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.
Saturday, January 10, 2015 · 1 Comment
Depression is the brain’s ultimate avoidance strategy.
For over 350 million people worldwide, it saps the ability to engage life and creates resistance around doing things that matter. Whether you want to work on a new project, get out and exercise, or sit and meditate – whatever it is that is in the direction of growth – the resistance of depression comes alive.
In Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, I explore some of the neuroscience behind what keeps a person stuck in a depressive loop and how to get unstuck. In the process, we discover a host of natural anti-depressants.
Not only can we create an anti-depressant brain, but we can also lay the tracks for a more enduring happiness.
Understanding how depression impacts the brain gives us clues about our natural anti-depressants. For example, studies have shown that a depressed brain has significantly more activity in the right prefrontal cortex than the left prefrontal cortex (PFC).
- The right side is associated with avoidance, negative emotions and stuckness.
- The left side is associated with approaching, positive emotions and resiliency.
Relapse prevention is about resiliency so . . .
Continue Reading →
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 · Leave a comment
Whether we like it or not, this time of year cues our minds to reflect and think about habits we want to change. If you’re reading this blog, odds are one of those habits are bringing mindfulness into your life more and allowing this to be the year where it sticks. Or maybe you’re also looking to change other habits that run alongside your values like being more self-compassion, living alongside your values, playing more or creating more mastery in life. All of these are basic elements that help uncover happiness.
Whatever the habit is that you want to make, here are a few practical tips to help make your changes stick.
- Know the practice – If you’re trying to integrate the ability to become more present in your daily life, choose what you want to practice. You may want to integrate more formal practice that would come in the form of a sitting meditation or mindful yoga. Or maybe you want to integrate more informal moments of just being present to whatever you are doing. Or maybe both. Or perhaps it’s exercise, better sleep, or being a more present friend. Having an awareness of what you want to do is the first step.
- Set up reminders – As much as we’d like to think, “I got it all up here, I can remember,” it’s important to Continue Reading →
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 · Leave a comment
I was recently interviewing Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier for an upcoming online symposium on Uncovering Happiness. I really enjoyed spending time with him is-it-true-is-it-helpful rapping about what happiness is really about and why mindfulness and compassion can help inspire it. But one of the things that really made me laugh was when he said it can stop you from being an A-hole.
It’s so true and here’s how.
Our inner voices can be a real pain sometimes, critiquing us, telling us what we can’t do or what will go wrong if we try. We wouldn’t want friends that spoke to us this way, so why do we tolerate these voices? They create irritability which only goes onto reinforce the A-holes in our minds. As I mention in my upcoming book Uncovering Happiness, this is a big part of what drives the depression loop.
In a study a few years back Norman Farb and his colleagues at the University of Toronto published a study that showed how practicing mindfulness meditation reduced Continue Reading →
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 · Leave a comment
When it comes to our self-critical thinking, Byron Katie has created a brilliant set of four questions to free us from our negative depressive minds. For example, if you say,
“I’m such an idiot,” we ask 1) Is it true? 2) Is it absolutely true? 3) What happens when you believe that thought? and 4) Who would you be without that thought? The effect of this is that it objectifies the self-judgment, gives us freedom from it and opens us up to a sense of freedom that’s there. They can be really effective.
When it comes to overcoming longstanding emotional struggles we have to not only get space from the self-critical mind, but also encourage the positive beliefs about ourselves that the critical mind has buried. In one part of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion I share the following four questions to work with in order to open us up to possibility, install these positive beliefs a bit more and even encourage positive neuroplasticity. In doing this we can become more confident in ourselves and ultimately more resilient (and a bit happier).
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 · 59 Comments
I’ve recently received the final version of my newest BOOK from my publisher. It’s been a major LABOR OF LOVE and now it’s all READY to go. I couldn’t be happier about how it turned out and I’m celebrating… and I want to share some of the highlights of it with you.
I also want to invite you to the launch celebration – it’s all in the video!