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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.

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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Cultivate Goodwill

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Do people ever make you mad?

The Practice: Cultivate goodwill.

Why?

As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination to...

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Relax, You're Going to Be Criticized

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 5:08 PM

What are you bracing against?

The Practice:
Relax, you're going to be criticized.

Why?

The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us -- me included -- spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep...

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Transform Ill Will

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 10:15 AM

Do you bear a grudge?
The Practice:
Transform Ill Will.
Why?

Goodwill and ill will are about intention: The will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and especially thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another...

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Accept Dependence

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 10:20 AM

What makes your life?

The Practice:
Accept dependence.

Why?

Want to try a little experiment?

Stop breathing. Really. For a few seconds, maybe a few dozen seconds, and see how it feels.

For me, this experiment is an intimate way to experience a deep truth, that we live dependently,...

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Come to Center

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 3:39 PM

To what is your mind given?
The Practice:
Come to center.
Why?

I'm old enough to remember a time when people usually answered "good" when you asked them the standard, "How are you?" (often said "harya?"). These days the answer is commonly "busy."

In the last...

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Bless

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 3:35 PM

Wishing well?
The Practice:
Bless.
Why?

Lately, I've been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). You might ask yourself the same question, knowing that you can cluster related practices under a single umbrella, your list may...

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