Rick Hanson PhD
Sep 12, 2013
I’ve hiked a lot and have often had to depend on what was in my pack. Inner strengths are the supplies you’ve got in your pack as you make your way down the twisting and often hard road of life. They include a positive mood, common sense, integrity, inner peace, determination, and a warm heart. Researchers have identified other strengths as well, such as self-compassion, secure attachment, emotional intelligence, learned optimism, the relaxation response, self-esteem, distress tolerance, self-regulation, resilience, and executive functions.
I’m using the word strength broadly to include positive feelings such as calm, contentment, and caring, as well as skills, useful perspectives and inclinations, and embodied qualities such as vitality …
Jan 20, 2012
Saddhamala wrote the other day about how we “catch” emotions from others. As she points out, this happens when you’re hanging around someone who is negative, and it brings you down, and that it even happens when we watch a movie!
So this is definitely a part of our experience.
You may not have realized, though, just how infectious our emotions are. The effect of one person’s emotions — whether negative or positive — can be measured as they ripple outward through our friendships and contacts.
Let’s deal with the negative first.
An important study by University of Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo showed that lonely people tend to …
Jan 19, 2012
When you watch a movie about climbing mountains, and you are afraid of heights, does the fear of the situation cause your heart to race and your palms to sweat?
These are examples of how energy and feelings are contagious.
And have you noticed that when you are with someone who is negative, you feel negative too?
This frequently happens when someone is talking in a negative way, or complaining, about someone or a situation.
Listening to negativity and complaints is …
May 08, 2011
The mind is like a wild elephant that needs taming. If you have ever meditated and tried to quiet your mind, you will have experienced your thoughts as continuous and difficult to manage.
We worry, we obsess about the same things over and over again, we are anxious about things that never happen, we want more than we have, or something different from what we have, and we have expectations of ourselves and others that may never be met.
What we think creates the world we live in. When we think negatively about ourselves and others, we do not experience the beauty and joy that can be found within ourselves and others.
One of …
Feb 05, 2011
Research suggests that people who feel gratitude benefit in the following ways:
2. less depressed
3. less stressed
4. more satisfied with their lives and social relationships
5. aware of their purpose in life
6. self confident
8. able to cope with the difficulties in positive ways
9. more likely to seek support from other people, and
10. able to learn and grow from their experiences.
It has been said that gratitude is strongly linked with mental health. Several times in my life I have kept a gratitude journal, in which I have …