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The Compassionate Mind | Observer

The Compassionate Mind | Observer | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it

Decades of clinical research has focused and shed light on the psychology of human suffering. That suffering, as unpleasant as it is, often also has a bright side to which research has paid less attention: compassion. Human suffering is often accompanied by beautiful acts of compassion by others wishing to help relieve it. What is compassion and how is it different from empathy or altruism? Is it learned? What are its psychological and physical benefits? Can it be cultivated? 


Via Eileen Cardillo
Randy Bauer's insight:

I have recently read more on positive health and well-being, specifically Flourish by Seligman. Our well-being is greatly impacted my many things in our live's, and action that provides greater meaning beyond self (compassion) influences other aspects of our Well-Being (positive emotion,relationships). This too may have a physiological effect on not just inflammation, but telomere length

(refer to http://aditinerurkar.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/can-meditation-change-your-genes/)

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Eileen Cardillo's curator insight, May 2, 2013 7:46 AM

The majority of research on meditation has pertained either to its physiological/clinical benefits or to its impact on attention. Research about its influence on emotion regulation and utility for cultivating pro-social states, like compassion, is now starting to catch up. This APS article is a good, non-technical review of the latter.

Randy Bauer's comment, May 18, 2013 11:07 AM
Thanks again Eileen. I have recently read more on positive health and well-being, specifically Flourish by Seligman. Our well-being is greatly impacted my many things in our live's, and action that provides greater meaning beyond self(compassion) influences other aspects of our Well-Being(positive emotion,relationships). This too may have a physiological effect on not just inflammation, but telomere length.

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Positive Health and You Being-Well
Positive Health, Happiness, and Well-Being.

Visit Bauer Health and Wellness Portal: http://rbauerpt.blogspot.com/ WellEvolvEdU: http://bauerphysicaltherapy.wordpress.com
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Your Body Does Incredible Things When You Aren't Awake

Your Body Does Incredible Things When You Aren't Awake | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Sleep is anything but a waste of time. While many people think of catching ZZs as the body "shutting off" until morning, nodding off actually activates a complicated process that helps you feel rested and healthy the next day. Scientists di...

Via Tictrac
Randy Bauer's insight:

Sleep is vital for positive body function, mental and physical recovery, and cognition/learning.

This is a great infographic on Sleep. Just Do It

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What Makes a Compassionate Man?

What Makes a Compassionate Man? | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it

What does it take to foster compassion in men? To find out, Kozo Hattori interviewed scientific and spiritual experts.

 

1) Understand compassion as a strength

2) Get to know yourself

3) Transcend gender roles

4) Look for positive role models—and become one yourself

5) Spend time in silence


Via Pamir Kiciman
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Pamir Kiciman's curator insight, April 14, 2014 8:52 AM

 

"Although many men in society see compassion and sympathy as feminine—which translates to a weakness in our patriarchal society—all of the compassionate men I interviewed view compassion as a strength."

 

— Kozo Hattori

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8 Life-Changing Lessons from TED Talks on How to Be Happy

8 Life-Changing Lessons from TED Talks on How to Be Happy | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Ever wonder if you could make yourself happier? You can. Here's how.

Via Sandra Brevett
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Jan Moore's curator insight, April 28, 10:53 AM

Who doesn't want to be happy in midlife & beyond?

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Why You're Tired All The Time + How To Feel Better

Why You're Tired All The Time + How To Feel Better | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Are you chronically tired for no reason? Do you feel rundown and overwhelmed? It could be adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of

Via Ellen Diane
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Ellen Diane's curator insight, April 11, 5:44 PM

add a long, grey winter

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Stuck? Four Fab Ways To Find Your Story

Stuck? Four Fab Ways To Find Your Story | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
In the beginning, finding good stories is difficult. If only because your brain keeps saying, “I can’t tell stories.” or “I’m not a storyteller.” Trust me; if you are breathing you tell stories. Th...

Via Karen Dietz
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Karen Dietz's curator insight, February 16, 1:51 PM

Colleague Annette Simmons, author of several ground breaking books on business storytelling, has written this terrific post helping anyone get unstuck about their stories.


This article goes hand-in-hand with another post I curated last week from colleague Shawn Callahan on spotting stories.


What I love about this post is how Simmons starts off -- with the hidden fear we all have about storytelling. She then gives clear directions for finding your stories that will get you over that hump.


Hey, even I freeze up when someone out of the blue asks, "So tell me one of your stories". I like all of Simmon's 4 buckets and use them to break up that frozen place I sometimes find myself in.


Enjoy this post and get story-ing!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it


A.K.Andrew's curator insight, February 18, 11:22 AM

Always good to have new ways to jumpstart your work

 

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, February 20, 10:12 AM

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One Of The World's Top Aging Researchers Has A Pill To Keep You Feeling Young

One Of The World's Top Aging Researchers Has A Pill To Keep You Feeling Young | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Elysium Health hasn't discovered the fountain of youth, but their new supplementwith the backing of some of the world's foremost authorities on...
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How Positive Thoughts Build Skills, Boost Health And Improve Work

How Positive Thoughts Build Skills, Boost Health And Improve Work | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it

Positive thinking sounds useful on the surface. (Most of us would prefer to be positive rather than negative.) But “positive thinking” is also a soft and fluffy term that’s easy to dismiss. In the real world, it rarely carries the same weight as words like “work ethic” or “persistence”. But those views may be changing.

 

Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile. The impact of positive thinking on your work, your health, and your life is being studied by people who are much smarter than me. One of these people is Barbara Fredrickson.

 

Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina and she published alandmark paper that provides surprising insights about positive thinking and its impact on your skills. Her work is among the most referenced and cited in her field and it is surprisingly useful in everyday life. Let’s talk about Fredrickson’s discovery and what it means for you…

What Negative Thoughts Do To Your Brain

Play along with me for a moment. Let’s say that you’re walking through the forest and suddenly a tiger steps onto the path ahead of you. When this happens, your brain registers a negative emotion — in this case, fear.

 

Researchers have long known that negative emotions program your brain to do a specific action. When that tiger crosses your path, for example, you run. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. You are focused entirely on the tiger, the fear it creates, and how you can get away from it.

 

In other words, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts. At that same moment, you might have the option to climb a tree, pick up a leaf, or grab a stick — but your brain ignores all of those options because they seem irrelevant when a tiger is standing in front of you. This is a useful instinct if you’re trying to save life and limb, but in our modern society we don’t have to worry about stumbling across tigers in the wilderness. The problem is that your brain is still programmed to respond to negative emotions in the same way — by shutting off the outside world

and limiting the options you see around you.

 

For example, when you’re in a fight with someone, your anger and emotion might consume you to the point where you can’t think about anything else.

 

Or, when you are stressed out about everything you have to get done today, you may find it hard to actual start anything because you’re paralysed by how long your to-do list has become. Or, if you feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation.

 

In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct.

 

Now, let’s compare this to what positive emotions do to your brain. This is where Barbara Fredrickson returns to the story.

What Positive Thoughts Do To Your Brain

Fredrickson tested the impact of positive emotions on the brain by setting up a little experiment. During this experiment, she divided her research subjects into five groups and showed each group different film clips. The first two groups were shown clips that created positive emotions. Group 1 saw images that created feelings of joy. Group 2 saw images that created feelings of contentment. Group 3 was the control group. They saw images that were neutral and produced no significant emotion. The last two groups were shown clips that created negative emotions. Group 4 saw images that created feelings of fear. Group 5 saw images that created feelings of anger.

 

Afterward, each participant was asked to imagine themselves in a situation where similar feelings would arise and to write down what they would do.

Each participant was handed a piece of paper with 20 blank lines that started with the phrase: “I would like to…” Participants who saw images of fear and anger wrote down the fewest responses. Meanwhile, the participants who saw images of joy and contentment, wrote down a significantly higher number of actions that they would take, even when compared to the neutral group.

 

In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options. But that was just the beginning. The really interesting impact of positive thinking happens later…

How Positive Thinking Builds Your Skill Set

The benefits of positive emotions don’t stop after a few minutes of good feelings subside. In fact, the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life. Let’s consider a real-world example.

 

A child who runs around outside, swinging on branches and playing with friends, develops the ability to move athletically (physical skills), the ability to play with others and communicate with a team (social skills), and the ability to explore and examine the world around them (creative skills). In this way, the positive emotions of play and joy prompt the child to build skills that are useful and valuable in everyday life.

 

These skills last much longer than the emotions that initiated them. Years later, that foundation of athletic movement might develop into a scholarship as a college athlete or the communication skills may blossom into a job offer as a business manager. The happiness that promoted the exploration and creation of new skills has long since ended, but the skills themselves live on. Fredrickson refers to this as the “broaden and build” theory because positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind, which in turn allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life.

 

As we discussed earlier, negative emotions do the opposite. Why? Because building skills for future use is irrelevant when there is immediate threat or danger (like the tiger on the path). All of this research begs the most important question of all: if positive thinking is so useful for developing valuable skills and appreciating the Big Picture of life, how do you actually get yourself to be positive?

How To Increase Positive Thinking In Your Life

What you can do to increase positive emotions and take advantage of the “broaden and build” theory in your life? Well, anything that sparks feelings of joy, contentment, and love will do the trick. You probably know what things work well for you. Maybe it’s playing the guitar. Maybe it’s spending time with a certain person. Maybe it’s carving tiny wooden lawn gnomes.

 

That said, here are three ideas for you to consider…

 

1. Meditation: Recent research by Fredrickson and her colleagues has revealed that people who meditate daily display more positive emotions that those who do not. As expected, people who meditated also built valuable long-term skills. For example, three months after the experiment was over, the people who meditated daily continued to display increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and decreased illness symptoms.

Note: If you’re looking for an easy way to start meditation, here is a 10–minute guided meditationthat was recently sent to me. Just close your eyes, breathe, and follow along.

 

2. Writing: This study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, examined a group of 90 undergraduate students who were split into two groups. The first group wrote about an intensely positive experience each day for three consecutive days. The second group wrote about a control topic. Three months later, the students who wrote about positive experiences had better mood levels, fewer visits to the health centre, and experienced fewer illnesses. (This blew me away. Better health after just three days of writing about positive things!)

Note: I used to be very erratic in my writing, but now I publish a new article every Monday and Thursday. I’ve written more about my writing process and how you can stick to your goals in this article and this article.

 

3. Play: Schedule time to play into your life. We schedule meetings, conference calls, weekly events, and other responsibilities into our daily calendars… why not schedule time to play?

When was the last time you blocked out an hour on your calendar just to explore and experiment? When was the last time you intentionally carved out time to have fun? You can’t tell me that being happy is less important than your Wednesday meeting, and yet, we act like it is because we never give it a time and space to live on our calendars. Give yourself permission to smile and enjoy the benefits of positive emotion. Schedule time for play and adventure so that you can experience contentment and joy, and explore and build new skills.

Happiness Versus Success: Which Comes First?

There’s no doubt that happiness is the result of achievement. Winning a championship, landing a better job, finding someone you love — these things will bring joy and contentment to your life. But so often, we wrongly assume that this means happiness always follows success.

 

How often have you thought, “If I just get ___, then I’ll be set.”

Or, “Once I achieve ___, I’ll be satisfied.”

 

I know I’m guilty of putting off happiness until I achieve some arbitrary goal. But as Fredrickson’s “broaden and build” theory proves, happiness is essential to building the skills that allow for success. In other words, happiness is both the precursor to success and the result of it.

 

In fact, researchers have often noticed a compounding effect or an “upward spiral” that occurs with happy people. They are happy, so they develop new skills, those skills lead to new success, which results in more happiness, and the process repeats itself.

Where to Go From Here

Positive thinking isn’t just a soft and fluffy feel–good term. Yes, it’s great to simply “be happy”, but those moments of happiness are also critical for opening your mind to explore and build the skills that become so valuable in other areas of your life. Finding ways to build happiness and positive emotions into your life — whether it is through meditation, writing, playing a pickup basketball game, or anything else — provides more than just a momentary decrease in stress and a few smiles.

 

Periods of positive emotion and unhindered exploration are when you see the possibilities for how your past experiences fit into your future life, when you begin to develop skills that blossom into useful talents later on, and when you spark the urge for further exploration and adventure. To put it simply: seek joy, play often, and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest.


Via Jim Manske
Randy Bauer's insight:

1. Define the "Broaden and Build" Theory

2. For One week commit to Meditation, Writing and/or Play.

3. How might this exploration create positive change in your future?

 

http://bauerhealthaction.com/category/positive-well-being/

 

 

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Ilene Reed's curator insight, July 4, 2013 8:05 PM
It is important to think positively. It is especially important to think positively before, during, and after a job interview. This article reflects some useful insight into what happens to us when we are positive.
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The Iron You: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Avocado and Feta

The Iron You: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Avocado and Feta | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Avocado and Feta

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The Psychology of Positive Thinking

The Psychology of Positive Thinking | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Positive thinking has gained a great deal of attention in recent years, especially thanks to popular self-help books. Learn more about some of the research on the many benefits of positive thinking.
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Listening To Your Body Clock Can Make You More Productive And Improve Your Well-Being

Listening To Your Body Clock Can Make You More Productive And Improve Your Well-Being | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Chronobiology research suggests nothing less than a complete overturning of the notion that we should all be working from 9 to 5. Some people are just...
Randy Bauer's insight:

The implications of internal clock research are profound. For starters, research suggests the standard 9 to 5 working day is antiquated, reflecting an agrarian economy (where everyone needs to be up with the lark) not a globalized knowledge one. Second, it implies that making everyone start the day at the same time is fundamentally unfair to people who aren't at their best in the morning. And three—more positively—it says we might engineer a rise in productivity if we organized things differently.

 

How bout Four-Hour Work Week?

 

We could improve well-being and raise economic output if we listened more to circadian rhythms and adjusted working hours as a result.


This would take an evolutionary, or revolution, over some time, but is bound to take place when you look at positive health impact of where we are now.


What does Positive Psychology say about this?


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6 Ways to Be More Resilient During Tough Times

6 Ways to Be More Resilient During Tough Times | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Whether you're struggling now or simply want to build up your resilience for the future, here are six strategies that really work.

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Art, Inc.: A Field Guide to the Psychology and Practicalities of Becoming a Successful Artist ~ Brain Pickings

Art, Inc.: A Field Guide to the Psychology and Practicalities of Becoming a Successful Artist ~ Brain Pickings | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it

by Maria Popova

 

"How to master the business of art without buying into the toxic myth that doing so makes you a lesser artist."

"“Art is a form of consciousness,” Susan Sontagwrote in her diary. But for many working artists, who straddle the balance between creativity and commerce, art swells into a form of uncomfortable self-consciousness — something compounded by a culture that continually pits the two as a tradeoff. Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod captured this perfectly in proclaiming that “art suffers the moment other people start paying for it.” Such sentiments, argues artist Lisa Congdonin Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist (public library), are among the most toxic myths we subscribe to as a culture and reflect a mentality immeasurably limiting for creative people."


Via Jim Lerman
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Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember the "RAIN" Mindfulness Practice

Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember the "RAIN" Mindfulness Practice | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it

In order to flower, self-compassion depends on honest, direct contact with our own vulnerability. Compassion fully blossoms when we actively offer care to ourselves.

 

The acronym RAIN, first coined about 20 years ago by Michele McDonald, is an easy-to-remember tool. It has four steps:

 

Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with kindness;
Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying
with the experience.

 

We each have the conditioning to live for long stretches of time imprisoned by a sense of deficiency, cut off from realizing our intrinsic intelligence, aliveness, and love. The greatest blessing we can give ourselves is to recognize the pain of this trance, and regularly offer a cleansing rain of self-compassion to our awakening hearts.


Via Pamir Kiciman
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The RAIN principle when applied to mindfulness. A reflection on how compassion begins with self-care.

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The best brain supplement to delay memory and thinking decline: A mentally stimulating job | SharpBrains

The best brain supplement to delay memory and thinking decline: A mentally stimulating job | SharpBrains | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
. Challenging Work Tasks May Have an Upside for the Brain (new study): "Professionals whose jobs require more speaking, developing strategies, conflict
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Why broken sleep is a golden time for creativity – Karen Emslie – Aeon

Why broken sleep is a golden time for creativity – Karen Emslie – Aeon | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?
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Info, Knowledge, Wisdom: How Storytelling Works

Info, Knowledge, Wisdom: How Storytelling Works | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Thoughts on navigating the open sea of knowledge.

For my part in the 2014 Future of Storytelling Summit, I had the pleasure of collaborat

Via Karen Dietz
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Karen Dietz's curator insight, March 2, 12:11 PM

Maria Popova of Brainpickings @brainpicker just posted this about the role and function of storytelling in our lives (and business) and it is awesome. What a great way to begin the week!


Popova has made a 4.34 minute animated video essay to go along with her post. In the blog and video she talks about the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom. Turns out storytelling is what converts information into knowledge that then turns into wisdom.


Read the article and watch the video to understand what she means by information, knowledge, and wisdom. And to discover how storytelling fits in. People are starved for knowledge and wisdom is often overlooked. When companies/nonprofits feed the hunger for both, growth happens.


BTW -- everyone carries nuggets of wisdom within them. Storytelling is how we access that wisdom and share it with others. In turn we discover the wisdom others carry by listening to their stories. In that way all of our wisdom grows. This applies to business as well as personal life. What wisdom are you carrying?


Right on Maria -- great post. Story on everyone!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at http://www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 


Iñigo cifuentes's curator insight, March 2, 5:22 PM

Why are we here?

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|NEW POST| Comfort Your Tummy with Homemade Ginger Tea with Mint, Honey & Lemon

|NEW POST| Comfort Your Tummy with Homemade Ginger Tea with Mint, Honey & Lemon | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
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Gut microbes closely linked to proper immune function, other health issues

Gut microbes closely linked to proper immune function, other health issues | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
A new understanding of the essential role of gut microbes in the immune system may hold the key to dealing with some of the more significant health problems facing people in the world today, researchers say in a new analysis.

Via Tony Phillips
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Tony Phillips's curator insight, November 13, 2013 2:33 PM

Peak performace is determined by how much energy you have. We all KNOW nutrition is important but did you know how it controls your immune system too? Maybe time to rethink the nutritional value of our food!

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1 Weekly Habit That Will Push You to Peak Performance

1 Weekly Habit That Will Push You to Peak Performance | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
In 15 minutes a week, you can get closer to your optimal work life.
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The Reasons People Don’t Follow Their Passions, and What You Can Do

The Reasons People Don’t Follow Their Passions, and What You Can Do | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Pursuing your passion can mean different things to different people, but no matter your definition, it seems people always have a reason why they can't do it. If you're someone who has always wanted to follow your dream but never gained any traction, here are some answers.
Randy Bauer's insight:

Passion

Define: From Greek work “Pati” to endure or suffer

Passion is about pursuit: test own capabilities; not passive, but compels to act; willingness to engage; commitment to personal improvement connect with, and developing ones own capabilities.

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Scientists Debunk The Myth That 10,000 Hours Of Practice Makes You An Expert

Scientists Debunk The Myth That 10,000 Hours Of Practice Makes You An Expert | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
A theory Malcolm Gladwell popularized in Outliersthat 10,000 hours of practice can turn anyone into an expertprobably isn't true, a new study says.
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What Promises Do Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology Hold For Coaching?

What Promises Do Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology Hold For Coaching? | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
In the article, Building Dialogue for Effective Change:  Coaching with
the Five Principles of Appreciative Inquiry,  authors Orem, Binkert and
Clancy apply the principles of appreciative inquiry and positive psychology
to the practice of coaching.

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500 Awesomest Positive Psychology Pieces! (+PDF)

500 Awesomest Positive Psychology Pieces! (+PDF) | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
I've decided to build up a database containing 500 of the most popular webpages, writings, articles and pieces written on positive psychology.

Via Ariana Amorim
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An outstanding resource for research, writing and application in everyday work and life.

 

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Positive Psychology Coaching: How Flow Appears In Coaching Sessions

Positive Psychology Coaching: How Flow Appears In Coaching Sessions | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
Ever participate in a coaching session when coach and client got on a wave length that lead to incredible insights? Then you've experienced Flow.

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David Hain's curator insight, November 6, 2014 9:29 AM

Find a voyage of shared discovery through great coaching conversations.

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 6, 2014 10:50 AM

There are some good points here i.e. deep listening. What would they look like in Schools and classrooms?

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Positive Psychology for Peak Performance - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology

Positive Psychology for Peak Performance - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology | Positive Health and You Being-Well | Scoop.it
RT @nicolerussom: How does positive #psychology fit with #sport psychology? http://t.co/nwEzX4Ka8y via @TheSportInMind #PosPsych

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jon inge's curator insight, July 8, 2014 6:05 PM

winning is in the mind