Motivation, Inspiration and Life

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I have been exploring the idea of self-compassion through reading books on Eastern Religion, (Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, etc.) analyzing professional research articles, and practicing it in my daily life. I came across one study that was conducted which I feel has great insight into self-compassion. This study will be broken down into several posts because of the amount of information that is available! So please stay tuned!


Laura K. Barnard and John F. Curry (Duke University)

“Within American psychology, there has been a recent surge of interest in self-compassion, a construct from Buddhist thought.

Self-compassion entails:

(a) being kind and understanding toward oneself in times of pain or failure,

(b) perceiving one’s own suffering as part of a larger human experience, and

(c) holding painful feelings and thoughts in mindful awareness…”

This article will first define and then compare self-compassion to other self-constructs such as self-esteem, self-pity, and self-criticism-It will then analyze previous studies conducted that looked at the impact of self-compassion on someone’s overall well-being Lastly, it will explore current interventions that are implemented to enhance self-compassion and offer ideas for future research and practice.

“empirical work indicates that individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater life satisfaction, social connectedness, emotional intelligence, and happiness and less anxiety, depression, shame, fear of failure, and burnout.”

“Buddhism contends that compassion entails being moved by and desiring to alleviate both others’ and one’s own distress. Buddhism asserts that a dichotomy between empathy for others and self-compassion sets up a false separation between self and others. The Tibetan word tsewa, translated as compassion, does not distinguish between compassion for self and others.”

According to Kristin Neff, self-compassion can be defined as having three interrelated components that are exhibited during times of pain and failure. Each component has two parts, the presence of one construct and the negation of another.

(a) being kind and understanding toward oneself rather than being self-critical

(b) seeing one’s fallibility as part of the larger human condition and experience rather than as isolating, and

(c) holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than avoiding them or overidentifying with them.

Barnard, L. K. & Curry, J. F. (2011). Self-Compassion: Conceptualizations, correlates, & interventions. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 289-303.



  1. Pingback: more on compassion « onbeingmindful

  2. Shelly
    May 24, 2012

    perfect for my therapist’s suggestion of a letter of self-compassion. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Getting closer « onbeingmindful


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This entry was posted on May 22, 2012 by in Research and tagged , , , , .
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