Unformatted text preview: Happiness 2.0:
Rethinking Mindfulness and
the Science of Psychological
October 17, 2015
Rick Hanson, Ph.D. & Elisha Goldstein Ph.D.
The Wellspring Institute & The Center for Mindful Living
! Positive neuroplasticity
! Three modes of practice
! Heart 2 Foundations 3 What’s wrong with happiness 1.0? 4 Being with and Working with
! Over the past 100 years, psychology has swung back and forth between emphasizing:
Receptive acceptance: being with what is
! Wise effort: working with what is
! ! These two great themes are often set against each other, but they are actually synergistic:
! We need to work with the mind to build
resources for being with pain, etc.
! We need to be with the results of our work.
! The bird of practice needs two wings to fly. 5 Two Aspects of Working with the Mind
! Preventing, reducing, and ending what is suffering and harmful ! Creating, increasing, and preserving what is happy and beneficial 6 Three Ways to Engage the Mind
! Be with what is present without any deliberate effort to change it
! Decrease what is suffering and harmful
! Grow what is happy and beneficial " Let be, let go, let in
" In the garden of the mind: Witness it, pull
weeds, and plant flowers 7 On a foundation of
wisdom and benevolence,
practice is like a three-legged stool:
8 The Key Attitude to
Optimizing Learning y
9 “It is in playing and only in playing that the
individual child or adult is able to be creative
and to use the whole personality, and it is only
in being creative that the individual discovers
― D.W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality 10 Setting Up the Day
! Focus on the elements of Happiness 2.0
! There will be a mix of presentation, discussion, and experiential activity
! Ultimately, take what is useful to you and leave the rest ☺. 11 Positive Neuroplasticity 12 What Shapes Your Course? Challenges
13 Where Are Resources Located? World
14 Resources in Your Mind
! Positive emotions
15 16 Inner Strengths Are Built From Brain Structure 17 How do you get these inner strengths
into your brain? 18 Pick a partner and choose an A and a B (A’s
go first). Then you’ll take turns, with one
partner mainly speaking while the other
person listens, exploring this question:
Speaker: What are some of the good facts in
your life these days?
Listener: Find a sincere gladness for the other
Both: Repeatedly take 5-10 seconds to feel and
register enjoyable, beneficial experiences
19 What was happening
in your brain? 20 21 Mental activity entails
underlying neural activity. 22 Rewards of Love Repeated mental activity entails
repeated neural activity. Repeated neural activity
builds neural structure.
24 25 Lazar, et al. 2005.
1893-1897. 26 We can use the mind
To change the brain
To change the mind for the better
To benefit ourselves and other beings.
27 The Neuropsychology of Learning
Learning – changing neural structure
and function – has two stages:
From short-term memory buffers
to long-term storage
From state to trait
From activation to installation.
28 Inner strengths are grown from
experiences of them – activated
states – that are installed as traits. 29 You become more compassionate
by installing experiences of compassion.
You become more grateful
by installing experiences of gratitude.
You become more mindful
by installing experiences of mindfulness.
30 Installation 31 Installation Installation 32 Installation Installation Installation 33 Most experiences of inner strengths
are enjoyable. They feel good because they are good
for us and others.
34 Without installation,
there is no learning,
no change in the brain. 35 We’re good at activation
but bad at installation.
This is the fundamental weakness in
most patient education, human
resources training, psychotherapy,
coaching, and mindfulness training.
36 The same research that proves therapy works
shows no improvement in outcomes
over the last 30 or so years. Scott Miller
37 Meanwhile your painful,
are being rapidly converted
into neural structure. 38 The Brain’s Negativity Bias
As our ancestors evolved, avoiding “sticks” was
more important than getting “carrots.”
6. So we scan for bad news,
Over-focus on it,
Over-react to it,
Install it fast in implicit memory,
Sensitize the brain to the negative, and
Create vicious cycles with others.
39 Velcro for Bad, Teflon for Good 40 The brain is good
at learning from
but bad at learning from good ones.
Even though learning from
is the primary way
to grow resources in the mind. 41 Getting the Good Stuff into Your Brain 42 Have a Good Experience Enrich It How to Enrich an Experience
! Salience 45 Absorb It Link Positive and Negative Material HEAL Yourself Have a positive experience.
Link positive and negative material. Have It, Enjoy It Let’s Try It
! Notice the experience present in awareness that you are basically alright right now.
Have the experience.
! Enrich it.
! Absorb it.
! ! Create the experience of gratitude.
! Have the experience.
! Enrich it.
! Absorb it.
50 It’s Good to Take in the Good
! Development of specific inner strengths
! General - resilience, positive mood, feeling loved
! Key resources – For challenges, deficits, wounds
! Implicit benefits:
! Shows that there is still good in the world
Being active rather than passive
Treating yourself kindly, like you matter
Rights an unfair imbalance, given the negativity bias
Training of attention and executive functions ! Sensitizes brain to positive: like Velcro for good 51 Keep a green bough in your heart,
and a singing bird will come.
Lao Tsu 52 Cultivation Undoes Craving
We rest the mind upon beneficial states
so that the brain may gradually take their shape.
This disentangles us from craving
as we increasingly rest
in a peace, contentment, and love
that is independent of external conditions.
With time, even the practice of cultivation falls away –
like a raft that is no longer needed
once we reach the farther shore. Pet the Lizard 54 Feed the Mouse 55 Hug the Monkey 56 Peace Contentment Love 57 Play Pop into the Present! Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Mindfulness Play!
(Seeing the Stool) Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD A Scarcity of Play in Psychology 61 Key Papers - 4 62 The creation of something new
is not accomplished by intellect,
but by the play instinct.
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Let’s Play!
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD What is Play?
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD What Play is Not!
Our Culture’s Implicit Messages
! Guilty pleasure
! Except: Competitive Play OKAY! Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD It’s Natural
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Cues for Avoidance Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Defining Play ! “Play: a flexible state of mind in which you are
presently engaged in some freely chosen and
potentially purposeless (or purposeful) activity that
you find interesting, enjoyable, and satisfying.”
~ Uncovering Happiness Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD It’s Contagious Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD The Science of
If you’re happy and you
know it, thank your friends..
! 4,739 Individuals; Over 50,000 social and
! Within a mile a friend increases 25%;
Next door neighbor 34%;
Indirect relationship 10%
Fowler, James H. and Christakis, Nicholas A., Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network:
Longitudinal Analysis Over 20 Years in the Framingham Heart Study (December 7, 2008). British Medical
Journal, Vol. 3, January 2009
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD What Happens if We Don’t Play?
1970’s study with Mihaly Csikzentmahalyi
Instructions: Stop doing anything “instrumental” (Walks with friends, reading). After 24 hours
Restless After 48 hours
48 hours “the general deterioration in mood was
so advanced that prolonging the experiment would
have been unadvisable.” Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD “The opposite of play is not
work, it’s depression.”
~ Brian Sutton-Smith Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Play ≠ Depression
Play Depression Engaged (Left Prefrontal) Disengaged (Right Prefrontal) Absence of self-critic Self-Judgment Flexible Mind Rigid Thinking Positive Emotions Negative Emotions Social (High Vagal Tone) Isolation (Low Vagal Tone) Open to possibilities Helplessness Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Play Enhances Learning & Memory
(aka “Installation”) Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Three Conditions
1. Playmates and Toys
2. Playmates, No Toys
3. No playmates, No Toys Results
Group 1 had a significantly thicker cerebral cortex - Cognitive
processing, attention and awareness. (Key determinant of change –
When thicker is sometimes better - They could also navigate a maze
better (higher behavioral performance). Group 3 showed decreased
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Mouse from Group 1 Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Play Helps Maintain Brain Cells
BDNF “Brain Fertilizer” Gordon NS, Burke S, Akil H, Watson SJ, and Panskepp J. 2003. Socially-induced brain ‘fertilization’: play
promotes brain derived neurotrophic factor transcription in the amygdala and dorsolateral frontal cortex in
juvenile rats. Neuroscience Letters 341(1): 17-20.
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Pop into the Present Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Key Papers - 4 82 Pop into the Present Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD How to Nurture Play?
Take a Play History
! Diego’s Story
! Julie’s story
Bring it to the Present
! What are your toys?
! Who are your playmates?
! Make a playbook and playdates.
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD What Gets in the Way?
! Cultural Implicit Messages (unproductive, guilty pleasure, petty)
! Foreboding Joy
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD "To be in harmony with the oneness of things is
to be without anxiety about imperfection.“
- Dogen Zenji Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Your Turn to
Uncover Play Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Takeaway!
The Good News!
Play isn’t just for kids.
On Top of That!
Taking regular play-breaks builds our play muscle
and as we continue to make learning playful, it
enhances our natural capacities for resiliency and
a deeper installation of learning. Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Three Modes of Practice In the Garden of the Mind
1. Be with what is there.
2. Decrease what’s harmful.
3. Increase what’s beneficial.
Witness. Pull weeds. Plant flowers.
Let be. Let go. Let in.
Mindfulness is present in all three.
“Being with” is primary – but not enough.
We also need “wise effort.” 90 Biological Evolution
! 4+ billion years of earth
! 3.5 billion years of life
! 650 million years of multi-celled organisms
! 600 million years of nervous system
! 200 million years of mammals
! 60 million years of primates
! 6 million years ago: ancestor with chimpanzees
! 2.5 million years of tool-making
! 150,000 years of homo sapiens
92 Evolutionary History The Triune Brain 93 Three Stages of Brain Evolution
! Brainstem, cerebellum, hypothalamus
Reactive and reflexive
Avoid hazards ! Mammalian:
! Limbic system, cingulate, early cortex
Memory, emotion, social behavior
Approach rewards ! Human:
! Massive cerebral cortex
Abstract thought, language, cooperative planning, empathy
Attach to “us” Meeting Three Core Needs
Need Signal Strategy Safety Unpleasant Avoiding Satisfaction Pleasant Approaching Connection Heartfelt Attaching 95 Mental Resources for Challenges
Safety – Grit, protection, relaxation,
feeling alright right now, peace
Satisfaction – Gratitude, gladness,
Connection – Belonging, appreciation,
friendship, compassion, love 96 Psychological Antidotes
! Strength, efficacy --> Weakness, helplessness, pessimism
! Safety, security --> Alarm, anxiety
! Compassion for oneself and others --> Resentment, anger
! Satisfaction, fulfillment --> Frustration, disappointment
! Gladness, gratitude --> Sadness, discontentment, “blues”
Attaching to Others
! Attunement, inclusion --> Not seen, rejected, left out
! Recognition, acknowledgement --> Inadequacy, shame
! Friendship, love --> Abandonment, feeling unloved or unlovable 97 Societal Implications
of Positive Neuroplasticity
! For most of the time our human and hominid ancestors have lived, it was not possible to meet the core needs of
everyone. But now the resources and know-how exist to do
this. How we handle this unprecedented opportunity will be
the central theme of this century.
! Improving external conditions is vital – but not enough. Many affluent people dwell in anxiety and anger, frustration
and drivenness, and hurt and ill will.
! Repeatedly internalizing Responsive experiences develops a “green brain” that is harder to manipulate with threats
and fear, greed and consumerism, and “us” vs. “them”
rivalries. A critical mass of “green brains” will bring a tipping
point that changes the course of human history. Think not lightly of good, saying,
"It will not come to me.”
Drop by drop is the water pot filled.
Likewise, the wise one,
gathering it little by little,
fills oneself with good.
Dhammapada 9.122 99 Mindfulness Encouraging the
Heart Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD 4 Ways to Warm the Heart
! Toward our pain – Self-Compassion
! Toward others pain – Compassion
! Toward our joy – Mudita (self-less joy)
! Toward others joy – Mudita Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Mindfulness Warmth Toward Pain
Self-Compassion and Compassion Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Self-Compassion:
What is it?
“Being aware of our own suffering with an
inclination to help ourselves.” Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Self-Compassion ≠ Depression
! 142 Depressed, 120 not-depressed
! Depressed showed lower self-compassion
! Controlling for depressive symptoms ! Self-compassion ≠ depressive symptoms, rumination and avoidance
! Rumination and avoidance mediated relationship between self-compassion and depressive symptoms
! Tobias Krieger, David Altenstein, Isabelle Baettig, Nadja Doerig, Martin Grosse Holtforth, Self-Compassion in
Depression: Associations With Depressive Symptoms, Rumination, and Avoidance in Depressed Outpatients,
Behavior Therapy, Volume 44, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages 501-513 Translating the Non-Verbal
Experience of Compassion
Since it’s difficult to cultivate self-compassion with
a history of depression. How do you convey the
quality of compassion when dealing with our
own emotional suffering?
We need to appeal beyond the rational brain and to
the emotional brain.
How can we do this? What Comes Up for You? The Power of Vulnerability Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on
the bandaged place. That’s where
the light enters you.
13th Century Sufi Poet The Power of Touch Coan JA, Schaefer HS, Davidson RJ (2006) Lending a hand: social regulation of the neural response to threat.
Psychol Sci 17: 1032–1039. Self-Compassion
Laying of Hands Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD
! What did you notice?
! i.e., thoughts, sensations, emotions?
! How is this relevant to installing a deeper sense of well-being? Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Mindfulness Compassion:
What is it? Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Live With Purpose & Compassion
Sometimes you hear a voice through
As a fish out of water
Hears the waves…
Come back, Come back
This turning toward what you deeply
Saves you. Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD The Neuroscience of Compassion Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Grief can be the garden of compassion.
If you keep your heart open through
everything, your pain can become your
greatest ally in your life's search for
love and wisdom.
~ Rumi Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Reducing Inflammation
“Living the good life”
“A life of purpose and meaning”
“A life rich in compassion”
= Low Inflammation Barbara Fredrickson et al. “A Functional Genomic Perspective on Human Well-Being,” Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, no. 33 (August 13, 2013): 13684–89. Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Raises Vagal Tone
High Vagal Tone
Slows heart rate, regulates internal systems,
Calm, rest, relaxation, contentment Low Vagal Tone
Difficulty regulating emotions
Low voice tone
Tied in with Oxytocin network (Connection)
Associated with Trauma and Depression
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD When Money Can Buy Resiliency
Pro-Social Vs. Anti-Social Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD When Money Can’t Buy Resiliency Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Purpose =
2009 – Mayo Clinic
556 Academic Physicians sampled
34% met criteria for burnout (aka “Compassion
The amount of time spent on meaningful work had an
inverse relationship with burnout.
Tiat Shanafelt et al., “Career Fit and Burnout Among Academic Faculty,” Archives of Internal Medicine 169, no. 10 (may 2009): 990 – 95.
Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD “It’s not enough to be
~ The Dalai Lama Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD What Do You Value? Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Making Pro-Social
Values into Verbs
! Compassion A daily practice of thinking of people in my
life or in the world who are struggling and
wishing them lovingkindness ! Strong Family Have nightly meals together without
electronics ! World Peace Volunteer or give money to (Pick your
organization) Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Too Much Compassion?
We’re all at risk
Between 16 – 85% of healthcare workers develop “compassion
fatigue” – a gradual lessening of compassion.
Balance with compassion and… Hooper, et al. (2010). Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue Among
Emergency Nurses Compared With Nurses in Other Selected Inpatient Specialties. Journal of
Emergency Nursing, 36(5), 420-427. Retrieved from Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Who is Your Compassion Hero? S.A.F.E
S – Soften into the feeling
A – Allow/Accept it as it is
F – Feel into it with inquiry
* Use Self-Compassion Hero
* What am I needing?
* Integrating Lovingkindness
E – Expand Lovingkindness to all who are in the same
Source: Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and SelfCopyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD
Compassion Compassion Practice
SAFE Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD Mindfulness Warmth Toward
Joy Copyright 2013 Elisha Goldstein, PhD A Boost for Sharing, and an
Extra Boost for Self-less Joy
One Study – Three Conditions
! Kept a journal of grateful experiences (no sharing)
! Kept class notes (sharing)
! Kept a journal of grateful experiences (sharing) (increased in life satisfaction, positive affect, happiness)
! People who received an active supportive response expressed more
positive affect than all other previous conditions.
Lambert, N. M., Gwinn, A. M.*, Baumeister, R. F., Strachman, A., Washburn, I. J., Gable, S. L., & Fincham, F.
D. (2013). A boost of positive affect: The perks of sharing positive experiences and grateful
experiences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30, 24-43 Making it Real
! Speaker: Think of an experience where you were generous, kind, caring or
loving ! Share the story with a partner
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