Saturday, January 19, 2013

Self compassion and the elephant.

"Gaining strength, courage, and confidence" collage by Lani with textures from FlyPaper 
The last week of Breaking the Habit Code eCourse  has been about interesting, compassionate ways to handle the elephant's cravings.  One is to 'Never Say Never' so that rather than telling your elephant, "No! You can never have this thing ever again" you say "Well, let's do such and such and after we've done this thing then you can decide if you still want such and such."  Usually the craving passes, especially if you substitute something healthy and rewarding for something less healthy and not so rewarding.

Self compassion is a really excellent method for elephant training. Kristin Neff has a great (extensive) bibliography of articles on self compassion research here, and most of the articles can be downloaded in their entirety.

And from Kelly McGonigal's website, there are some articles related to the physiology of willpower (e.g. improved blood sugar control, increased heart rate variability, better stress resilience), to get us started:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18666713
http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149%2805%2901827-8/abstract
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777
http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v59/n2/abs/1602076a.html
And here's one about Neural correlates of self-criticism vs. self-reassurance:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811909009987 

Finally, at the moment it looks like Kelly McGonigal's "The Neuroscience of Change" from Sounds True is on sale.  Take a look here.

3 comments:

Janet said...

Hi Lani, Really enjoying your Training the Elephant posts. I have just bought "The Neuroscince of Change". I recently read "Willpower" by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. It gave me a whole new understanding of Willpower. Thinking of it as an energy that gets deleted has meant that I have become a lot more understanding and compassionate to myself when my willpower seems to elude me. Especially if I am tired or hungry. Kindest Janet

Merrikate said...

Again, a heart-felt Merci Beaucoup for your enrichment of our HABIT course, Lani. Am sharing forward with friends not taking the course, so the ripple effect pulses on!
Kit

Lani Gerity said...

Hooray!