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How to improve your overall wellbeing

Monday, January 18, 2021

I've been reading Rick Hanson's book "Hardwired for Happiness'. I find it a GREAT read! It gives me many useful insights. It's a fascinating read to me.

The idea is that our ancestors were at peace (in a responsive / relaxed) state most of the time with just short bursts of great stress when in danger. But these days we are stressed out all the time by modern day life so our brain is in a reactive, negative mode too much of the time which is very bad for our health and mood.

Basically Hanson's solution is to let good things sink in consciously. So if you have a good experience, could be just a small thing like a glass of water when thirsty, a nice view, a good meal, smiling at somone, getting a compliment, or petting your cat, the idea is to really let that sink in, to dwell on it (feel the impact of it) for at least 12 seconds, so it is an experience that is taken in and very consciously absorbed.
This strengthens the neural pathways in the brain that helps us to be responsive rather than reactive and that contributes greatly to our overall wellbeing. I've been practicing with this a little and it definitely feels like it's doing me good.

And it's true that really so much of our time every day is spent having basically good experiences: most of us are usually well fed, warm, we have comfortable beds and couches, many of us have pets or kids or spouses to cuddle, and so on.
So it would be great if we could focus on these basic good experiences more, especially if that helps to lessen the impact of the stuff we worry about.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • OOLALA53
    Love Hanson! I have tried to gently remind people I know freaking out during this pandemic and election in the U.S. that there is still a lot going right, but I think they have a fear that recognizing that will mean they minimize others' suffering. But it is simply being more honest and nourishing to ourselves to see the bigger picture and allow the positives to sink in and expand. I'm now finally able to use this sometimes even when something intensely uncomfortable is happening, too. It's never the only thing going on.
    72 days ago
    12 seconds to let time with my kitty sink in...I can do this!
    84 days ago
    We tend to not notice or absorb the happy moments and gifts we receive daily. Great advice!
    88 days ago
    You always have such good blogs. Thank you for distilling the things you read and offer good books to check out.

    all Plan Coleader
    91 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    Very interesting, maybe read more after my current book and try to appreciate the moment more, thanks emoticon emoticon emoticon
    92 days ago
    That mades sense.
    93 days ago
    I found the book in my public library and placed a hold on it. thanks for the information and hope you have a great day!
    93 days ago
    YES YES YES. It really helps mental health to concentrate on the positive. It may not be something earth-shattering, but . . . . it releases all the 'feel good' hormones in the body and limits the stress and stress hormones.

    Thank you for this. MUCH needed in these stressful times. Stress, unfortunately, is always going to be a part of life. BUT if can learn to react in healthy ways, we will survive it.

    93 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Like the title. We were a rural nation. Most of us live in cities. Have we progressed?
    93 days ago
    Thanks for sharing that -- very helpful!
    93 days ago
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