Taking in the Good

Today we don’t gather our own food, fight off wild animals, or live in caves. And yet we’re equipped with stone-aged brains. With practice, however, we can change our brains, and our lives, for the better.
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Developing An Inner Protector

How do I develop an inner protector? Not being able to find an inner protector is a real fact of the inner of world of many people. Developing one is a matter of committed practice toward one’s own well-being, which will gradually change the brain. Some steps along the way: Look for little natural moments

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When Good Is Stronger Than Bad

I developed the Taking in the Good Course – six, 3-hour classes combining presentations, experiential activities, and written materials – teaching participants how to turn passing experiences into lasting inner strengths. The preliminary (not yet peer-reviewed) findings in a recent study conducted in collaboration with faculty from UC Berkeley and UC Davis indicate that people who

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Overcoming the Negativity Bias

You were quoted in a short post about negativity bias in which you stated, “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positives ones.” Can you explain this in more detail? As the brain evolved, it was critically important to learn from negative experiences – if one survived them! “Once burned, twice

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Key Points of Awareness – Part I

Keys to Awareness Feel that your own well-being and functioning matters. Get on your own side; be for yourself. Question: How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one. But the light bulb has to want to change. Cultivate wanting to be in reality, to know the facts of the

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Rest in Center

Are you all over the place? The Practice: Rest in center. Why? Gravity and entropy are powerful processes in the natural world. Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us to center, while others disturb and disperse

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The Fight or Flight Response

“Is the “fight or flight” response the functional part of the primitive/reptile brain or the emotional brain?” These distinctions about the brain – fight or flight response, primitive/reptile brain, emotional brain – are used a lot these days, but they’re inherently fuzzy. The amygdala (as you know, there are two of them, one on each

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Understanding Neuroplasticity

In this video, I explain how we can use our minds to change our brains to change our minds for the better. This video was taken at the Greater Good Science Center in UC Berkeley as part of the Science of a Meaningful Life Series.

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Dr. Rick Hanson 2014-02-14 09:58:11

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate

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Choose To Love

What does your heart say? The Practice: Choose to love. Why? Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I’ll preserve the privacy here so I won’t be concrete, but it was pretty intense. After going through the first wave of

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