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Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
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Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist 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.

Lower Your Stress

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 6:02 PM

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Can you take a moment?

The Practice:
Lower your stress

Why?

Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture -- a book written for mothers -- focusing on typical situations that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers during...

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Enjoy 4 Kinds of Peace

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 3:38 PM

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What's your sense of peace?


The Practice:
Enjoy four kinds of peace.


Why?

"Peace" can sound merely sentimental or clichéd ("visualize whirled peas"). But deep down, it's what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest...

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Be Amazed

(1) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:26 PM

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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, with its picture of a galaxy and a little sign sticking up out of its outer...

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Be Mind Full of Good

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 4:37 PM

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What's in your mind?

The Practice:
Be mind full of good.

Why?

It's kind of amazing: Right now, what you think and feel, enjoy and suffer, is changing your brain. The brain is the organ that learns, designed by evolution to...

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Don't Rain on the Parade

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 12:35 PM

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

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 12:59 PM

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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 something to do: get on your own side, see the being behind the eyes, take...

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Grow a Key Inner Strength

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 3:55 PM

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What do you need?

The Practice:
Grow a key inner strength.

Why?

We all have issues -- including demands upon us, stresses, illnesses, losses, vulnerabilities and pain. (As Alan Watts put it: "Life is wiggly.") Of course, many of our issues --...

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Feel Whole

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 10:22 AM

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What's left out?

The Practice:
Feel whole.

Why?

When I look back on mistakes I've made -- like dumping my anger on someone, making assumptions in haste, partying too much, losing my nerve, being afraid to...

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Love Freely

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:46 PM

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How do you love?

The Practice:

Love freely.

Why?

In my early 20s, I went through Rolfing, a form of deep-tissue bodywork, and I nervously anticipated the fifth session, the one that goes deep into the belly. But instead of gobs of repressed...

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Do Freely

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 6:20 PM

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What are you doing?

The Practice:
Do freely.

Why?

Most people spend most minutes of most days doing one thing after another. I sure do. Typing these words is a kind of doing, as is driving to work, making dinner, brushing...

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Rest in Center

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 4:47 PM

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Are you all over the place?

The Practice:
Rest in center.

Why?

Gravity and entropy are powerful processes in the natural world. Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in...

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Relax Needless Fear Around Others

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 6:32 PM

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Does it feel safe with other people?

The Practice:
Relax needless fear around others.

Why?

We all know this fear. You're walking down a street, someone you don't know comes toward you, and there's a second or more...

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Choose to Love

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 2:52 PM

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What does your heart say?

The Practice:
Choose to love.

Why?

Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I'll preserve the privacy here so...

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Feel the Support

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 9:37 AM

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What helps you carry your load?

The Practice:
Feel the support.

Why?

We're all carrying a load, including tasks, challenges, worries, inner criticism, mistreatment from others, physical and emotional pain, loss and illness now or later, and everyday stresses and frustrations.

Take...

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Water Your Fruit Tree

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 8:05 AM

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What would bear lots of fruit?

The Practice:
Water your fruit tree.

Why?

My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny -- and it is. Still, I like it. If you don't nourish the things that...

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Enjoy the Freedom Not To

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 5:58 PM

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Do you got to?

The Practice:
Enjoy the freedom not to.

Why?

We're pulled and prodded by financial pressures, commuter traffic, corporate policies, technology, advertising, politics, and the people we work with and live with. As well, internal forces yank...

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Accept Difficulity

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 2:32 PM

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Is it hard?
The Practice:
Accept difficulty.
Why?

Sometimes things are difficult. Your legs are tired and you still have to stay on your feet another hour at work. You love a child who's finding her independence through emotional distance...

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Let Things Change

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 3:35 PM

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What's changing?

The Practice:
Let Things Change

Why?

Lately I've been writing about the fifth of my personal top five practices (all tied for first place): open out, by which I mean relaxing into a growing sense of connection, even...

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Get Out of the War

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 1:30 PM

What are you fighting?

The Practice:
Get out of the war.

Why?

By "war" I mean here a mindset, not combat between nations with tanks and bombs. The "war" I'm referring to is an attitude of conflict and animosity toward a person, object, or condition. Parents can feel at...

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Drop the Load

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 5:17 PM

Are you doing too much?

The Practice:
Drop the load.

Why?

You may have seen the old Mickey Mouse movie in which he is working at a conveyor belt in a factory. More and more widgets come at him that he has to handle, and he gets...

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