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Against Positive Thinking: Uncertainty as the Secret of Happiness

Against Positive Thinking: Uncertainty as the Secret of Happiness | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Author Oliver Burkeman argues that we’ve created a culture crippled by the fear of failure, and that the most important thing we can do to enhance our psychoemotional wellbeing is to embrace uncertainty.

 

[Research] points to an alternative approach [to happiness]: a ‘negative path’ to happiness that entails taking a radically different stance towards those things most of us spend our lives trying hard to avoid. This involves learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity and becoming familiar with failure. In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.

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CCARE Newsletter - June 2012

The latest from Stanford's compassion research center CCARE (The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education)

 

I feel delight knowing that there is such a thing at Stanford!

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Is leaving your options open the path to happiness? - Eric Barker

Is leaving your options open the path to happiness? - Eric Barker | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

No. Once the door slams shut on an opportunity we tend to fool ourselves into thinking we made the right choice, even if we didn't.

 

By leaving options open our mind keeps weighing the possibilities over and over, leading to diminshed happiness:

 

People generally prefer to have the opportunity to revise their decisions. Surprisingly however, research has shown that keeping one's options open yields lower satisfaction with the decision outcome (Gilbert & Ebert, 2002). Two studies aimed to gain more insight into the detrimental consequences of decision reversibility and the cognitive processes underlying decision reversibility. Building upon literature on goal fulfillment we hypothesized and found in a first experiment that as long as decisions are still open to change, accessibility of decision-related constructs is increased compared to neutral constructs. A second experiment demonstrated that decision reversibility undermines working memory capacity. Moreover participants experienced higher regret after having made a reversible decision, an effect that was mediated by decreased working memory capacity. The study set implies that reversible decisions yield lower working memory capacity because people continue to think about the, still relevant, choice options. In the end this might increase dissatisfaction with the decision and regret.

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The evolutionary origins of optimism | KurzweilAI

The evolutionary origins of optimism | KurzweilAI | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Positive feeling evolved to make us do critical tasks --- but new findings suggest it can also help us live longer.

 

This article is an adapted excerpt from the new book Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain from Basic Books.

 

The function of our pleasure system is to entice us into doing things that are biologically good for us. This is why delicious food, especially in the company of family and friends, is one of the great pleasures of life.

 

Because the experience of pleasure is fleeting, the pursuit of pleasure can all too easily spiral out of control, sometimes tipping into dangerous risk taking and addictions. But if kept under control, experiencing pleasure is the spark that strengthens the circuits and networks that make up the sunny brain.

 

And one of the great benefits of the sunny brain is the optimistic mindset it nurtures, which is not only about feeling joy and happiness, or even just about feeling good or thinking positively about the future, but also about sticking with tasks that are meaningful and beneficial. Our sunny-brain circuits help us to stay focused on the things that bring us rewards, and this keeps us engaged on important tasks.

 

This is a central insight, backed up by anatomical evidence, of how our sunny brain works. Optimism is about more than feeling good; it’s about being engaged with a meaningful life, developing resilience, and feeling in control. This dovetails nicely with psychological research showing that the benefits of optimism come from the ability to accept the good along with the bad, and being prepared to work creatively and persistently to get what you want out of life.

 

Optimistic realists, whom I consider to be the true optimists, don’t believe that good things will come if they simply think happy thoughts. Instead, they believe at a very deep level that they have some control over their own destinies.

 

What’s perhaps most surprising is just how optimistic we are. Survey after survey confirm that, even in the darkest moments, people are usually positive about the future.

 

What is the reason for such irrepressible optimism, especially in the face of so many global problems? The answer is both complex and intriguing. One part of the puzzle is that our brain is wired to ensure that we remain hopeful for the future. As we have seen, our sunny brain also plays an important role in keeping us engaged with ultimate rewards. Optimism is a crucial survival mechanism, honed by nature, to keep us going even when everything seems to be going wrong. Psychologists call this the optimism bias, and almost all of us have fallen prey to its appeal at some point.

 

While there has been much unsubstantiated hype, there are many scientific studies that suggest that a positive mindset, like optimism, is associated with better health and well-being. This is almost certainly due to the link between an optimistic mindset and beneficial actions rather than any magical power of thoughts. Most dramatic of all is the assertion that optimism can make us live longer.

Given optimists’ greater persistence, it comes as no surprise to find that optimism is also linked with success. In the business world, optimism is advantageous, since the ability to deal with failures is often required. This is why Thomas Edison, whose optimism was magnetic to those around him,

constantly encouraged his workers to never give up. On one occasion, having realized that he had tried out more than 10,000 different ways to develop an electric lamp, he famously proclaimed: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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Buddhism and the Blues | Psychology Today

Buddhism and the Blues | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Buddhist psychology's core techniques of meditation and awareness may have much to offer ordinary Westerners.
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Parents’ Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids: Jennifer Goodwn

Parents’ Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids:  Jennifer Goodwn | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Slamming doors, shouting and stony silences between mom and dad can really scar kids emotionally, new research suggests.

 

Kindergarteners whose parents fought with each other frequently and harshly were more likely to grow into emotionally insecure older children who struggled with depression, anxiety and behavior issues by 7th grade, the study authors found.

 

And yet, the researchers said, not all conflict was troublesome to children. If parents refrained from harshly criticizing one other, stonewalling one another or being violent with one another, and instead managed to work out their problems in a constructive way, children weren't terribly bothered by the conflicts.
 

The key to keeping kids well-adjusted isn't having a perfect, conflict-free marriage, the study authors said. It's in being able to control emotions enough to fight fair, and resolve conflicts in a way that doesn't threaten the stability of the family, they explained.

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Becoming Well-Spoken: How to Minimize Your Uh’s and Um’s

Becoming Well-Spoken: How to Minimize Your Uh’s and Um’s | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

How you speak is a huge component of the impression you make on others, and thus your potential influence on them.

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Tricycle Talk: Congressman Tim Ryan stumps for mindfulness in Washington, DC and beyond | Tricycle

Tricycle Talk: Congressman Tim Ryan stumps for mindfulness in Washington, DC and beyond | Tricycle | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

The 2012 Presidential election is the most fractious in memory—just another example of the partisan rancor ruling national politics today. (“Washington is broken,” stated Republican senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, a noted moderate, as she announced her decision not to run for a fourth term.) Contributing to the problem, insiders suggest, is that bipartisan socializing—a Washington tradition—has all but ceased, as pols spend their free time drumming up support back in their home districts. But if Congressman Tim Ryan, a five-term Democrat from Ohio, has anything to say about it, cultivating mindfulness not only can help us reconnect with our kindness and compassion individually and collectively but also could trickle up and help Congress reconnect, leading to more cooperation at the top.

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10 Secrets Of Intuitive Eating: Kerri-Ann Jennings

10 Secrets Of Intuitive Eating: Kerri-Ann Jennings | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Imagine a diet where you can eat anything you want. The catch? You only eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. It's intuitive eating -- a way of eating that helps people establish a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.
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» 10 Steps to Infuse Your Goals (Brain) With Momentum-Inspiring Passion - Neuroscience and Relationships

» 10 Steps to Infuse Your Goals (Brain) With Momentum-Inspiring Passion - Neuroscience and Relationships | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Speaking of goals, studies shows people who have written goals, or better yet S.M.A.R.T. goals, are more likely to realize them. It makes sense, considering that, when you take time to write something down, you automatically engage your brain in deeper processes of focused attention.

 

Unless you’ve achieved mastery in focusing your attention, it’s preferable to select one or maximum two goals, from your personal list of goals, to work on to complete the ten step exercise below. If you have not yet put together your own personal list, here are two lists of goals (personal and relational) to give you some ideas, from which to choose one or two goals most important to you.

 

Click through for a ten step process to try...

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Will we succeed? The science of self-motivation

Can you help you? Recent research by University of Illinois Professor Dolores Albarracin and Visiting Assistant Professor Ibrahim Senay, along with Kenji Noguchi, Assistant Professor at Southern Mississippi University, has shown that those who ask themselves whether they will perform a task generally do better than those who tell themselves that they will.

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Are your friends the easiest route to self-improvement and a long, healthy life? - Eric Barker

Are your friends the easiest route to self-improvement and a long, healthy life? - Eric Barker | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

I'm seeing this again and again:

The Longevity Project, which studied over 1000 people from youth to death had this to say:
The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become. For people who want improved health, association with other healthy people is usually the strongest and most direct path of change.

 

In The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha talk about how the best way to improve particular qualities in yourself is to spend more time with people who are already like that.


In Charles Duhigg's excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:
In a 1994 Harvard study that examined people who had radically changed their lives, for instance, researchers found that some people had remade their habits after a personal tragedy, such as a divorce or a life-threatening illness. Others changed after they saw a friend go through something awful, the same way that Dungy’s players watched him struggle.

 

Just as frequently, however, there was no tragedy that preceded people’s transformations. Rather, they changed because they were embedded in social groups that made change easier... When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real.

In fact, for most, friend selection may be the only method of sustainable change.

 

I've posted about how manipulating context is the most powerful method of change and who we spend time with -- who influences us on a daily basis -- may be the most powerful form of manipulating context.

 

Checklists require effort and people often fail at anything that requires sustained effort. The Longevity Project explains:

 

The second core error about health, which we’ve described in our research above, is the idea that we can make a major difference in health and longevity by giving people lists of health recommendations. We often hear physicians say, “Of course eat right, stop smoking, lose weight, sleep more, exercise, etc., etc., etc., should be the first choice in staying healthy but most of my patients can’t do this, so it is a great thing that we have these effective medications.” Such sentiments are perfectly natural, because if you hand most patients a list of life-altering changes, they will not make them.

 

Peer pressure, more often than not, is a very good thing. Just pick the right peers and make sure the pressure is working for you, not against you.

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MIND Reviews: The Emotional Life of Your Brain : Scientific American

MIND Reviews: The Emotional Life of Your Brain : Scientific American | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--And How You Can Change Them
by Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley.

 

Not so long ago scientists downplayed emotions as cognitive flotsam, the product of primitive brain structures that derail logic and reasoning in more evolutionarily sophisticated regions of the cortex. Dramatic advances in brain imaging, however, are challenging that perspective. As psychologist Davidson argues in his new book, The Emotional Life of Your Brain, emotions are crucial to how the mind works.

 

According to Davidson, just as exercise can turn a flabby stomach into a six-pack, mental training such as meditation can fine-tune the brain and, consequently, your emotional style>, which he defines as the consistent way of responding to the experiences of our lives. With science journalist Begley, Davidson maps the six dimensions of emotional style--resilience, outlook, social intuition, self-awareness, sensitivity to context, and attention. The authors also provide user-friendly questionnaires for readers to assess where they fall on those scales...

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mind-reviews-the-emotional-life-of

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Why Meaning Matters: Paul Wong

Why Meaning Matters: Paul Wong | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

We are so conditioned by the American dream that most people believe that their first and primary objective in life is to achieve happiness and success through their own strengths.

 

However, during the recent economic downturn, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the confidence that they can realize their cherished dream only if they put their minds to it. In times of discouragement and despair, a sense of meaning and purpose may be the best way to move forward.

 

How about those who have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations and already possess everything they have ever wanted? Yet, the view at the top of the ladder could be unsettling. What’s next? Is this all there is to life?

 

What will sustain us in the face of retirement, aging, sickness and death? All the medical inventions and pharmaceutical discoveries cannot give us the will to live. Viktor Frankl and subsequent research have demonstrated that “the will to meaning” and reasons for living can steel our determination to live life to the fullest till the last breath.

 

So many people are sick and tired of their work. What enables us to do boring jobs and mundane chores cheerfully? The intrinsic motivation of calling and serving can reward us with a sense of satisfaction.

 

How do we combat the greed on Wall Street and the violence on Main Street? How do we replace the corrupt politicians with servant leaders? We cannot legislate morality, nor can we banish greed on pain of imprisonment. But we can instill in people the belief that the real strength of a person does not come from money and power, but comes from within the person – it is rooted in deep convictions, character strengths, a higher purpose and an unshakable faith.

 

What awakens people from their semi-slumbering state of wandering through life and wasting all their talents and potentials? If time is the most valuable commodity, then wasting a life time is a tragic loss punishable by a fearful death.

 

What is the best way to facilitate recovery from addiction, trauma, or mental illness? Active involvement in discovering and experiencing some meaning for living can go a long way in the difficult journey of healing.

 

When everything fails, the human capacity of meaning seeking can be the bridge that takes us from desperation to hope and a future goal.

There are just tons of research on the vital role of meaning and purpose in enhancing our well-being and resilience. Much of the research has been documented in my two volumes on The Human Quest for Meaning.

 

Unfortunately, most people are not fully aware that their life and well-being depend on discovering the hidden dimension of meaning.

 

Happiness is an easy sell and success is music to the ear, but meaning and purpose is what people really need in order to survive and flourish.

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Is a happy day a creative day? - Barking up the wrong tree

Is a happy day a creative day? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

"Overall, the more positive a person’s mood on a given day, the more creative thinking he did that day." There was even a carryover effect for the next two days after.

 

Want to be more creative? Get happy.

 

Via The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work:

 

Our diary study revealed a definitive connection between positive emotion and creativity. We looked at specific emotions as well as overall mood (the aggregate of a person’s positive and negative emotions during the day). Overall, the more positive a person’s mood on a given day, the more creative thinking he did that day. Across all study participants, there was a 50 percent increase in the odds of having a creative idea on days when people reported positive moods, compared with days when they reported negative moods.

 

And:

 

We even found a surprising carryover effect showing that creativity follows from positive emotion. The more positive a person’s mood on a given day, the more creative thinking he did the next day—and, to some extent, the day after that—even taking into account his moods on those later days. This may be due to what psychologists call an incubation effect. Pleasant moods stimulate greater breadth in thinking—greater cognitive variation—which can linger and even build over a day or more. Such cognitive variation can lead to new insights at work.

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» Character Training Makes You Feel Good About Yourself -RICK NAUERT PHD

» Character Training Makes You Feel Good About Yourself  -RICK NAUERT PHD | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A new large-scale study has found that practicing positive moral character traits improves personal well-being.

 

Investigators from the University of Zurich found the largest benefits of practicing positive traits occurred when an individual received training on “curiosity”, “gratitude”, “optimism”, “humor” and “enthusiasm”.

 

This new study proved that training to improve character strengths enhances life satisfaction and increases the sense of well-being.

 

For the study, researchers randomly divided a sample of 178 adults into three groups: While one group trained or practiced personality strengths of “curiosity”, “gratitude”, “optimism”, “humor” and “enthusiasm” for a period of ten weeks, the second group worked with the strengths “appreciation of beauty”, “creativity”, “kindness”, “love of learning” and “foresight”.

 

The third group served as a control and did not do any exercises.

 

The authors of the study recorded three main results:

The group that practiced curiosity, gratitude, optimism, humor and enthusiasm displayed a significant increase in life satisfaction compared to the control group.


Both groups benefited from the training sessions. “Anyone who trained one or more character strengths reported an increase in their sense of wellbeing,” concludes Willibald Ruch, a professor of personality psychology and diagnostics. “This manifested itself in the fact that these participants were more cheerful or more often in a good mood, for instance.”


The third finding was that people who learned to control their actions and feelings more effectively during the training period and developed more enthusiasm benefited most from the training.
The training exercises consisted of activities that the test subjects could easily incorporate into their daily routine.

 

For example, individuals practiced gratitude by writing a thank-you letter to someone who had played an important role in their lives and trained their appreciation of beauty by paying attention to moments and situations in which they felt admiration for something beautiful.

 

Individuals also learned to express gratitude to people possessing special abilities and talents.

Character strengths and their connection with wellbeing is an important research field in positive psychology. This new research thread focuses on positive characteristic or traits.

 

In recent years, experts have directed their study toward discovering what makes life most worth living – what constitutes life satisfaction.

Experts say this emerging research directions of positive psychology focuses on topics that have long been neglected by psychology.

 

 

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Mind games: Mental exercises are key to better brain function - The Spokesman-Review

Mind games: Mental exercises are key to better brain function  - The Spokesman-Review | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Go ahead — do it: Grab a pencil. Right now. Write your name backward. And upside down. Awkward, right?
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More Evidence That Mindfulness Meditation Is Good For The Brain

More Evidence That Mindfulness Meditation Is Good For The Brain | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Scientists have found that a mindfulness meditation practice is linked with actual physical changes in the brain -- changes that may even have protective effects against mental illness.

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5 Ways To Stay Happy No Matter What Happens:george PH

5 Ways To Stay Happy No Matter What Happens:george PH | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Most people have no control over their emotional well-being. They feel ecstatic when good stuff happens and depressed when things go wrong. Their lives are rollercoaster rides: sometimes up, sometimes way down.

 

But what if you could be happy no matter what happens?

 

1. Stop Chasing and Start Living


2. Assume Responsibility


3. Stop Seeking Stimulation


4. Take Action

 

5. Expect Nothing

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» Do You Fall into This Happiness Trap? - Gretchen Rubin

» Do You Fall into This Happiness Trap? - Gretchen Rubin | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
It's very easy to fall into the happiness trap of false choices -- of thinking you can either do X or Y, and those are the only two choices you have.
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Do You Love Paradoxes? Embrace Happiness Paradoxes.

Do You Love Paradoxes? Embrace Happiness Paradoxes. | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

I’ve always loved paradoxes and koans, and was very struck by an observation by physicist Niels Bohr: “There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true."

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Inquiry and naming~Practices to dispel the trance:Tara Brach

Inquiry and naming~Practices to dispel the trance:Tara Brach | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Sometimes, when our carefully constructed lives seem to be falling apart – when we get a divorce, lose a business, or are laid off, for example – we can torure and berate ourselves with stories about how we’re failures, what we could have done better, how no one cares about us. Yet, this response of course only digs us deeper into what I call “the trance of unworthiness.”

 

Distracted by our judgments, we are unable to recognize the raw pain of our emotions. In order to begin the process of waking up, we need to deepen our attention and touch our real experience.

 

One tool of mindfulness that can cut through our numbing trance is inquiry. As we ask ourselves questions about our experience, our attention gets engaged. We might begin by scanning our body, noticing what we are feeling, especially in the throat, chest, abdomen and stomach, and then asking “What wants my attention right now?” or “What is asking for acceptance?” Then we attend with genuine interest and care, listening to our heart, body and mind.

 

Inquiry is not a kind of analytic digging—we are not trying to figure out “Why do I feel this sadness?” This would only stir up more thoughts. In contrast to the approach of Western psychology, in which we might delve into further stories in order to understand what caused a current situation, the intention of inquiry is to awaken to our experience exactly as it is in this present moment. While inquiry may expose judgments and thoughts about what we feel is wrong, it focuses on our immediate feelings and sensations.


It’s important to approach inquiry with a genuine attitude of unconditional friendliness. If I were to ask myself what wants attention with even the slightest aversion, I would only deepen my self-judgment. It may take some practice to learn how to question ourselves with the same kindness and care we would show to a troubled friend.

 

Naming or noting is another tool of traditional mindfulness practice that we can apply when we’re lost. Mental noting, like inquiry, helps us recognize with care and gentleness the passing flow of thoughts, feelings and sensations. If I am feeling anxious and disconnected before giving a talk, for example, I often pause, ask myself what is happening or what wants my attention. With a soft mental whisper I’ll name what I’m aware of: “afraid, afraid, tight, tight.” If I notice myself anxiously assuming that my talk will be boring and fall flat, I simply continue naming: “story about blowing it, fear of rejection,” then, “judging, judging.” If instead of noting I try to ignore this undercurrent of fear, I carry it into my talk and end up speaking in an unnatural and insincere way. The simple action of having named the anxiety building before my talk opens my awareness. Anxiety may still be present, but the care and wakefulness I cultivate through noting allows me to feel more at home with myself.

 

Like inquiry, noting is an opportunity to communicate unconditional friendliness to our inner life. If fear arises and we pounce on it with a name, “Fear! Gotcha!” we’re only creating more tension. Naming an experience is not an attempt to nail a unpleasant experience or make it go away. Rather, it is a soft and gentle way of saying, “I see you, fear, anger, etc.” This attitude of Radical Acceptance makes it safe for the frightened and vulnerable parts of our being to let themselves be known.

 

The practices of inquiry and noting are actually ways to wake us up to the fact that we are suffering. Caught up in our stories, we can effectively deny the truth of our experience. I sometimes spend days being impatient and judgmental towards myself before I stop and pay attention to the feelings and beliefs that have been disconnecting me from my heart. When I do pause and look at what’s happening, I realize that I’ve been caught up in the suffering of anxiety and self-doubt.

 

I have worked with many clients and students who reach a critical gateway when they finally register just how much pain they are in. This juncture is very different from feeling self-pity or complaining about our lives. It is different from focusing on how many problems we have. Rather, seeing and feeling the degree of suffering we are living with reconnects us to our heart.

 

Recognizing that we are suffering is freeing—self-judgment falls away and we can regard ourselves with kindness. When we offer to ourselves the same quality of unconditional friendliness that we would offer to a friend, we stop denying our suffering. And, most importantly, as we figuratively sit beside ourselves and inquire, listen and name our experience, we can begin to open our heart in tenderness for the suffering before us.

From Radical Acceptance (2003)

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Research finds practicing retrieval is best tool for learning

Research finds practicing retrieval is best tool for learning | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The time students invest in rereading or reviewing their notes would be better spent practicing retrieval to ensure better learning, according to new research from Purdue University.
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What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life? - Eric Barker

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life? - Eric Barker | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

1) Get out in nature:

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there's research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise:

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter, happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family:

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (approximately an extra $131,232 a year.) Not feeling socially connected can make you stupider and kill you. Loneliness can lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The longest lived people on the planet all place a strong emphasis on social engagement and good relationships are more important to a long life than even exercise. Friends are key to improving your life. Share good news and enthusiatically respond when others share good news with you to improve your relationships. Want to instantly be happier? Do something kind for them.

4) Express gratitude:

It will make you happier.

It will improve your relationships.

It can make you a better person.

It can make life better for everyone around you.

5) Meditate:

Meditation can increase happiness, meaning in life, social support and attention span whie reducing anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Along similar lines, prayer can make you feel better -- even if you're not religious.

6) Get enough sleep:

You can't cheat yourself on sleep and not have it affect you. Being tired actually makes it harder to be happy. Lack of sleep = more likely to get sick. "Sleeping on it" does improve decision making. Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically. There is such a thing as beauty sleep.

Naps are great too. Naps increase alertness and performance on the job, enhance learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones. Here's how to improve your naps.

7) Challenge yourself:

Learning another language can keep your mind sharp. Music lessons increase intelligence. Challenging your beliefs strengthens your mind. Increasing willpower just takes a little effort each day and it's more responsible for your success than IQ. Not getting an education or taking advantage of opportunities are two of the things people look back on their lives and regret the most.

8) Laugh:

People who use humor to cope with stress have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, experience less pain during dental work and live longer. Laughter should be like a daily vitamin. Just reminiscing about funny moments can improve your relationship. Humor has many benefits.

9) Touch someone:

Touching can reduce stress, improve team performance, and help you be persuasive. Hugs make you happier. Sex may help prevent heart attacks and cancer, improve your immune system and extend your life.

10) Be optimistic:

Optimism can make you healthier, happier and extend your life. The Army teaches it in order to increase mental toughness in soldiers. Being overconfident improves performance.

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Constant Complaining: Does It Serve Us Well? | Toni Bernhard, J.D.

Constant Complaining: Does It Serve Us Well? | Toni Bernhard, J.D. | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Our everyday complaints add stress and dissatisfaction to our lives.

 

“Complaint” is a good word to describe those circumstances of our lives that we wish were different, whether we’re dissatisfied about the small stuff (can’t find the sock in the dryer) or the more important stuff (how someone treats us). Even if a complaint is justified (the neighbor’s dog barks too much), it’s still a complaint, meaning that it qualifies as yet another item of dissatisfaction in our lives. The purpose of becoming aware of our complaints is to help us recognize the dissatisfaction that is present.

 

Try this exploration process for yourself:

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201206/constant-complaining-does-it-serve-us-well

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