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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsWelcome to week four. This week we focus on self-compassion. We're going to see how it's very different from self-criticism, which is the default setting for many people when they face difficulties. Self-compassion has been shown to have a range of benefits for well being, such as improve mood, reduced rumination, and less avoidance of unpleasant emotions. It also helps boost performance in interesting ways, such as being able to better learn from mistakes, and we're going to explore these as well. We will also explore how self-compassion is very different from self-esteem and see why research is a starting to focus much more self-compassion than self-esteem as a way of improving well being, resilience, and performance.

Introduction to week 4

So far in the course, we have focused mainly on the attentional aspect of mindfulness. We have seen how attentional focus is the foundation of being mindful, and how attitudes like curiosity and gentleness support this. Emotional states like anger and self-criticism not only affect our relationship with ourselves but can also negatively affect performance and how we live and work with others. Therefore, exploring this realm with greater awareness is an important part of mindfulness practice.

This week, we extend this to look at the attitude we bring to ourselves and our experiences. Increasingly referred to as ‘heartfulness’, learning to cultivate attitudes such as compassion and lovingkindness both deepen our mindfulness and improve our wellbeing and performance.

In this step, we begin by exploring self-compassion. In later steps we will go on to look at what some like to call ‘lovingkindness’, as well as savouring, self-appreciation and gratitude - positive states of mind that are on one hand inherent in mindfulness and on the other hand things that we can cultivate through practice.

Remember - anything we practice gets hardwired into our brain and becomes our new default function. The latest findings from an emerging scientific field called ‘contemplative neuroscience’ show that happiness is a skill, just like any other. So this week what we are really exploring is how to rewire our brain for happiness and healthy emotions.

Watch Richard introduce self-compassion and discuss how it has been shown to have a range of benefits for well being, such as improve mood, reduced rumination, and less avoidance of unpleasant emotions.

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This video is from the free online course:

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Monash University

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