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#239: How to Go Easy on Yourself in a Pandemic | Dr. Kristin Neff

2020-04-15
It's easy to add insult to injury in this pandemic by beating ourselves up. Why are we not exercising more? Eating less? Or boosting our productivity? Kristin Neff, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says we need to give ourselves a break. To be clear, that does not mean relinquishing our high standards. Neff is one of - if not the - world’s leading experts on self-compassion. That's a squishy-sounding term, but there is a lot of hard-nosed evidence behind it. Per Neff, not beating yourself up does not equate to being lazy. It's about knowing the difference between healthy perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism. It's about going easy without going soft. The smart, sparing use of the inner cattle prod. This was exactly the conversation I needed to have right now. Where to find Kristin Neff online: Website: https://self-compassion.org/ Social Media: Twitter: @self_compassion / https://twitter.com/self_compassion Facebook: Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. / https://www.facebook.com/selfcompassion Other Resources Mentioned: Richard Schwartz, Internal Family Systems / https://ifs-institute.com/ Evelyn Tribole, Intuitive Eating / https://www.evelyntribole.com/ Chris Germer / https://chrisgermer.com/ Additional Resources: Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/live Coronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide Free App access for Health Care Workers: https://tenpercent.com/care Full shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/kristin-neff-239
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
A gas are hung a blanket up on the shower, which hopefully, houses sounding and also impact is hardly any line. So if he comes back here, hopefully on be suitable to see what are we give it a go, and then this, if you feel ok,. I've already warned my son that I'm out of podcast mostly difficult for you down with your kids, do they understand that there needs to be in a quiet space Well, we have one kid and he is our only lying under this chair that I'm sitting in my wife's closets sweet. Ok, I asked him if he could be quiet and he said may be. Ok, for maybe see the tent
and have your pockets and take as we decided to leave in a few snippets of the technical difficulties that our guest and I experienced well endeavouring to record this package because they are rather innocuous encapsulation of the difficulties, both small and large, that were all facing these days in this pandemic. Our little mishaps also speak directly to the message that our guest, whose name is Kristen Neff, is bringing to the table in this episode. If we're going to survive this situation, we need to have patience, flexibility and humor and perhaps most importantly, we need to give ourselves a break. Kristen is antisocial. Professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and is one of, if not the world's leading expert in self compassion. That's a squishy sound in term, but there is a lot of hard nosed evidence behind this concept, and Kristen is really led the charge
the research in this area, so in this episode about how to bring self compassion to bear on things like over eating or under exercising during a pandemic. The guilt some of us may feel over having at relatively easy in this time the guilt some of us may feel over having not been our best or having law. our temper on occasions and the shame some of us I'm not gonna name any names, but his initials are down. Harris may feel about not being as productive as we would like. Knock them incidentally, these are all issues with which, as I just indicated, I have personally been wrestling during this time to be clear, though an end you in here Kristen argue this strenuously not meeting yourself up does not, in her view equipped to being lazy. This is not about relinquishing your high standards, it is about. She says, knowing the difference between healthy perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism,
it's about going easy without going soft. The smart spy airing use of the inner cattle prod this exact. Clearly the conversation I needed right now and I think there's a chance. It's something you may need to hear as well. So here we go grist enough, so I'm just curious To start. How are you doing in the midst of all this? I really doing ok, and the thing I was most worried about. Was my son write his home and he's you know he's autistic, so he really likes the structures school, and this is a pretty big disruption, but thankfully he's adjusting well you know he's adjusting to his on line classes as long as the works properly, but everyone gets upset when the resumed isn't were properly. There's, though, because he's adjusting, I think you know, I'm ok with it all
I am definitely busier the normal. I think a lot of people are understanding. Self compassion is an important at a time like this, I'm doing a lot of interviews and podcast, but am personally I'm ok. So, thank goodness, I'm very grateful for what I have put it. That way that I can work from home, for instance. So how about you? I'm ok! You know the subjective self compassion. I due notice that I you know Like you, I m busier. Now, then I hear that I hear the late hour. It's ok, it's ok with power through it. Ok consists in back. Well, I've been actually- maybe that's, maybe that's a subject we should discuss, which is ok, the vagaries of doing this on the fly with like ok, with a thought about it
It could have funding for your audience. Actually I mean to me that the subject it brings to mind is perfectionism. Yes, and how well a lot of us are perfectionists. I'm perfectionist it is. very hard times for perfectionists right now and how could self compassion be useful in this context? Rights? In other words, we trying to do professional interview when the leaf floors going in the background, and you can't control it. How do you do that also one thing that I have done personally as they found it furs for the first couple weeks of the pandemic, I was all focused on making sure I had like a month worth a food in cases. Supply chain makes down making sure I have you no hands sanitize her gloves mass of those things, and I kind of you know it took me a couple, by the way, I think is appropriate for sometimes just to be on full on emergency mode. You don't think
but your emotional stuff, I think sometimes compartmentalization is useful to get the job done. But then, when things were little Moreno secured, I felt like I had the supplies I need. I really had the let myself feel the stress of it all, and so I actually did you self compassion. I'm first is mentally. I haven't felt a lot of stress, but my bodies carrying a lot of stress- I noticed so like the stresses- go somewhere? I felt a little nauseous, tenable nauseous in my summits, a little bit off and of course the first thing is Am I one of those asymptomatic, Kovach carriers and carriers? Stress masters comes up, but I really I don't know for sure, but I'm coming to believe that it's probably just this is wearing carrying my stress. So I've done a lot of work, just kind of pausing
giving myself the time typically do it in the morning, when I wake up in the evening when I go to bed just feeling the stress validating the fact that its difficult yes of many people have more difficult but is difficult for all of us and kind of using know me, I like to use physical touch. I put my hand on my stomach well I'm feeling the stress and feeling the slight niger- and I kind of imagine that I'm flooding myself with kindness, and worms and care and concern and reassurance. for me? It's really made a big difference. I it means that, instead of just pairing through I'm so pairing true, but I have a little more emotional resources at my back as I do that. So I know personally I've I found a very effective and increase
come on, I my partner, we ve also led a couple gatherings. Math online gatherings. Fur people, like thousands of people, have signed up so that we can actually process the emotions of the situation, which is something you have to take the time to do intentionally and has been very helpful, I think- let me just home in on this morning, The evening practice, you described putting your hand on your bill, it just for anybody listening. Who may share my proclivities, my scepticism, my aunt, I sentimentality, you know that that you invoke things like I'm putting your hand on your stomach and sending yourself reassurance in well wishes and if somebody's,
feeling like wait a minute. I would never do anything like this, for I think they're retorted, that is science, fry yeah. So again we have enough. We did. We don't have as much as I would like, but we do have a fair amount of physiological data on what happens to the body when we give ourselves compassion and is very simple right. So we know there's the sympathetic nervous system, which is the reactor firefly response, and then those parasympathetic nervousness on which, as we feel safe, we feel secure as related feeling affiliated with others belonging, and so what you're doing with self compassion? Quite literally, is your tapping in to this system. Is an empty call, the tendon befriend research. Answer the attachment system or is a lot of names for the basically its parasympathetic. In other words, it comes down and it helps us feel safe and a lot of the pathways to this system.
are physically, because if you think a baby, you know when a baby is born there. They feel safe and calm based on their parents, but there's no language. You know the parents can't communicate to the baby by talking to them. So the signals are things like tone of voice. You know physical touch. The brain is designed to process things tone and physical touch as a signal of safety, and so when you tap into that through self compassion and again, we are used to doing it, but the system still works. I suffers when you bond with your son. you're doing all these things without even thinking about it, your bonding- you know, I know, is a little older now, but when he was a baby
bonding with him through this care system that we use mammal, have access to, and so the the cool thing about self compassion, as we know from the research and she can also access that system through things like saying kind, supportive words to yourself, especially in that tone, is caring using physical touch and helps his calm down to reduce cortisol weak increase things like heart rate variability, safer and that sense of safety. It allows us to function more efficiently, so get a little granular about what you're doing for you right workers due to step. So if we want to do it, a version for ourselves, yeah, yeah and by them so, I've been so busy. Lately I like to have a regular meditation practice where I sit for twenty or thirty minutes on my cushion recent I found it been so busy. That's actually been hard to do so. I just I guess I do this first thing when I,
but the morning that you know that time. When I don't have to wake up at a particular time, so I can lay in bed for thirty minutes and I'm not really quite how you get up or when I go to bed, and this is actually when I practice is a good time to practice because you relax you're bad. You know your laying down so, for instance, usually usually arm is always has to start with mindfulness in the sunset You need to know what you are experiencing in order to respond in a kind, the compassionate way believe it or not, because we're so busy and because we're in you know fix it motor arena. What do I have to do or prepare mode? At least we were for a long time. I think, maybe, when the next phase now We also not even aware of our struggles. You know we feel a little tense, but we're just kind of working through with this tense feeling without pausing to say. Oh wow, I feel really stressed and tense
I feel that my body and so that's what I had to do at quite literally. Where do I feel this is my body at the pies? Ok, oh I see yes, TAT S actually realized other noxious feeling is actually stress and so does work with it by bees putty. My answer, my stomach and I Actually, you might say, bringing some love- and I know love is in scientific terms, but is it really conveys what we're doing right, feelings of warmth, of care and interconnectedness and so bring those feelings of loving care to myself. For my own struggle, for my own stress some the mind on this kind of validate said this is suffering right, so you know tat. I ever three component model self compassion, but it's not just theoretical. It's actually almost like a step by step guide of what to do
We need to bring in the mindfulness and then you need to bring in kindness right, which I talked about the kindness of care and warmth and love, then very important for it to be compassionate supposed to solve. pity is bringing in awareness of other people of interconnection of common humanity, and this has really been a fascinating process in the midst of this pandemic, because normally our institutional reaction is to feel like this, just me the as if everyone else in the world is having normal, perfect life, and it's just me who struggling with this health issue or with this relationship issue were met. The mistake I just made this is really an very
rare opportunity as human beings for us to practice common humanity, because quite literally, billions of people are dealing with similar issues in terms of dealing with the covert issue. Is people are doing it with it to different extent? Some people are actually set. Some people lost love one. Some people are just scared, but none the less. We are all. Basically, our life has been changed from the same circumstance. and so actually taken some time to contemplate that and to realise that we are experiencing this. In a literal leave as a shared humanity and what happens when you do that when you start feeling you're connected this is it naturally starts to counter those feelings of isolation? We have especially the isolation and being shut in not being able to meet our friends and go out in the world, and so you really need all three pieces. I found personally in my practice
to sustain a state of self compassion. German. It continue to be a here. That's fine! This three part process that you're describing I use this spirit. Miss Schmidt really been useful for me, so just back to you in bed in the morning or right before you go to bed. It would look like the first step is mindfulness. One way to rephrase that just to be a little glib is the first step is admitting it. You know the saying it clearly are noticing it valley. Irene value is also very good. Word like hell. This is hired yes at this. This is higher. Sometimes I say this is a little judgmental, but sometimes I just my language that I like is this sucks? You know that that works perfectly well and for your common humanity phrase you,
there is a good one as it happens that works for you. It conveys the same message rate is not unusual. Now, of course, this particular situation And while it is unusual right, a hopefully a once in a lifetime about, we don't know for sure that many ways in if you look historically, is not unusual might there been world wars urban pandemics before and in some ways? What happened is because we had it had a big global about, like those we kind of got into a little bit of a bubble, thinking that this is normal and that, if something happens at worldwide level is abnormally, but historically it actually isn't abnormal and again, This is not to downplay the pain of it. It's not to belittle any of it is just a kind of open our minds to the fact that this is part of how life and folds and what that does and weaken, acknowledged that it helps to soften, are resistant
to it, and so what we know from all the mindfulness research is the more we resists reality in saving. shouldn't be happening, I'm trying to fight what's happening back to the more suffering we cause ourselves, both physiologically and mentally, and emotionally soon we can recognise. Okay, this is part of I've, no everyone deals with their own version of this type of situation. This type of paying it gives us a little more perspective, for instance, yet my pains difficult, but there are people experiencing worse, pain, absolutely gives some perspective and wisdom, and it also allows us to fight it a little bit less orion. Ok, it's not like anything is wrong. This is just the way life works happens here you do that girl was feel the relaxation in your body when you, when you start fighting, it is something that should be happening. You opened the fact that it is happening, and then that opens the door to think anymore
How can I get through this in the best way possible? A teacher? I know who's been important to both of us, my meditation teacher Joseph Gold scene. I know you have studied under him too. He has an expression. Part of his teaching technique is to use these phrases over and over again little little. Certain Montrose are slogans, and one of them is anything can happen at any time, and I like to keep that in mind because You think you ve got a big plan for the day, but then you bring your ankle or then, Your mom calls in something terrible's happened or whatever, and that is that just the law, the universe anything can happen at any time. Another slogan I've been using alive- and I use this lot before this happened- is happiness- is not dependent on circumstances right so your happiness, depends on circumstances being a certain way you couldn't be in here be a lot of the time. But when you get to the point,
painted by the way not always like this, but sometimes I am unable to experiences that happiness is not dependent on circumstances. Venus kind of comes from how you relate to whatever is happening. Can you relate to what's happening in kind of an expert? Levine way in which you realize you're, actually part of this larger unfolding. That is your approach. You what's happening from a very eager, obey standpoint. You actually are and so, when I use that slogan, it helps me to let go of wanting circumstances to be a particular way and getting my happiness from the way and relating to whatever is happening, and you know, if you look at the people who are really you know, I admire so much like Joseph Goldstein or a lot of these amazing teachers. Or his holiness, the Dalai Lama. Part of the reason there so happy is because their happiness is dependent on things being a certain way. Their happiness comes from,
You know how they are relating to the life which is constantly changing moment by moment, but the way you hold what's happening can be work city in constant, yes, okay, so back to Europe the more staff is using mindfulness too. You know pony and on the raw data of the physical sensations emanate. From your ass, the men and any emotions and so costly emotions are part, cognitive, part, physical. So how my feeling and Africa, especially in a situation like this, where I can be a little bit obsessive compulsive area, does not the right word for it, but I can really focus and get you have done and that there can be a good thing, but what happens when you really focused get stuff Dan is when you're so focus being focused major. You focus on the particular golden you tuning everything out and asked what focus means and it's a useful skill, but if you're to focus
you too now the other information which is really important, like how my doing you know. So I have the kind of consciously ass mice or how am I doing emotionally and actually intentionally take a pause to checking with myself? How am I doing? What am I feeling and if I notice, which often is a case- others some stress, there's some worry, there's some frustration whenever is going on then actually intentionally work with it by again bringing in the sense of connecting us and kindness to save the love. Really is the key factor is seems to make the biggest difference. Bringing in the love changes everything we love is present. Let me just a bit, because I agree, but I just want to make sure I'm being super clear, but the step into the listener, so one is what's goin on. Can I see clearly my illness to is taking a moment to contemplate the fact that you're, not the only person
dealing with this here and I'm not alone. Yes, three is the love? Yes, now this don't like an apple rule. If you wanted to go first to the kindness than to the common humanity, you could really switch those around where you carefully switches the mindfulness because, if you aren't aware of what you going through, the pain than the other steps are kind of almost irrelevant see need to start with. Mindfulness is kind of a foundation, and not only to be aware of it. You have to be willing to be with it do. You might be aware of it. Go woohoo like that, I'm out of here you know when your mind goes racing off just making breakfast or whatever you want to do so. The mindfulness notices and then is able to be with whatever is arising without too much resistance. yeah you bring in connection is in love and the order you do. It isn't so important for my experience anyway get point well taken when it comes to the third step, which can also be the same
step, the love you. I know that for me, I used the traditional, loving kindness phrases. May I be happy or may be free from suffering things like that? What what are you? What do you recommend so in? I think people are really different. Personally, the traditional, loving kindness phases answer. For me and use why and they are for many people and their wonderful, but because I find if I say may I be well, may be happy and I'm feeling like crap. It almost sets up a type of resistance. Someone like I want things to be other than they are May I be happy, I'm not happy so, for me was more effectively to say I'm. So sorry, you know a kind use. I address myself in the? U form, I'm so sorry you feeling this way darling. Is there anything I can do to help. You know I kind of express my sympathy for the pain, and so a kind of implicit in the inserting I can do to help is essential.
You to be happy, but for me the mayor phrases, don't work for some people. They do so, for instance, in the mindful Self Compassion programme which my colleague Chris Grammar and I developed actually Chris developed this wonderful practice for people to find their own phrases and he ask people what is it that you wish? Someone would whisper in your ear right now. It is exactly what you need here. I am for some people that maybe that's what they want. Whispered in the ears may be happy for others, it something else, I love you. It's gonna be ok. You aren't alone, and so really tailoring. The phrase is too: what speaks to youth is really were taking the time to do that, because He said, for me, I mean after twenty years the loving kindness raises. Still don't really sit with me. Because I have that reaction of feeling that it's my my brain wants to grab onto that is a form of resistance from an essay for many people. There were wonderfully so
back to your phrase of you know, I'm sorry is there anything I can do to help. You know referring to yourself. His darling is at a little scheme So I don't like you know like wait. We were who's talking to who here right well, so I really do think that the highly part psychology has alot read the letter d, so there is an amazing therapy system called internal family systems and developed by Dick Schwartz, which talks about that. We have different parts of ourselves and for some people can be excused frantic when you actually believe the parts are different, but naturally we have different perspective. Sophie Constance down. I've heard you talk often about you, might look in the mirror, and you might say oh you're, looking so good Danner. So are some sort of critical comment. What will we do it now?
We all the time with our self criticism right. We speak to us as you there's you're. Such a dish is such that are you aren't good enough and so does actually used to that different voice, and so we can actually learn to develop an inner, compassionate voice or you might. There are listened to a part of our selves and has already compassionate and then you can actually have a dialogue. This is really cool between inner compassionate voice. in a critical voice, and you know I think it's all metaphorical, because not only are we not literally part, you might even say we are literally a separate cell right. We are all part of this larger unfolding process of life and we than in many ways the idea that were separate from life as an individual is all an illusion
so in many ways it doesn't matter how the illusion is playing out, whether the illusion that you, once all for a solution, is that your five different cells, as long as you have got some basic awareness and none of his actual real in a real five concrete semi. dense. Yesterday's I'm in our I've been there. There are two things that are interesting there. One is the buddhist notion that the self isn't it. Given that the other thing that just came to mind, as you were talking there is I've done a train. You bet of reading about the sort of modular model of mind in psychology that just. As you said, we have these different programmes, thereby impeding for salience in mind. If you, I gotta, think about it like a magic equal, you should get up and one time comes to the top. He at any given moment that tie older, running you right now might be anger jealousy or compare
I soon or whatever, and so you can have them talk to one another yeah. You can actually get a lot of internal family system syrupy, and it was for me the most by far the most effective therapy. I have ever done because it does recognise that we have these different parts. Are you can think of them has had a pattern, right. Each of these hot habitual ways are reacting, have been formed by different types of circumstances, and so they have some coherence in the same way that a pattern, any habitats coherence right. So if you have a habit of say over eating or you have a habit of honor slouching or something like that. These are coherent patterns of behaviour that their like, they don't have their own onto logical status. There just patent patterns, but they did
You have coherence over time because they ve been reinforced, behave Lillian through situation, contacts and that's what I think of these parts are the same. People love to say. Some people for more spiritual perspective see the compassion itself as not something that's conditioned by habit so from a buddhist perspective or from, I think, a lot of people from religious perspectives, maybe a christian perspective. For instance, they might see this compassionate, loving self as coming from the outside, maybe you don't God, for instance, from my point of view, I think is not so important, but whether or not we think that is the condition habit pattern or something larger, I think is important- is that we have access to all these parts of ourselves who so interesting. Let me go back to where we began this discussion, because I want to give short shrift to perfectionism. Ok, we talk about your three step process for self compassion, which personally
I found to be incredibly helpful. It would that be something we could bring to bear on perfectionism in an era where, where the perfect seems very firmly out of our reach, you know just this podcast as an example legwork can you we'd bumping up my son's knocking on the door? Your didn't leave blower guys out there. How do we hear? How can we be self compassionate? the time when, when what we can achieve the perfection we'd like we did, we never can, but definitely now it's really hard right, I mean. So this is exactly the time practice of compassion. I so first of all, so is the signal example about the guy doing my leaf blowing is outside in or hearing his sound occasionally. So the first thing to do is actually just notice, all that's a little irritating. You know this actually is a little bit of
suffering. Is too strong a word, for it is a little better than agitation. There is both you and I would like the sound to be without these distractions right so just noticing. Ok, there's the sounded it. That's a little irritating K. Well, you know sounds like this. It things that are happening like this is, as part alive right that this kind of just the way it works. It happens. Can we be kind to our selves? Maybe the kind of thing to do which you and I told him to do is just well. It's ok. You know. If that is not the end of the world, we will do so. through it and we're gonna. Let ourselves be half our interview be derailed because, as the tiny knowing sound in the background, know that that maybe the kindest thing to do in this situation, when there's not a lot of control, but in other situations the kind of thing to do may be to try something different and that's why wisdom
is so important and self compassion, I'm so the wisdom to know when one is the time to accept the things? We cannot change like the serenity prayer, and when is the wisest thing to do, to try to change something when we actually can change it and bow both approaches are aimed at the alleviation of suffering it sent out. The best way to alleviate or suffering is to accept what is sometimes the best way to leave here are suffering to try to change. What is Can you give it a try and it works or doesn't work in either? Try again, are you let go of me? We don't really know is, is moment by moment again, the eyes always on the prize, which is the liberation of suffering, so perfectionism causes a tremendous amount of suffering, and yet what motivates perfectionism and if you really look at what motivates perfectionism, is really high,
some ideals. You know you want it. Maybe you want to be of service to others. Maybe you want to be the best person you can be. Maybe you don't wanna be criticized by others. Would you be painful? You know the reason you perfectionist it. If you really were to unpack an peel, it comes from these holes and desires to be free of suffering, to be saved a kind of note this five and me happy as why you perfectionist it, because you want to thrive and be happy, and when you realise that I see that's, why I'm acting this way. Well is a way of approaching. It is really help would be to thrive and be happy or is it actually causing unnecessary suffering
so this healthy, perfectionism and melted after perfectionism, healthy perfectionism is just having I goals for yourself. You know shooting for the moon, trying your Basque and then well. We know from the research. Quite clearly is self compassion leaves the healthy perfectionism have been high standards, but not maladaptive protectionism, which is if you dont reach our goals in you beat yourself up and then once you start building yourself up for not reaching your goals, a whole cascade of negative events happened, and you become more anxious because you does beaten yourself up. You become more fearful of whether or not you can see that performance anxiety actually interferes with your ability to do your best and you might develop fear failure and eventually may just give up or you may we don't give up you're. So stress you aren't happy, and you know you started
others. So adaptive, you might say, I'm perfectionism are healthy. Perfectionism, you shoot for the best. If it doesnt work, maybe try something different. You pick yourself up and try again. Maybe you make adjustments, maybe keep on the same path. Maybe sometimes the wisest thing to do is just let go that goal and try something else, but you know what we are really doing is what were trying to do is achieved the alleviation of suffering and to be able to thrive and be happy. All these rules are going to that same call. The December a little more effective than others. Compassion is again the researchers pretty clearly that compassion is more effect, the way to achieve that goal and things like self criticism for ten percent happier after this Better help offers licensed professional councillors specialised in a wide array of issues.
Like depression, anxiety and grief conduct with their professional councillor in a safe private online environment. It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com, slash happier fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with the counselor you'll love So if it's cool with workers and I'd love to keep taking through various ways in which, I- and I think many others have the potential to make this bad situation the pandemic worse for ourselves so tat, we talked about protectionism. but let's go to a related issue, which is productivity rates. I notice that Somehow the story I'm telling myself about how much I need to get done is on steroids and there,
some great articles, one in the New York Times in particular about how likes you know. We should maybe take a moment and stop trying to be so productive, not try to use optimize every second of every day to get things done for somebody was tell me about a tweet from some productivity expert on that get sent out. said. You know if you haven't used this downtime to start a new business, then you're a failure, and so I would love to hear reflections for me. You and me even practices from your end for this psychology that I think, is quite pervasive and pernicious around product. every yeah yeah. So I'm a very productive person myself. You know I've got a lot done in. I had that drive in me to get awry into a chair Eve, but another one of my little Montrose is good enough right. So in other words, you wanted to be good and at some point it becomes good enough, even if it's not perfect, and so when I
do something, and they know it could be better, but I realize is actually not worse. The extra f in terms of the toll on my resources, to do it? One more time I'll say, is a good enough, and if it is all, I can actually stop there, and so that's one way and that's a very self compassionate phrases. Good enough right. it wouldn't be self compassionate. If it's really bad anchors, if it is really bad that doesn't help you, it doesn't help other people and that's not unknown meeting the goal of trying to do good in the world, but if it's good enough, then that's you know, then you can stop there. So I think it is important to take some down time. So, for instance, with me as one of the nice things about having my son at home, is he's in school from ten to two and he's pretty good at entertaining himself in contacting his friends by Skype and stuff, but because I've had to make sure that you know nothing
pain, and by that I mean his knees because he's home more, we ve been taken walks almost every single day and that's been really nice, and so I ve been able to use the time with my son as downtime. So I can just say: okay, let it go. You dont need to get that done. It will be ok, let's take an hour to just to take a walk and spend that time with my son. Another was, I appreciate the urge productivity because I'm one of those people to, but I have found the. If I really listen to myself, what do I need them? comment that I am able to stop and said good enough. So I, like this example you taken. What would your son the analogue on my end, would be we started? One really good thing has come out of the pandemic, for my family is that we now have a routine of evening, meals together and but I Otis, occasionally I'm sitting at dinner and
There's a law or the conversation or my son is: do you know going over his favorite scooby do monsters and I'm turning out where the dialogue comes up? Oh, what am I to do list in beating myself up for not having gotten enough done, and I forgot to make this call, etc, etc. So would that be a good moment for the aforementioned We step self compassion, sort of on the fly. Yes absolutely right in So in a isn't? She you be yourself for not doing here to do as I think myself, for not paying attention to spend thinking those last there. If you aren't doing what you want to do, I'm good idea, the same thing up slightly too now and I'll start thinking emphasis. I could maybe some areas Irene a paper is a really good point. I should go make that point in the paper my does actually is here. I will actually go like to get my face to make direct contact with me,
so then I can't tell him I'll ask is for the good reminder inside we were of all Christa them. I am treating way so that I shouldn't do that. So I think all of it is worthy of compassion right in so I've talked to you before one of my favorite another one of my favorite compassion phrases is that the goal of practice is to become a compassion, mass as others many ways we can be a mass we can be amassed by being over focused and tuna. Important things like our children are taken. Downtime, we can be a mass by not being proactive enough. Life is messy and we're always getting around. That's that's the nature of life, and so, if your goal is actually just to be compassionate toward whenever form the masses taken in that moment, I can get you through
I, and so I say to take specifically your example. You at the dinner table your sons watching Scooby. Do you think of gases is a moment. I could actually get something done in the end. The part of you, that's really into productivity, said Dan you're getting enough done. First of all, you can despise and say ok or how do I feel about this was coming up for me. Ok, actually it's a little bit of suffering, or maybe again maybe it's too strong. Words is kind of uncomfortable when I hear that voice,
laying down you aren't getting enough done so the junior, mindful of the pain than you, can remember, common humanity. While you know, of course, in this situation we can't be productive. Twenty four seven, you don't even want to be productive, twenty four seven! This is just part of lively. You know we were human limitations, we can get it done all the time and then you could just kind of think about war. What what do you need to support yourself about moment? Maybe some words like it's? Ok, you can't even get to a later or a man ass you down. What do you think would be would, you need to hear- and that moment the say you had a good friend and colleague who is telling you hey Daniel, I'm at the dinner table and leaving myself up, because I'm not productive enough. What would you say to that friend
well. I think, for me, a lot of what is driving the productivity is, and I've done some work around. This sum is fear, or a sort of sense of lack of, I won't be safe. If I Don't kick in every aspect of my life and I think I have got ten percent of the time. I can remember to kind of whispered myself you know this is a situation is out of your control. It might be a good time to take it a little bit easier and no matter what happens most likely, you're gonna be ok, obviously it if I get super second end up in the I see you are, that may not be true, but right most likely, I'm gonna be ok.
and if I don't finnish, everything am I to do list. I'm almost certainly gonna be ok right and so does it help you to say something like it's gonna be ok or something so sometimes consumers is not ok rights. If you get sick or an icy you, it may not be ok, but something like all support. You whatever happens, but that the effective or is it more messages like I care about. You know, I really want to make sure that you are over stressing yourself and I really really love to see you relax little but right now, because I think that would be good for you. Two different ways you could give a message is funny. I might face
cousin of that to a friend. I don't know that's interesting to think about how I would say that to myself. For me, I have this barrier that you and I have discussed and that I get some gas listeners get on me about this, of having this resistance to Sapien US. So can you say and unknown sadly way, yeah! That's an interesting challenge When we think about house what would I say to a friend I would say I say colleague, another person is very well known, professional and he's got a lot on their play. What would you say to a colleague who told you he then this is what I am experiencing. I think I would say I think you're doing a great job, and I think you need to remember that we're in a crazy situation that we have been hard for most of us to predict and is completely out of your control. So I, think now you ought to be thinking about both continuing your work. To the best of your
ability, but also taking advantage of this moment to give yourself break- is that savvy doesn't feel happy to me. Ok, so right so that, as it is a really good way to figure out what works for you in terms of the type of language that the lands and then you can just try it out with yourself yeah. I like that What would you say to the pretend like Gama Enviro end there? We have them Sapien, because it might with my son. I'm very just Natalie darling sweetheart, I do that all the time with my son and that's just cancel that lands for me, but it doesnt man for everyone in this. No one way to do it. Well, Imagine that, because I'm so happy with my son, ok, you know, sometimes I ll say look at him I'll say I tell you something really to say right now- and I know you love me, and so I am really happy with him. I have this block that I see the silliness to it. I also think it
I don't comment on gender roles also play into it. You know we don't we didn't choose that these gender roles right they were kind of enforced on us Interestingly, in my family, my dad This happy one of my mother is not more like my mother but Living father used to say to me: you have a jewish mother, it's just not your mother, ok It see I'm sure gender roles, but it's ok, ass, the animal little more interesting. So what would you a two hour amateur pretend like I'm asking for a friend here, but I suspect this is also in my psychology. I hear from a lot of people that you know it's this inner cattle products. This Driving, lastly rating voice that, if I didn't
To this I would never get anything done right. So that's an assumption right, but have you really tested it out and so again I think a lot of people make up also dichotomy. They think either I'm driving myself forward with cattle pride. I'm being lazy and doing nothing, but there's the third way of encouraging yourself warmly the move forward, because you chair and again I I like to use the context of parent child because I think that's familiar to a lot of people. You aren't being a good parent if you're, just letting your child not go to school, all in all the junk food they want not learn, anything because we care about your child, you gonna want them to grow and gallop and all those things, but you don't have to use the cow pride with your child to get them to go to school.
You're right, you can say hey what you to go to school, because this interesting and I care about you in this healthy food- is so much better for you right. We can motivate with kindness or we can motivate with the cattle pride. And there's a lot of research that show. Motivating with kindness is more effective. The motivating with the cattle pride and so it really is kind of an experiment, but remember that I think a lot of people are confused because they think the choice between the cattle pride and doing nothing as opposed to try and this the third way, which is motivating with encouragement and also the cattle proud, has so many unwanted side effects there actually ends up undermining you motivation, stress anxiety. All these things are actually undermine. The ability to think creatively- and you see various opportunities, whereas if you really stressed. and have a negative mindset you're, actually not able to think as creatively. So it hurt your ability to do your best.
His brain science here you know exactly did that they, when you're a Mig, Dilah distress at one of the areas in the brain associated with stress, is activated the prefrontal cortex, the part where you can think creatively clearly get shut down and constricted in many ways, and so I think about a Mozilla. Asian allowed, both in my relationships with other human beings like men and women, to get them so stress at the carefully clearly, but also with myself, yeah. Exactly so that sense of safety provided from the kindness and the acceptance and again the acceptance. Isn't that what you are doing is okay, I may not be ok but you're. Ok, rights of acceptance is toward the person like the bottom line is if you fail in a year. Still, ok is a human being. I still love myself by frontiers of the behavior. You know we're all going to try to have the behaviour b is unhealthy. Is possible present.
then, because we care, unless upon with the cattle pride, is the cattle prod often is a personal, so you're bad is supposed to say you do this thing. You're doing this are really working out so well. We try something different. This is over We have for me, ask about another. I think psychology that is contributing to people making this pandemic worse for themselves and it needs to be sometimes is I see from my team members that the producers who work on his back ass, we talked about this a sense of guilt. That it my doing enough. am I am lucky or privileged hey, that's making me, not as touched by this pandemic as others. It was it wrong we need to go to my summer house, not that everybody in my team has a summer house, but I know people of summer house, so I think, there's a there there's a running dialogue for a lot of people of self cast. Nation here around and I get
away with something, as opposed to other people who are getting sick, etc, etc. Yeah, so I think really. The important question here as is my behavior, harming or helping people, including myself, I so sufferance dense. If you go to your summer house, are you harming anyone by that? In fact, perhaps you can argue that you know you actually help him. People, because you are no more isolated area and reducing the chances of transmission? So in other words, we increase our own suffering that doesn't make other people happier now, there's not to say that sometimes we do engaging behaviors that make things worse right. So, like some of the youtube-
since students are my college, decided to go to Cabo San Lucas and came back in fact, even under the hut was actually a choice that ended up harming other people, and so what self compassion does this kind of it? I think, is important here to make a distinction between shame in gilt, so guilt is I've done something this harmful to someone else soft compassion is actually linked, the girl that allows you to admit a while. I did something that was harmful. What can I do to repair the situation. Shame is somehow I am bad, I'm a bad person, because I've done this shame doesn't help anyone. Guilt can be helpful, but gets only relevant if you actually done something. That's harm. Someone else, and if you haven't, then I think there's no need for guilt.
The other hand you know you may want to think about- is there a way I can contribute to just give a personal example, a lot of people. I am very happy loved to be on the showdown, but I've been getting a lot of podcast requests to the point. Where is like, I'm not getting any of my other work done. So, as is the balance gotta be able to help? Because I think self compassion? Can we very helpful and at a time like this, so I tried to do as much as possible, but I'm always weighing it against. You know. I need to also get my own work done. Ass, a need to keep my sanity, and so, if I were just to think about or helpful, I need to help. I need to help. I need help and not taken due account. My only that's not sustainable, and that start balance as the little different than the example you gave, but we don't want to feel guilty for being fairly okay and this pandemic in here's. Another reason we don't want to do that. The people we
come in contact with their constantly picking up on our emotional mine state. Just like were constantly picking up on others. We aren't really individual. We constantly in Iraq, we're emotionally resonating with each other, and yet we gave upward spirals or downward spiral of emotional reaction. If you, let us stay not go to your summer house and say in the city and be really stressed, and you know, whenever you have experienced, in all the zoom interactions, you have other people they're going to interact with someone who's more stress, the naked Then they word if you are in your summerhouse anymore, peaceful me lags. Then you probably gonna more positive interactions with them, so it s kind of a false dichotomy that some half I'm suffering this cycle and take it Anyone else's suffering the more happy and well, I can be the more enable they have resources to help. Others
And the more my interactions will be more positive, but others are really strongly agree with Adam. You know you, oh sir, I caught you know I was just going to say I'm back. We also need to be aware that sometimes our behaviour is selfish, you know, and we need the self compassion to say you know. Actually, maybe I didn't need to buy those ten packs of toilet paper. You know it's not that I am a horrible person, I'm still on ok person. Maybe that behaviour was not helpful. Maybe I should change that in the future, if I can just back to their happiness, Sylvia abortion, who was on the show recently, was making the point that we sometimes feel guilty about feeling happy or having moments of delight or joy or pleasure in the middle of a pandemic. Karadzic, The EU should definitely take advantage of those because it will fortify you to be your best to do your best to be of most use in the middle of a terrible. situation where a lot of people are suffering. So I really agree, then let me ask one last question before I: let you go sensitive to your time.
I think. Another area- and there was a big piece in the year- ties about this recently that, where a lot of you're doing a lot of suffering and self laceration in the middle of this pandemic is overeating long or not, exercise in our feeling like I I you know, I need to get our that bike were. I can't. leave. I do see a bag of Tito's, etc, etc. How can we bring self compassion to this kind of self? Cares if they can get out of control, yeah yeah and saw enough, certainly felt that as well as my own, evoked by son, am I saw a worrying gravy a little less healthy than we would normally away just kind of for comfort- and I do think, is really important- that kind of step back and see the big picture of what we need to get through this right.
And so behaviors normally main work against your well being in the long run in this time. Maybe it actually doesnt hand your well being right, so, in other words, taken it easy on ourselves, trying to give ourselves a little more slack, maybe having some comfort slight, that bag of Doritos that we want not normally do that actually could help us feel a little more calm the moment or a little more rewarding write about. this is the reward and we are getting a ladder rewards down because were unknown stuck at home. Maybe that's a good thing, so really taken the time to have a bigger picture perspective and thing. How can I care for myself right now and in a variety of different ways which maybe
didn't apply a month ago in the bag. Doritos wouldn't have been taken care of myself a month ago. The maybe a beggar Doritos now is take care of myself, because it gives me no sense of a tree or something in a happy somebody kind of fund that I normally one now. So I really do think compassion is just just so important that we ask ourselves in every single day every single moment. Actually, what do I need right now to be healthy and happy, and the answer to that's gonna change, something they? Actually? Maybe a beggar doritos believe you know, so I think the more we do that the more were able to meet our own needs to be kind, to ourselves and again, it doesn't necessarily mean totally slacking off. Maybe the kind of thing we can do is to start that new project and its really let wisdom come in and ask that question. I ask it all the time. What do I need right now and then a pause unusually
answer comes to me and so just being willing to ask the question is a really useful one. I really back had level of mine from this intention. Reality servers, stately pace to your life where you are checking in on the regular a rather than the way in which I conduct myself most of the time, which is kind of a frantic flinging from one thing to them. Tax can really help and as it retains the eating, you know my when my favorite people these days is Evelyn AAA who wrote Blue Serge came up with this idea to it of eating, and yes, she likes to have people ask themselves what sounds good. Well. How do I want to feel- and if I can actually muster the intentionally to ask myself that before I eat can be really useful, and sometimes it is a cookie and then sometimes when I eat seventy five cookies and really bad about myself outwards. That's where a little self compassion can be used was accurate. That didn't go so well, but this feelings gonna pay.
I think you're gonna have another opportunity to Morrow and and Maybe you can do a better job of you know not making yourself feel sick and say yeah yeah, so it is really important during this pandemic. This idea of good enough right and also idea of acknowledging, we do, but we don't have to feel good, maybe good enough is not very good. In other words, it does suck. It is difficult to know, and that's ok. and going be the compassionate mask. We allow our lives to be. You know frustrated unfilled, narrow
confined and maybe we're gaining wakes. We are eating as well or exercising this much that going just bring compassion to that, and it also will pass right in this too shall pass. So it's ok. If in this moment we are totally happy and fulfilled and growing and being positive about it. Maybe this is a time were collectively we can to say the sex is, in other words is the is the care that kind of kindness torn the disk number which is most important and that's also, which is going to carry forward he's such a pleasure to talk user has everything I should have asked, but didn't trying to think we're talking a little bit about the loneliness. People are feeling yes, yes, two days,
Are we posted in episode with Doktor, vague Morty, former certain general has written a book about loneliness and we talk a lot about how to handle the loneliness, so many of us are feeling in the middle of this pandemic. So how do you think we can bring self compassion to bear on the feelings of being cut off? Yes, and this is where self compassion is really really helpful. I because, again the way is it maybe manifested a little bit differently? The amount would their experiencing this differently but
Our loneliness comes from our own minds, right feelings of isolation, spilling that were somehow cut off from others that we are unconnected with others and again this is necessarily physically. We can feel isolated in the middle of a party right when we feel that somehow different, that what we are experiencing is really different and things that other people are experiencing, and so the common humanity component of self compassion actually allows us to tap into the truth, which is, in a everyone, suffers in their own way. What were feeling a shared by the people? Again, the weights maybe manifested a little bit differently the amount with their experiencing this differently, but suffering as part of being a human being and loneliness is also part of being a human being, and we can actually mean
Our own needs for connection to a much more powerful degree than we ever dreamed possible. So I'll, give you a personal example. You getting personal there so I right now, I'm currently not in a relationship, and I miss that I miss those feelings of connection and sullen saying you know. I love you Kristen, I care about Chris and other things that we would like to get out a relationship and I've actually taking it as a practice. Just say those things directly to myself and some maidenly effect so quite is good. It really helps so, for instance, If we're alone- and we can't see other people, we can just say
what what what I like to hear from a friend we could say: hey Christian, you know really enjoying your company or those are really fun thing that you just did, or just I really like you or just whatever, whatever comes to mind the types of things we would like to give my the people, we can actually give it to ourselves directly. So that's one way itself compassion can help. We can actually meet our needs for connection personally. I felt to self and then also just what it does is it cut through the illusion of isolation separation, because it is an illusion, and this pandemic is really shown us at this. Separation is an illusion. We literally are all in it together and so on. We can open to that truth through compassion. We just actually feel less alone. So in very many ways we can deal with the loneliness of what's happening, but it really
porn way, is the connect with their Sal's emotionally to help decrease that feeling of loneliness, but from a Buddhist perspective it interesting verse this practice to use each. On the one hand, it can properly understood, help us connect to the undeniable truth of interconnection and
on the other hand, the Critique Usin house here from Buddhists is self compassion can reinforce the sense of a self which is, of course, what Buddhism is hoping to undermine the idea that were a separate. You go against the rest of the world yet, and so actually, with the research shows itself, compassion reduces the sense of separate south and actually reduces cell focus and actually reduces identification with the ego, and so also may talk about this and Buddhists traditions as well. This kind of the relative solve the relative tooth and the absolute truth. So when I say Kristen, I love you mean like the inner edge in, and I know it sounds sapping, but I do say that to myself associative, I'm feeling like any.
here from someone else, and that does no one available at the moment. So you might say by relative self, is connecting to my relative self. I also I am able to realise that both of them are kind of an illusion. I there I am part of this larger hole, and so you can work with what is which is our egos structure and even tat sometimes talk about it. As my ego structure, my personality, you can work at that level with also the awareness of knowing that it is not absolute, you can do both simultaneously and when you do that, when you kind of help that Eagle structure feel safe, feel, loved, Phil, valued, feel connected. Then it's not so frightened that you might say the habit of mind, isn't so frightened does cling so tightly to wanting to take over your prefrontal cortex, because it so frightened that it's gonna die right, see you help that you ghost
he'll say, feel connected and recognise the truth. It is actually not alone. That's not the way things work. You do that you're able to soften the grip, a separate south and actually see the larger interconnectedness. another mantra of mine I like to say is the only way out is through that can be used in a lot of context. One is with pain. The only way out of pain is by accepting our paying with kindness and then revenge. We will pass ass. I think the only way out, and this illusion of separate self is by working without illusion of separate self, with a lot of kindness and compassion, and then it feel safe enough. So we can let go reading yourself. A shame and self criticism are not exactly where the best for effective tools for softening our sense of separate. So I know well said
breathing today by you has been well said. I really appreciate your time and your navigating the various technical difficulties that the universe has thrown at each of us during the course of this morning, Thank you, your thinking and again to the listeners. I'm sorry if the noises have been too distracting, but you can be a compassionate myself fully with its great job Kristen. Thank you really appreciate it so much fun to talk with you. I love ecstatic the standard interviews, two people. This asked the same questions. I love it. So much fun became a Christian, really appreciate hearing from her and also watching her model. Such patients in the face of the relentless onslaught of technical mishaps, if you really like Kristen and which
As the saying you wanna hear more from her, you can check out the previous episode of the show on which he appeared episode to oh, nine, its entitled kryptonite for the inner critic that aired in October of two thousand nineteen you can also. without much more about her work on our show notes, page, which can be found at ten percent dotcom, Slash podcast before we go a cook item of business. If you want it, my first book ten percent have here is available at a discount for a limited time. Through Monday April twentieth, ten percent happier is on sale. For one. Ninety, nine at an e book and six, ninety nine. As an audio book, the evil could available through Apple books, Barnes and noble Google play and the other a book is available at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes, noble, Google and yeah I get up or give it somebody you were my needed or somebody who needs it- doorstep Thanks to the team who helped put this together, Samuel Johns, leading the charge that big thank you, Samuel, Matt buoyant at
your violet audio, is our editor. Maria were tell as our production coordinator. We also derive a ton of ongoing wisdom from our ten percent colleagues, such as had been Reuben Jen Plant and neat Toby. Also big. Thank you to my guys. It ABC News rang Kessler and Josh. Cohesion will soon Friday for a bonus, meditation and then we'll be back with another proper emphasis on Monday, there's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people. we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time, these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News. You gonna hear from damage
I actually went back to my office and saw a crime, because it's not fair hearing here, making sure that our community to sell faintly moraine. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room, the police cruiser to the czech outline. You hear what this pandemic sounds like the people putting selves norms, which is always a risk that I could breathe, is home to my kids or my husband or my parents listened to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, refitted, podcast, em,.