On this page you will find articles, free audio and video, and other resources that may give you tips on working toward healing and growth. Whether you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or addictive behaviors, no matter the struggles you come here with, this is a place for you to get some tips to support you.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 · 1 Comment
Thanks to pioneers like Robert Emmons and Michael McCollough, we now know that gratitude can have an enormously positive effect on our mental health. Not only that, thanks to the advent of neuroplasticity, practicing gratitude can even help shape your brain in ways that promote resilience and well-being.
If you need a boost on ways to practice gratitude, check out my post on 5 Steps to Gratitude and Lovingkindness: Mondays Mindful Quote with Hafiz.
But this post isn’t just about gratitude, it’s about taking it a step further which moves into another stage called altruism. Altruistic behavior is all about acting selflessly to help serve or benefit another. Altruistic behavior has been found to be a predictor of happiness and life satisfaction (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Altruism is also tied to another hot topic in our culture today and that is compassion and kindness. In this blog I have written a number of posts about compassion and kindness because they are such good nutrition for our health and well-being. Compassion has been called an antidote to anger and kindness has been called and antidote to fear.
Now, it could be argued that because I brought up all the personal benefits you may experience from engaging with kindness, compassion and altruism that these endeavors are not pure because you know they will serve your mental health. In other words, they’re ego-driven. Try and set this argument aside for now as we move into the social implication of kindness, compassion and altruism.
While the brain takes longer to register compassion for social pain than individual pain, the effect is longer lasting when awareness around social pain settles in. There are certain tragedies in this Continue Reading →
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 · 5 Comments
It’s almost unbelievable.
The death tolls continue to rise and people’s lives continue to be turned inside out and upside down from historic recent earthquakes, hurricanes, massive fires and the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States in Las Vegas.
These disasters are real and at the same time it brings people together, taps our hearts and creates an outpouring of compassionate action that unveils the best of our humanity.
At the same time, we can get quickly swept up in the stories in our minds that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Our brains are designed to project into the future and attempt to predict the worst case scenarios so we can be prepared.
It doesn’t do us any good to continue in a state of auto-pilot with a hyperaroused nervous system, spreading worry, negativity and catastrophe throughout our social circle. Not only are our storylines a source of suffering, but spreading these catastrophic stories through our social networks creates an emotional contagious of emotional suffering.
We already get enough of that through the news. The news knows that our eyeballs get fused to the screen at signs of danger and plays on it so it can sell more soap. It’s a business and the bottom line is truly to make more money and it knows how to play on our concerns. This is the same for MSNBC, CNN, and Fox news – money has no party loyalty.
But there’s a few practices in times of tragedy to work to balance our minds, soothe our nervous systems and inspire connection.
Step 1: Neutralize the Negativity Bias
One way to work with this negativity bias we all have and one that can grow into a strength – Continue Reading →
Thursday, September 28, 2017 · Leave a comment
We are all looking for ways to make the changes we want to make more sustainable. When it comes to mindfulness it’s no different.
Listen in on this video where Melli O’Brien (aka MrsMindfulness) interviews me on this very topic and pick up some key tips on how to create lasting change.
One way that I try and make lasting change around mindfulness (and life) possible for everyone is through a 6 month program called A Course in Mindful Living where people get unparalleled support in personalized mentorship, a highly refined program based in science and experience and an engaged supportive community. If you’re interested in knowing more and ready to make this change for good, it begins October 2, 2017. Come check it out!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 · 4 Comments
There’s no question in my mind that we all want to be happy.
For some people happiness comes easier than others, but what we’re starting to understand is that happiness — that sense of connection and ease of appreciating the good moments and being more graceful and resilient during the difficult ones — is a skill and strength that we can all build and make sustainable.
Here are Three Simple Ways to Increase Happiness in Daily Life
(Note: Set all judgments aside when you read this, practice these techniques for yourself. Also, know that in making any habit stick, it takes time, there are no shortcuts, but stick with these three simple ways, be forgiving when you stray, learn from the obstacles and come back again and again – let experience be your teacher.)
- Relax your nervous system – We happen to live in a world that is more rapid than ever. It’s no wonder that stress and anxiety are on the rise. It’s important to literally relax your body a few times a day. Take a deep breath, scan your body, and soften or stretch the muscles that are tense. Make this a practice throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how much this can help. Here’s a short meditation that can help with this.
- Be tender with yourself – If there’s one constant in life besides death and taxes, it’s stress and pain. We all experience it, it’s inevitable and there’s a common humanity to it. The key here is to learn to get better and better Continue Reading →
Sunday, September 10, 2017 · Leave a comment
I sometimes lead the Sunday Morning drop-in meditation at The Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles. In this particular drop-in I led one of the early meditations in A Course in Mindful Living. In the course you have the option of doing 10, 20, or 30 minute versions of this practice.
In this meditation, the intention is to play with the balance of being deeply relaxed, yet completely awake to the moment.
For now, sit or lie down and enjoy this practice!