THE BLOG
04/24/2014 10:19 pm ET Updated Jun 24, 2014

Thriving With the Power of Presence

Daniel J. Siegel, MD

I'm excited to join in the exploration of healthy ways of living at the upcoming conference, Thrive, with Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski. I'm looking forward to discussing the importance of cultivating meaningful connections in this digital age with Arianna and Alanis Morissette. Along with many others at this two-day event, including Katie Couric, mindfulness researcher Richie Davidson and songwriter Peter Himmelman, I look forward to immersing ourselves in the art and science of living a meaningful and compassionate life. This is a gathering to explore Arianna's call to action, beautifully expressed in her new book, Thrive:

The relentless pursuit of the traditional measures of success -- money and power -- has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and ironically our careers. Money and power are only part of the equation. What's missing is "The Third Metric," a combination of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.

This is a time in our scientific understanding -- which we now have empirical support -- revealing that living what the Greeks called a life of eudaimonia -- one of connection, meaning, equanimity and compassion -- not only feels good but is associated with healthy changes in the very ways in which our genes are expressed to help prevent inflammatory diseases, improvements in how we maintain our chromosomes to maintain the health of our cells and how our immune functions prevent and fight infection. These research-proven findings reveal how being present for life is at the heart of thriving. When we are present, we are curious, open, accepting and loving -- the coal state of being that enables us to live a life of clarity, compassion and connection. Now is the time to develop such presence in our interpersonal and internal lives and support the cultural shift in how we define what it means to thrive in a life of well-being.

Pictured: Arianna Huffington, Alanis Morissette, Dr. Dan Siegel, Jon Kabat-Zinn