Category Archives for "Exercises"

Model for Lifelong Learning

Jon Kabat-Zinn, developer of mindfulness-based stress reduction, describes our capacities for resilience this way: We all accept that no one controls the weather. Good sailors learn to read it carefully and respect its power. They will avoid storms if possible, but when caught in one, they know when to take down the sails, batten down […]

Cultivating Gratitude to Wire In New Patterns

In over one hundred studies to date, researchers have found that people who have a daily gratitude practice consistently experience more positive emotions; they are more likely to accomplish personal goals (thus demonstrating resilience)’ they reel more alert, energetic, enthused, alive; they sleep better; they have lower blood pressure; and they live an average of […]

Setting Limits and Boundaries

Developmental psychologists have found that the human brain is capable of distinguishing between self and others by six months of age. The capacity of theory of mind takes that development further as we mature. More important for taking our place in the world as independent, resilient human beings, by four years of age our brains […]

Moving the Body to Rewire Difficult Emotions

In the aftermath of the tragedies at the Boston Marathon last week, or in the wake of any sudden and shocking loss or shattering of trust, emotions can run high, temporarily hijacking our resilience. I learned this exercise from psychologist Natalie Rogers to mindfully and compassionately use the intuitive wisdom of our own bodies to […]

Resilience in the Face of Sudden Tragedy

The news of – and the newscast images of – the bomb blasts that killed three people and injured 100 others during the Boston Marathon last Monday instantly evoked shock, horror, outrage in millions of people nationwide and, in the next instant, evoked an outpouring of compassion and care that made the news, too. Compassion […]

Listening to the Intuitive Wisdom of the Wiser Self

First, an excerpt and exercise from Bouncing Back, then additional resources…. My client Matthew came to his therapy session one evening torn between two possible courses of action at his job. Both were good opportunities, but they pulled him in two very different directions. One was a transfer to Tokyo to manage several new branches […]

Play and Laughter for Well-Being

The absence of play and laughter predicts divorce far more consistently than the presence of outright animosity. – John Gottmann, PhD, director of the Gottmann Institute for Researching and Restoring Relationships We bond and build trust with others through play, fun, laughter – moments of openness, curiosity, novelty, lightheartedness, joshing around, sometimes outright silliness. Play […]

Creating a Circle of Support

Creating A Circle of Support

(The exercise below is excerpted from Chapter 5: Five Practices to Accelerate Brain Change in Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being.  May it be useful to you and yours.) Refuge simply means a safe, supportive place to be when we are fragile or confused, a safe place to cry or rant […]

Setting Limits and Boundaries

(Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being is on its way to bookstores (April 17). Below is an exercise from Chapter 9: Developing Relational Intelligence.) Ask a friend to help you in this exercise of finding the sweet spot in setting a limit or boundary, not tapping into aggression or collapsing into […]

Repairing a Rupture

Researchers have discovered that even in “good enough” close relationships, we spend about one-third of the time in actual relating (attuned connection), about one-third in rupture (mis-attuned or disrupted connection) and one-third in repair (recovering the attuned connection). Repair is the most important phase of this rhythm, especially in terms of rewiring our patterns of […]

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