Last updated on 19th March 2018
These home practice suggestions link with the sixth session of the Compassion, wisdom & wellbeing training. There are five requests for this next week.
1.) Please would you glance back at the handouts from the sixth session of the course & jot down further thoughts/feelings on this week's session 6 reflection sheet. There were the 'emotions - arriving & leaving' handout, the 'paired emotion-sharing exercise: powerful training in emotional intelligence', and the 'weekly affect dyad exercise' with its associated 'interconnectedness: the inclusion of other in the self scale'. There were also the four slides on the frequency of conflict in close relationships - 'first two' & 'second two', the "situated wise reasoning scale (swis) event" & "swis questionnaire & research abstracts". For more on wisdom see the first eighteen or so slides downloadable from the recent blog post 'do therapists get wiser with experience - or just repeat the same old mistakes?'. What last night felt most interesting & potentially helpful for you ... what felt less clear or less helpful? (10 minutes total, or more if you want)
2.) Try to practise this week's loving-kindness meditation pretty much every day until our next meeting. (18 minutes most days).
3.) Aim to continue practising a 12-breath mini-meditation three times daily. This is the final version of this exercise. It gives you flexibility & a trio of choices both for breaths 6 to 8 and breaths 10 to 12. Many people find the initial unfamiliarity of a new version of the 12-breath practice puts them back a bit. Please persevere. Quite quickly the new version becomes familiar ... and it will give you a wider range of options for re-charging and re-connecting. (9 minutes practice in total most days)
4.) Try to practise Tania Singer's 'affect dyad' exercise every day. As described in the 'paired emotion-sharing exercise: powerful training in emotional intelligence' handout, this is such an interesting & potentially very helpful intervention. Here's the full text of last year's research paper on the approach ... 'Effects of contemplative dyads on engagement and perceived social connectedness over 9 months of mental training: A randomized clinical trial' ... and here's a link to the fabulous 'ReSource project' website. The 'weekly affect dyad exercise' and associated 'interconnectedness: the inclusion of other in the self scale' handouts give you additional information & recording options. Remember this exercise is hugely about empathy practice for the listener (don't give verbal feedback during the exercise and try to keep non-verbal feedback low key too) and, even more importantly, emotional intelligence practice for the speaker. It's challenging to avoid simply 'telling stories' when you're the speaker. Practising feeling into & describing the subtleties & layers of emotional/physical responses to both the difficult & the gratitude experiences seems to me like learning to listen to & articulate one's experience of, for example, music. Be kind to yourself. For most of us this is unfamiliar & challenging ... but it's a challenge that can be very rewarding to respond to for our emotional wellbeing, our relationships, and even our physical health. (15 minutes daily).
5.) Look through the frequency of conflict handouts and then fill in a personal experience with the 'situated wise reasoning scale (swis) event' and record your responses on the 'swis questionnaire'. Very interesting stuff. Remember there's more about wisdom in the first eighteen slides downloadable from the recent blog post 'do therapists get wiser with experience - or just repeat the same old mistakes?'. The 'swis questionnaire' can also be a useful resource when you're actually going through conflict. As highlighted in Igor Grossmann's 2013 paper 'A route to well-being: intelligence vs wise reasoning' - higher wise reasoning scores are typically associated with "greater life satisfaction, les negative affect, better social relationships, less depressive rumination ... and greater longevity. The relationship between wise reasoning and well-being held even when controlling for socioeconomic factors, verbal abilities, and several personality traits. As in prior work, there was no association between intelligence and well-being." Mm ... interesting!
These five home practices, if done well, take up about 30 to 40 minutes each day. If you find it helpful to keep track of these practices ... and this is often useful for maintenace & learning ... you can use the four week practice record. And here is a link to the seventh week's home practice post.