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Just One Thing

What Are You Learning?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.22.2015 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

As a therapist, I ask questions for a living. Plus I've been married a long time through thick and thin, and raised two kids. As they say in medicine: good judgment comes from experience... and experience comes from bad judgment. So I offer some fruits of my bad judgments!

What Is an Open Heart?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2015 | 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 08.24.2015 | 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...

Do You Believe in Love?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.03.2015 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Do you believe in love? The Practice: Trust in love. Why? Take a breath right now, and notice how abundant the air is, full of life-giving oxygen o...

Do You Accept The Gift?

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 07.28.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The Practice: Receive generosity. Why? Life gives to each one of us in so many ways. For starters, there's the bounty of the senses -- including ch...

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...

See the Person Behind the Eyes

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 06.22.2015 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who is behind the mask? The Practice: See the person behind the eyes. Why? Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona that hides our deepest ...

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.)

Refill Your Cupboard

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.29.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Are you self-nurturing? The Practice: Refill your cupboard. Why? Nothing changes a woman's life like a child, especially her first one. Raising ch...

Lower Your Stress

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.08.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Sure there's a lot to do, but avoid running around like the Energizer Bunny more than is needed, being perfectionistic, or staying busy as a way to avoid certain feelings. Every so often, stop all that doing for a bit.

Enjoy 4 Kinds of Peace

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.25.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

In particular, enjoy your peacefulness, wherever you find it. In our culture of pressure, invasive demands for attention, and jostling busyness, inner peace must be protected. When you experience it, enjoy it, which will help it sink into you, weaving its way into your brain so it increasingly becomes the habit of your mind.

Be Amazed

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.19.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Are you paying attention? The Practice: Be amazed. Why? Last night, stressing about undone tasks, I glanced in a mirror and saw my t-shirt...

Be Mind Full of Good

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.11.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Life is often hard. To cope with hard things, to be effective and successful, or simply to experience ordinary well-being, we need resources inside, inner strengths like resilience, compassion, gratitude and other positive emotions, self-worth and insight.

Don't Rain on the Parade

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

It's OK to be quiet, spacious, even silent. OK to take some time to let things air out and take more shape before you respond. Even if your deep-down view is that this idea is insane, disastrous, or worse -- often you don't have to say anything at all and it will collapse on its own.

Kindness to You Is Kindness to Me; Kindness to Me Is Kindness to You

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

It's as if we are connected in a vast web. For better or worse, what you do to others ripples back to you; what you do to yourself ripples out to others. Recognizing this in your belly and bones will change your life for the better. And change the lives of others for the better as well.

Grow a Key Inner Strength

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.20.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

We all have issues -- including demands upon us, stresses, illnesses, losses, vulnerabilities and pain. Of course, many of our issues -- in the broad sense -- are related to important sources of fulfillment, such as starting a business or raising a family; still, there's some kind of challenge.

Feel Whole

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

With moments of practice that add up over time, you will feel more like a whole person, less fragmented and partial, less yanked this way and that by competing desires in your head.

Do Freely

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.30.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Try to experience doing as living. The sense of living then moves to the foreground, with doing as a matter-of-fact, no-big-deal, expression of embodied life. It's a subtle shift, but a powerful one.

Rest in Center

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us to center, while others disturb and disperse us.

Relax Needless Fear Around Others

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Enjoy the sense of freedom this practice brings, the greater ease with others, the confidence. Notice how you can be more relaxed, patient, open, and caring with other people when you are not afraid.

Choose to Love

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.11.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Let love be there alongside whatever else is present in your relationship with the other person. There is love... and there is also seeing what is true about the other person, yourself, and circumstances affecting both of you.