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,

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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

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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:

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Lower Your Stress

Can you take a moment? The Practice: Lower your stress Why? [Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture - a book written for mothers - focusing on typical situations that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers during the years before their children enter grade school. These are most commonly the years when

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Water Your Fruit Tree

What would bear lots of fruit? The Practice: Water your fruit tree. Why? My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny – and it is. Still, I like it. If you don’t nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a plant in dry stony ground. I’m

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Accept It

What are you resisting? The Practice: Accept it. Why? As general categories that each include a number of specific methods, my Top 5 practices (all tied for first place) are: * Be mindful * Love * Take in the good * Go green * Open out So far, I’ve written about the first four of

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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 [...] [Read more...]

Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

“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 engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm, and safe – you are protected from stress, your immune system grows stronger, and you become more resilient. Your outlook brightens and you see more opportunities. In relationships, feeling at peace prevents overreactions, increases the odds of being treated well by others, and supports you in being clear and direct when you need to be.

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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 [...] [Read more...]

Recognize Suffering in Others

Where Does It Hurt? The Practice: Recognize suffering in others. Why? We’re usually aware of our own suffering, which – broadly defined – includes the whole range of physical and mental discomfort, from mild headache or anxiety to the agony of bone cancer or the anguish of losing a child. (Certainly, there is more to [...] [Read more...]


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