Australian Yoga Journal

FROM THE LAB TO REAL LIFE

While it’s great to know what’s happening physiologically when we show others and ourselves compassion (or don’t), it’s just as important to translate that learning into everyday life, says Neff. Take, for example, someone who is hard on herself. Chronic self-criticism engages the sympathetic nervous system, which isn’t up for the task of near-constant work.

“The sympathetic nervous system was designed to deal with physical threats, but now most of our threats are created in our minds,” says Neff. “It’s things like, ‘I’m not good enough.’ ” But by doing

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