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Buddhas Brain

Welcome Joy

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.20.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What's the spark and what's the fuel? The Practice Welcome joy. Why? Positive emotions - such as feelings of gratitude, love, and confidence - stre...

Take Heart

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.13.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What do you do when the bottom falls out? The Practice: Take heart. Why? It takes heart to live in even ordinary times. By "taking heart," I mean...

Are You Stressed Or Upset?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.18.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

These approaches are not a panacea. They don't always work. It's like training a wild mustang to become a saddle horse: over and over again, you bring gentleness and firmness, you rein in fear and fire and encourage peaceful ease.

Trust Yourself

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.03.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who do you trust? The Practice: Trust yourself. Why? As I grew up, at home and school it felt dangerous to be myself -- my whole self, including th...

What Can You Do When Nothing Is Working?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.27.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What can you do when nothing is working? The Practice: Change the channel. Why? In response to my previous JOT - Find Stillness - a wise therapist,...

When Is It 'Time To Fold 'Em?'

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

When is it "time to fold 'em?" The Practice: Let it go. Why? Most people, me included, are holding onto at least one thing way past its expiration...

What Is To Like?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.16.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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 withdr...

Are You Thinking Too Much?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.01.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Are you thinking too much? The Practice: Rest your weary head. Why? The traditional saying that's this week's practice has been sinking in for me l...

Where Are You?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.31.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Let go into feeling buoyed by the uprising swelling of this moment congealing into existence, endlessly renewed by the next emerging. Open to trusting in this process, like a wave continually carrying you even as it continually breaks into foam.

Are You Getting Rope Burn?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.23.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Clinging is different from healthy desire, where we have wholesome values, aims, purposes, aspiration, and commitments -- without being attached to the results.

What's Fundamental?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.17.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

I and others tend to skip over the fundamentals for a variety of reasons, including impatience, laziness, or a kind of arrogance that thinks we can sort of get away with not paying our dues.

Are You Hard on Yourself?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.11.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Some people err on the side of denying or defending these faults (a word I use broadly here). But most people go to the other extreme, repeatedly criticizing themselves in the foreground of awareness, or having a background sense of guilt, unworthiness, and low confidence.

Busy, Busy?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.14.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

But when you get some rest, and get more rested, you have more energy, mental clarity, resilience for the hard things, patience, and wholehearted caring for others.

What Do You Want?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.08.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Much of what we want to avoid -- like the discomfort of speaking out, some kinds of psychological or spiritual growth, standing up for others, exercising, being emotionally vulnerable, or really going after one's dreams -- would actually be really good for oneself and others.

What's Weighing You Down?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.30.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What's in your own backpack? If you're like most of us, you've got too many items on each day's to-do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements with other people. And too many "shoulds," worries, guilts and regrets.

Are Some Things Getting Better?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.24.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Are some things getting better? The Practice: See progress. Why? There are always things that are getting worse. For example, over the past year, y...

Are You Holding Onto Feeling Wronged?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.28.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

As best you can, take care of yourself and those you care for. Protect yourself against ongoing or potential harms. Do what you can to repair the damage done to you. Keep making your life a good one.

What Is an Open Heart?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What is an open heart? The Practice: Put no one out of your heart. Why? We all know people who are, ah, . . . challenging. It could be a critical pa...

When Have People Been Caring?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.24.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

When Have People Been Caring? The Practice: Feel cared about. Why? Everyone knows what it's like to care about someone. Remember being with a frie...

Who Do You Argue With?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.07.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who do you argue with? The Practice: Don't quarrel. Why? It's one thing to stick up for yourself and others. But it's a different matter to get ca...

What's in Your Heart to Say?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.16.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Of course, the most important person to speak truly to is yourself, with inner speech. Come to peace with the truth: the facts, your experiences and intentions, the goodness inside your heart, what's led to what for better or worse.

What Do You Notice in People?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.26.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What do you notice in people? The Practice: See the good in others. Why? Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At...

What Do You Need?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.18.2016 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What do you need? The Practice: Kindness to you is kindness to me; kindness to me is kindness to you. Why? I usually describe a practice as somethi...

What's Your Heart Saying?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 05.14.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What's Your Heart Saying? The Practice: Speak from the heart. Why? One Christmas I hiked down into the Grand Canyon, whose bottom lay a vertical m...

Being at Peace With the Pain of Others

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.08.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Humans are an empathic, compassionate, and loving species, so it is natural to feel sad, worried, or fiery about the troubles and pain of other people. (And about those of cats and dogs and other animals, but I'll focus on human beings here.)