Enjoy Sobriety

Out of balance? The Practice: Enjoy sobriety. Why? By “sobriety,” I mean healthy self-control, a centered enjoyment of life, and an inner freedom from drivenness. We typically apply this sense of balance and self-care to things like food, drugs and alcohol, sexuality, money, and risky behaviors. And if you like, you could bring sobriety to other things as well, such as to righteousness, contentiousness, over-working, or controlling others. At bottom, sobriety is the opposite of … [Read More...]

Enjoy The Freedom Not To

Do you got to? The Practice: Enjoy the freedom not to. Why? We’re pulled and prodded by financial pressures, commuter traffic, corporate policies, technology, advertising, politics, and the people we work with and live with. As well, internal forces yank the proverbial chains, including emotional reactions, compelling desires, “shoulds,” and internalized “voices” from parents and other authority figures. Sometimes these pressures are necessary, like a flashing … [Read More...]

Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

What’s your sense of peace? The Practice: Enjoy four kinds of peace. Why? “Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace. Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others, or is acquired by shutting down. This is a durable peace, a peace you can come home to even if it’s been covered over by fear, frustration, or heartache. When you’re at peace – when you are en … [Read More...]

Get Out of the War

What are you fighting? The Practice: Get out of the war. Why? By “war” I mean here a mindset, not combat between nations with tanks and bombs. The “war” I’m referring to is an attitude of conflict and animosity toward a person, object, or condition. Parents can feel at war with a misbehaving teenager, and certainly vice versa. Neighbors quarreling over a fence. Spouses edging toward divorce; divorced parents continuing to battle over holidays. Someone stuck in … [Read More...]

From Shame to Self-Worth: Development of Shame Spectrum Feelings in Childhood

Welcome to the third and last part of the series, From Shame to Self-Worth. Last week we discussed the Neurobiology of Shame here and we started with the Introduction here. This week we will learn that shame is a very primal emotion, one that has a lot of traction in the mind. As we grow up, from infants to adults, shame elaborates many nuances, like the branches and twigs growing from a single trunk. Let’s consider four common sources of shame spectrum feelings. First, consider a young child wh … [Read More...]

Rick’s Picks: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Rick’s Picks is a new series of posts highlighting the very best content online. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs. Founded in 1988, EGPAF works in 15 countries around the world. http://www.pedaids.org/ The post Rick’s Picks: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation appeared first on Dr. R … [Read More...]

Relax, You’re Going to be Criticized

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you’re going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us – me included – spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep agreements, “don’t be evil,” etc. But sooner or later – usually sooner – someone is going to point out the error in your ways. Often in subtle versions that still have an … [Read More...]

From Shame to Self-Worth: Evolutionary Neurobiology of Shame

This week we will continue from last week’s introduction in the From Shame to Self-Worth series by gaining an understanding of the evolution of shame. [As we go through this somewhat intellectual material, try to make it real for yourself by relating it to your own everyday feelings of inadequacy or guilt.] Have you ever scolded a dog and seen him or her look guilty? Obviously, animals do not have the elaborated textures of thoughts and feelings that humans do. But our emotions, even the … [Read More...]

Rick’s Picks: Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation!

Rick’s Picks is a new series of posts highlighting the very best content online. Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential.The post Rick’s Picks: Never, Ever Give Up. Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation! appeared first on Dr. Rick Hanson. … [Read More...]

From Shame to Self-Worth: Introduction

In this three part series, we will look at where shame comes from, in human evolutionary history, and in personal development. There also are three quite powerful exercises in seeing through, releasing, and replacing (with worth) any feelings you may have along the shame spectrum. The spectrum of feelings in the territory of shame include:Inadequacy – Sense of being unfit, useless, not up to the task, inferior, mediocre, worthlessness, less than, one down, devalued Humiliation – Embarrassment, … [Read More...]