Category Archives for "Exercises"

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 […]

Self-Acceptance Project

Sounds True is offering a free, 12-week webinar series on Self-Acceptance: Finding Our Sense of Fundamental Worthiness, easy to stream or download. Tami Simon interviews leading teachers and authors on how we can embrace who we truly are; among them: Kristin Neff – Self-Compassion Cheri Huber – Unconditional Self-Acceptance Brene Brown – The Power of […]

Self-Compassion for Couples

(This exercise spontaneously emerged in a couples therapy session last night.) Elements: A 20-second full-body hug is enough to activate the release of oxytocin, according to Stan Tatkin at UCLA, helping both partners calm down their nervous systems and return to a state of calm, equanimity, and resilience. Self-compassion – “Ouch! This hurts” – evokes […]

Breathing Together; Living Deeply

(As news of Bouncing Back gets out, colleagues and friends are sending me resources for recovering resilience to pass on to you as well. I’ve integrated one from my book on Breathing Together with the two below from Elizabeth Lehmann, and I’m letting you know of Daniel Ellenberg and Cassi Vieten’s fabulous Living Deeply workshop […]

Carrying Love and Appreciation in Your Wallet

(for Valentine’s Day, an expansion of love and appreciation beyond the romantic…) I first heard this story from the mediation teacher Jack Kornfield, though I’ve heard variations of it from many other sources since. When a fifth-grade teacher’s class became especially disruptive one day, throwing spitwads, calling each other names, and shoving each other in […]

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