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Reshaping the Brain to Take In the Good

Rick Hanson Shares 5 Simple Steps You Can Use Right Away


Our brains are very good at learning from the negative—that’s what helped our distant ancestors survive. Rick Hanson calls this the brain’s “negativity bias.” In this clip, Rick walks us through surprisingly simple steps that can shift our memory systems to internalize positive experiences and states with equal efficiency.

This clip is a small part of our all-new streaming video webcast series on the practical applications of neuroscience in your consulting room. You can still sign up and watch sessions when they air, or any time 24/7 afterward for a full year.

Click on the video frame below to watch.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist with a keen interest in the intersection of psychology, neurology, and Buddhism, and an invited presenter at Oxford, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley. He’s the author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. Rick joins Dan Siegel, Louann Brizendine, Michael Gelb, Norman Doidge, and Stephen Porges for our all-new streaming-video webcast series.

Why Neuroscience Matters:
Concrete Strategies for Your Practice

Session 2 with Rick Hanson Airs Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern.

You Can Still Sign Up.
All sessions are available 24/7 after air date for a full year!

Click here for full course details.

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3 Responses to Reshaping the Brain to Take In the Good

  1. I totally agree with this article and video. Humanity learns from their negative experiences. As a networker since I am into network marketing and by network marketing I do not mean the Multi Level Marketing type, I mean the type of network marketing that involves networking with other people in order to advance my own brick and mortal business. Years ago I didn’t bother to create business cards and have a portfolio with me, so I wasn’t getting good amount of customers, now everywhere I go I include a stack of business cards with me and a folder so when I see prospective customers for my field of computer repairs and surveillance camera installations I get to take advantage of the situation and give a presentation to the prospective customer, now I get 20x more customers than before. That’s my personal experience of me learning from my past negativity. Now, I turned my past negativity into my present positivity.

  2. hotfudge says:

    What if you have a client who states that they NEVER feel another positive emotions? How do you get them to break down the wall they have built up to protect themselves?

  3. judith_dagley says:

    In reply to “hotfudge’s” question–

    I, personally, would not try to “get them to break down the wall.” If what the client said is that he/she never feels positive emotions, he/she did not mention any “wall.” Why assign one, then? Maybe the client just forgot the last time they felt a positive emotion! Maybe accessing a positive emotion simply requires a “shift of perception” rather than the scaling or breaking of a wall. Why make the work “harder” than it needs to be?!

    Yet, due to our own “negativity biases,” that is exactly what we therapists sometimes do. Those biases can be sneaky, too, because we are so used to some of them that we take them for granted. When we DO catch them, however, we free ourselves to really enjoy our full, creative potential to assist others in doing
    the same.

    We can FIND those memories in our clients that feel “a teeny bit” positive. We can ask them when they feel “slight relief” from their negative state, or go on an exploration with them of the “shades,” or “colors” of their negative state (if that’s what they call it, of course!). Or, we can engage their imaginations, and simply ask them to imagine what it would be like to feel happy!

    Not that all of these ideas work with all clients to get the focus out of negativity, but they are just a taste of how unlimited our creativity can be. When aligned with our own belief in the unlimited capacity of the human spirit to expand and soar…not even the sky is the limit!

    Have fun!

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