Kristin Neff, PhD,
is an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneering researcher into the psychological health benefits of self-compassion. She is the author of Self-Compassion and Self-Compassion: Step-by-Step, and is featured in the book and documentary The Horse Boy.
Self-compassion is the heart of mindfulness. It is warmhearted, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience that allows us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with encouragement, forgive ourselves when needed, care for others, and be more fully ourselves. Rapidly expanding research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.