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school for lifeSelf Compassion 

It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.

Via Edwin Rutsch
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Study: Oxytocin Conditions Intergroup Relations Through Upregulated In-Group Empathy, Cooperation, Conformity, and Defense.

Study: Oxytocin Conditions Intergroup Relations Through Upregulated In-Group Empathy, Cooperation, Conformity, and Defense. | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

Humans live in, rely on, and contribute to groups. Evolution may have biologically prepared them to quickly identify others as belonging to the in-group (versus not), to decode emotional states, and to empathize with in-group members; to learn and conform to group norms and cultural practices; to extend and reciprocate trust and cooperation; and to aggressively protect the in-group against outside threat. We review evidence that these components of human group psychology rest on and are modulated by the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin.

 

It appears that oxytocin motivates and enables humans to

1) like and empathize with others in their groups,2) comply with group norms and cultural practices, and3) extend and reciprocate trust and cooperation, which may give rise to intergroup discrimination and sometimes defensive aggression against threatening (members of) out-groups.

 

We explore the possibility that deficiencies in (components of) group psychology, seen in autistic spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality and social anxiety disorders, may be reduced by oxytocin administration. Avenues for new research are highlighted, and implications for the role of oxytocin in cooperation and competition within and between groups are discussed.

Authors: De Dreu CK, Kret ME


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(Restorative Circles For Children) 3 Steps That Transform Sibling Conflict Into Sibling Camaraderie

(Restorative Circles For Children)  3 Steps That Transform Sibling Conflict Into Sibling Camaraderie | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

Over the years, I have handled these disputes using a combination of different strategies, including “letting them work it out”, “teaching them effective communication skills (ha!)”, “separating them”, “giving each of them empathy,” “mediating,” “refereeing”, “problem-solving” and “punishing.”

 

None of these have been as effective, efficient, and satisfying to me (or to them!) as the method described below, a family-friendly form of Dominic Barter’s award winning Restorative Circles, which go by many different names around the world and are called Micro-Circles in our family.


by Elaine Shpungin


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Sync Gaming Make Kids More Empathic

Sync Gaming Make Kids More Empathic | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
Physical activity performed together in unison could increase the empathy of kids as it helps children feel more positively toward one another.

 

Researchers have found that a physical activity performed together in unison or even a video game played together in sync on a computer could increase the empathy of kids as it helps children feel more positively toward one another.

 

The study showed that eight-year-olds reported a greater sense of similarity and closeness immediately after playing the video game in sync, those who played the same game but not in a synchronous way did not report the same increase in connection.

 

“Synchrony is like a glue that brings people together — it is a magical connector for people,” said lead author Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington.

Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, Ph.D.

http://ilabs.washington.edu/postdoctoral-fellows/bio/i-labs-tal-chen-rabinowitch-phd


Culture of Empathy Builder: Tal-Chen Rabinowitch
 http://bit.ly/KQZRY5


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How I Taught My Son the Skill of Empathy At An Early Age

How I Taught My Son the Skill of Empathy At An Early Age | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It helps distinguish one's own feelings from the feelings of others, as well as regulate our emotional responses. Here's how I taught my son the skill of empathy at an early age, while encouraging him to maintain his personal boundaries.

Give Your Child Consistent Emotional And Mental Support.


Children are more likely to develop a sense of empathy when their own needs are consistently being met at home.


I made certain to always address my child's needs in a healthy manner and teach him to cope with negative emotions by using simple problem solving exercises.

Carmen Sakurai


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The Secret to Raising Smart Kids

The Secret to Raising Smart Kids | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
According to a survey we conducted in the mid-1990s, 85 percent of parents believed that praising children's ability or intelligence when they perform well is important for making them feel smart. But our work shows that praising a child's intelligence makes a child fragile and defensive. So, too, does generic praise that suggests a stable trait, such as “You are a good artist.” Praise can be very valuable, however, if it is carefully worded. Praise for the specific process a child used to accomplish something fosters motivation and confidence by focusing children on the actions that lead to success. Such process praise may involve commending effort, strategies, focus, persistence in the face of difficulty, and willingness to take on challenges. The following are examples of such communications:

You did a good job drawing. I like the detail you added to the people's faces.

You really studied for your social studies test. You read the material over several times, outlined it and tested yourself on it. It really worked!

I like the way you tried a lot of different strategies on that math problem until you finally got it.

That was a hard English assignment, but you stuck with it until you got it done. You stayed at your desk and kept your concentration. That's great!

I like that you took on that challenging project for your science class. It will take a lot of work—doing the research, designing the apparatus, making the parts and building it. You are going to learn a lot of great things.

Parents and teachers can also teach children to enjoy the process of learning by expressing positive views of challenges, effort and mistakes.

Via Dimitris Tsantaris
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How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times

How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
It's easy to feel grateful when life is good, says Robert Emmons. But when disaster strikes, gratitude is worth the effort.

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 27, 2015 7:11 AM

similar to post traumatic growth the idea that gratitude can help us befit from even tough times. 

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Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? | Oliver Burkeman

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? | Oliver Burkeman | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
The long read: Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 22, 2015 12:49 AM

a good writeup on current debates on the hard problem of consciousness.

Lisa Carey's curator insight, June 30, 2015 8:13 PM

We still can't get at consciousness... but keep trying!

 

Rescooped by Corina Dobre from Positive Psychology
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4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It - Jesse Lyn Stoner

4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It - Jesse Lyn Stoner | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

Fixing, before ts broke:-) At sometime this year you will need to be resilient, whether pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities. Here are 4 things you can do to cultivate resiliency


Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 13, 2015 6:17 AM

fixing, before its broke:-)

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What Makes a Resilient Mind

What Makes a Resilient Mind | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

"...In other words, Suomi sees a genetic predisposition for resilience, but one that only develops in a nurturing environment. That same genetic predisposition may make someone—monkey or human—more likely to founder if brought up in a stressful, unsupportive environment.

As we enter a large playpen-type cage, Suomi points out that some monkeys have jumped up on an artificial branch in the cage, and they’re looking at me curiously. They’re the monkeys who were raised by their mothers and seem to be comfortable with strangers. They are deemed the resilient ones.

“And then there are the monkeys who were peer-reared,” he says, pointing to a tunnel that led into an indoor cage, where the monkeys who were taken away from their mothers live. “You’re not seeing any of them because they’re all inside, because they’re afraid.”

But the good news, he says, is that circumstances and, to some extent, gene expression can be changed. Suomi has recently become fascinated by the field of biology called “epigenetics,” which looks at how genes are turned off and on as a result of experience and environment. If childhood adversity can lead to maladaptive epigenetic changes, Suomi says, then social supports may reverse the damage. To test this notion, Suomi and his researchers have introduced into the cage what he calls “foster grandparents” in the form of an older monkey couple who offer extra cuddling or break up fights.

“That’s the kind of manipulation that we’ve found changes genes or normalizes gene expression,” Suomi says. “We’re making social groups smaller and less intimidating, and it looks like it’s normalizing the behavior of those who grew up in the nursery.”

Extending this principle to humans, Suomi points out the calming effects of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training on many trauma survivors. In fact, those were only methods of treatment that Amanda Lindhout said she found helpful. After her release, she said, she went through 20 different therapists who gave her no relief until she stumbled upon a mindfulness program that included talking to herself with soothing and encouraging words.

“I continue to be afraid of the dark. I have nightmares sometimes that jar me awake, and in confined spaces, like an elevator, I’m terrified. I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe,” Lindhout said. “But for my own good, I strive towards feeling forgiveness and compassion above all the other things that still rise up in me every single day....”

[click on the title for the full article]



Via Dimitris Tsantaris, Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 16, 2015 4:31 AM

the importance of resilience with a good example.

Julianna Bonola's curator insight, January 20, 2015 6:56 PM

Any one who has experienced childhood trauma, be it physical or mental abuse, sexual abuse or anything at all, will benefit enormously from mindfulness, meditative practices and or yoga.  You don't have to live in fear, you can change your life (from your genes up).

Rescooped by Corina Dobre from HeartWorks: Compassion and Mindfulness Training with Kristy Arbon
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Try Mindfulness to Improve Your Well-being (Slideshow) - Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic

Try Mindfulness to Improve Your Well-being (Slideshow) - Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
Daily meditation is a powerful tool for managing stress and enhancing your health. Practicing mindfulness can help you apply that same present-moment awareness

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Trauma and Narrative Therapy - Michael White Part 1

Michael White presented an all day workshop on his narrative therapy approach to working with trauma survivors at the International Trauma Studies Program in New…

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The Compassionate Brain: Mary Prefontaine, Co-Founder Brew: Distilling Mindful Leaders

The Compassionate Brain:  Mary Prefontaine, Co-Founder Brew: Distilling Mindful Leaders | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
For many, compassion has often been considered an over indulgence in kindness – perhaps even foolish in times of mediation, negotiation, divorce or war.

 

It’s not been the first skill we call upon when we’re fighting for our jobs, our homes, or our freedom. However, times have shifted and we need a new set of skills to navigate the complexity in our everyday. I am most interested in the conversation we can have when we consider the recent neuroscience on how we can train our brains to be compassionate.

 

If compassion is a learned capability, can we align and elevate ourselves with Buddhist psychology – that compassion is a natural part of being human –a part of our best selves and something worth claiming?

 

What might our lives look like if we all practiced compassion?

 

Let’s consider together what is possible if we trained ourselves to be compassionate leaders in our places of business, our community, and the world. Read more about Mary.


Via Edwin Rutsch
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The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer - YouTube

The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer

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Your Gut Feeling Is Way More Than Just A Feeling

Your Gut Feeling Is Way More Than Just A Feeling | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

"...That little voice in the back of your mind that says don’t trust them, don’t walk down that alley, don’t go to that party tonight, and think twice before investing stock, isn’t just a passing subconscious. We thrive in a culture that believes rationality and prevailing scientifically proven logic rules over the knee jerk reaction to pull out of the parking lot or investigate a partner’s alibi. There are just certain feelings humans obligatorily follow without concrete reasoning.   

A 2011 study published in the journal Psychological Science revealed how the body is able to speak intuitively to the mind by dealing out a card game. Researchers designed a game based on no obvious strategy but forced participants to rely upon their hunches. Each participant was hooked up to a heart monitor and a finger sensor to measure sweat secretion. Most players figured out how to improve and eventually win the game, and researchers realized the winners were those who listened to their heart rate. It would speed up before they made a certain choice, but people mistook the subtle bodily changes for intuition.

“We often talk about intuition coming from the body — following our gut instincts and trusting our hearts,” the study’s coauthor Barnaby D. Dunn, of the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK, said in a press release. “What happens in our bodies really does appear to influence what goes in our minds..."

[click on the title for the full article] 



Via Dimitris Tsantaris
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Jaie Hart's curator insight, April 24, 2015 8:18 AM

A perspective on intuition...

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Emotional IQ strongest predictor of workplace performance: study

Emotional IQ strongest predictor of workplace performance: study | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

The ability to perceive and empathise with the emotions of others may be one of the most defining features of humanity. When we can perceive and empathise, we feel what they are feeling and can work together from this platform of understanding.

 

"Our self comes to include the people we become close to," said the authors on a recent empathy study. "If a friend is under threat, it becomes the same as if we ourselves are under threat. We can understand the pain or difficulty they may be going through in the same way we understand our own pain."

by Sarah Berry


Via Edwin Rutsch
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Yeshe Dorje's curator insight, April 14, 2015 1:17 PM

What libertarians often miss with their emphases on extreme individualism, we are human animals not robots. We live in communities and are social, more akin to Bonobos, not orangutangs.

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Emotional Intelligence: The Social Skills You Weren't Taught In School

Emotional Intelligence: The Social Skills You Weren't Taught In School | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

Empathy: While the three previous categories refer to a person’s internal emotions, this one deals with the emotions of others. Empathy is the skill and practice of reading the emotions of others and responding appropriately...

 

Your emotions are only one half of all your relationships. It’s the half you focus on the most, sure, but that’s only because you hang out with yourself every day. All the other people that matter to you have their own set of feelings, desires, triggers and fears.


Empathy is your most important skill for navigating your relationships. Empathy is a life-long skill, but here are some tips you can use to practice empathy.


Shut up and listen: Take up a contrary position to your own:Don’t just know, try to understand: 


ERIC RAVENSCRAFT




Via Edwin Rutsch
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 15, 2015 6:45 PM

Emotional intelligence is not something that is taught, but it is learnable and requires teachers. Teachers are role models and pedagogues who lead in this sense.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Empathy and 'Shared Experiences'

Empathy and 'Shared Experiences' | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
"I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person."

~ Walt Whitman

 

At the heart of any relationship is communication, and at the heart of any communication is an understanding of the other person, or empathy. Empathy is being able to remove yourself from your own perspective and ‘walk in their shoes’ or‘see the world through their eyes’ (the metaphors are endless). This isn’t easy though. It’s easier just to step up on your soapbox and preach, letting ideology take over – however well intended.


Empathy isn’t sympathy though. I view the road to empathy as sharing another’s experience. It’s not enough to look at the world on ‘the other side of the tracks,’ you actually have to take that risk, step across and look at the world from that other side.


 by Clay Forsberg


Via Edwin Rutsch
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7 Keys to Increasing Your Self-Esteem Today!

Self-esteem can be defined as healthy respect for yourself, as well as healthy self-worth. In our competitive society, the propensity to be affected by low self-esteem is chronic and pervasive. The good news is that having low-self-esteem is largely a learned phenomenon. Here are seven keys to enhancing self-esteem...

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 25, 2015 12:31 PM

Learn and practice these.

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Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? | Oliver Burkeman

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? | Oliver Burkeman | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
The long read: Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots

Via Sandeep Gautam
more...
Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 22, 2015 12:49 AM

a good writeup on current debates on the hard problem of consciousness.

Lisa Carey's curator insight, June 30, 2015 8:13 PM

We still can't get at consciousness... but keep trying!

 

Rescooped by Corina Dobre from Positive Psychology
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What Makes a Resilient Mind

What Makes a Resilient Mind | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

"...In other words, Suomi sees a genetic predisposition for resilience, but one that only develops in a nurturing environment. That same genetic predisposition may make someone—monkey or human—more likely to founder if brought up in a stressful, unsupportive environment.

As we enter a large playpen-type cage, Suomi points out that some monkeys have jumped up on an artificial branch in the cage, and they’re looking at me curiously. They’re the monkeys who were raised by their mothers and seem to be comfortable with strangers. They are deemed the resilient ones.

“And then there are the monkeys who were peer-reared,” he says, pointing to a tunnel that led into an indoor cage, where the monkeys who were taken away from their mothers live. “You’re not seeing any of them because they’re all inside, because they’re afraid.”

But the good news, he says, is that circumstances and, to some extent, gene expression can be changed. Suomi has recently become fascinated by the field of biology called “epigenetics,” which looks at how genes are turned off and on as a result of experience and environment. If childhood adversity can lead to maladaptive epigenetic changes, Suomi says, then social supports may reverse the damage. To test this notion, Suomi and his researchers have introduced into the cage what he calls “foster grandparents” in the form of an older monkey couple who offer extra cuddling or break up fights.

“That’s the kind of manipulation that we’ve found changes genes or normalizes gene expression,” Suomi says. “We’re making social groups smaller and less intimidating, and it looks like it’s normalizing the behavior of those who grew up in the nursery.”

Extending this principle to humans, Suomi points out the calming effects of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training on many trauma survivors. In fact, those were only methods of treatment that Amanda Lindhout said she found helpful. After her release, she said, she went through 20 different therapists who gave her no relief until she stumbled upon a mindfulness program that included talking to herself with soothing and encouraging words.

“I continue to be afraid of the dark. I have nightmares sometimes that jar me awake, and in confined spaces, like an elevator, I’m terrified. I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe,” Lindhout said. “But for my own good, I strive towards feeling forgiveness and compassion above all the other things that still rise up in me every single day....”

[click on the title for the full article]



Via Dimitris Tsantaris, Sandeep Gautam
more...
Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, January 16, 2015 4:31 AM

the importance of resilience with a good example.

Julianna Bonola's curator insight, January 20, 2015 6:56 PM

Any one who has experienced childhood trauma, be it physical or mental abuse, sexual abuse or anything at all, will benefit enormously from mindfulness, meditative practices and or yoga.  You don't have to live in fear, you can change your life (from your genes up).

Rescooped by Corina Dobre from HeartWorks: Compassion and Mindfulness Training with Kristy Arbon
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How Self-Compassion Beats Rumination

How Self-Compassion Beats Rumination | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

A new study suggests that self-compassion improves mood, largely by helping us avoid negative rumination.


Via Kristy Arbon
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What mechanism are involved in addictive behavior?

What mechanism are involved in addictive behavior? | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it
What mechanism are involved in addictive behavior? One of the problems of addictive behavior is to discover what should be, and why it affects some people and not others.
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How Stress Changes The Brain

How Stress Changes The Brain | Compassionate Mind | Scoop.it

“We tend to think of stress as an immediate problem: The boss hovering over our desks; the mad dash to the subway at the end of a long day. And in the short-term, stress makes us feel irritable, anxious, tense, distracted and forgetful.”


Via Luis Valdes
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