We humans have language, which separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Though language can help us problem solve, communicate, and invent things, in remarkable ways, it is also a double-edged sword. Through language, we can often get caught up in destructive evaluative judgments in the there and then—events that happened in the past (such as regrets), or things that have not yet happened (such as the things we worry about). These language traps can form into negative judgments about ourselves—e.g., "I’m not good enough," "I’m unworthy of love," "I’m rubbish at everything," "I will fail, so what’s the point in trying?" Crucially, these thoughts can hinder us from living in accordance with what matters. To escape these traps, try some of the following: … [Read more...] about 5 Easy Steps to Declutter Your Mind With Mindfulness
When I was a child, I told my mother all manner of things—what I thought about the color green, the dream I had about the big volcano, my most outlandish ideas (including the plan to build a hot air balloon with my best friend to circumnavigate the globe together). Often, when something was important to me—even if ridiculous from an adult’s perspective—she would pause whatever she was doing, we’d sit on the kitchen stools, and she would listen to what I had to say. Her presence was full and felt, notable in what was absent: She didn’t interrupt, correct, lecture, or give advice. She allowed long silences while I gathered myself. Occasionally she took notes and gave them to me in case I wanted to think over things later. Sometimes she asked questions or reflected back something I said. But mostly, she listened. … [Read more...] about The Gift of Deep Listening
Pause before you take any action. Find that deeper silence and stillness within yourself. Notice the sensations in your body. Linger longer with each hug. Savor the light glinting on your child's hair. Look your child in the eye when she speaks. Breathe. Notice that an upset tone is a plea to be heard. Listen for the meaning under the words. Notice that everything your child says is code for "Please love me." … [Read more...] about How Does Your Child’s Behavior Change When You Listen?
When Sudo realized that germ-free mice had a different reaction to stress, it was confounding. How in the world could bacteria affect behavior? Sudo then introduced normal gut bacteria to the mice and discovered something else: he could fix their stress response, but only if he inoculated them before they were three weeks old – the equivalent of a human teenager. After that, the window of opportunity slammed shut. … [Read more...] about Psychobiotics: A Revolution in Psychiatry