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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.

Are You Getting Rope Burn?

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 4:01 PM

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Are you getting rope burn?

The Practice:
Cling less, love more

Why?

As a rock climber and a parent, I know some physical kinds of clinging are good -- like to small holds or small hands!

But clinging as a

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What's Fundamental?

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 12:06 PM

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What's fundamental?

The Practice:
Back to basics.

Why?

In middle school, I thought it would be cool to play a musical instrument, and picked the clarinet. My wise parents rented one rather than buying it, and I started practicing. (In...

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Is Your Mind Wandering?

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 9:31 AM

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Is your mind wandering?

The Practice:
Pay attention.

Why?

Moment to moment, the flows of thoughts and feelings, sensations and desires, and conscious and unconscious processes sculpt your nervous system like water gradually carving furrows and eventually gullies on a...

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Feeling a Little Sour?

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 2:20 PM

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Feeling a little sour?
The Practice:
Drop tart tone.
Why?

Tone matters.

I remember times I felt frazzled or aggravated and then said something with an edge to...

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Are You Hard on Yourself?

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 2:57 PM

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Are you hard on yourself?

The Practice:
Don't beat up yourself.

Why?

The previous JOT -- admit fault and move on -- was about our relationship with other people. This JOT applies the same practice...

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What Gets You Stuck?

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 9:36 AM

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What gets you stuck?

The Practice:
Admit fault and move on.

Why?

Have you ever watched two people quarrel, or otherwise be stuck in a conflict with each other? Usually, if either or both of them simply acknowledged...

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Are You Full to the Rim?

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 9:29 AM

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Are you full to the rim?

The Practice:
Empty the cup.

Why?

Once upon a time, a scholar came to visit a saint. After the scholar had been orating and propounding for a while, the saint proposed some tea....

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Who Are You, Deep Down?

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 9:06 AM

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Who are you, deep down?

The Practice:
Know you're a good person.

Why?

For many of us, perhaps the hardest thing of all is to believe that "I am a good person." We can climb mountains,...

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Is It Truly Urgent?

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 11:21 AM

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Is it truly urgent?

The Practice:
Lower the pressure.

Why?

Things come at us with so much urgency and demand these days. Phones ring, texts buzz, emails pile up, new balls have to be juggled,...

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What's Your Own Role?

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 6:21 AM

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What's your own role?

The Practice:
See your part.

Why?

In situations or relationships with any kind of difficulty -- tension, feeling hurt, conflicts, mismatches of wants... the usual crud -- it's natural to focus on what others have...

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Who Are You Prosecuting?

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 3:58 PM

Who are you prosecuting?

The Practice: Drop the case.

Why?

Lately I've been thinking about a kind of "case" that's been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other...

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What Happens When You Look at Someone?

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 5:22 PM

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What happens when you look at someone?
The Practice:
See beings, not bodies.
Why?

When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: man, woman, your friend...

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Is It Worth It?

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 8:31 AM

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Is it worth it?

The Practice:
Make good bargains.

Why?

Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs.

Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run - getting out in...

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Longing for Love?

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 7:04 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 | 5:02 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 | 4:05 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 | 6:54 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 | 9:23 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 | 4:48 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 | 9:19 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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