Self-compassion more powerful than self-esteem, about willpower and a memoir about insomnia: Sunday news and blogs

  • A Trait More Powerful Than Self Esteem — Self Influence — Self-compassion is defined as “being kind toward oneself in instances of pain or failure; perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience; and holding painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness (mindfulness).” (Neff, Rude, Kirkpatrick) — People high in self-compassion react to negative feedback with more acceptance and with an orientation towards growth and the development of mastery. People low in self-compassion react in opposite ways: they reject negative feedback and often fail to learn from it. — People high in self-compassion tend to have less negative emotions when distressing events occur and take more responsibility for these events. As a result, they are also more willing to make needed changes. I think you get the picture. High self-compassion is a very good thing.
  • The Willpower Paradox: Scientific American — This is about much more than addiction and is quite fascinating. Willingness is a core concept of addiction recovery programs—and a paradoxical one. Twelve-step programs emphasize that addicts cannot will themselves into healthy sobriety—indeed, that ego and self-reliance are often a root cause of their problem. Yet recovering addicts must be willing. That is, they must be open to the possibility that the group and its principles are powerful enough to trump a compulsive disease. — It’s a tricky concept for many and must be taken on faith. But now there may be science to back it up. Psychologist Ibrahim Senay of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign figured out an intriguing way to create a laboratory version of both willfulness and willingness—and to explore possible connections to intention, motivation and goal-directed actions. In short, he identified some key traits needed not only for long-term abstinence but for any personal objective, from losing weight to learning to play guitar.

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