Grow a Key Inner Strength

What do you need? The Practice: Grow a key inner strength. Why? We all have issues – including demands upon us, stresses, illnesses, losses, vulnerabilities, and pain. (As Alan Watts put it: “Life is wiggly.”) Of course, many of our issues – in the broad sense I’m using the word here – are related to

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How to Hardwire Your Brain for Happiness

We can outwit our brain’s negative circuitry and tilt ourselves toward the good in life. The inner strengths we all need to cope with life and enjoy it – strengths like resilience, positive emotions, confidence, and feeling loved – are based on underlying neural structures. Most inner strengths come from positive experiences. But to help

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Creating Lasting Happiness in the New Year

The old-fashioned saying that “practice makes perfect” is true for one’s well-being and relationships. Picking just one thing to think about or do in your mind each day helps make the practice easier. Keep it simple. But stick with it. For example, drawing on a few practices in my book, Just One Thing: •  Notice

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Gratitude and the ‘Buddha Brain’

A”buddha brain” is one that knows how to be deeply happy, loving, and wise. We develop ourselves in this way by cultivating wholesome qualities and uprooting unwholesome ones. In a sense, we plant flowers and pull weeds in the garden of the mind – which means that we are gradually changing the brain for the better.

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Dealing with Holiday Stress

What does it mean to have a simple holiday? For me it means having realistic expectations about what you can actually get done, and not over-committing. Alongside, keeping a sense of perspective and humor about the madness of parking lot traffic jams, weird in-law vibes, crazed children jacked up on sugar and other stimulants, packed

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TedXMarin

I'm excited to share my @TEDXMarin talk on #HardwiringHappiness with you today! http://t.co/8SpLBqGBUG — Rick Hanson (@drrhanson) November 15, 2013

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Interview on Self-Directed Brain Change – Part 2

In the second half of a two-part interview, based on my program Self-Directed Brain Change, Tami Simon and I speak about how we can move from a “red” reactive state to a “green” state of calm, how this progression aligns with the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, and my vision for how how healthy brains can

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Handling Blocks to Any Inner Practice—Meditation, Yoga, Gratitude, Mindfulness

When you try to change your life for better, sometimes you bump into a block, such as distracting thoughts. Blocks are common. They’re not bad or wrong—but they do get in the way. What works is to explore them with self-acceptance, and see what you can learn about yourself. One valuable aspect of taking in

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The Importance of Gratitude and Gladness for a Happy Life

Gratitude and Gladness Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness about something you have been given. Gladness is a more general sense of feeling pleased, rewarded, delighted, or happy about something, without it necessarily being a gift. Much of the time these two sweet feelings form a blend, so we’ll explore them together here. Gratitude, gladness,

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Preliminary Findings on the Taking in the Good Course

Resilience, positive emotions, compassion, gratitude, and other inner strengths lower stress, grow well-being and effectiveness, and heal anxiety and depression. Like any other mental capability, inner strengths are supported by structures in the brain. So, how can a person develop the neural networks that support inner strengths? Through what’s called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” the main way

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