Benefits of Self-Compassion


Compassionate self-talk has been shown to calm the threat-detection system and allow us to be more understanding with others. Kristin Neff is an expert in self-compassion. Her research found that “people who can first give themselves emotional support and validation will be in a better position to be giving, accepting and generous to their partners.” She also found that “people who nurture self-compassion have better overall psychological and emotional health, experience less anxiety and depression, are more motivated to achieve their goals.” (Randall, 2013)


When we talk to ourselves with criticism and self-judgment, we fuel anger and anxiety. However, when we respond to ourselves with kindness and compassion, we calm our body and create space to respond courageously with our best selves. Paul Gilbert, in his video series on self-compassion, uses the illustration of talking to our best friend. If a friend found himself or herself going through these challenges, how would we comfort and console? Likewise, be a friend to yourself. (Paul Gilbert, 2011) Know that the body is capable of calming itself down, and that the brain is lighting up to meet each unique challenge that arises.

Videos on Self-Compassion

Dr. Kristin Neff  is one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion and an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (William Morrow, 2011).

Curious how compassionate you are to yourself? Use this simple questionnaire to find out.

Course on Self-Compassion

Courage works online course with Kristen Neff and Brene Brown. A four-lesson online workshop, co-facilitated by Drs. Kristin Neff and Brené Brown, provides valuable, research-based tools that can help participants integrate self-compassion into our daily lives.

Paul Gilbert

Video Interviews with Dr. Paul Gilbert about Self-Compassion

A practicing clinical psychologist for over thirty years, Paul Gilbert, PhD, is world renowned for his work on compassion and developed the techniques of compassion focused therapy. Each video is a twelve minute interview with Paul Gilbert about the practice and benefits of self-compassion.

Talk Nicely to Yourself

Fuller Life Articles about Self-Compassion: