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What is self-compassion and why is it beneficial? - Maintaining a Mindful Life - Monash University Explore the difference between self-criticism and self-compassion in this exercise. Step 1 Bring to mind someone you care about who is experiencing some difficulty – perhaps a failure or setback, some misfortune, or is otherwise having a difficult time. Someone you care about who is suffering. Reflect for a moment on how you have tended to respond to them. Notice how it feels in your body as you remember showing up for them in this way. You may like to write this down or record your thoughts in a way that’s comfortable for you. Step 2 Now take a moment to reflect on a time when you experienced some difficulty – a failure or setback, some misfortune, or were otherwise having a difficult time. Reflect for a moment on how you responded to yourself. How does this feel in your body? Again, you may like to write this down or record your thoughts in a way that’s comfortable for you. What did you find out? Did you discover that you tend to be much tougher on yourself than on others? What’s the impact?

practicing self confession Rewiring the brain for happiness - Maintaining a Mindful Life - Monash University The human brain evolved over aeons to help us survive. Our ancestors had to constantly scan the environment for very real physical threats. If they heard a rustling in the bushes they were much more likely to survive if they assumed it might be a sabre-toothed tiger until proven otherwise, than if they assumed it was a bunny rabbit and kept gazing at the pretty sunset. This got hardwired into their brains, and even into their DNA. And this negativity bias has been passed down the generations to us, since having this negativity bias meant they were much more likely to survive long enough to reproduce and pass on their genes. This is why we have an innate negativity bias. The smart ancestor did make the effort, however, to pay attention to what was actually there so that threats could be responded to on their merits and we didn’t have to keep running from the phantoms of our own imagination. Relating to ourselves compassionately is one way of reprogramming ourselves. Savouring Gratitude

Exercise 1: How would you treat a friend? Please take out a sheet of paper and answer the following questions: First, think about times when a close friend feels really bad about him or herself or is really struggling in some way. How would you respond to your friend in this situation (especially when you’re at your best)? Please write down what you typically do, what you say, and note the tone in which you typically talk to your friends.Now think about times when you feel bad about yourself or are struggling. How do you typically respond to yourself in these situations? Why not try treating yourself like a good friend and see what happens?

Confronting the Negativity Bias Posted at 13:24h in Blog by Rick Hanson My previous post used the example of Stephen Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive” as a timely illustration of a larger point: humans evolved to be fearful — since that helped keep our ancestors alive — so we are very vulnerable to being frightened and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and “paper tigers.” With this march, Colbert is obviously mocking those who play on fear, since we certainly don’t need any new reminders to keep fear alive. Some Background This vulnerability to feeling threatened has effects at many levels, ranging from individuals, couples, and families, to schoolyards, organizations and nations. Therefore, understanding how your brain became so vigilant and wary, and so easily hijacked by alarm, is the first step toward gaining more control over that ancient circuitry. Let’s start with the brain’s negativity bias. Both are important. But here’s the key difference between carrots and sticks. What to Do?

what is self compassion 18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving-Kindness Meditation Many of us have heard of meditation’s benefits. We may have even tried meditation once or twice. And many of us will have found it hard and concluded that “meditation is not for me.” But wait! Did you know there are many forms of meditation? What Is Loving-Kindness Meditation? 1. In a landmark study, Barbara Frederickson and her colleagues (Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek, & Finkel, 2008) found that practicing seven weeks of loving-kindness meditation increased love, joy, contentment, gratitude, pride, hope, interest, amusement, and awe. 2. A study by Kok et al (2013)found that individuals in a loving-kindness meditation intervention, compared to a control group, had increases in positive emotions, an effect moderated by baseline vagal tone — a physiological marker of well-being. We don’t usually think of meditation as being able to help us with severe physical or mental ailments, but research shows it can help. 3. 4. 5. 6. We know that the brain is shaped by our activities. 7. 8. 9. 10.

rewiring the brain for happiness Mindful Games Book and Activity Cards — Susan Kaiser Greenland Mindful play is a great way for kids to develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion. Mindful Games offers sixty simple and accessible games that can bring mindfulness to your daily routine. In a playful way, these mindfulness-based activities introduce practices that develop focus, concentration, and sensory awareness, while helping kids and their parents identify and regulate their emotions. Activities include "anchor" games that develop concentration; visualization games that encourage kindness and focus; analytical games that cultivate clear thinking; and awareness games that develop all of these qualities and give kids greater insight into other people, their relationships, and themselves. The Mindful Games Activity Cards are the perfect companion to the Mindful Games book.