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Just One Thing

Get Out of the War

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.12.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

See the suffering in the other people and yourself, and see if you can have compassion for all parties. The world outside may not change. But if you end the war in your own head, you'll feel better and act better. Which just might help the world around you to change for the better as well.

Drop the Load

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Wisdom is choosing a greater happiness over a lesser one. Sometimes you have to give up the lesser rewards of the new thing for the greater rewards of allowing some new space to clear in your life.

Cultivate Goodwill

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 02.26.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Put whatever happened in perspective. The effects of most events fade with time. They're also part of a larger whole, the great majority of which is usually fine.

Relax, You're Going to Be Criticized

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 02.19.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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. Wha...

Transform Ill Will

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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 person taking potshots at you in her mind?

Accept Dependence

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 04.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Accepting dependence brings you into harmony with the way it actually is. All things, from gophers to galaxies, arise and pass away in dependence on all other things. Dependence is nothing to be ashamed of, in spite of our culture's hyper-emphasis on independence.

Come to Center

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 03.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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 ...

Bless

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Find your warmth and good wishes amidst the mental clutter, like hearing wind chimes outside amidst storm and rain.

Drop the 'Shoulds'

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 12.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

At bottom, "shoulds" are not about events. They're about what you want to experience (especially emotions and sensations) if your demands on reality are met, or what you fear you'll experience if they're not.

One Breath at a Time

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The breath is always available as an object of attention, whether formally in meditation or informally as a way to recenter yourself. Track the breath in yourself, and know yourself more deeply. Track the breath in others, and know them more deeply.

See Deep Wants

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.17.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Imagine your deepest wants like a soft warm current at your back, gently and powerfully carrying you forward along the long road ahead. How would this feel?

See Good Intentions

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.12.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Recognizing the positive intentions in others, we feel safer, more supported, and happier. And when others feel that you get their good intentions, they feel seen, appreciated, and more inclined to treat you well.

Let It R.A.I.N.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.04.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

How can we reclaim, use, enjoy, and be at peace with our whole estate -- without being overwhelmed by its occasional swamps and fumes?

Find Your Own Way

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 11.03.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Did you truly choose this path? The Practice: Find your own way. Why? The human body has about 100 trillion cells (plus another 10 quadrillion micro...

See What's Likable

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Your brain continually tracks whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In essence, is it a carrot, a stick, or safely ignored? Naturally, we like -- we enjoy -- what's pleasant, dislike what's unpleasant, and wish what's neutral would get pleasant pronto.

Wake Up to Good News

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

The root cause of suffering and harm is ignorance, illusion, not seeing things as they actually are. But when we wake up and see the facts and live in the light, we feel so much freer, at ease, unthreatened, confident, overflowing, loved, and loving.

Leave the Red Zone

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 10.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

In your mind, intend to settle back down. Exhale slowly, twice as long as the inhalation. This helps light up the parasympathetic nervous system. Think of something, anything, that makes you feel safer, more fed and fulfilled, or more appreciated and cared about.

Change the Channel

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What can you do when nothing is working? The Practice: Change the channel. Why? In response to my previous JOT -- Find Stillness -- a wise therapist,...

Let It Go

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.22.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Make space for the disappointment or grieving that's natural when you let go of something that's been important for you. It's normal to feel sad about a loss. Then after a while, it occupies your mind less and less, and you move on to more fruitful things.

Find Stillness

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.15.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Moving toward ultimate matters, and where language fails, you may have a sense of something unchangingly transcendental, divine. Or, perhaps related, an intuition of that which is unconditioned always just prior to the emergence of conditioned phenomena.

Be Home

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 09.08.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Your body and mind want to come home: That's where energy is conserved for the marathon of life, where learning is consolidated, where resources are built rather than expended, and where pains and traumas are healed.

Find What's Sacred

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.24.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Without stress or pressure, see if there could be a deepening commitment to this something sacred. How do you feel about making sanctuary for it, in your attention and intentions, and in how you spend your time and other resources?

Pay Attention

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Controlling your attention -- becoming more able to place it where you want it and keep it there, and more able to pull it away from what's bothersome or pointless -- is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better.

Be Benevolent

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.10.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself.

How To Stop Feeling Rushed

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | Posted 08.02.2013 | Healthy Living
Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

How do you feel when you're rushing? Perhaps there's a bit of positive excitement, but if you're like me, there's mostly, if not entirely, a sense of tension, discomfort, and anxiety. This kind of stress isn't pleasant for the mind, and over time it's really bad for the body.