Self-Compassion Practices to Deepen Your Resilience

Resilience expert Linda Graham presents two ways you can ease anxiety and fear with the research-backed benefits of self-compassion.

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We all know the saying: Do you tend to see the glass half-empty, or half-full? Evolutionarily speaking, it’s probably half empty. We are much more likely to notice, react to, and remember unpleasant, distressful, negative experiences than pleasant, soothing, positive ones. Our brain has this negativity bias hard-wired in to ensure our survival, as individuals and as a species. Early in human history, those who were more attuned to danger and who paid more attention to potential threats were more likely to survive. (In today’s circumstances, we might say that those who take the most rigorous precautions are likely to be safer from the coronavirus than those who underestimate its danger.)

So, in many ways, the negativity bias makes sense for survival. But to be resilient, to respond to distressing events in a positive, flexible, effective way, to discern the options we have and take wise action, we also need to be able to shift the brain out of negativity, reactivity, and contraction, toward receptivity and openness…