Author: Rick Hanson

What happens when you look at someone? The Practice: See beings, not bodies. Why? When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: older, younger, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or...

Are you feeling unneeded pain? The Practice: Minimize painful experiences. Why? Painful experiences range from subtle discomfort to extreme anguish - and there is a place for them. Sorrow can open the heart, anger can highlight injustices, fear can alert you to real threats, and remorse...

Are you holding onto feeling wronged? The Practice: Forgive. Why? Forgiveness is a tricky topic. First, it has two distinct meanings: To give up resentment or anger To pardon an offense; to stop seeking punishment or recompense Here, I am going to focus on the first meaning, which is...

Are some things getting better? The Practice: See progress. Why? There are always things that are getting worse. For example, over the past year, you probably know someone who has become unemployed or ill or both, and there’s more carbon in the atmosphere inexorably heating up the planet. But if...

What do their faces say to you? The Practice: Receive faces. Why? As our ancestors evolved over millions of years in small bands, continually interacting and working with each other, it was vitally important to communicate in hundreds of ways each day. They shared information about external "carrots"...

Humans are vulnerable to being alarmed, manipulated, and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and “paper tigers.” Understanding how your brain became so vigilant and wary, and so easily hijacked by alarm, is the first step toward gaining more control over that ancient circuitry...

How do you talk to people? The Practice: Try a softer tone. Why? Linguists like Deborah Tannen have pointed out that most communications have three elements: Explicit content – “There is no milk in the refrigerator.” Emotional subtext – Could be irritation, blame, accusation Implicit statement about the nature...

What's to like? The Practice: See what's likable. Why? Liking feels good, plus it encourages us to approach and engage the world rather than withdraw from it. Your brain continually tracks whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In essence, is it a carrot, a stick, or safely ignored?...

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