Uncovering Happiness: The Natural Anti-Depressant Effects of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

When depression takes hold, it can become an insidious loop from which patients struggle to break free. But what if we could help them create an “anti-depressant brain”? Below, you’ll find out one way to help clients initiate brain change to alleviate depression, courtesy of my friend Elisha Goldstein, PhD. Elisha is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, Co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in LA, and author of the new book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. Depression is the brain’s ultimate avoidance strategy. For over 350 million people worldwide, it saps the ability to engage…

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If you are an expert . . .

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the best place to start because it seems many people don’t believe the word expert applies to them. But hear me out, because I think that’s a significant problem. I come across far too many gifted practitioners, people with important ideas – ideas that could change people’s lives – yet they just don’t feel like experts. At the same time, all too often I’ve seen people who have simply read a book, or gone to a workshop, (people who know far less than you do) and voila! Suddenly they’re an instant expert. I’ll bet you’ve…

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The Power of Mindfulness in Schools

Despite our best intentions, the holidays can be demanding . . . . . . so it’s probably not surprising that levels of anxiety, stress, and depression tend to ramp up around this time of year. Now imagine living at a high level of stress year round (and trying to learn at the same time). For many of the kids attending public schools, especially in the inner cities, it’s largely become a way of life. But mindfulness could change that. No, it can’t cure poverty, but it can transform the brain, and it can help with self-regulation. So what if…

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Giving as We’ve Received . . .

Beginning at a young age, I was taught to give as I had received . . . . . . so when I began NICABM, I made it a cornerstone of our organization that we would give back to those who are in need. I always like to take some time at the end of the year to reflect on what we’ve accomplished professionally. At the same time, it’s important for me to hold myself accountable for that promise I made to make a difference while also making a profit. This past year, it’s been so rewarding to be able…

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60 Minutes of Mindfulness – How Anderson Cooper’s Meditation Experience Changed His Life (and His Brain)

It’s always exciting to me when I witness more and more people from all walks of life begin to see the value of mindfulness training. And just recently, Anderson Cooper and the folks at CBS just put out a 60 Minutes episode on that very topic. This really underscores just how mainstream mindfulness has become. In fact, I often see this when I attend business meetings – many people will approach me, asking me to show them how to meditate (even though I’m not a meditation teacher). So in case you haven’t come across the video yet, I thought I’d…

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Brain Change and Mindfulness . . . In 8 Weeks?

Could someone who has never before been exposed to mindfulness begin to see results in as little as 8 weeks? Eight weeks isn’t all that long. But it could be just enough to cause significant change in someone’s brain (and therefore in their life). A group of researchers out of the University of Siena, in Italy, led by Emiliano Santarnecchi, PhD, set out to answer that question. They also wanted to find out if there might be a correlation between physical changes in the brain and how folks fared psychologically. The team randomized 48 right-handed participants who had never meditated…

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