icon-angle affirmation icon-arrow Arrow left icon-bell Notifications icon-book icon-calendar icon-caret icon-chevron icon-check-circle Close icon-close icon-compound icon-crown icon-crown-alt icon-crown-mono icon-edit icon-email icon-facebook icon-featured-star icon-featured-star-colored icon-file icon-file-meditation icon-file-mp3 icon-file-pdf icon-folder icon-get-pdf Group Headphones icon-join icon-linkedin icon-live-video icon-lock icon-map-pin icon-masterClasses Meditation Navigation Menu icon-messages icon-mic icon-mind icon-microClasses mp3 icon-music-note My List icon-oasis pdf person icon-play icon-play-circle icon-plusOne icon-pnotes Podcast qa-cta-icon icon-quote icon-quote-left icon-quote-right icon-reload Search Search icon-settings icon-skinny-arrow icon-star icon-star-filled icon-triangle-down icon-triangle-rounded icon-twitter icon-user icon-warning icon-website icon-youtube feature-affirmations feature-big-ideas feature-bonus-wrksheets feature-meditation feature-mp3-guides feature-mp3 feature-pdfs feature-pntv feature-posters feature-transformational feature-workbooks master-classes philosophers-notes feature-meditation feature-worksheet membership-icon-4@2x feature-watch feature-read feature-listen feature-connect

Suffering = Pain x Resistance

An Important Lesson on How to Reduce Suffering


In her great book Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff shares a little equation that can help us reduce our suffering.

It goes like this:

Suffering = Pain x Resistance.

Here’s what we need to know:

Pain, as the Dalai Lama tells us, is inevitable.

Suffering, on the other hand, is optional.

The trick is to keep the pain “clean” so we don’t suffer unnecessarily.

And the key to doing that is to reduce our RESISTANCE to the pain we’re experiencing.

This is the essence of Byron Katie’s Loving What Is and the Stoic philosophers “Art of Acquiescence.”

We need to remember the very important fact that we LOSE when we argue with reality. But, only EVERY (!) SINGLE (!!) TIME!!!

Whatever is, IS.

We want to accept the facts of our current reality—no matter how much we may dislike them. Then… By eliminating our resistance, we’ve eliminated our unnecessary suffering and we’re in a MUCH better place to take effective action.

Today’s +1: Are you resisting anything painful in your life and thereby increasing your level of suffering?

How can you love what is just a little more today?

One way to do that is to simply label whatever emotion you’re feeling and then get to work on your relentless solution focus—finding something you can do to make the situation just a little bit better—moving from victim to creator!

Remember: Reduce your Resistance to the Pain and you reduce your Suffering.