The New Science of Happiness

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Why Mindfulness Matters
Begin by exploring the nature of mindfulness practice as a means of developing awareness with acceptance of our present experience. Review its remarkable range of psychological and physical benefits, dispel common misconceptions, and uncover the three core skills it employs as part of an empirically-supported path to well-being.
Befriending Fear, Worry, and Anxiety
Investigate the nature of anxiety and fear, seeing their roots in fantasies about the future. Consider how we typically cope with worry and anxiety by distracting ourselves, and how mindfulness training can free us from anxiety through directly facing our fears while grounded in the present moment.
Growing Up Isn't Easy--Facing Impermanence
Mindfulness traditions teach us that facing impermanence can be extraordinarily liberating. Assess your readiness, and consider how mindfulness practices offer a different way of relating to the realities of aging, sickness, and death itself, and how cultivating deep attention to the present moment allows us to freely enjoy all the…
Our Troublesome Brains
Here, discover how our brains are actually predisposed, evolutionarily, to psychological distress. Learn about the human "negativity bias," and how our tendency to both anticipate and try to avoid pain leads to problems. Consider what mindfulness teaches us about the mind, and what challenges might arise in practicing mindfulness--beginning with…
Tailoring Practices to Fit Changing Needs
In choosing mindfulness practices for your own life, consider seven different criteria or questions to ask, such as which mindfulness skills to emphasize; whether to favor secular or religious approaches; and when to do practices that cultivate a sense of safety as opposed to those that work with difficult psychological…
Groundbreaking Mindfulness Programs
We are now seeing the wide-scale adoption of mindfulness practices into many healthcare settings. Study the approaches and benefits of pioneering programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and learn additional techniques that can deepen any mindfulness practice.
Connecting with Children and Adolescents
Mindfulness practice offers distinct benefits for caregivers of young people. Observe how mindfulness training helps us enter a child's world through developing spontaneity and sensitivity, as well as fostering effective responses to misbehavior. Also learn mindfulness techniques that children and young people can use themselves.
Mindful Ethics as a Path to Freedom
Recent research suggests a bilateral relationship between ethics and well-being. Consider five ethical precepts, and use them as tools of inquiry to observe which actions lead to suffering for ourselves and others. Learn how to develop an empirically derived ethical code--one not received as doctrine, but based in personal experience.
Mindfulness or Psychotherapy
Delve into the implications of mindfulness practice for psychological well-being. Learn how mindfulness practice works toward many of the same goals as psychotherapy. Explore how the ultimate aim of traditional mindfulness practice diverges from earlier Western psychology in proposing a more radical path to psychological, emotional, and spiritual freedom.
Solitude--An Antidote to Loneliness
Explore how mindfulness and compassion practices deepen connection and communication with others, and also cultivate an awareness of "interbeing"--our connection to the larger world. Review data showing how mindfulness skills enhance relationships, and see how mindfulness fosters the ability to be alone, a capacity essential for intimacy.
Informal, Formal, and Intensive Practices
Grasp how mindfulness, like physical fitness, must be developed through regular and sustained practice. Investigate ways of cultivating mindfulness during daily activities such as bathing or driving, and understand the significant benefits of formal meditative practice and intensive retreats. Learn also about walking and eating meditation.
Modifying Our Brain Function and Structure
This lecture takes a thorough look at mindfulness and brain function. Review studies that show how mindfulness practice activates areas of the brain that regulate emotions, integrate thoughts and feelings, increase empathy, and facilitate learning and memory, while also retaining more brain matter and staving off aspects of cognitive decline…