Helping to Heal Ourselves…Early
The Self-Acceptance Project — a work of “Sounds True” — is creating new tools and insights to help us become more psychologically whole. My favorite comes from Kristin Neff, Ph.D. on the subject of self-compassion.
Most adults understand that each of us has psychological problems — psychoses and neuroses. They come from a variety of sources: our families of origin; the culture; the cost of living in a society; friends & enemies. Some wounds are deep and lasting and others…seem to be not as dangerous.
As an individual member of the species, I work to protect myself from rejection by trying to fit in, by not offending or by not being much of a burden; it’s a strategy that doesn’t always work. Those I interact with have their own problems that, often, have little to do with me.
That’s why it’s so important to understand myself and my motivations. But, I’m an adult…is there something that can help young people answer those kinds of questions?
Yes. That’s what our App Kids Self-Evaluate does: it helps to understand one’s self in a personal, private, neutral way. No judgements or expert opinions on your state: you decide how well you’re doing. And, with the “look back” feature on the App, you can see how your perceptions of your life have changed over time.
In the Full version, you can get access to Kristin Neff’s “Self Compassion” evaluation that helps answer the question: “How kind am I to myself?”
This is an important question to answer because new research is showing that self-kindness is a healthier motivator for humans than self-criticism. The first taps into the mammalian response system — oxytocin and opiate based chemicals — and the latter taps into the “threat response system” which produces adrenaline and glucocorticoids and prepares us to “fight or flee.”
It’s important to recognize these startling changes in the science of human behavior and use it to our advantage…to become better people, better humans. Kinder and gentler towards ourselves. And, in the process, kinder and gentler towards each other.