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Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
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Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence.

You can follow Rick on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rickhansonphd.

Entries by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Longing for Love?

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 8:04 AM

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Longing for love?

The Practice:
Hug the monkey.

Why?

Your brain evolved in three stages (to simplify a complex process):


  • Reptile -- Brainstem, focused on avoiding harm

  • Mammal -- Limbic system, focused on approaching...

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What Do Their Faces Say to You?

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 6:02 PM

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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....

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Juggling Bricks?

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 5:05 PM

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Juggling bricks?

The Practice:
Step into the cloud.

Why?

I had a light bulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a...

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What is Living You?

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 7:54 AM

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What is living you?

The Practice:
Give over to good.

Why?

In every moment, you and I and everyone and everything else -- from quantum foam to fleeting thoughts, intimate relationships, rainforest ecosystems, and the...

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What Matters Most to You?

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 10:23 AM

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What matters most to you?

The Practice:
Remember the big things.

Why?

In every life, reminders arrive about what's really important.

I've recently received one myself, in a form that's already come to countless people and will come to countless more: news...

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Busy, Busy?

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 5:48 PM

Busy, busy?

The Practice:
Rest.

Why?

This practice is definitely a case of teaching what you need to learn: I've been working through a big bucket of tasks lately with little chance to rest. (I console myself with knowing that the bucket...

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What Do You Want?

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 10:19 AM

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What do you want?

The Practice:
Hold wants lightly.

Why?

Getting caught up in wanting -- wanting both to get what's pleasant and to avoid what's unpleasant -- is a major source of suffering and harm for oneself and others.

First,...

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What's Weighing You Down?

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 3:53 PM

What's weighing you down?

The Practice:
Lighten up.

Why?

On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight.

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...

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Are Some Things Getting Better?

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 10:54 AM

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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...

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Why Do We Have Cheerleaders?

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 10:09 AM

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Why do we have cheerleaders?

The Practice:
Don't rain on the parade.

Why?

Let's say you've had an interesting idea or moment of inspiration, or thought of a new project, or felt some enthusiasm bubbling up inside you. Your notions are...

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What's the Most Important Thing?

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 1:52 PM

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What's the most important thing?

The Practice:
Keep your eyes on the prize.

Why?

Have you heard this saying?

The most important thing is to remember the most important thing.

What are the most important things...

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Are You Holding Onto Feeling Wronged?

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 12:49 PM

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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...

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What Are You Learning?

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 1:17 PM

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What are you learning?

The Practice:
Ask questions.

Why?

My dad grew up on a ranch in North Dakota. He has a saying from his childhood - you may have heard it elsewhere -- that's: "You learn more by listening than...

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What Is an Open Heart?

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 1:22 PM

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 parent, a bossy supervisor, a relative who has you walking on eggshells, a nice but...

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When Have People Been Caring?

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 2:32 PM

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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 friend, a mate, a pet: you feel warmly connected, and want him...

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Do You Believe in Love?

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 7:24 PM

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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 offered freely by trees and other green growing things. You can't see air, but it's...

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Do You Accept The Gift?

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 12:04 PM

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 chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.

What does life give you?

Consider the...

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Who Do You Argue With?

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 2:38 PM

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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 caught up in wrangles, contentiousness, squabbles...in a word: quarrels.

Similarly, it's one thing to...

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What's in Your Heart to Say?

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 11:30 AM

The Practice:
Speak truly.

Why?

It's been said that the most powerful tool for physical health is a fork (or spoon), since the choices you make with it determine the good or bad things you put into your body.

In the same way, perhaps the most powerful tool for...

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What Do You Notice in People?

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 12:10 PM

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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 work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of...

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