that it's natural to think or worry about a variety of self interested things, it's in our evolution, our genes, our conditioning, our competitive individualised society, our life situation.. it's the human condition we are born into, we didn't choose it, we aren't to blame. This is where compassion begins.. we start to see these patterns and realise that deep down we are all just looking for a little comfort, security and peace, and that is what dictates a lot of our behaviour and thoughts. We can see how much we judge ourselves and others - once we see that everyone is just struggling along with their own life situation, and trying to find a bit of peace and security we can open up to compassion and understanding.

The key is to disarm the loop is through being gentle with ourselves. There is no need to feel bad, or to feel bad about feeling bad. But if it happens, it happens... have compassion toward yourself, give it space.. see it for what it is, rather than continuing the cycle of judgement.. this is the doorway out of the cycle..

This book isn't about having positive self esteem or a strong healthy self image. Quite the opposite.. it's more about letting those ideas go and trying to find a deeper connection to life beyond the illusions.

It's all too easy to try to treat others compassionatly and leave yourself out. Deepest love and compassion is all encompassing. It blurs the boundaries between you and other - if everything is an interconnected whole, how can you miss yourself out?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
Funny, friendly and useful, this is a surprisingly challenging introduction to self love which is written in a very warm and approachable style. The author readily admits that self-love is NOT the easy option (and has plenty of anecdotes about how she is only human and screws up to), and provides the reader with the tools and encouragement to start treating themselves with the compassion that all human beings deserve.
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Self Compassion by Kristin Neff
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