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Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing: an 8 week training

A good friend & I have just been sorting out the practical details of running an 8 week course together on "Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing", starting in January.  Some aspects still need to be tweaked, but the basic publicity information runs like this:

"If you want others to be happy, practise compassion.  If you want to be happy, practise compassion."   Dalai Lama

    "Wisdom, compassion, & courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men."    Confucius

Recent research: articles from summer/autumn journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains well over 25,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Upgrading the 'breathing space' meditation, some research-based suggestions (4th post): compassion & implementation intentions

Ch.14: Meditation, Gratitude & Savouring

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

- Albert Einstein

There are so many interesting issues that can be covered in this chapter, for example "Four aspects of inner focus" model.  Mindfulness.  Acceptance.  Presence.  Flow.  Positive psychology findings.  Importance of gratitude/savouring.

 

Reappraisal training can help hugely in coping with difficult experiences

Reappraisal (changing the meaning we give to experiences) has been repeatedly shown to be one of the most effective ways we have to regulate our emotions.  It's one of the star components of effective emotion-regulation, coping-skill toolkits ... and it's important to realise that these toolkits can be very helpful (De Castella, 2017).  Reappraisal is important across a variety of difficult states ... depression (Cheng, 2017), anxiety (Goldin, 2017), anger, interpersonal conflict, minor hassles (Richardson, 2017), and major life difficulties.

26 Mindfulness & Compassion-relevant research studies: July '17 newsletter

Recent research: articles from spring/summer journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains over 25,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Self-compassion: soothing touch helps us settle and relax

Touch can be profoundly soothing and settling.  In an intriguing study - "Nonverbal channel use in communication of emotion: how may depend on why" - researchers found that when participants generated displays of eleven different emotions, touch was the most preferred nonverbal way of showing love and sympathy.  Welcomed touch can be very good for us physically, so we know touch settles stress hormones - "Social touch modulates endogenous mu-opioid system activity in humans"  ( ), and can even reduce vulnerability to infections - see "Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness".

Mindful self-compassion: affectionate breathing meditation

I'm just back from a five day Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) retreat in Iceland with Chris Germer & Christine Brahler.  MSC teaches a whole host of meditation practices, with three underlined as core meditations.  These three are Affectionate Breathing, Loving-Kindness for Ourselves, and Giving & Receiving Compassion.  In this post I talk a bit more about the initial core meditation practice - Affectionate Breathing.

Upgrading the 'breathing space' meditation, some research-based suggestions (3rd post): embodied values

I have already written a couple of blog posts "Upgrading the 'breathing space' meditation, some research-based suggestions (1st post): mindfulness & naming" and "Upgrading the 'breathing space' meditation, some research-based suggestions (2nd post): touch & affectionate releasing" where we have taken our attention inwards, noting & naming our internal state/our internal weather, and responding to this inner state with settling touch, self-compassion & relaxation.  These posts have introduced nine suggestions that potentially upgrade a more standard breathing space practice.

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