"Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could hack into our own brains and rewire them to be happier?
Science has shown we actually can thanks to a phenomenon called experience-dependent neuroplasticity. "It’s a fancy term to say the brain learns from our experiences," says Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of the bookHardwiring Happiness. "As we understand better and better how this brain works, it gives us more power to change our mind for the better."
"How do you stay resilient and resourceful when disasters threaten to swamp your boat? When a job is lost, a relationship unravels, cancer is diagnosed, when insecurity and distress seep through your circles of families and friends, how do you let yourself be “affected but not infected?”
Here are six practical tools and resources I’ve found most effective in 20 years of helping my clients cope skillfully with the challenges and crises of their lives."
My friends, lets grow up. Lets stop pretending we dont know the deal here. Or if we truly havent noticed, lets wake up and notice.
Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost. Its simple how could we have missed it for so long?
Lets grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings, But please, lets not be so shocked by them. Lets not act so betrayed, As though life had broken her secret promise to us. Impermanence is lifes only promise to us, And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability. To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild, And her compassion exquisitely precise: Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth, She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride lets give ourselves to it! Lets stop making deals for a safe passage: There isnt one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children anymore. The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost. Lets dance the wild dance of no hope!
"If we could literally reach into you and remove all your fears – every one of them – how different would your life be? Think about it. If nothing stopped you from following your dreams, your life would probably be very different. This is what the dying learn. Dying makes our worst fears come forward to be faced directly. It helps us see the different life that is possible, and in that vision, takes the rest of our fears away.
Unfortunately, by the time the fear is gone most of us are too sick or too old to do those things we would have done before, had we not been afraid. […] Thus, one lesson becomes clear: we must transcend our fears while we can still do those things we dream of."
As a long-time meditator, I’ve learned that stillness is not just an external posture. Well, it’s that too. But there is a deeper dimension to stillness. Knowing how to access that stillness through meditation can turn impatience on its head. Here are 4 simple tips for how to be still when you meditate and 5 key lessons I’ve learned about the life-changing power of stillness.
"If you’re anything like the typical human, then you have dreams and goals in your life. In fact, there are probably many things — large and small — that you would like to accomplish. But there is one common mistake we often make when it comes to setting goals. (I know I’ve committed this error many times myself.)
The problem is this: we set a deadline, but not a schedule.
Instead of giving yourself a deadline to accomplish a particular goal and then feeling like a failure if you don’t achieve it, you should choose a goal that is important to you and then set a schedule to work towards it consistently. That might not sound like a big shift, but it is."
"Mindful awareness can be considered as a way of being, more than something that involves our “doing” something. Engage a certain “state of mind” that has the range of qualities we have heard repeatedly even though there is no fixed and final definition of mindfulness: How we pay attention (different from awareness), on purpose (but it doesn’t have to be done with active effort, it can in fact be an intention that happens “automatically” as a habit of being, not a consciously thought out plan of carrying out a way of focusing attention) to the unfolding of present moment experience (but, in fact, we can pay attention to memories of the past or plans for the future—but do so…) with a sense alertness, attention to detail, and with kindness and compassion."
Resilience is the ability to adapt to stress and change, to bounce back and rebound from negative experiences and the wear and tear of daily life.
Resilience is the ability to adapt to stress and change, to bounce back and rebound from negative experiences and the wear and tear of daily life. Resilience is a skills set that may be learned and practiced and benefits grow and accumulate over time.
These are a few of the myriad ways to build and reinforce resilience:"
By Leo Babauta I was talking to a loved one yesterday about her fears, and several times made the comment, “Everyone has these fears. Everyone.” And this is true. The fears and problems you have are not unique to you.
"Hwansan Sunim is anything but your typical Harvard grad. After college, he earned a post-graduate degree in psychology at NYU, and then rerouted his life to South Korea, where he became a Buddhist monk and spent 25 years in a monastery studying the principles of Seon Buddhism.
"The past few years have been marked by two major trends in the science of a meaningful life.
One is that researchers continued to add sophistication and depth to our understanding of positive feelings and behaviors. Happiness is good for you, but not all the time; empathy ties us together, and can overwhelm you; humans are born with an innate sense of fairness and morality, that changes in response to context. This has been especially true of the study of mindfulness and attention, which is producing more and more potentially life-changing discoveries.
The other factor involves intellectual diversity. The turn from the study of human dysfunction to human strengths and virtues may have started in psychology, with the positive psychology movement, but that perspective spread to adjacent disciplines like neuroscience and criminology, and from there to fields like sociology, economics, and medicine. Across all these fields, we’re seeing more and more support for the idea that empathy, compassion, and happiness are more than you-have-it-or-not capacities, but skills that can be cultivated by individuals and by groups of people through deliberate decisions.
Here are 10 scientific insights published in peer-reviewed journals from the past year that we anticipate will be cited in scientific studies, help shift public debate, and change individual behavior in the year to come."