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The Science of Happiness

English, Sciences, 6 seasons, 230 episodes, 2 days, 14 hours, 25 minutes
About
Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe. Hosted by award-winning professor Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRX and UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.
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Happiness Break: How to Relax Your Body Through A Standing Meditation, With Sherry Zhang

Last week on The Science of Happiness, we discussed the scientifically proven health benefits of the ancient Chinese practice of qigong with Harvard psychologist Peter Wayne. This week, we practice a standing meditation, with qigong master Sherry Zhang. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3t5wdexeHow to Do This Practice: Take a moment to stand upright with your feet together and take a few deep breaths. Have your eyes looking forward. Soften your knee. Gently shift your weight onto your left leg and step your right foot aside. Face your palms inward, with your fingers relaxed and pointing down.  With your chin slightly in, relax both shoulders, and tuck in your tailbone. Ground your feet and relax your knees, armpits, and fingers. Take a deep breath and exhale.  Spend a few moments focused on your natural breathing and relaxed body. Now, bring your right foot back, so both feet are together. Lengthen your spine.  Take a moment to observe how your body feels, until your breathing slows.  Next, bring your hands together and rub them together vigorously, creating heat in between your palms. Now "wash" your face with your hands. "Wash" the side of your ears, to the back of your ears, the back of your neck. Now relax both hands at the front of your chest. Repeat this practice for one to five minutes. Today’s Happiness Break host:Sherry Zhang is the founder of Tai Chi Solutions and a Master Teacher of Qigong. She is faculty at Pacific College of Health and Sciences in New York City.  Learn more about Sherry’s work:https://www.taichisolution.org/ Follow Sherry on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taichisolution/ Follow Sherry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/taichisolution Follow Sherry on Linked-In: https://tinyurl.com/ywca6nd5 Follow Sherry on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherrytaichi/ Follow Tai Chi Solutions on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taichisolution/ If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like these ones:Walk Your Way to Calm (Guided Meditation), with Dacher: https://tinyurl.com/4w37zwpyA Walking Meditation With Dan Harris of 10% Happier: https://tinyurl.com/4dv4ckzcCheck out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about movement-based practices: How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body: https://tinyurl.com/2ywsck4eEpisode 5: Walk Outside with Inside Out’s Pete Docter: https://tinyurl.com/2nfc94zbWe love hearing from you! Tell us what movement based practice you’ve tried!Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusShare this Happiness Break!
6/13/20245 minutes, 44 seconds
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How Qigong Can Calm Your Mind and Body

Studies show qigong can strengthen your body and mind, and reduce cortisol levels. We explore this Chinese meditative movement practice that dates back over 4,000 years.Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2ywsck4eEpisode summary: Finding calm in your day to day life can be stressful, especially in a world that seems to be moving at such a rapid pace. Your life can change in an instant– and it can be really difficult to get yourself on your feet again. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, Ace Boral, an Oakland-based chef, joins us to try Qigong. Ace talks about his health struggles over the past four years, and how incorporating Qigong into his life over the past few weeks has helped him find mental clarity, emotional balance, and confidence in himself. Then we hear from Harvard psychologist Peter Wayne who has practiced and studied the benefits of Xigong. Today’s guests: Ace Boral is an Oakland-based chef.Peter Wayne is an Associate Professor of Medicine, and serves as the Director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Learn more about Peter’s work: https://tinyurl.com/342xndnaMore episodes like this one: Moving Through Space, with Dacher Keltner: https://tinyurl.com/3u844n4d The Science of Synchronized Movement: https://tinyurl.com/n4bcrb5j Tell us about your experiences with Qigong. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Help us share The Science of Happiness!Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
6/6/202422 minutes, 37 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation on How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

Here's a favorite of ours: visualize your best possible self and tap into your inherent enough-ness with this guided meditation by Justin Michael Williams.Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/ytakaaepHow to Do This Practice: Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and visualize your ideal future self, the person of your dreams you’ve always wanted to be. Try noticing as many details as you can: What color are you wearing, how do you feel, what are you doing, is anyone with you? Answer this question in your mind with 1-3 words: As you look at this future version of you, what energy do you need to cultivate more of in your life now, today, to become closer to being that person you see in your vision?  Breathe in deeply, and as you do imagine yourself breathing in that energy. As you exhale, imagine that energy spreading throughout your body and energy field. Open your eyes. ​​Remember, you have what you need to become that which you want to become. We are enough to start stepping into the life of our dreams. Today’s Happiness Break host:Justin Michael Williams works at the intersection of social justice, mindfulness, and personal growth — with a touch of music that brings it all to life. Learn More About Justin’s work: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/ Listen to Justin’s debut album: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/music Order Justin’s book, Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide For the Rest of Us:https://tinyurl.com/2p8xu6hx Follow Justin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wejustwill Follow Justin on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wejustwill/ More episodes like this oneHow to Find Your Best Possible Selfhttps://tinyurl.com/6t3uws8dHappiness Break: Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships,  With Dacher Keltnerhttps://tinyurl.com/5cx6cd5zHappiness Break: Visualizing Your Purpose, With Dacherhttps://tinyurl.com/39apt7tbWe love hearing from you! Tell us what brings you feelings of awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusHelp us share Happiness Break! 
5/30/20247 minutes, 47 seconds
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Encore: Why We Need Friends With Shared Interests

She's the world's leading animal behaviorist and an autism advocacy leader. Guest Temple Grandin shares what kind of support systems led her to success, and we hear about how community, and lack thereof, affects our health and ability to succeed. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/y82vw4dv Episode summary:Having strong relationships is vital to our well-being. We tend to be happier and healthier when we’re involved with community. Today’s guest is the world-famous scientist Temple Grandin. She was born with autism, which led her to be socially isolated from her peers. Join us on this episode of The Science of Happiness to hear about how Grandin credits her support networks for her success and making her into the person she is today. We’ll also look at the science behind the health repercussions of not having strong social networks. Feeling socially disconnected can lead to a higher risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and more. Today’s guests:Temple Grandin is a leading scientist, prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behaviors. Today, she teaches courses at Colorado State University. Her latest book is Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions.Temple’s Website: https://www.templegrandin.comFollow Temple on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtemplegrandin?lang=enCheck out Temple’s Latest Book: https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpckTegan Cruwyis is a clinical psychologist at The National Australian University who studies social connection and how loneliness and chronic isolation are literally toxic.Learn more about Cruwyis and her work: https://tinyurl.com/3etuvketFollow Cruwyis on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc5ujhajResources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8uWhat is Social Connection? https://tinyurl.com/nk8crbbzIs Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness? https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tnWhy are We so Wired to Connect? https://tinyurl.com/uttppd3pTell us about your experiences with building social connections. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Help us share The Science of Happiness!Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aapTranscript to come.
5/23/202417 minutes, 20 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation on Cultivating Awe Through Colors

Experiencing awe can help us slow down and connect to the world around us. So how can we harness the power of this feeling? Host Dacher Keltner leads us in a colorful meditation to bring about awe. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3e9cyky5Practice: Please find a space, either inside or outside, where you can take a moment and pause and look slowly at a scene in front of you.  Settle into a pattern of deep breathing and ease. Really focusing on how that pattern of inhalation and exhalation relaxes your body and slows your heart rate down. Now cast your gaze over the space around you. Take in what you see in the scene in front of you. You may shift your attention to colors present in the things around you or step back and get a sense of the scene in a more holistic way. Notice the variations and differences in the various colors in your visual field.  What feelings do the colors evoke in you?  Now, gently close and then open your eyes and notice how you feel.  Today’s guests:Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.More episodes like this one:How Awe Brings Us Togetherhttps://tinyurl.com/bdhy4sj5How Music Evokes Awehttps://tinyurl.com/mpkww4j9Happiness Break: Awe for Others, With Dacherhttps://tinyurl.com/3ptwh66jFeeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, with Dacher Keltnerhttps://tinyurl.com/4r7rjaxfWe love hearing from you! Tell us what brings you feelings of awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod.Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzusHelp us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aapRate us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus
5/16/20246 minutes, 21 seconds
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How Birdsong Can Help Your Mental Health

Hearing birdsong can help us feel less anxious, recover from stress faster, and even reduce muscle tension ... but can it help us fall asleep? Drew Ackerman of Sleep With Me podcast listens to recordings of birdsongs to see if it'll help with insomnia. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5n7sxjtb Episode summary: Drew Ackerman, aka Scooter of Sleep With Me Podcast, has always struggled to get to sleep. Even as an anxious kid, worries would keep his mind churning as the night wore on. For our show, he tried a science-backed practice for easing stress: listening to the twitter of birds. He discovered the recordings reminded him of easeful summer afternoons, transporting him to another time and place. The research bears this out: different sounds affect us in different ways. For many, birdsong lowers our body’s stress responses. And for Drew, that helped him get a little sleepier. Practice: Listen to a recording of birdsong that appeals to you. Today’s guests: Drew Ackerman You might know Drew as his alias, “Dearest Scooter,” the host of Sleep with Me podcast. Drew struggles with bedtime worries and has a history of insomnia himself, but he’s great at helping others sleep. Sleep with Me is one of the most listened-to sleep podcasts. On each episode, “Scooter” lulls listeners off to dreamland with meandering bedtime stories intended to lose your interest. Listen to Sleep With Me Podcast: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me Follow Drew on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p8nrhnp Follow Drew on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearestscooter/ Follow Drew on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sleepwithmepodcast/ Emil Stobbe is a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany. Jesper Alvarsson is a professor of Psychology at Södertörn University in Sweden. Eleanor Ratcliffe is a professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey in the UK. More episodes like this one: The Science of a Good Night's Sleep (Sleep Tips, With Drew Ackerman) - https://tinyurl.com/3wrwzrxy Why You Should Snap Pictures of Nature (Appreciating The Outdoors, With Tejal Rao) - https://tinyurl.com/erwdvwrw Related Happiness Breaks (a short, guided practice by The Science of Happiness) Restore Through Silence, With Tricia Hersey - https://tinyurl.com/4h8ww8ub Feeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/43v74ryn Tell us what sounds relax you! You can even send us a recording, we’d love to hear it. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
5/9/202418 minutes, 33 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation on Pilina: Our Deep Interconnectedness, With Jo Qina'au

Pilina is an indigenous Hawaiian word, or concept, that describes our deep interconnectedness. Harvard Clinical Psychology Fellow Jo Qina'au guides us through a contemplation of our profound interrelationships. Link to Episode Transcript: https://shorturl.at/npAM9 How to Do This Practice: Pilina comes from the indigenous Hawaiian language and culture. Pilina means connection, or interconnectedness. Settle into a comfortable position and observe your breath. Visualize someone to whom you feel meaningfully connected and acknowledge the feeling of Pilina, or deep interconnectedness, between you two. Reflect on what it is that connects you, what impact that connection has had on your life, and what it may have had on theirs. Notice how it feels to acknowledge these things. Repeat steps 2-4 with as many people as you wish. Today’s Happiness Break host: Jo Qina’au is an indigenous Hawaiian meditation teacher and a Clinical Psychology Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Learn more about Jo’s work: https://tinyurl.com/2wfcma5f Follow Jo on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3v8ubn6a If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like these Happiness Breaks: 5 Minutes of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, With Jo Qina’au - https://tinyurl.com/4f3fd97f Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/4dzpatx7 Check out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about connection: How to Feel Less Lonely and More Connected - https://tinyurl.com/36t6urte When It's Hard To Connect, Try Being Curious - https://tinyurl.com/3778r4h9 We love hearing from you! Tell us who you feel Pilina with, and what it means to you to reflect on it. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
5/2/202410 minutes, 9 seconds
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Are You Remembering The Good Times?

Link to Transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2r63e6tn Episode summary: Whether it’s news notifications or work emails, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the stresses of our time every moment of every day. But what if there was something we could do to rekindle the greatest joys of our pasts? How might that shift how we feel in the present moment? Simply reflecting on happy memories has been shown in a lab to reduce stress, activate the reward center in our brain, and uplift our mood. This week, Palestinian-American poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye reminisces on happy memories from her youth and finds the practice soothes her and sparks joyfulness. We also hear from neuroscientist Mauricio Delgado about how the practice changes the way we think and feel, and which types of happy memories serve us best. Practice: For one week or more, spend 5-10 minutes each day writing in response to the following prompt: Think about good memories you have from your past. Write a few paragraphs describing them and one event that you still remember to this date. Please provide as many details as possible, including who was there, so that another person reading what you wrote could understand how you felt at that time. Today’s guests: Naomi Shihab Nye is a Palestinian-American poet and author. Her new book of poetry, Grace Notes, will be available May 7. Order Grace Notes: https://tinyurl.com/st3w6n8t Check out Naomi’s children’s book about a child visiting her Palestinian grandmother, Sitti’s Secrets: https://tinyurl.com/5embjxuj Follow Naomi on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/5hddcf8k Mauricio Delgado is a psychology professor at Rutgers University who studies social and cognitive neuroscience. Learn more about Mauricio’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4tt7bp2d Follow Mauricio on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/27kvv6j7 More episodes like this one: Why We Should Look Up at the Sky - https://tinyurl.com/4xs88sye Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests - https://tinyurl.com/bdesh3he Related Happiness Breaks: A Meditation to Connect to Your Roots, With Yuria Celidwen - https://tinyurl.com/3ae3w3z3 Where Did You Come From? Guided Writing, With Lyla June - https://tinyurl.com/ytypxn5t Tell us about your happiest childhood memories, and what they bring to you now. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
4/25/202419 minutes, 42 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Walking Meditation with Dan Harris of 10% Happier

Happiness Break: April 18, 2024 A walking meditation led by 10% Happier Host Dan Harris How to Do This Practice: Begin walking. Bring your awareness to the present moment, noticing sights and sounds around you. When your mind wanders to worries or other thoughts, gently bring yourself back to what you notice around you. See if you can notice the sensations in your leg as you take each step. Continue walking this way as long as you wish. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dan Harris the host of 10% Happier, a podcast about mindfulness and other practices and thoughts that can support our well-being. Check out Dan’s podcast, 10% Happier:  https://tinyurl.com/48cxcbjm\ Order his most recent book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book: https://tinyurl.com/44cmjuvd Follow Dan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/danbharris Follow Dan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danharris/ If you enjoyed this Happiness Break, you may also like: Moving Through Space, With Dacher Keltner - https://tinyurl.com/5n8dj5v6 Check out these episodes of The Science of Happiness about walking and mind-body awareness. How To Do Good For The Environment (And Yourself) (Walking, With Diana Gameros) - https://tinyurl.com/3zfhhpus How To Focus Under Pressure (Mindful Body Scan, With Amy Schneider) - https://tinyurl.com/5fkdre2v We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experiences with mindful walking. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. 
4/18/20247 minutes
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How To Make Work More Satisfying

Finding ways to bend tasks toward your strengths and passions can make you happier, more productive and find more meaning in your life — no matter your job. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4ky325rs Episode summary: When the poet and former professor Susan Glass first retired, she stacked her days with so many volunteer gigs and passion projects, she felt like she was working harder than ever before. Now, she wants to prioritize living a life of meaning and enjoyment. Susan tried a lab-tested practice called Job Crafting, where you take stock of the tasks that fill your day, how much time and energy they require, what really lights you up, and what changes you can make to better align your efforts at work (or in your free time) with your genuine strengths and passions. Then we hear from researcher Maria Tims about how Job Crafting doesn’t just benefit your own well-being and help to guard against burnout, it can also boost your whole team’s productivity and morale. Practice: Create a “before” sketch: List all your regular tasks, and note each one as low, medium, or high in terms of the time and energy you actually devote to them. Reflect on and write down what motivates you, what your strengths are, and what you’re passionate about. Create a more ideal (but still realistic) "after" diagram, shifting draining tasks from “high” to “low” or “medium” if possible, and boosting energizing and enjoyable tasks where you can. Create an action plan: What are some concrete changes that are in your power to make? Are there places where you need to ask for the support of a colleague or supervisor to make a change? Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/job_crafting Today’s guests: Susan Glass is a retired English professor and visually impaired, Bay Area-based poet. She’s the author of the poetry book “The Wild Language of Deer.” Read Susan’s book: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me Learn more about Susan’s life and work: https://tinyurl.com/j3pcjn6r Maria Tims is a professor of Management and Organization at the University of Amsterdam School of Business and Economics. Learn more about her work: https://tinyurl.com/mtp7tpy3 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Make Life More Meaningful (The Science of Happiness Podcast) https://tinyurl.com/39pth57f How to Be More Engaged at Work: https://tinyurl.com/2s3t5x2c How Oxytocin Can Make Your Job More Meaningful: https://tinyurl.com/mrx8458h Four Keys to a Healthy Workplace Hierarchy: https://tinyurl.com/788m6tme More Resources for Improving the Job You Have: HBR - What Job Crafting Looks Like: https://tinyurl.com/453yamac LSE - Can workers really craft their own happiness in the job? https://tinyurl.com/yjavhda9 TED - The Power of Personalising Our Work: https://tinyurl.com/4cvznn8v Tell us about your experiences finding meaning in your day-to-day tasks. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
4/11/202416 minutes, 22 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation To Move Through Anger, With Eve Ekman

Accepting difficult feelings like anger or irritation can help us keep our cool, feel better overall, and find calm on the other side. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/n6hm5yhz How to Do This Practice: Begin the practice by settling your mind and body. Notice your breath and any sensations that arise in your body, Shift your attention away from your body, recalling an instance where you felt mildly irritated or frustrated. Give yourself a few moments to fully feel this emotion.  Notice any physical sensations that arise. Then, release that memory, refocusing your attention on the body.  Allow these sensations to shift and move, giving them the space to change and observing them with a sense of curiosity and kindness. Consider shaking hands with the emotion the next time it arises in your daily life. Today’s Happiness Break host: Eve Ekman is a contemplative social scientist and meditation teacher from San Francisco, California. Learn more about Eve’s work: https://tinyurl.com/2vhuarh8 Find out about Eve’s Emotional trainings with Cultivating Emotional Balance: https://tinyurl.com/5n95m7yx Explore Eve’s Project, The Atlas of Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/mt75ytm3 Follow Eve on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/3txahape More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Regulate Your Emotions Without Suppressing Them: https://tinyurl.com/4x29denx What to Do When You Feel Stuck in Negative Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/mwczxfya How to Turn Your Brain from Anger to Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/57upkcfa How to Overcome Destructive Anger: https://tinyurl.com/49zu6whw We love hearing from you! How do you manage your emotions? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
4/4/20247 minutes, 25 seconds
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How To Talk To People You Disagree With

We learn techniques for working across the aisle without compromising our values from a Democratic politician in one of the most conservative states, Oklahoma. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/w2a9a42p Episode summary: Trying to have a conversation with someone who has an opposing view can be exhausting. This week, we explore what it means to have productive discussions when we disagree. Democratic Oklahoma State Senator Jo Anna Dossett recounts her experience bridging political divides with Republican senators in her state with  active listening and self-compassion. Later, we hear from political science professor Lilliana Mason about the blurred line between personal and political identities, and how connecting with individuals on an emotional and social level can lead to more fruitful discussions than just focusing on facts. Today’s guests: Jo Anna Dossett is an Oklahoma State Senator. Learn about Jo Anna Dossett: https://tinyurl.com/muxw7yvz Follow Jo Anna Dossett on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dossett4ok Follow Jo Anna Dossett on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/293n98fc Follow Jo Anna Dossett on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/yc3mszhx Lilliana Mason is a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. Learn about Lilliana Mason’s work: https://tinyurl.com/w2hy6fhk Follow Lilliana Mason on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/29sumyxb Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Eight Keys to Bridging Our Differences: https://tinyurl.com/45ntehyp Four Lessons From Mediators for Bridging Differences: https://tinyurl.com/bdhf68te What Will It Take to Bridge Our Differences? https://tinyurl.com/3sua8uz5 Six Techniques to Help You Bridge Differences: https://tinyurl.com/ypsbycf4 15 Practices to Help Kids Bridge Differences: https://tinyurl.com/mvw4s649 More Resources on Bridging Differences TIME - How Americans Can Tackle Political Division Together: https://tinyurl.com/3phj6y7j APA - Healing the political divide: https://tinyurl.com/38kzvm5k BBC - Crossing Divides: What the research tells us: https://tinyurl.com/yahmwdth Stanford - How to Bridge Political Divides: https://tinyurl.com/yc7ha55p Tell us about your experiences and struggles bridging differences. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/d3mc7e6t
3/28/202417 minutes, 15 seconds
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Happiness Break: Tap into the Joy that Surrounds You, With Anushka Fernandopulle

Beyond just feeling good, studies show experiencing other people's joy makes us more compassionate and satisfied with life. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/43e35j37 How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to begin this practice, focusing on your breath. Visualize a person or situation that brings you a sense of joy or happiness. It might be a child laughing, the success of a friend, or even a dog wagging its tail. Connect with their joy and happiness, wishing them well. Expand your focus to larger groups of people, like a team winning a match, wishing them well. Consider repeating this practice when you want to connect your sense of happiness with others. Today’s Happiness Break host: Anushka Fernandopulle is a Buddhist meditation teacher and leadership coach.  Learn More about Anushka: https://www.anushkaf.org/about/ Follow Anushka on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anushka_dharma/ Follow Anushka on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anushkaf More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: Wishing Others’ Well, With Anushka Fernandopulle: https://tinyurl.com/jrkewjs8 What Is Sympathetic Joy and How Can You Feel More of It? https://tinyurl.com/yuzmykct How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy: https://tinyurl.com/4csukyd5 Can Little Steps Lead to Big Joy? https://tinyurl.com/3e5yt3hp Why Experiencing Joy and Pain in a Group Is So Powerful: https://tinyurl.com/3trjtzfm We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of appreciating others’ joy. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/3bj4637f Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
3/21/20244 minutes, 55 seconds
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Who’s Always There for You?

When we remember the times someone had our back, it changes the way we view ourselves and the world. Our guest explores what happens when trying a practice to feel more supported. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/mrpyr8a7 Episode summary: Ever since he was a young child, José Valladares has spent his life caring for others and has taken pride in supporting his family and community, For our show, he tried a practice where he recalled people in his life who he can turn to during a difficult moment — the people who support him. As he wrote about their admirable qualities and specific instances where they helped him, José felt a renewed sense of gratitude and energy to persist forward in helping others. Later, we hear from psychologist Angela Rowe about how feeling supported can impact our relationships and sense of personal empowerment. Practice: Make a list of the people who offer you comfort or security. Write down six positive qualities that are common to some or all of these people. Next, recall and visualize a specific situation when you felt distressed or worried, and one of these people comforted and helped you. Write a brief description of that situation and how you felt during it. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/feeling_supported Today’s guests: José Valladares is a software engineer in Utah originally from Honduras. Angela Rowe is a psychology professor at the University of Bristol. Learn more about Angela’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4nh752ad Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: Who Takes Care of You? With Dacher Keltner: https://tinyurl.com/bdezwwyd How to Let Someone Love You (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/5xtzbzj2 Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/2p9zkjpj Just One Thing: Feel the Support: https://tinyurl.com/yrfnmwfv Friend or Family? https://tinyurl.com/msbs2kuh More Resources on Feeling Supported NYT Times - Are You Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? https://tinyurl.com/yes746sv The Atlantic - The Trait That ‘Super Friends’ Have in Common: https://tinyurl.com/bdheumdh BBC - Why friendship makes us healthier: https://tinyurl.com/3596n4u7 TED - How to ask for help -- and get a "yes": https://tinyurl.com/2ybrmt7m Stanford - Asking for help is hard, but people want to help more than we realize, Stanford scholar says’: https://tinyurl.com/4n4hraj5' Who do you turn to for support in your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/b6779syt
3/14/202416 minutes, 40 seconds
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Happiness Break: Where Did You Come From? Guided Writing With Lyla June

Indigenous artist Lyla June leads a 5-minute freewriting exercise about our personal journeys. Autobiographical writing has been shown to help do better in relationships and feel more satisfied in life. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/3622n5s6 How to Do This Practice: You will need writing utensils for this practice. Find a comfortable place to start this writing practice, taking a few moments to ground yourself. Write the prompt, “I come from a place where…”  For the next 5 minutes (or more), write whatever comes to mind, allowing your thoughts and ideas to flow freely, without judgment or filters. Trying keeping your pen to the paper the whole time.  Take some time afterward to read and reflect on what you wrote.  Consider repeating this exercise every few weeks or months to reflect on your past and prospective future.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Lyla June is an Indigenous artist and scholar from the Diné Nation. Learn about Lyla June’s work: [https://www.lylajune.com/>\ Watch Lyla June’s videos: [https://tinyurl.com/bdhbwyru>\ Follow Lyla June on Twitter: [https://tinyurl.com/4pj565d6>\ Follow Lyla June on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4pj565d6 More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: The Power of Expressing Your Deepest Emotions (The Science of Happiness Podcast): [https://tinyurl.com/2uzh3r67>\ How to Journal Through Your Struggles: [https://tinyurl.com/yua6wkwd>\ How Journaling Can Help You in Hard Times: [https://tinyurl.com/3zv3hunw>\ How Creative Writing Can Increase Students’ Resilience: https://tinyurl.com/4xw8xuff How was your experience with this freewriting exercise? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/ycukc4za Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
3/7/20249 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why Grownups Should Be Playful Too

Playfulness can improve your relationships, help you excel at work, and reduce stress. We explore a strategy shown to help you become more playful. Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/b5xc78r3 Episode summary: Patricia Mebrahtu used to have so much fun as a child. Now, as a medical assistant and mother of two young children, she found herself feeling burnt out and irritable. For our show, Patricia tried a practice to infuse more playfulness into her life. From singing karaoke with her family to playing in the rain, she tapped into her inner child. Through this practice, Patricia recognized the importance of taking time out for yourself, and that she can carve out opportunities to have fun and be playful, even as a busy adult. Later, we hear from psychologist René Proyer about the different types of playfulness, and how incorporating play can benefit our sense of wellbeing. Practice: Each day for a week, incorporate one playful activity into your routine – it can be anything you find enjoyable and playful. Every evening, write about the experience, and how it made you feel in the present moment. Today’s guests: Patricia Mebrahtu is a mother and medical assistant in California. René Proyer is a psychologist from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Learn about René’s work: http://tinyurl.com/4sa9vye9 Follow René on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/3x5986u6 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Can We Play? http://tinyurl.com/prhv22rf What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship: http://tinyurl.com/n9b3h7e4 Tuesday Tip: Play with Some Friends: http://tinyurl.com/mu837nwr More Resources on Being Playful: BBC - Playtime: Is it time we took 'play' more seriously? http://tinyurl.com/4jmx89vn NYT - Why We All Need to Have More Fun: http://tinyurl.com/335z4bdu Washington Post - Why it’s good for grown-ups to go play: http://tinyurl.com/5w8shen TED - The Importance of PLAY in adulthood and childhood: http://tinyurl.com/4hsn9um4 How do you incorporate play into your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/up29j8zk
2/29/202419 minutes, 29 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation on Playfulness, With Dacher Keltner

We all have a playful side, and research shows acting on it can help us when we need to move through challenging emotions, manage conflict, and be more creative. Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/4bxtn9ek How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. Focus on breathing deeply. Think back to a moment of play during your childhood. Recall specific details like your age, what you were doing and who you were with. As you remember, notice how the memory is affecting you in the present moment. Next, focus on a recent memory of play – maybe with your partner, friends, or family. Fully recall the moment, again bringing to mind specific details. Notice how this memory makes you feel. Take note of how reflecting on play has affected your breathing. Did it affect the tight areas in your body? How about the relaxed and open ones? As you refocus your attention on your breath, make a commitment to add play into your busy schedule going forward. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, *Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: *<https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt\](https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt) More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What Happens When We Play (The Science of Happiness Podcast): http://tinyurl.com/mrfm5pj5 Can We Play? http://tinyurl.com/prhv22rf What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship: http://tinyurl.com/n9b3h7e4 For Black Children, Play Can Be Transformative: http://tinyurl.com/mwnfcu26 What memories of play came to your mind? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: http://tinyurl.com/ycydhyxz Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: http://tinyurl.com/ycydhyxz We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
2/22/20246 minutes, 38 seconds
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Encore: How to Feel Less Pressed for Time

When we devote a little time to the other people in our life, we actually feel like we have more of it. Our guest tried a practice to regain control of his time and schedule Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/mr3r6jfn Episode summary: Like many of us, our guest Bryant Terry felt like he never had enough time in his day. And while he was eager to reconnect with his family, his schedule was spiraling out of control. For our show, Bryant tried a practice proven to help you feel like you have more time, by specifically devoting some of your time to others. He set intentions to spend quality time with his children doing activities that they truly enjoy. By prioritizing those special moments with his family, Bryant felt more control over his schedule, recognizing that he has the power to make time for what truly matters to him. Later, we hear from professor Cassie Mogilner Holmes about why this practice works, and how being intentional with our time can reshape our relationship with it.  Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/gift_of_time Practice Think of a person whom you care about.  What might you be able to do for this person that entails nothing more than the giving of your time?  Plan a gift of time for this person and give it, whether it means doing something with them (in person or virtually).  Spend as much time as needed to do the favor well and do not take any shortcuts. You might even consider taking off your watch or putting your smartphone away.  Today’s guests: Bryant Terry is an award winning chef, author and artist.  Learn about Bryant’s work: http://tinyurl.com/3wf3264h Follow Bryant on Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/2w68z8bc Learn about his imprint, 4 Color Books: http://tinyurl.com/yuhrsrp8 Cassie Mogilner Holmes is a professor of marketing and behavioral decision making at UCLA.  Learn about Cassie’s work: http://tinyurl.com/rb5r97s5 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Feel Like You Have More Time: http://tinyurl.com/p6ykm7y2 Ten Ways to Make Your Time Matter: http://tinyurl.com/34dvwnv4 Why You Never Seem to Have Enough Time: http://tinyurl.com/4t8vyhy3 Can Awe Buy You More Time and Happiness? http://tinyurl.com/m28d8wcx How to Spend Your Time on What Matters Most: http://tinyurl.com/ycw527tj More Resources on spending quality time with others: BBC - How to feel more in control of your time: http://tinyurl.com/nhbt7btm Stanford - Jennifer Aaker: How to Feel Like You Have More Time: http://tinyurl.com/n8cc6yfk Harvard -You’ll Feel Less Rushed If You Give Time Away:  http://tinyurl.com/yc86ymve How do you devote time to others? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/yjdesnze
2/15/202415 minutes, 43 seconds
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Happiness Break: Wrap Yourself in Kindness, With Jack Kornfield

When we treat ourselves with kindness and gratitude, research shows we feel more motivated and less self-critical. Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield leads in a practice where we gently turn inward. Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/yfbz28h2 How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. Focus on taking deep breaths, relaxing your body. As you recognize the different sensations in your body, consciously envelope yourself in kindness. Thank your body for providing and caring for you. Redirect your loving kindness towards your heart and the varied emotions it carries.Thank your heart for all it does for you. Then, focus your kindness towards your mind and all the thoughts and worries it holds. Thank it for all that it does. Next, turn towards your consciousness as a whole – your emotions, body, thoughts. Rest in a state of comfortable, loving-kindness. When you’re ready, gently open your eyes and reconnect with the world around you. Today’s Happiness Break host: Jack Kornfield is a meditation teacher and author who is one of the leading voices to share Buddhist teachings with a Western audiences. Learn more about Jack’s work: http://tinyurl.com/2wfth7v2 Follow Jack on Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/3zs2bjvx Follow Jack on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/bd5r9k4a Follow Jack on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/mryr839y More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take Our Self-Compassion Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yysrf663 How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: https://tinyurl.com/45zkrkam The Five Myths of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2p88vass How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain: http://tinyurl.com/2f78cywf Is Gratitude Good for Your Health? http://tinyurl.com/yc86ve9d We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of gratitude and self-compassion. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
2/8/20249 minutes, 7 seconds
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What To Do When You Don’t Like The Way You Feel

Our guest tried a practice in Radical Acceptance, a Buddhist principle made popular by today's expert, psychologist Tara Brach.  Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/362m4n3b Episode summary: Sometimes, a setback in work or life can leave us feeling defeated and uninspired. Nadia Zafar is a neurobiology student who has been pursuing her PhD for the last 6 years. Recently, her lack of progress had her spiraling in thoughts of self-doubt and unworthiness. For our show, Nadia tried a practice rooted in radical acceptance, called RAIN. By actively recognizing emotions without judgment, investigating them further, and then nurturing those sensations, she started to approach her negative and anxious thoughts from a place of self-compassion instead of blame. Later, we speak with the creator of the RAIN practice, Tara Brach. She explains the elements of the practice that make it so effective, how approaching situations from a place of acceptance helps disrupt our reactive instincts — opening up more space for awareness and compassion for ourselves and others. Practice: When you come up against something challenging – you’re angry or frustrated or feeling any way about yourself, another person, or a situation – move through these steps. It might be helpful to sit somewhere you feel comfortable. Close your eyes for a few moments, and begin by taking a few deep, intentional breaths, to help settle the mind. Recognize what’s happening. For example, “I am getting caught up in anger right now.” Allow the emotion you recognize to be there: Accept that you are feeling the way you’re feeling. You may go a step further and forgive yourself for it, for example by saying to yourself, “Anger forgiven.” Investigate what’s underneath whatever you’re feeling by directing a gentle curiosity towards it. For example, where there is anger, there is something we care deeply about. Nurture: You might put your hand on your heart, remind yourself that many have struggled with the very thing you’re struggling with now, and send yourself a message of kindness and understanding. Today’s guests: Nadia Zafar is a 6th year neurobiology PhD student at the University of Toronto. Tara Brach is a leading voice in the field of contemplative meditation practices. Learn more about Tara and her work: https://www.tarabrach.com/ Read Tara’s book, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha:  http://tinyurl.com/4csarvmf Follow Tara on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/3arhy4uh Follow Tara on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/2drpvp6c Follow Tara on Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/y743bkru Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: Radical Acceptance, With Tara Brach (The Science of Happiness Podcast): http://tinyurl.com/msf5ccde Can Self-Awareness Help You Be More Empathic? http://tinyurl.com/5yh8z2s2 How Does Mindfulness Help Cultivate Self-Compassion? http://tinyurl.com/yuhwmja4 How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: http://tinyurl.com/2a3mm6pf Want to Change Your Life? Try Self-Compassion: http://tinyurl.com/2y2ryc6m More Resources on Radical Acceptance: Harvard - Greater self-acceptance improves emotional well-being: http://tinyurl.com/2ty58cbh BBC - Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success: http://tinyurl.com/yj2zax8x Ted - Dare to rewire your brain for self-compassion: http://tinyurl.com/yc2ru73p Tell us about your experiences and struggles with accepting difficult situations. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/v6j42zu7
2/1/202418 minutes, 48 seconds
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Happiness Break: Radical Acceptance, With Tara Brach

A meditation in meeting our most difficult emotions — like anger, disappointment, or fear — with mindfulness and gentle care. Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/48jas955 How to Do This Practice: When you come up against something challenging – you’re angry or frustrated or feeling any way about yourself, another person, or a situation, move through these steps. It might be helpful to sit somewhere you feel comfortable closing your eyes for a few moments, and begin by taking a few deep, intentional breaths, to help settle the mind. Recognize what’s happening. For example, “I am getting caught up in anger right now.” Allow the emotion you recognize to be there: Accept that you are feeling the way you’re feeling. You may go a step further and forgive yourself for it, for example by saying to yourself, “Anger forgiven.” Investigate what’s underneath whatever you’re feeling by directing a gentle curiosity towards it. For example, where there is anger, there is something we care deeply about. Nurture: Send yourself a message of kindness. You might put your hand on your heart, for example, and remind yourself that everyone experiences reactivity, and send yourself a message of kindness and understanding. Today’s Happiness Break host: Tara Brach is a psychologist and leading voice in contemporary meditative practices and the author of numerous popular books on contemplative practice. Read Tara’s seminal book, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of the Buddha: http://tinyurl.com/4csarvmf Learn more about Tara’s work: https://www.tarabrach.com/ Find classes taught by Dr. Neff: https://www.tarabrach.com/online-courses/ Follow Tara on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tarabrach/ Follow Tara on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tarabrach More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Go Through Life with Love in Your Heart, A Q&A with Tara Brach: http://tinyurl.com/2ne65wed The Mindfulness Skill That Is Crucial for Stress: http://tinyurl.com/3xmnekw2 How Self-Compassion Beats Rumination: http://tinyurl.com/yc7phxsc Want to Change Your Life? Try Self-Compassion: http://tinyurl.com/2y2ryc6m Overcoming Objections to Self-Compassion: http://tinyurl.com/yc2wvusr Self-Compassion Could Help You Be More Tolerant of Others: http://tinyurl.com/3kwrm88h We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with the Light RAIN practice. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
1/25/20248 minutes, 32 seconds
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How (And Why) To Find More Beauty in the Everyday

What happens when we intentionally look for beautiful things in our day-to-day lives? We explore a lab-tested practice shown to help you feel happier. Link to Transcript: http://tinyurl.com/yretvrkp Episode summary: When was the last time you witnessed a beautiful moment? Maybe it was a striking sunset, a kind exchange between strangers, or a hearty laugh between two friends. Beautiful moments surround us, and research suggests that taking the time to admire them can actually benefit our health and happiness. For our show, restorative justice advocate Darnell Washington looked for 9 beautiful things each day and reflected on them. In doing so, he recognized how admiring different types of beauty from nature to the goodness of others, can have a powerful impact on his own humanity. Later, we hear from the psychologist who created the practice, René T. Proyer, about how making it a point to notice different kinds of beauty benefits our happiness and reduces depression. Practice: Every night for at least one week, set about 15 minutes before going to bed to think about nine beautiful things that happened during the day, 3 each in the following categories. Write down three beautiful things in human behavior (morally, positively valued behavior, ie good deeds). Write down three things you experienced as beautiful in nature and/or the environment. Write down three beautiful things in general that you noticed during the day  (referring to aesthetics, like art, music, architecture, etc). Note why you found each of these nine things beautiful. Today’s guests: Darnell Washington is a formerly incarcerated restorative justice advocate from California. Listen to Darnell’s Ted Talk: http://tinyurl.com/cujz79fk René T. Proyer is a professor and researcher at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Learn about René’s work: http://tinyurl.com/4sa9vye9 Follow René on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/3x5986u6 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Finding Beauty in the Everyday (The Science of Happiness Podcast): http://tinyurl.com/2w2ht55h Why Seeing Beauty Matters, Even in the Midst of War: http://tinyurl.com/4zy436xk How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative: http://tinyurl.com/d2vzpsaj Finding Awe in the Ordinary: http://tinyurl.com/aavr2pkv More Resources on Appreciating Beauty: BBC - The neuroscience of beauty: What your brain finds beautiful – and how this shapes your thoughts: http://tinyurl.com/47s6zcre TED - Nature. Beauty. Gratitude: http://tinyurl.com/upnrzthc CNN - It’s the little things: Why animals, sunsets and coffee make us happy: http://tinyurl.com/yckephaf We want to hear from you! What beautiful moment have you noticed recently? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rete us and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/yfsx9zwp
1/18/202418 minutes, 18 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation to Find Grounding in the New Year, With Spring Washam

Research shows feeling connected with nature can lower our stress response. This visualization meditation can help you feel at ease, no matter where you are. Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/2k6pdh7n How to Do This Practice: It is encouraged to try this practice outdoors Begin the practice by focusing on your breath, and relaxing your body, noticing how it feels supported, particularly by the earth. Allow yourself to let go of anything you are mentally or emotionally carrying, visualizing it going into the earth, letting the ground continue to support you. Draw on imagery from nature to cultivate feelings of strength and sturdiness to support you. For example, imagine that your own body is rooting into the earth to become as unshakable as a tree,   imagine that you are as steady as a mountain, your breath is the breeze and your mind is as open and boundless as the sky. End the practice by placing your hand on your heart, offering yourself kindness, well-being and joy. Today’s Happiness Break host: Spring Washam is an author and meditation teacher based in Oakland, California. Learn more about Spring’s work: http://tinyurl.com/3bbshnn7 Read Spring’s books here: http://tinyurl.com/4hkft4js More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: What To Do When You’re Struggling, With Spring Washam: http://tinyurl.com/mrx8t9st What Happens When We Reconnect With Nature: http://tinyurl.com/553xwm47 Why Is Nature So Good for Your Mental Health? http://tinyurl.com/ycx9ns4p How Nature Helps Us Heal: http://tinyurl.com/2p93682j Why You Need More Nature in Your Life: http://tinyurl.com/28z27wb2 We love hearing from you! How do you connect with nature? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
1/11/20247 minutes, 41 seconds
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How to Stick to Your Resolutions in 2024

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits We explore how the science of behavior change can help us form new habits and be happier while doing it.Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/4e294mdt Episode summary: Many of us are heading into the new year with a resolution we want to live by — a new good habit we’d like to form. But actually sticking to those good habits isn’t always easy — one failure can have us losing the motivation to continue. For our show, we spoke with Cholpon Ramizova and Derick Gnonlonfoun, a couple who set out to create better food habits by cooking at home more and incorporating more vegetables into their meals. As they started to develop this new habit, the two realized that a mindful and kind attitude towards themselves was a key element to their success. Later, we hear from psychologists Katy Milkman and Kristin Neff, to learn about how failure can actually be beneficial when pursuing a goal, and how to cope with it. Today’s guests: Cholpon Ramizova and Derick Gnonlonfoun are a couple living in London. Check out Derick’s artwork here: http://tinyurl.com/2kc9h478 Katy Milkman is a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Co-Director of The Behavior Change for Good Initiative. Learn more about Katy and her work: http://tinyurl.com/4ypvmvhf Find more information on the Behavior Change for Good Initiative: http://tinyurl.com/mr94wh6f Follow Katy on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/mr25etdp Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Feel Good: http://tinyurl.com/3bvs8zb5 Make Self-Compassion One of Your New Year’s Resolutions: http://tinyurl.com/yc2t42nt Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions: http://tinyurl.com/y2pt9uz2 How to Learn From Your Failures: http://tinyurl.com/5h7uybux More Resources on Forming Good Habits: BBC - 4 simple, science-backed ways to build habits that stick: http://tinyurl.com/2p8dk6wt Harvard -What Does It Really Take to Build a New Habit?  http://tinyurl.com/ndrfybyb Stanford - Building Habits: The Key to Lasting Behavior Change: http://tinyurl.com/4utw95sj TED - The 1-minute secret to forming a new habit: http://tinyurl.com/mum8kzvj Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/2pxdw8vr
1/4/202417 minutes, 56 seconds
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Happiness Break: Visualizing Your Best Self in Relationships, With Dacher Keltner

 When we imagine our best possible selves in our relationships, we feel more motivated to achieve our goals and a greater sense of control over our lives. This week, Dacher leads a visualization exercise in preparation for the new year. Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits Link to episode transcript: http://tinyurl.com/yj43srye How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to begin the practice. Take deep breaths. Focus on the person you are in a romantic relationship with, or a dear friend. Bring an image of them to mind, like how they look and their mannerisms. Imagine your life in the future, and how you would like to be the best version of yourself in your relationship with them. Picture yourself interacting with them — what is happening? What are you doing and saying? What is the tone of the interaction? Repeat this exercise by focusing on friendships and familial relationships. Take note of any common actions across all relationships that you would like to take. Set an intention about how you will interact within your relationships in the new year. When you’re done, reground yourself in the present moment, focusing on the sensations in your body.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the UC, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Find Your Best Possible Self (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/265b34pj How Thinking About the Future Makes Life More Meaningful: https://tinyurl.com/24mex4by 10 Pillars of a Strong Relationship:https://tinyurl.com/3zffc8x4 For the New Year, Try Imagining Your Best Possible Life: https://tinyurl.com/4carr6kv We love hearing from you! How do you plan to be your best possible self in the new year? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
12/28/20237 minutes, 38 seconds
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How Thinking About Your Ancestors Can Help You Thrive

Join our limited newsletter, The Science of Habits, to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year's resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits We explore how contemplating our heritage can make us feel more belonging, gratitude, and confidence in what we're capable of achieving. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5djerhbj Episode summary: Oral historian Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz knows the profound impact the past can have on the present. For our show, Mi’Jan tried a lab-tested writing practice that took the historical facts she knew about her own family further – by way of her imagination. She journaled about her great-great grandmother Emma, the last enslaved person in her family, and her late father, Njoroge , imagining what they might say to her today.We also hear from psychologist  Susan Moore about how learning about your ancestors can help you feel a sense of self-knowledge, gratitude and belonging. Practice: Imagine an ancestor in your family lineage. It can be someone you have known or someone from centuries ago. Spend the next 5-15 minutes writing about them. If you don’t know the details, imagine how their life would have been. Write down anything that comes to mind such as their way of life, their profession or what they looked like. Next imagine what they would tell you if they were alive today. What specific insights, advice or feedback would they give you? Write down your reflections. Today’s guests: Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz is an artist, documentarian and oral historian. Learn more about Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz’s work: http://tinyurl.com/5e8t9ha7 Follow Mi’Jan on Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/mr3yp3kz Susan Moore is a psychology professor at the Swinburne University of Technology. Follow Susan on Twitter:http://tinyurl.com/mr3vsr2k Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Teens Today Are Different from Past Generations: http://tinyurl.com/y5ffwavr Don’t Be So Quick to Stereotype Generations: http://tinyurl.com/mrxx7xfj How Collective Trauma Can Hurt the Next Generation: http://tinyurl.com/2vunsm2z Find Purpose by Connecting Across Generations: http://tinyurl.com/h4yyjesh More Resources on Connecting with Ancestors: NPR- 8 listeners share the powerful ways they keep in touch with their ancestors: http://tinyurl.com/48kjmenk Harvard - How Family History Can Inspire Accountable Reparations and Foster Ancestral Healing: http://tinyurl.com/ta24x773 TED - How to be a good ancestor: http://tinyurl.com/54zvkzsv How do you connect with your family history? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: http://tinyurl.com/yv69erdh
12/21/202319 minutes, 1 second
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Happiness Break: A Meditation for Seeking Forgiveness, With Shelly Tygielski

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits When we practice forgiveness, studies show we can have healthier relationships, higher self-esteem, and less anxiety and depression. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/mt9uwad8 How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to begin the practice. Soften your gaze and take a few slow, deep breaths. Imagine there is a light made of compassion, love and understanding all around you. As the light comforts you, think of a person you would like to seek forgiveness from. Take note of any emotions that arise. Imagine sincerely apologizing to them. Visualize a bridge connecting you and the individual. Know that while forgiveness is not always immediately accepted, you've taken the first step towards healing. Turn your forgiveness towards yourself, breathing in love and compassion. End this practice by reconnecting with your body and refocusing your gaze, remembering that the journey of forgiveness is ongoing. .Today’s Happiness Break host: Shelly Tygielski is a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher based in Florida. To get Shelly Tygielski and Justin Michael Williams’ book How We Ended Racism: go to howweendedracism.com or your favorite book seller. Learn more about Shelly’s work: https://tinyurl.com/26xkdnku Follow Shelly on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4k4bx3nn Follow Shelly on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/bdfsb9pt Follow Shelly on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2edu2fzu More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Eight Keys to Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/2s4hbz3a The New Science of Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/5f2c7sfb How to Overcome Barriers to Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/22zteuyj The Power of Forgiveness at Work: https://tinyurl.com/mrx5hzvh How to Build a More Forgiving Community: https://tinyurl.com/5frja2h2 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with forgiveness. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
12/14/20237 minutes, 31 seconds
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When It's Hard To Connect, Try Being Curious

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Years resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits When we're more curious, we are more likely to be happier and have stronger relationships. Try deepening your curiosity with these science-backed practices from author Scott Shigeoka. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/276u4yxu Episode summary: As a cardiologist and immigrant in the United States, Stephanie Hsiao has always placed an emphasis on advancing her skills in order to succeed. So when she received the diagnosis that her son was neurodiverse, Stephanie went immediately into action mode to help her son — but she felt like she was missing something. For our show, Stephanie tried a practice to cultivate “deep curiosity,” and found that a curious outlook helped her to check her assumptions about parenting and discover her son’s strengths and interests. Later, we hear from curiosity expert Scott Shigeoka about the difference between shallow and deep curiosity, and how it can help us forge stronger connections with others. Practice: Before engaging in curiosity: Slow down, focus on your breathing. Set an intention to focus on curiosity and maybe visualize yourself being curious. While in conversation: Be open to being wrong, continuously check your assumptions, and actively turn towards those who are seeking your attention. Going forward: Make commitments to yourself and with others to engage in difficult, but open-minded interactions. Today’s guests: Stephanie Hsiao is a mother and cardiologist based in San Francisco, California. Scott Shigeoka is an author and storyteller who focuses on themes of curiosity and well-being. Order Scott Shigeoka’s book Seek: How Curiosity can Transform Your Life and Save the World: https://tinyurl.com/4jrxbupj Learn More About Scott’s work: https://tinyurl.com/y5xyxky7 Follow Scott on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3acu6jhm Follow Scott on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3m3k3bm9 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity: https://tinyurl.com/7kcr32su How to Stay Open and Curious in Hard Conversations: https://tinyurl.com/y2f2e9ce Why Curious People Have Better Relationships: https://tinyurl.com/2xw5y9yr Does Curiosity Have a Dark Side? https://tinyurl.com/5n88wzyd How Curiosity Can Help Us Overcome Disconnection: https://tinyurl.com/9kaas6nz More Resources on Curiosity: BBC - Curiosity: The neglected trait that drives success: https://tinyurl.com/38bubaak Harvard - A Curious Mind: https://tinyurl.com/324hyzv4 TED - How Curiosity Will Save Us: https://tinyurl.com/muswe2y5 Tell us about your experience with being curious. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/m6aezjce This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." To learn more, go to https://tinyurl.com/2dj6hw29
12/7/202317 minutes, 31 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Visualization to Connect With Your Heritage

Chef and author Bryant Terry leads us through a visualization to connect with our ancestors by appreciating our families' traditional foods. Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year’s resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/yc6d69py How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to start this practice, focusing on your breath. Think of a meal or dish that is linked to your culture. Reflect on what it looks and tastes like, as well as when you would eat this dish. Recall whoever would normally make this dish for you, and any stories that might have told you about it. Refocusing your attention on the dish, consider all the different ingredients that went into it, tracing them back to where they came from. Reflect on how generations of your family have been nourished from these sources, all leading up to you. Complete the practice by grounding yourself in your body, and thanking your ancestors for what they have provided. Today’s Happiness Break host: Bryant Terry is a meditator, chef and food justice activist based in San Francisco. Learn about Bryant Terry: https://tinyurl.com/juvz7sb2 Read Bryant’s books: https://tinyurl.com/59nxrn8e Follow Bryant on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/ycyb8dwc More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: A Meditation to Connect to Your Roots, with Yuria Celidwen (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/3mrd6247 Episode 81: Are You Listening to Your Elders? (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/2wjbjj3e Do Rituals Help Us to Savor Food? https://tinyurl.com/52xpj7fn Find Purpose by Connecting Across Generations: https://tinyurl.com/h4yyjesh We love hearing from you! Tell us about your favorite cultural dish. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
11/30/20238 minutes, 50 seconds
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Being Kind is Good for Your Health

Join our limited newsletter The Science of Habits to get curated, science-backed tips to help make your New Year’s resolution stick in 2024. https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/255mcn3b Episode summary: This week, we’re focusing on doing good for others, and we’ve turned to someone who cheers people up for a living. Dana Merwin is a professional clown and performer based in San Francisco. For our show, she tried a practice where she performed three acts of kindness a day for the people in her life. She reflects on how simple, kind gestures can pave the way for deep and valuable connections, and that being kind to others ultimately makes us feel good as well. We also hear from psychologist David Cregg about how doing good things for others improves our sense of social connection, purpose in life, and can even help us live longer and healthier lives. Practice: Write down or think about three acts of kindness you could perform the next day. Do three kind acts for people in your life. At the end of the day, reflect on how these experiences make you feel. Today’s guests: Dana Merwin is a progressional clown and performer based in San Francisco. Learn about Dana’s Work: https://tinyurl.com/bd6ew95a Follow Dana on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/dspstzrk David Cregg is a clinical psychologist at South Texas Veterans Health Care System whose research specializes in positive psychology. Follow David on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/ajay6n6a Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Do You Underestimate the Impact of Being Kind? https://tinyurl.com/583hwar9 Just One Thing: Be Kind to Yourself by Being Kind to Others: https://tinyurl.com/4dsf7bn2 Do We Have an Instinctive Urge to Be Kind? https://tinyurl.com/y5fabnj3 Can Helping Others Help You Find Meaning in Life? https://tinyurl.com/yc4zhw9w Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness into Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/22cx7w9f More Resources on Doing Good Things For Others: BBC - What we do and don't know about kindness: https://tinyurl.com/na6jvr9e Harvard: Lending a helping hand: https://tinyurl.com/yckf4759 UCL: 10 benefits of helping others: https://tinyurl.com/4wn5syhh Mayo Health Clinic: The art of kindness: https://tinyurl.com/5ah5dahc What kind action have you done for others recently? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/873v67ah
11/23/202319 minutes, 29 seconds
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Happiness Break: Feel more Gratitude, With Eve Ekman

Renew your sense of gratitude by remembering acts of kindness, with social scientist and meditation teacher Eve Ekman. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/kjkzpdk8 How to Do This Practice: Begin the practice by focusing on your breath and settling your mind and body. Notice any physical sensations that arise. Shift your attention away from your body, recalling a time in the last week where you received kindness. Think about the details of the event, and notice how you react to this kindness. Next, focus on a recent experience where you extended kindness. As you relive this event in your mind, allow yourself to be filled with the feeling of kindness. Reconnect with the physical sensations in your body, acknowledging that it is full of gratitude. Today’s Happiness Break host: Eve Ekman is a contemplative social scientist and meditation teacher from San Francisco, California. Learn more about Eve’s work: https://tinyurl.com/2vhuarh8 Find out about Eve’s Emotional trainings with Cultivating Emotional Balance: https://tinyurl.com/5n95m7yx Explore Eve’s Project, The Atlas of Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/mt75ytm3 Follow Eve on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/3txahape More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain: https://tinyurl.com/2f78cywf Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal: https://tinyurl.com/4uyu9pud Why Gratitude Is Good: https://tinyurl.com/5n88p589 How Gratitude Motivates Us to Become Better People: https://tinyurl.com/3jzr7jfm Three Surprising Ways That Gratitude Works at Work: https://tinyurl.com/4f5m9hde We love hearing from you! How do you express gratitude? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
11/16/20238 minutes, 19 seconds
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Encore: The Science of a Good Night's Sleep

This week we revisit our science-backed tips for a good night's sleep with sleep scientist Eti Ben Simon and host of the Sleep with Me podcast Drew Ackerman. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2p8t47eh Episode summary: A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by, and beating yourself up over not sleeping enough will only make it worse. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, the host of Sleep With Me podcast Drew Ackerman joins us to try science-backed tips for finding your natural sleep rhythm. Drew, also known as “Dearest Scooter,” talks about his history with insomnia and sleep anxiety, sleep hygiene, and his philosophy on bringing more self-compassion into his approach to trying to fall asleep. Then we hear from sleep scientist Eti Ben Simon about how sleep affects your social life. Practice: Avoid alcohol and caffeine after 2 p.m. to unmask your true biological sleep needs. Keep lights dim in the evening and limit access to LED lights after 9 p.m. Go to sleep as soon as you feel tired (even if you're in the middle of something). This will help you figure out the earliest window it is physiologically possible for you to fall asleep. Do not use an alarm clock to wake up. Today’s guests: Drew Ackerman is the host of one of the most listened-to sleep podcasts, Sleep with Me.  Listen to Sleep With Me Podcast: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me Follow Drew on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p8nrhnp Follow Drew on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearestscooter/ Follow Drew on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sleepwithmepodcast/ Eti Ben Simon is a sleep scientist and postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, where she works at Matthew Walkers’ Center for Human Sleep Science. Learn more about Eti and her work: https://www.sleepingeti.com/ Follow Eti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/etoosh Follow Eti on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/328aa5yr Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Surprising Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p832bh5 How Mindfulness Improves Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p8rhkhj Your Sleep Tonight Changes How You React to Stress Tomorrow: https://tinyurl.com/2p8zvbjz More Resources for A Good Night’s Sleep: Matthew Walker’s 11 Tips for Improving Sleep Quality: https://tinyurl.com/2kadu7va TED - Sleeping with Science: https://tinyurl.com/23mmbdy3 Harvard Health - 8 Tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p8um9z7 BBC - Why Do We Sleep? https://tinyurl.com/2p8z9v2d Tell us about your experiences and struggles with falling asleep. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus
11/9/202319 minutes, 51 seconds
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Happiness Break: Find Calm When You Can't Clear Your Mind, With Lama Rod Owens

Take a break from ruminating with Lama Rod Owens as he leads you in a meditation to cultivate a sky-like mind. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/5fn7sw7t How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to begin this practice. Turn your attention to the rise and fall of your thoughts and feelings within your mind. Imagine that your mind is a vast open sky and that your thoughts are like clouds passing through. Recognize that these thoughts are just experiences that come and go, and that they do not constitute the whole sky or your whole being. Allow yourself to trust the bright openness of your mind, without worrying about it becoming stormy. When you are ready, reground yourself in the present moment by noticing how your body, and how it is held by your seat. Today’s Happiness Break host: Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist teacher, author and activist passionate about creating engaging and inclusive healing spaces. Learn about Lama Rod Owens’ work: https://tinyurl.com/wd2huac5 Read Lama Rod Owens’ latest book, The New Saints: From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors: https://tinyurl.com/4pj8wb7x Follow Lama Rod Owens on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/527378v9 Follow Lama Rod Owens on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/mwa2vwrh Follow Lama Rod Owens on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/h33pyjye More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times: https://tinyurl.com/6apdf52p How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts: https://tinyurl.com/hp8s5wv6 How to Focus a Wandering Mind: https://tinyurl.com/y7jhkewv How to Enjoy Being Alone with Your Thoughts: https://tinyurl.com/3ej6acx6 We love hearing from you! Have you tried quieting your mind? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
11/2/20237 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Science of Singing Along

For time immemorial, humans have connected deeply through singing with one another. We explore the science behind this, plus how group singing benefits other aspects of our health.  Link to Episode Transcript: https://tinyurl.com/bdzkmezu Episode summary: When was the last time you sang with another person? This week, we’re digging into the science of singing — and more specifically, the science of singing with others, with author Casper ter Kuile. Casper started hosting signing groups in his home as a way to feel connected to others and build a community after moving to a new city. He found that singing is a powerful mode of communication that’s entirely different from talking, by letting people have fun together before even learning what the other does for work. We also hear from psychologist Arla Good, about how group singing can act as a tool for social bonding through a mood-boosting oxytocin response. Today’s guests: Casper ter Kuile is an author and speaker who focuses on themes of community building, rituals and spirituality.  Read Casper’s book, The Power of Ritual: https://tinyurl.com/5653xymp Learn about Casper’s latest project, The Nearness: https://tinyurl.com/yc76wjvj Follow Casper on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/muueecw2 Follow Casper on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/mr2jsufk Arla Good is a psychologist at Toronto Metropolitan University whose research specializes in the benefits of group singing on well-being. Learn more about Arla and her work: https://tinyurl.com/3fxwsffs Learn about Arla’s work with the SingWell Project: https://tinyurl.com/4acdhdc6 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Music Helps Us Be More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/4mj6vs44 Four Ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds: https://tinyurl.com/y257y25p How Music Bonds Us Together: https://tinyurl.com/np3z3cn Five Ways Music Can Make You Healthier: https://tinyurl.com/4ckbtc2e Where Music and Empathy Converge in the Brain: https://tinyurl.com/23tehxms More Resources on Group Singing: BBC -The world's most accessible stress reliever: https://tinyurl.com/37atkk78 Washington Post - Singing is good for you. Singing with others may be even better: https://tinyurl.com/mv3a525d Oxford - Choir singing improves health, happiness – and is the perfect icebreaker: https://tinyurl.com/3z78634n Ted - Choral Connections: The Surprising Benefits of Singing Together: https://tinyurl.com/y5yu236z Have you ever sung with a group? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/yzazbec4
10/26/202316 minutes, 53 seconds
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A Meditation For Connecting In Polarized Times, With Scott Shigeoka

Having a curious approach to life can improve our mood, creativity and relationships. Scott Shigeoka leads a visualization exercise to help you approach someone you might disagree with with an open and curious mind. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4dfsxr2x How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to begin the practice, focusing on your breath. Imagine that you are going to interact with a friend during a moment of conflict. Visualize the meeting, like the space around you and how you greet each other. Picture yourself showing a curious and loving perspective. Take note of what you would say, the tone of your voice, your body language, and in particular the types of questions you ask to impact the conversation. Pay attention to how you would feel if your friend was receiving your curiosity well, compared to if they weren’t. Visualize yourself thanking your friend for their friendship and curiosity before leaving the meeting. Today’s Happiness Break host: Scott Shigeoka is an author and storyteller who focuses on themes of curiosity and well-being. Order Scott Shigeoka’s book Seek: How Curiosity can Transform Your Life and Save the World: https://tinyurl.com/4jrxbupj Learn More About Scott’s work: https://tinyurl.com/y5xyxky7 Follow Scott on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3acu6jhm Follow Scott on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3m3k3bm9 More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why Curious People Have Better Relationships: https://tinyurl.com/2xw5y9yr How to Stay Open and Curious in Hard Conversations: https://tinyurl.com/y2f2e9ce Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity: https://tinyurl.com/7kcr32su How Curiosity Can Help Us Overcome Disconnection: https://tinyurl.com/9kaas6nz What Curiosity Looks Like in the Brain: https://tinyurl.com/22rj6nbh We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of handling a difficult interaction. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
10/19/20239 minutes, 6 seconds
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How Holding Yourself Can Reduce Stress

Simple actions like consciously placing a hand on your heart or hugging yourself can lower your cortisol levels, heart rate, and help you feel less stressed. Our guest tries a practice in self-soothing touch. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2zbykwh6 Episode summary: While reading this, you might be fiddling with your fingers or have a hand resting on your face -– these are examples of self-touch. This week, we are examining the benefits of offering ourselves soothing touches with comedian Calvin Cato. Calvin leads a busy, stressful life. He tried the self-soothing touch practice as a way to better connect with himself. He found that physically caring for himself allowed him to reground his emotions and regulate his stress. To his surprise, the physical sensations also triggered fond childhood memories with his father. Later, we hear from self-compassion and mindfulness expert Aljoscha Dreisoerner about why we evolved to crave touch and how self-touch can be as effective as getting a hug from someone else. Practice: Find a comfortable position to begin the practice. What works for one person might not work for another. Here are some options you can choose from: Place one or both hands on your heart or stomach. Placing your right hand on your heart and the left on your belly while focusing on the rising and falling of the breath. Stroke your arms or cheeks. Place your right hand under your left arm, by the side of the heart. Place your left hand on the top of your right arm. Try the practice you choose for at least twenty seconds. While doing the practice, focus on taking a few deep breaths, drawing attention to the pressure and warmth of your hands. Repeat as many times as you would like. Today’s guests: Calvin Cato is a comedian and writer based in New York City. Learn more about Calvin: https://tinyurl.com/3hcmcf8y Read Calvin’s personal essay in Queendom: https://tinyurl.com/42u5h23w Follow Calvin on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p5pkmkb Follow Calvin on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/z5h47asz Aljoscha Dreisoerner is a Post Doctorate at The University of Vienna interested in self-compassion and mindfulness. Learn about Aljoscha’s work: https://tinyurl.com/bdfa48n7 Follow Aljoscha on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/94txhhrj Follow Aljoscha on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/yc4wbmfh Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why Physical Touch Matters for Your Well-Being: https://tinyurl.com/m2ea524m Hands On Research: The Science of Touch: https://tinyurl.com/bdfbk36d Four Ways Hugs Are Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3x39apr8 How Touch Shapes Emotion: https://tinyurl.com/3ukuut3b More Resources on self soothing touch: CBC - Self-soothing strategies to help break a chain of anxious thoughts quickly: https://tinyurl.com/3ksh2u6e TED - Bonus: Self-soothing exercises with Dr. Kristin Neff: https://tinyurl.com/mvrwa596 Business Insider - It's possible to be literally starved for touch — here are the symptoms of the condition: https://tinyurl.com/bdc42rh7 Have you tried giving yourself a hug recently? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/ytt84cex
10/12/202316 minutes, 46 seconds
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5 Minutes of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, With Jo Qina'au

When we mindfully tense and then release our muscles, our bodies are telling our brains to relax. Try this practice that's proven to help with depression, anxiety, and stress.  Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/477t6uhv How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable space to complete this practice, ideally lying down. Soften your gaze and turn your attention towards your feet. When inhaling, tense your feet as much as you can for no more than 10 seconds. Then exhale and release your feet and toes, noticing the feelings of relaxation as you untense.  Repeat this process of tensing and releasing different parts of your body, working upwards from your legs to your torso, all the way to your upper body, arms and face. Remember to inhale when you are tensing your body, and exhale when you release.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Jo Qina’au is meditation guide and clinical psychology fellow from Harvard University.  Learn more about Jo Qina’au’s work: https://tinyurl.com/bdfyw3ar Follow Jo on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/yc846waw More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Use Your Body to Relax Your Mind (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/mueeubr7 Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3f79nsav Why You Should Take a Relaxing Lunch Break: https://tinyurl.com/2p8axdba Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times: https://tinyurl.com/6apdf52p We love hearing from you! What was your experience like with this progressive muscle relaxation exercise? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
10/5/202311 minutes, 31 seconds
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How To Use Your Body to Relax your Mind

Want to destress your mind? Start with your body. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a practice where you methodically tense and release your muscles to help unwind.  Studies show it can reduce anxiety, help you get better sleep and lower depression levels. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/y6stdy3b Episode summary: As a war correspondent and an Afghani refugee, Nelufar Hedayat is acutely aware of how stress feels in her body. For our show, Nelufar tried Progressive Muscle Relaxation: But what the practice’s title doesn’t mention is that you methodically tense your muscles,  before releasing them.. At first, it triggered feelings of distress for her. But after recently being diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Nelufar was able to reframe her relationship to the exercise. By separating the sensation of tensing from stress, she completed the practice feeling empowered and euphoric. Later, we hear from psychologist Loren Toussaint about the importance of intentionally engaging our body’s relaxation response. We also learn how Progressive Muscle Relaxation compares to other well-known relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and visualization. Practice: Listen to next week’s Happiness Break on October 5th for a short guided version of this practice. Try following these steps for Progressive Muscle Relaxation from Kaiser Permanente: https://tinyurl.com/4k668ehv Today’s guests: Nelufar Hedayat is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker who has reported on numerous conflict zones. Her new podcast Ritually explores the role of wellness and spiritual practices in contemporary society. Listen to Ritually: https://tinyurl.com/mtzvf2kp Follow Nelufar on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/42ytnytw Follow Nelufar on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/y6abuvtp Follow Nelufar on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/mr2weemp Loren Toussaint is a professor of psychology at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Learn more about Loren and his work: https://tinyurl.com/4ea2jx9x Follow Loren on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/mry2yb4s Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times: https://tinyurl.com/6apdf52p How Resting More Can Boost Your Productivity: https://tinyurl.com/23h6rnvw How a Body Scan Can Help With Strong Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/59tyjbhr How Tuning In to Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/y2jhfmpe Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3f79nsav More Resources for A Good Night’s Sleep University of Toledo- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: https://tinyurl.com/2kadu7va Mayo Clinic - Relaxation techniques: Try these steps to reduce stress:  https://tinyurl.com/2tfrnnew BBC - Can’t stop your brain racing at 3am? Try these suggestions from a GP: https://tinyurl.com/yvz45x5w PTSD UK - How Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help people with PTSD: https://tinyurl.com/4b89auzw Tell us about your experience with the progressive muscle relaxation practice! Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/ckd6yb46
9/28/202319 minutes, 17 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation for Groundedness, With Diana Parra (English & Spanish)

Take a moment to ground yourself with this meditation that helps bring awareness to the relationship between ourselves and the earth beneath us. También tenemos esta meditación en Español: está en nuestro podcast dondequiera que estés escuchando ahora mismo." Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2p8vub46 (English) https://tinyurl.com/muc82hj3 (Spanish) How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to start the practice, ensuring that your feet feel grounded. Focus on your breath, and how the air moves from your chest out through your nose.  Notice how the bottoms of your feet are connected to the earth, and how your body is supported and sustained by the earth beneath you. If any distractions arise, refocus your attention on your breathing and the points of contact between your body and the surface beneath you. Complete this practice by expressing a sense of gratitude for the earth and our ability to reground ourselves within it. Today’s Happiness Break host: Diana Parra is professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also a registered mindfulness and yoga teacher who focuses on sharing these practices with the Latino immigrant community in St Louis. Learn more about Diana Parra’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4acc7nsv More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3f79nsav Can Mindfulness Help When You’re Depressed? https://tinyurl.com/yc7heja3 Does Mindfulness Make You More Compassionate? https://tinyurl.com/4beawh8b How to Practice Mindfulness Throughout Your Work Day: https://tinyurl.com/y8ftbcrz How Mindfulness Improves Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2tunpkjb We love hearing from you! Did this practice help you feel more grounded? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
9/21/20238 minutes, 58 seconds
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Happiness Break: Una meditación para enraizar, con Diana Parra (inglés y español)

Tómate un momento para conectarte con esta meditación que ayuda a tomar conciencia de la relación entre nosotros y la tierra. Enlace a la transcripción: https://tinyurl.com/umu6wx33 We also have this meditation in Spanish — It's on our podcast feed wherever you're listening right now.
9/21/20239 minutes, 42 seconds
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Making Difficult Interactions More Respectful

Dr. Omar Guzman reflects on how a practice to cultivate more respect shaped the way he interacts with his patients.  Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2fwen962 Episode Summary: As an ER doctor in an overworked healthcare system, Omar Guzman isn’t always able to build the relationships with patients the way he’d like to. For our show, Omar tried a practice called the 7 Elements of Respect. By contemplating his own motivations and biases, practicing deep listening and prioritizing relationship-building, Omar was able to develop a meaningful connection with a patient and was reminded of why he decided to pursue medicine. Later, we hear from Diane Johnson, the creator of this practice, to learn more about the multifaceted aspects of respect, and how developing empathic relationships can shape and strengthen our sense of community. Practice: Acknowledge the conflict and affirm your commitment to understanding and moving forward. Ensure that you are staying honest and true to yourself. Hear new perspectives by practicing deep listening. Recognize the importance of emphatically interacting with others. Let go of any pretenses or sense of ego by practicing humility. Notice how these actions affect your internal motivations. Practice building relationships and connections with others. Today’s guests: Omar Guzman is an ER doctor in Visalia, California. Diane Johnson has a PhD in Organizational Behavior and is a consultant focused on leadership, change management and organizational development. She is the creator of the 7 Elements of Respect. Learn more about Diane and her work: https://www.mmapeu.com/ Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways to Help Your Coworkers Feel Respected: https://tinyurl.com/2p8uvhnb How Do We Ensure That Students of Color Feel Respected?: https://tinyurl.com/5n8534ek What Middle Schoolers Can Teach Us About Respect: https://tinyurl.com/4ua4va6s Five Ways to Have More Constructive Disagreements: https://tinyurl.com/tt26uy84 More Resources on Cultivating Respect: MIT - Creating a Culture of Respect: https://tinyurl.com/44kzr95s NYT - How to Be More Empathetic: https://tinyurl.com/nf675dkk BBC - Deep Listening: Finding common ground with opponents: https://tinyurl.com/yjby4zjx How do you cultivate respect in your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/mszb2wfx This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." To learn more, go to https://tinyurl.com/2dj6hw29
9/14/202317 minutes, 30 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation to Inspire a Sense of Purpose

Take a few minutes to reflect on someone who inspires you, and how you can embody the values you admire in them. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4x2whvzb How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to do this practice and settle into a relaxed pattern of breath. Think of someone who’s character has moved and inspired you. Focus on a specific time when they did something that inspired you. Notice the feelings that arise in your body when you reflect on that person’s moral beauty. Reflect on why that aspect of moral beauty is so significant and meaningful to you. Think of how you can strive to incorporate it into your own life. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, *Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: *<https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt\](https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt) More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Find Your Purpose in Life: https://tinyurl.com/28mjx65c Living with a Purpose Changes Everything: https://tinyurl.com/yeyv2xhu Seven Ways to Find Your Purpose in Life: https://tinyurl.com/4ekymbet Five Ways to Foster Purpose in Adolescents: https://tinyurl.com/25e5bvv3 How Purpose Changes Across Your Lifetime: https://tinyurl.com/yhek7ktr We love hearing from you! Who inspires you? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
9/7/20238 minutes, 37 seconds
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Why Compassion Requires Vulnerability

Rapper Rexx Life Raj shared his deepest pain in his latest album, and discovered it was one big compassion practice for his fans dealing with their own grief. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4xzncasd Episode summary: After losing both of his parents in the same year, Rapper Rexx Life Raj channeled his grief into his latest album. On tour, he found himself communing with fans who were struggling with grief of their own. For our show, Raj tried a meditation to cultivate more compassion, and discovered that his life was full of compassion practices – like connecting with his fans who were suffering. We also hear from researcher Hooria Jazaieri about the relationship between vulnerability and compassion, why compassion is so critical to our relationships, and the many ways we can cultivate more of it. Practice: Find a comfortable place and take a few moments to focus on your breath. Think of a loved one. Allow the feelings of warmth and love to fill your heart. Wish those individuals well. Think of a time when your loved one was suffering. Notice how your sensations shift. Sincerely wish that they may be free of suffering. You can try this practice with different types of people in your life, including loved ones, friends, and even those you don’t get along with. Learn more about the Compassion Meditation practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/compassion_meditation Today’s guests: Rexx Life Raj is a rapper and musician from the Bay area. Listen to his latest album, The Blue Hour: https://tinyurl.com/3rpfv9r9 Listen to Raj Life Raj’s Music: https://www.rexxliferaj.com/ Follow Raj on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RexxLifeRaj Follow Raj on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rexxliferaj/ Hooria Jazaieri is an Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University. Her research focuses on personal reputation and emotions like compassion and awe. Learn more about Hooria and her work: https://tinyurl.com/2ndpkke9 Follow Hooria on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HooriaJazaieri Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Can Compassion Change the World: https://tinyurl.com/3ac2meyc Does Mindfulness Make You More Compassionate? https://tinyurl.com/4beawh8b When Empathy Hurts, Compassion Can Heal: https://tinyurl.com/yc4pyjcv Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body: https://tinyurl.com/mruc6m95 Do Your Struggles Expand Your Compassion for Others? https://tinyurl.com/yc4pyjcv More Resources on Compassion: The Atlantic - What’s Missing From Empathy: https://tinyurl.com/4b6s2v3y TED - Compassion and the true meaning of empathy: https://tinyurl.com/2kkhf3p5 Washington Post - Compassion fatigue hits not only professional caregivers. Other people get it, too: https://tinyurl.com/5325ewjt Harvard - Connect with Empathy, But Lead with Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/5n8amcuh What has your experience been like practicing compassion for others? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35 Episode image based on photo by Marco Alexander
8/31/202317 minutes, 3 seconds
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Happiness Break: Awe in Impermanence

Take a few minutes to develop your sense of awe for the circle of life in this meditation with Dacher Keltner. LINK TO EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: https://tinyurl.com/2tv3whj2 All sentient beings are impermanent, and out of our reflections on this we find appreciation. We find poignancy. A little sadness, but also out of that sadness and poignancy, a sense of deep appreciation for the people we love. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place. Focus on taking a few deep breaths, relaxing your body from head to toe. Think of an older relative who you are close to. Picture them in your mind. Imagine how they entered the world years ago as a newborn. Continue to imagine this individual growing up — through adolescence into adulthood, developing the qualities that you admire. Now imagine them later in life, into seniority. Reflect on the progression of the individual’s life, from the beginning to the final stages in this natural progression of the life cycle for humans. Recognize that they'll pass or maybe they have passed, and that's part of this cycle Take note of how you feel. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, *Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: *<https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt\](https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt) More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What I Learned About Resilience in the Midst of Grief: https://tinyurl.com/2uw7uvxd How to Face Grief in Yourself and Others: https://tinyurl.com/yckknp9r Death and Gratitude: https://tinyurl.com/mwcn752j How to Bring More Meaning to Dying: [https://tinyurl.com/vnbkwf52>\ Learning to Live in a World Without a Loved One: https://tinyurl.com/2v4avfvv How do you find awe in impermanence? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
8/24/20238 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why Humor Matters for Happiness

Humor can help us with stress, anxiety and feeling more connected to others. But is humor connected to mindfulness? And how can we find more of it? Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/2p9dkds7 Episode summary: For Emmy- nominated comedian Josh Johnson, humor has always come naturally. But over time, Josh has found it difficult to  reignite his passion for comedy outside of his career. For our show, Josh wrote down three funny things he experienced every day for a week. He noticed that funny moments often arise from a series of interconnected events, and that they aren’t always something we can prepare for. Instead, it’s the unexpected moments that often lead to a comedic sense of joy. Later, we hear from psychologist Sonja Heintz about the connection between various types of humor and mindfulness, and how engaging in mindful practices can spur more positive and benevolent types of humor.  Practice: Take 10 minutes a day for at least a week to write down 3 of the funniest moments you experienced throughout the day. Write down why you think these funny moments happened.  Remember to write down as much detail about the moment as possible. These funny moments do not have to be of major importance.  Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three_funny_things Today’s guests: Josh Johnson is an Emmy-nominated comedian and writer for The Daily Show. This interview was recorded before the Writer’s Guild and Screen Actors’ Guild strikes began.  Learn more about Josh Johnson: https://www.joshjohnsoncomedy.com/ Follow Josh on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/33f4nkv2 Follow Josh on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3txe78kf Sonja Heintz is a psychologist at the University of Plymouth who specializes in positive psychology.  Learn more about Sonja and her work: https://tinyurl.com/mt4vs6cx Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why Laughing Is Good for You (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/4z3snujy How Laughter Brings Us Together: https://tinyurl.com/2cnapztk Four Funny Ways Laughter Is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/5x6d9jp3 How a Little Humor Can Improve Your Work Life: https://tinyurl.com/bdzz6thx More Resources on Humor: BBC - How comedy makes us better people: https://tinyurl.com/ytywxb94 Harvard - Humor, Laughter, and Those Aha Moments: https://tinyurl.com/ujjmzc75 Ted - The Superpower of Humour: https://tinyurl.com/53chw3nz When Everything Is Heavy, a Touch of Humor Can Help: https://tinyurl.com/s6ydmyu4 What are three funny things that happened in your life recently? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35
8/17/202317 minutes, 20 seconds
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Happiness Break: Making Music With Your Body, With Keith Terry

Relieve stress, boost self-esteem, and increase focus through a simple body music practice. And do it with a friend to feel more compassion and a hit of oxytocin. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/yc8aer74 How to Do This Practice: Try using these movements to create various rhythmic combinations with your body: One: Clap your hands, slightly cupping with each clapping instead of hitting your full palms together. Two: Tap your right hand to your left chest. Three: Tap your left hand to tap your right chest. Four: Tap your right thigh with your right hand. Five: Tap your left thigh with your left hand. Then loop back to the top. Today’s Happiness Break host: Keith Terry is a percussionist and body musician who uses a variety of surfaces to create interesting rhythms. Learn more about Keith Terry: https://tinyurl.com/5av66v5f Watch Keith Terry in action: https://tinyurl.com/299vuw4a More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: The Science of Synchronized Movement (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/mrys53k4 Five Ways Music Can Make You Healthier: https://tinyurl.com/4ckbtc2e How Music Helps Us Be More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/4mj6vs44 Wired for Music: https://tinyurl.com/ye2xkjxz Four Ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds: https://tinyurl.com/y257y25p How was your experience creating body music? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/2cyp46rp Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2cyp46rp We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
8/10/20237 minutes, 29 seconds
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How Improv Makes You More Confident and Less Anxious

Just 20 minutes of improv theater can foster creativity and confidence, and help with anxiety, depression, and your ability to tolerate uncertainty. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4t9rjj58 Episode summary: Deema Altaher was never one for the spotlight. So when her husband signed them up for improv classes, she had no idea what to expect. And yet after one class, Deema was hooked. From active listening games to “yes, and” prompts, she found that improv exercises shifted the way she connected with other people, and eased her nerves as she navigated all the uncomfortable parts of starting a new job. She was also inspired to “say yes” to new life opportunities. In fact, an emerging science shows that improv can benefit many people in terms of fostering greater comfort with new situations, inspiring creativity, lifting your mood, and even easing anxiety and depression. Professor Peter Felsman is a social scientist and improviser himself who has tested this spontaneous style of theater in the lab. Felsman explains how improv might cause these improvements, and others, like lessening social anxiety in children. Try Improv On Your Own: 11 Easy Improv Games for Beginners - https://tinyurl.com/24xrre2y Today’s guests: Deema Altaher is an engineer who recently moved back to the United States from the United Arab Emirates. Peter Felsman is a professor of social work at Northern Michigan University who specializes in the intersection between mindfulness, psychology and the arts. Learn more about Peter Felsman’s work: https://tinyurl.com/5h47wsxs Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Seven Ways to Cope with Uncertainty: https://tinyurl.com/4zh3m36e Embracing Discomfort Can Help You Grow: https://tinyurl.com/5ftvvce3 The Power of Performance: https://tinyurl.com/3mc78yzb What Mel Brooks Can Teach Us about “Group Flow”: https://tinyurl.com/2rxmrzhn More Resources on Improv NPR - The rules of improv can make you funnier. They can also make you more confident: https://tinyurl.com/2wvpk53j Harvard Gazette - For more than just laughs: https://tinyurl.com/2zzxacpu TED - How Improv Comedy Improves Mental Health: https://tinyurl.com/5a8vpt67 What helps you destress and cope with big changes? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/wnfb99cy
8/3/202318 minutes
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Happiness Break: A Mindful Breath Meditation, with Dacher Keltner

Mindful breathing exercises are a simple, effective, and fast way to shift our mindset and improve physical and mental well-being when practiced regularly. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/mpt4rr5x How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to start the practice, maintain a good posture and close your eyes.  Take a deep breath in for a count of four. Hold that breath, feeling it in your lungs and body for another count of four. Push the air outwards, exhaling for a count of six. Repeat this exercise as many times as you would like. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the UC, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What Focusing on the Breath Does to Your Brain: https://tinyurl.com/3u8h53pw Is the Way You Breathe Making You Anxious?: https://tinyurl.com/mryr2jup A Five-Minute Breathing Exercise for Anxiety and Mood: https://tinyurl.com/3ve66u2k How Four Deep Breaths Can Help Kids Calm Down: https://tinyurl.com/5xr2sb99 What does mindful breathing do for you? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/taub93tp Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us on Spotify and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/taub93tp We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. 
7/27/20235 minutes, 41 seconds
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How To Let Go Without Giving Up

War veteran and country music singer Sal Gonzalez tries the Taoist practice of Wu Wei to improve his relationship with anger. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/yavaw23d Episode summary: For Iraq war veteran Sal Gonzalez, relying on anger had become second nature — and while this emotion was beneficial for him on the battlefield, Sal found it difficult to manage his anger when readjusting to civilian life. For our show Sal tried a 5 step practice of Wu Wei. Rooted in the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism, Wu Wei is focused on setting strategic intentions and accepting difficult situations, rather than resisting them. After trying the practice, Sal reflected that he doesn’t have to give up anger entirely, rather, he can be more intentional about choosing when to use it. We later hear from Dr. Doris Chang, the clinical psychologist who developed a 5 step methodology of practicing Wu Wei, to learn more about the impact of acceptance and non-action. Practice: Articulate: Identify your goals and values in life. Self-Assess: Take note of your role and the role of others within a particular situation in order to clearly outline your options. Accept: Begin by recognizing any circumstances of your life that cannot be changed. Instead of resisting or trying to control the situation, try to accept the situation. Action, non-action: Based on your evaluation of the situation, determine whether it is more beneficial to act, or choose not to act. Allow: Give yourself the opportunity to move with the situation, recognizing that it is easier to flow with a situation than against it. Today’s guests: Sal Gonzalez is a country music singer and an Iraq war veteran who was wounded in combat. Listen to Sal’s music: https://salgmusic.com/ Follow Sal on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/salgmusic/ Follow Sal on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialsalgmusic Doris Chang is a clinical psychologist and professor at NYU. She developed a five step process of Wu Wei. Learn more about Doris and her work: http://dorisfchang.com/about Follow Doris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dorisfchang/ Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What You Think About Your Emotions Matters: https://tinyurl.com/9akpm7u6 Just One Thing: Accept Difficulty: https://tinyurl.com/mrknbj8b How to Deal with Feeling Bad About Your Feelings: https://tinyurl.com/2zf7njh4 How to Overcome Destructive Anger: https://tinyurl.com/49zu6whw More Resources for A Good Night’s Sleep Harvard Health - Go with the flow: engagement and concentration are key: https://tinyurl.com/bp66krnw CNBC - A 2,000-year-old Chinese mindset can make you more successful—it ‘takes almost zero effort,’ says psychologist: https://tinyurl.com/mr3n4a8b TED - Wuwei and Flow: https://tinyurl.com/3jmcjp68 Atlantic - How to Not Try: https://tinyurl.com/mr2nwufj Have you tried to accept a difficult emotion in your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/mpnacwv7
7/20/202321 minutes, 33 seconds
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Happiness Break: Moving Through Space, With Dacher Keltner

Moving meditations can help reduce stress and boost self-awareness. Improve your ability to sense your body in space with this 7-minute proprioception meditation. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/ynkdywbn How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place where you can move your arms freely. This practice can be completed sitting or standing. If you choose to stand, avoid locking your knees by bending them slightly. Begin by taking deep breaths, drawing your attention to your body in the present moment. Balance your posture by grounding evenly through your feet, leveling your pelvis, and straightening your back. Focus your attention on your arms, starting from your shoulders down to your fingertips. Bring your palms to touch in front of your heart, inhale and lift them upwards to meet above your head. Exhale and bring them towards your heart. Repeat this cycle 2-3 more times, focusing on noticing how your body moves through space.    Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the UC, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Finding Delight Through Your 5 Senses (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/3bszfww2 How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts: https://tinyurl.com/hp8s5wv6 10 Steps to Savoring the Good Things in Life: https://tinyurl.com/y9636sku Why Physical Touch Matters for Your Well-Being: https://tinyurl.com/m2ea524m How to Deal with Sensory Overload as a Sensitive Person: https://tinyurl.com/y7epvsmu We love hearing from you! How did you find this moving meditation? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/525rtxt9 Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/525rtxt9 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
7/13/20237 minutes, 7 seconds
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Finding Delight Through Your 5 Senses

We enjoy the world through our five senses, so why don't we do more to heighten them? We explore the techniques and science of the senses with Gretchen Rubin. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/4s3wv9mv Episode summary: When Gretchen Rubin found out she was at greater risk of losing her eyesight, she started to recognize what she had been taking for granted and her appreciation for sight — and the rest of her senses — was reignited. Since then, Gretchen has been committed to discovering how our five senses shape and enhance our experiences of the world. Like how certain odors can trigger good memories and how our sense of touch stimulates the vagus nerve, which has a calming effect on our brains and bodies. We explore techniques to enhance each of our senses, and the science behind how they contribute to our well-being. Today’s guest: Gretchen Rubin is an acclaimed journalist and author. Read Gretchen’s latest book book, Life in Five Senses: How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World: https://gretchenrubin.com/books/life-in-five-senses/ Follow Gretchen on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gretchenrubin/ Follow Gretchen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GretchenRubin Follow Gretchen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gretchenrubin Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Happiness Break: Finding Presence Through Your Senses, With Dacher Keltner (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/y63mphep How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts: https://tinyurl.com/hp8s5wv6 10 Steps to Savoring the Good Things in Life: https://tinyurl.com/y9636sku Why Physical Touch Matters for Your Well-Being: https://tinyurl.com/m2ea524m How to Deal with Sensory Overload as a Sensitive Person: https://tinyurl.com/y7epvsmu More Resources on Your 5 Senses: Scientific American - Making Sense of the World, Several Senses at a Time: https://tinyurl.com/34djh4p4 BBC - Hacking our senses to boost learning power: https://tinyurl.com/y7e8f89c TED - How your sense of smell helps you savor flavor: https://tinyurl.com/2yx5n5pm Washington Post - Why music causes memories to flood back: https://tinyurl.com/2s47stkk We want to hear from you! How does your favorite sense enhance your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35
7/6/202316 minutes, 31 seconds
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Happiness Break: What To Do When You're Struggling, With Spring Washam

Treating yourself with kindness reduces anxiety and improves coping skills. Spring Washam encourages us to be more self-compassionate through a short guided meditation. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/mrx8t9st How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position and begin to focus on your breath. This is a practice to use when you are struggling in some way. Allow your attention to turn toward your suffering and notice how you feel, and where those emotions are held in your body. Close your eyes and imagine that you are literally breathing in compassion and care for yourself. Hold your left hand in your right, or place your hands on your heart, holding yourself with care. Continue to direct compassionate energy to yourself using the mantra “May I care about this suffering. May I care about these difficulties.” Today’s Happiness Break host: Spring Washam is a meditation teacher whose practices draw on themes of loving-kindness, well-being and compassion. Learn More About Spring’s work: https://www.springwasham.com/about/ Listen to Spring’s podcast, The Spirit Underground: https://tinyurl.com/y87mxrw2 Follow Spring on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/springwasham/?hl=en Follow Spring on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teacher.springwasham More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Feel Better About Yourself (The Science of Happiness Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/3jh5rheb How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: https://tinyurl.com/45zkrkam The Five Myths of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2p88vass How Self-Compassion Can Help You Through a Breakup: https://tinyurl.com/222scejz Can Self-Compassion Overcome Procrastination? https://tinyurl.com/mrfmvyj The Three Components of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/mwa2zddp We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience practicing self compassion. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/yrv47mh7 Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us on Spotify and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/yrv47mh7 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
6/29/20238 minutes, 46 seconds
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How To Feel Better About Yourself

Self-compassion reduces our feelings of shame and self-doubt. We explore a practice to help quiet our inner critic with kindness. Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/ytek6jxk Episode summary: What does your inner critic sound like? For René Brooks, it’s the adults who misunderstood her ADHD symptoms as a child, before she was diagnosed later in life. For our show, René tried a self-compassionate writing exercise that helped her re-examine how she treats herself in difficult situations. She highlights why self-compassion is so important for marginalized communities in particular, and how as a Black woman, she puts double the pressure on herself to achieve and has come to use shame and self-judgment to motivate herself. The practice helps her to disrupt that tendency by noticing the way she speaks to herself and learning to take a more compassionate tone, instead. Later, we hear from psychologist Serena Chen, who expands on how cultivating self-compassion can help us embrace our true selves, which can lead to greater life satisfaction, increased well-being and closer social relationships. Practice: Think of something that makes you feel guilty, ashamed or insecure. Notice how you feel and write down your emotions. Imagine someone who loves you unconditionally and write a letter to yourself from their perspective, using the tone they would use with you, and expressing acceptance and understanding. Acknowledge that no one is perfect and there are likely many people struggling with the very same thing you are. In a compassionate way, ask yourself whether there are things that you could do to improve or better cope with this negative aspect. Focus on how constructive changes could make you feel happier, healthier, or more fulfilled, and avoid judging yourself. Try to complete the practice on a weekly or monthly basis. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/self_compassionate_letter Today’s guests: René Brooks is the creator of the blog Black Girl, Lost Keys. She draws on her personal experiences to coach and assist adults with ADHD. Visit René’s Blog: https://blackgirllostkeys.com/ Follow René on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p9caj5v Follow René on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3a96882u Follow René on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackgirllostkeys/ Serena Chen is the Chair of the Psychology department at UC Berkeley. Her research is focused on self-compassion, wellbeing and social interaction. Learn more about Serena and her work: https://tinyurl.com/mry3vx3v Follow Serena on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/3btm3jn8 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: The Five Myths of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/4tfp7d73 Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem: https://tinyurl.com/5a6phdx3 Why Is Self-Compassion So Hard for Some People? https://tinyurl.com/2x4v3r72 The Three Components of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/mwa2zddp Want to Change your Life? Try Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2y2ryc6m More Resources on Self-Compassion Happiness Break: How to Be Your Own Best Friend, with Kristin Neff:  https://tinyurl.com/3fj4yfrn TED - Dare to rewire your brain for self-compassion: https://tinyurl.com/yc2ru73p Harvard Health - The power of self-compassion: https://tinyurl.com/yc7usmx5 BBC - Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success: https://tinyurl.com/yj2zax8x How have you tried practicing self-compassion? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod to tell us about it. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate and follow us on Spotify, and share this episode with a friend: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35
6/22/202319 minutes, 28 seconds
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Happiness Break: Wishing Others Well, With Anushka Fernandopulle

Cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself and others by trying a meditation rooted in loving kindness, called "Metta." How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to start this meditation. Start taking deep breaths, focusing your attention on what you feel around your heart and chest. Turn your attention to someone who immediately brings a smile to your face. Try to sincerely wish that person well. Some phrases you can mention include, “May you be peaceful and happy. May you be strong and healthy. May you be safe from harm. May you live with ease.” Think of someone you don’t know as well, and repeat step three. After that, you can try directing well wishes towards someone you struggle with, if you would like.  Slowly begin to shift your attention away from others and direct those well wishes towards yourself. Complete this practice by sending out goodwill for everyone around you, including yourself, using the word “we.” Today’s Happiness Break host: Anushka Fernandopulle is a Buddhist meditation teacher and leadership coach.  Learn More about Anushka: https://www.anushkaf.org/about/ Follow Anushka on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anushka_dharma/ Follow Anushka on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anushkaf More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Greater Happiness in 5 Minutes a Day: https://tinyurl.com/2p896av4 Are You Getting Enough Positivity in Your Diet? https://tinyurl.com/59d56w5d Feeling Connected Makes Us Kind: https://tinyurl.com/dbv86969 You Need More Than a Book to Learn Loving-Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/5aatw6hw We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of practicing loving-kindness. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/2kfcdj8e Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. 
6/15/20238 minutes, 21 seconds
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Where To Look For Joy

How can we feel more moments of joy? We explore the science of joy and how we can cultivate it in our everyday lives, with poet Ross Gay and psychologist Philip Watkins. Episode summary: Are joy and happiness the same thing? Can you feel joy even in moments of sorrow? This week, we’ve set out to explore the unique qualities of joy, why it's so beneficial for us to experience, and how we can find more of it. We first hear from Ross Gay, an award-winning poet and author who dedicated his last book to the topic of joy, and how we usually find it through closeness with others. Later, we hear from psychologist Philip Watkins about what sets joy apart from other emotions, whether joy can be produced or must be happened upon, and practical steps we can take to amplify joy within our own lives. Today’s guests: Ross Gay is an award-winning American poet and author. His latest book explores the complexities of joy and its connection to feelings like gratitude and sorrow.  Learn more about Ross: https://www.rossgay.net/about Read Ross’ book, Inciting Joy: https://www.rossgay.net/inciting-joy Follow Ross on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RossGay18 Philip Watkins is a psychology professor at Eastern Washington University. He conducts research on different aspects of well-being including gratitude, happiness and joy.  Learn more about Philip and his work: https://tinyurl.com/3zwested Find Philip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philip.watkins.338/ Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy: https://tinyurl.com/4csukyd5 How to Awaken Joy in Kids: https://tinyurl.com/5xr3t9vf What is Sympathetic Joy and How Can You Feel More of It? https://tinyurl.com/yuzmykct Joy and Grace: https://tinyurl.com/yaxp48xd Why Experiencing Joy and Pain in a Group is so Powerful: https://tinyurl.com/3trjtzfm More Resources on Joy: Harvard Business Review - Making Joy a Priority at Work: https://tinyurl.com/3z8mejum Harvard Health -  How can you find joy (or at least peace) during difficult times? https://tinyurl.com/2s35wffy TED - Where joy hides and how to find it: https://tinyurl.com/3d2fbfbv How do you define joy? When was the last time you felt it? We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Rate and follow us on Spotify, and share this episode with a friend: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35
6/8/202315 minutes, 32 seconds
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Happiness Break: Who Takes Care of You? With Dacher Keltner

When we feel cared for, our cortisol levels drop, we feel safe, and we handle stress better. Dacher leads a meditation to help us focus on the people who make us feel supported. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position to start the practice. Focus on taking deep breaths. Shift your attention to your body, relaxing your jaw, shoulders and face. Begin to think about a friend who has supported you, or a friend who you feel grateful for. Reflect on how they have supported you and how that makes you feel. Notice how those feelings manifest within your body.  Try shifting your attention to family members and/or mentors who have supported you in various ways.  Complete the practice by acknowledging the ways these individuals have contributed to your life.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the UC, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Just One Thing: Feel the Support: https://tinyurl.com/yrfnmwfv Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/2p9zkjpj Why Your Friends Are More Important Than You Think: https://tinyurl.com/mw2mr5p7 How Friends Help You Regulate Your Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/bdetmjt3 We love hearing from you! How do you feel supported by the people in your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/2p8kj22u Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p8kj22u We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
6/1/20239 minutes, 7 seconds
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Feeling Overworked? Take a Fika Break (The Science of Happiness Podcast)

A short break does more than just fuel our bodies, it strengthens our minds. Our overworked guest tries the Swedish practice of 'Fika' – taking short coffee breaks throughout the work day. Episode summary: In the United States, we’re taught that it’s a good thing to work more, and work harder. But research shows that overworking isn’t just physically and mentally draining, it can also be deadly. One strategy to manage our work culture? Take more breaks. Our guest this week is Mike Heyliger, a music executive and self-described “workaholic.” He incorporated the Swedish tradition of fika – taking coffee and snack breaks throughout the day – into his own life, and found it not only helped him de-stress, it also shifted his mindset and enabled him to connect with others. Later, we look at the scientific benefits of taking microbreaks and hear from Anna Brones, co-author of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Practice: Actively choose to take a break during your day. Typically, fika breaks happen twice. Once in the morning and once in the mid-afternoon. Traditionally, fika breaks include a drink, like coffee, and a snack, but this is not required. Often, fika breaks are taken with others. Today’s guests: Mike Heyliger is a music executive and the creator of Detoxicity, a podcast on progressive masculinity.  Learn more about Mike’s Initiative, ‘Mindful Vinyl’: https://mindfulvinyl.org/about/ Listen to Mike’s Podcast, ‘Detoxicity’: https://tinyurl.com/vc72tjn2 Anna Brones is a Swedish-American writer and artist. She produces the newsletter and podcast, Creative Fuel. Anna is also the co-author of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break.  Learn more about Anna and her work: https://www.annabrones.com/about Listen to the Creative Fuel Podcast: https://www.creativefuelcollective.com/podcast Read Anna’s book on Fika: https://tinyurl.com/yhdzaj2m Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Five Reasons to Take a Break from Screens: https://tinyurl.com/333tuvax Why You Should Take More Time Off from Work: https://tinyurl.com/k5brkp46 Tuesday Tip: Take a Break: https://tinyurl.com/5986ste3 How to Avoid Burnout – or a Breakdown: https://tinyurl.com/bddw7cap Why You Should Take a Relaxing Lunch Break: https://tinyurl.com/2p8axdba More Resources on Fika: NYT - In Sweden, the Fika Experience: ​​https://tinyurl.com/54wpw8p5 Insider - A daily habit from Sweden could make you more productive at work: https://tinyurl.com/4exjydrr TED - Forget the Pecking Order at Work: https://tinyurl.com/yk68dmzy BBC - The Swedish tradition that can make you happier at work: https://tinyurl.com/yx28x2v8 Have you tried incorporating fika in your life? Tell us how it went. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Share this episode with a friend: https://tinyurl.com/4uyr2w35 Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
5/25/202315 minutes, 17 seconds
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Belonging to the Earth, With Yuria Celidwen

Indigenous scholar Yuria Celidwen guides us in a meditation to strengthen our sense of belonging and connection to the earth. This Happiness Break is part of our special series, Climate, Hope & Science. In it, we explore the intersection of environmental well-being and our own well-being, where taking care of ourselves and the planet are one in the same and feeling good is not only possible, it’s helpful. Listen to the rest of the series, which was released in our feed April 22–May 18, 2023. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable position wherever you are located. Direct your attention to your feet and the surface below them. Try to cultivate a sense of belonging in that space under your feet. Let your breath guide your attention back to your feet and upward to your heart and head. Feel a sense of openness as you welcome the warmth of the sun into your heart. Acknowledge the transformative power of the earth and your role within it. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dr. Yuria Celidwen is an Indigenous scholar whose work focuses on Indigenous contemplative traditions and advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples and lands. She is a senior fellow at the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley and has worked with numerous organizations including the United Nations. Learn more about Yuria: https://www.yuriacelidwen.com/ Find out more about Yuria’s work at the Othering and Belonging Institute: https://belonging.berkeley.edu/yuria-celidwen More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/d2vzpsaj What Happens When We Reconnect With Nature: https://tinyurl.com/553xwm47 How to Protect Kids from Nature-Deficit Disorder: https://tinyurl.com/4usewuzj How Nature Helps Us Heal: https://tinyurl.com/2p93682j Why is Nature So Good for Your Mental Health? https://tinyurl.com/bdetmjt3 Five Ways to Develop “Ecoliteracy”: https://tinyurl.com/2zuj6smv Green With Empathy: https://tinyurl.com/42rk4m2m We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with this meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. The Science of Happiness would like to extend a special thanks to *Eva Frye for their support of this series.*
5/18/20239 minutes, 49 seconds
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How To Step into Harmony With Nature

Walking can increase our sense of connectedness with the earth and motivation to take climate action, which might be an important aspect of your well-being. This is the third and final episode of our special series, Climate, Hope & Science. We explore the intersection of environmental well-being and our own well-being, where taking care of ourselves and the planet are one in the same and feeling good is not only possible, it’s helpful. We find the links between crisis, hope, happiness, and action. Look for another climate-focused Happiness Break on May 18th. Episode summary: Musician and activist Diana Gameros tries leaving her car at home and walking instead of drive for three days. We hear what was challenging about her experience, and why in the end, she loved it. Incorporating small climate actions into our daily life can strengthen our relationship with the earth and inspire us to take better care of it. Later, climate scientist Patrick Gonzalez breaks down the actual climate impact of one person choosing not to drive for a day. (It’s more than you’d think.) Finally, we learn how to reimagine our relationship to the environment from Dr. Yuria Celidwen, an expert in Indigenous contemplative practices and sciences, and what we — and the planet — might gain from bridging Western and Indigenous worldviews. Practice: Avoid driving for one day out of the week. Instead, walk and take public transportation. Try to avoid using your phone while getting around. Instead, observe the environment around you and how you engage with it. Notice as much as you can about your neighborhood. Pay attention to how you feel when you walk versus drive. Think about how you can incorporate other small actions in your daily life to help the planet. Today’s guests: Diana Gameros is a musician and social activist. Her music is informed by themes like identity, language, culture and her experience as an immigrant. Learn more about Diana: https://www.dianagameros.com/ Listen to Diana’s Music: https://open.spotify.com/album/0JdsjnFwzgkr0kPelaODF4 Follow Diana on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dianagameros/ Follow Diana on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianagamerosmusic/ Patrick Gonzalez is a climate scientist and forest ecologist at UC Berkeley. His work inspired numerous policy changes focused on forestry protections around the world. Learn more about Patrick and his work: http://www.patrickgonzalez.net/ Follow Patrick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pgonzaleztweet?lang=en Dr. Yuria Celidwen is an Indigenous scholar whose work focuses on Indigenous contemplative traditions and advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples and lands. Learn more about Yuria and her work:  https://www.yuriacelidwen.com/ More Resources on Climate Action: Greater Good Mag - Can We Have More Productive Conversations About Climate Change? https://tinyurl.com/5n95sva3 WHO - Cycling and walking can help reduce physical inactivity and air pollution, save lives and mitigate climate change: https://tinyurl.com/3kzhytf5 TED - When Mother Earth Speaks, You Best Listen: https://tinyurl.com/yzmhch34 Time Magazine - In the Face of Climate Change, We Must Act So That We Can Feel Hopeful—Not the Other Way Around: https://tinyurl.com/98bbspap What climate actions have you incorporated into your life? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
5/11/202323 minutes, 51 seconds
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Happiness Break: Contemplating our Interdependence with Nature, with Dekila Chungyalpa

Take ten minutes to renew your connection to the earth through this guided meditation on our interdependence with the ecosystem. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to do this practice, relax into your body. Wherever you are, start to acknowledge your surroundings, noticing the living and inanimate things around you. Focus your attention on your breath, and how your breathing is interdependent on other life forms, and other life forms are dependent on your breath. Contemplate the Earth’s compassion, and how it provides you with unconditional support. Finish this practice by acknowledging your connection to the natural world. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dekila Chungyalpa is the founder and head of the Loka Initiative, which brings together faith leaders and culture keepers of indigenous traditions on environmental and climate issues. Learn More About Dekila Chungyalpa’s work: https://centerhealthyminds.org/about/people/dekila-chungyalpa Learn about the Loka Initiative: https://centerhealthyminds.org/programs/loka-initiative Follow Dekila on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dchungyalpa/?hl=en Follow Dekila on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dchungyalpa?lang=en More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What Happens When We Reconnect With Nature: https://tinyurl.com/553xwm47 How Nature Helps Us Heal: https://tinyurl.com/2p93682j Why Is Nature So Good for Your Mental Health? https://tinyurl.com/ycx9ns4p How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier and More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/d2vzpsaj How Being in Nature Can Spur Personal Growth: https://tinyurl.com/2p822nyj How Modern Life Became Disconnected from Nature: https://tinyurl.com/bdzzy6pc Being Around Nature Helps You Love Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/34m7tfre We love hearing from you! How do you connect with nature? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. This Happiness Break is part of our special series, Climate, Hope & Science. In it, we explore the intersection of environmental well-being and our own well-being, where taking care of ourselves and the planet are one in the same and feeling good is not only possible, it’s helpful. We find the links between crisis, hope, happiness, and action. Look for the third and final episode May 11. Plus, we’ll share another climate-focused Happiness Break on May 18.
5/4/20239 minutes, 45 seconds
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How to Feel More Hopeful

How can we build a sense of hope when the future feels uncertain? Poet Tomás Morín tries a writing practice to make him feel more hopeful and motivated to work toward his goals. This is the second episode of our special series, Climate, Hope & Science. We explore the intersection of environmental well-being and our own well-being, where taking care of ourselves and the planet are one in the same and feeling good is not only possible, it’s helpful. We find the links between crisis, hope, happiness, and action. Look for the third and final episode May 11. Plus, we’ll share climate-focused Happiness Breaks next week and May 18. Episode summary: In the first episode of Climate, Hope & Science, we explored the power of hope with Rebecca Solnitt. Hope can help us cope with uncertainty and sustain action, even when we don’t know what will happen. But what can we do when hope feels far away? This week, we learn about a practice shown in a lab to increase hopefulness and happiness. Poet and professor Tomá Morín got his first taste of climate anxiety as a kid, when he learned about the hole in the ozone layer, and he still feels the panic over the state of the environment today. Will writing about a past hope that was fulfilled — like the global effort to heal the ozone layer — help him overcome despair and cultivate hope? We hear about Tomás’ experience. Then, the scientist behind the practice explains how she created it and why it works. Editor’s Note: In this episode, Tomás mentions recycling as a way to care for the environment. But in the last few years, we’ve learned that most things we toss in the recycling bin are never made into something new. If you’d like to learn more, here are a few places to start: https://tinyurl.com/3y9u2y5w  https://tinyurl.com/yckstwer  Today’s Practice: Find a quiet space and grab paper and something to write with. Write about something you're currently hopeful for when it comes to climate change. Describe it as if it’s happening now in as much detail as possible. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Next, write about a past hope you’ve held in the past regarding the environment that's been fulfilled and that brings you a sense of gratitude to think about now. Describe what happened, the gratitude you felt, how you and others contributed to it, and what you learned from the experience. If you like, take these prompts one by one. Don’t worry about writing well, just write as much as you can. Today’s guests: Tomás Morin is a poet who won an American Poetry Review Honickman First Book Prize for his collection of poems A Larger Country. He’s currently a professor at Rice University. Check out Tomás’ work: https://www.tomasqmorin.com/About Read Tomás’ latest book: https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/nebraska/9781496226495/  Follow Tomas on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tomasqmorin/  Charlotte Van Oyen-Witvliet is a clinical psychologist who teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Hope Can Keep You Happier and Healthier: https://tinyurl.com/2n9k59xn How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times: https://tinyurl.com/3b66kh5n  How to Overcome “Apocalypse Fatigue” Around Climate Change: https://tinyurl.com/yc47ph38  What to do With Dread and Anxiety Around Climate Change: https://tinyurl.com/3766a6sj  Tell us about your experience finding hope for the environment. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
4/27/202321 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Case for Hope

In the first episode in our series Climate, Hope and Science, we explore how embracing uncertainty enables us to move beyond climate anxiety and despair to hope and action, with author and activist Rebecca Solnit. What does it take to be aware of what’s really happening, without falling into despair? How do we find hope? Do small, individual actions really matter? What happens to our minds and hearts when we connect with nature, and how can that actually protect the climate? We find the links between crisis, hope, happiness, and action. Look for new episodes April 27 and March 11. Plus, we’ll share climate-focused Happiness Breaks in the weeks following those episodes. Episode summary: When you think about climate change, do you feel hope? On this episode of our special series, Climate, Hope and Science, we examine what it means to feel hopeful for the future of our planet. Renowned writer and activist Rebecca Solnit joins Dacher to share why she loves uncertainty, what gives her hope, and how hope empowers her. Later, we hear from climate scientist Patrick Gonzalez about why he believes climate hope is scientifically sound, and how much power we truly have to create meaningful change. Today’s guests: Rebecca Solnit is an award-winning author and activist whose works have explored numerous themes including technology, feminism, the environment and social change. Her latest book, which she co-edited, is It's Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility. https://www.nottoolateclimate.com/ Learn more about Rebecca: http://rebeccasolnit.net/biography/ Read Rebecca’s article “Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without loosing hope”: https://tinyurl.com/2p92e2h6 Follow Rebecca on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaSolnit Follow Rebecca on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccasolnit/ Follow Rebecca on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.solnit Patrick Gonzalez is a climate scientist and forest ecologist at UC Berkeley. His work inspired numerous policy changes focused on forestry protections around the world. Learn more about Patrick and his work: http://www.patrickgonzalez.net/ Follow Patrick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pgonzaleztweet?lang=en Follow Patrick on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/mvn98ear More Resources on Climate Hope: Greater Good Mag - More Resources on Science Center https://tinyurl.com/ytna663b University of Michigan - Climate crisis: 4 reasons for hope in 2023: https://tinyurl.com/5n7hhpu8 United Nations - 8 reasons not to give up hope - and take climate action: https://tinyurl.com/3wzrebyy Australian Psychological Society - Coping with climate change distress: https://tinyurl.com/43jhkbjw How do you feel when you think about climate change? Where do you derive hope? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
4/22/202322 minutes, 39 seconds
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Happiness Break: Sketching Serenity with Chris Murchison

Happiness Break: Sketching Serenity with Chris Murchison A guided drawing meditation to help you break out of stale thought patterns and maybe even enter a state of flow. No talent required. How to Do This Practice: Grab a piece of paper and something to draw with. Find a comfortable place and start by taking some deep, mindful breaths Take a few moments to take in your environment. What colors, shapes, and objects do you see?  Set a timer and for the next two minutes, draw something that caught your attention. Don’t worry about how it looks and try to stay in the moment.  Once time is up, spend a moment appreciating what you drew. Think about the impact of slowing down and doing something fun has had on your day.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Chris Murchison is a meditation teacher, artist and speaker. He currently works as an independent advisor for organizations interested in improving their work cultures. Check out Chris’s GGSC profile: https://tinyurl.com/32htut6n  Learn more about Chris’s art and other work: https://chrismurchison.com/about Follow Chris on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4auxk3ur  Follow Chris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/murchisonchris?lang=en Add Chris on LinkedIn: https://tinyurl.com/253x83ty  More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Doing Something Creative Can Boost Your Well-Being: https://tinyurl.com/4pcwxhsf  What is Creative Mortification and How Can You Overcome It: https://tinyurl.com/583kswfw Does Art Heal? https://tinyurl.com/3ttybzpm  Everyday Art: https://tinyurl.com/mstemcsf 7 Ways to Foster Creativity: https://tinyurl.com/ycn5majv  How to Combat America’s Creativity Crisis: https://tinyurl.com/yckzm8se We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of drawing this week. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. 
4/20/20239 minutes, 3 seconds
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A 7-Day Stress Prescription

Is there such a thing as good stress? Our guest learns to welcome her stress by understanding how it can actually help her, plus tips and tricks to not feel too much of it. Episode summary: Like many of us, our guest Yana Leventon has dealt with a fair amount of stress in her life. But after living through the COVID-19 pandemic and grappling with the ongoing war in Ukraine (with relatives on both sides of the border) Yana’s stress levels reached a new high. This week’s episode is all about how we can reframe our relationship with stress. Yana spent one week trying a new practice each day. All 7 of the practices were aimed at managing different aspects of stress, from physically metabolizing her stress through exercise to visualization and breathing techniques. These exercises helped her regain a sense of clarity about what is truly not in her control, and agency over what is. She began to see stress as a normal and necessary part of life that can actually be beneficial in the right amount. Later, we hear from the psychologist who developed this stress management tool, Elissa Epel. She discusses the importance of developing a positive relationship with stress, and how we can use stress to feel a sense of empowerment. Practice: Day 1. Embrace Uncertainty: Releasing Embodied Stress Day 2. Let Go of What You Can’t Control: Stress Inventory Day 3. Find Excitement in Challenges: Stress Shield Day 4. Metabolize Body Stress: Hormetic Stress Day 5. Immerse Yourself in Nature: Sensory Absorption Day 6. Experience Deep Rest: Breath for Restoration Day 7. Create Bliss Bookends: Start and End Full of Joy For more information on each of the daily practices, check out Elissa Epel’s book, The Stress Prescription. Today’s guests: Yana Leventon was a refugee in Austria and Italy before migrating to the United States from the former USSR when she was 10 years old. Elissa Epel is a psychologist who specializes in stress, aging and well-being. She has developed self-care practices rooted in scientific research to improve how we cope with stress. Learn more about Elisa and her work: https://www.elissaepel.com/ Read Elissa’s book, The Stress Prescription: https://tinyurl.com/yt66t3b3 Follow Elissa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dr_Epel Follow Elissa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TelomereEffect Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Transform Stress into Courage and Connection: https://tinyurl.com/n49fzhf7 Seven Ways to Have a Healthier Relationship With Stress: https://tinyurl.com/mr3yy6b5 Is Stress Making You Withdraw from People? https://tinyurl.com/4kkesr7s Could Stress Help You Find Your Purpose in Life? https://tinyurl.com/2ssz7mck The Surprising Benefits of Stress: https://tinyurl.com/3uynfkf2 More Resources on Managing Stress: National Institute for Mental Health - I’m So Stressed Out! Fact Sheet: https://tinyurl.com/4hr3eawc TED - How to make stress your friend: https://tinyurl.com/y5bsj3ks Harvard Business Review - Turning Stress into an Asset: https://tinyurl.com/3fdzfx3v Johns Hopkins - Sleepless Nights? Try Stress Relief Techniques: https://tinyurl.com/mw6jxbvz Do you struggle with managing your stress levels? What’s your go-to stress management tool? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
4/13/202319 minutes, 52 seconds
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Happiness Break: Visualizing Your Purpose, with Dacher Keltner

How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place to do this practice. Once you feel ready, relax your shoulders and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, and take a few slow, deep breaths.  Think about the world around you. If you could change one thing in society, what would it be?  Imagine this ideal world. Visualize it manifesting before you. Notice what you see and how you feel in as much detail as possible. Is there anything that you can do to make this a reality? It can be anything, no matter how small. Think of some manageable steps you can take to get a little closer to what you’ve imagined. Return your focus to your breathing to close out this practice. If you have the time, jot down your thoughts and goals.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, *Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life: *<https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt](https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt) Find the full practice at our Greater Good in Action website:  https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/magic_wand More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Find Purpose in Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/yc4dd5ff Living with Purpose Changes Everything: https://tinyurl.com/m28uvsjn The Purpose Challenge: https://tinyurl.com/53zykj8a How Strong is Your Sense of Purpose in Life? https://tinyurl.com/2r3yr3hr Purpose in Life Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/mrxys77h We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of finding purpose. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day. 
4/6/20239 minutes, 2 seconds
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Encore: 24 Hours of Kindness

Why should you be nice? Our guest explores how small, daily acts of kindness can produce meaningful life changes. Episode summary: When you’re kind to someone, the positive impact doesn’t stop with them. In fact, the effect of your kind action can ricochet back to you by improving your physical health and outlook on life. This week’s episode is all about how kindness has the power to strengthen our sense of self within a larger community. Our guest Aaron Harvey is an activist and UC Berkeley alumni who performed five random acts of kindness in one day. He found that practicing kindness allowed him to develop deeper relationships with those around him and shifted the way he views his role in society. Later, we hear from Oliver Scott Curry, the Research Director at Kindlab, to learn about why humans are evolutionarily designed to be kind and how practicing kindness can positively affect our physical and mental state of being. How to Do This Practice: Choose a day of the week to perform 5 random acts of kindness throughout that day. These acts don’t have to be big or small or even for the same person. Just aim to perform a variety of acts of kindness. This could include helping a friend with a chore or providing a meal to a person in need. After each act, write down what you did in at least one or two sentences and reflect on how it made you feel. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/random_acts_of_kindness Today’s guests: Aaron Harvey is a UC Berkeley Underground Scholar alumnus and activist. After facing the possibility of life in prison, Aaron successfully proved his innocence due to a lack of evidence. Learn more about Berkeley Underground Scholars: https://undergroundscholars.berkeley.edu/ Oliver Scott Curry is the Research Director for Kindlab at kindness.org. He uses scientific  research to better understand topics like kindness, human morality and cooperation. Learn more about Oliver and his work: https://www.oliverscottcurry.com/ Learn more about Kindlab: https://kindness.org/kindlab Follow Oliver on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Oliver_S_Curry Follow Oliver on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc29nn62 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Random Acts of Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/jxafbdm4 How to Start a Kindness Revolution: https://tinyurl.com/3fr68t6v Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness into Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/22cx7w9f How Kindness Fits Into a Happy Life: https://tinyurl.com/h8mspz37 How to Be a Kindness Role Model for Your Kids: https://tinyurl.com/3cjkp785 Where Does Kindness Come From? https://tinyurl.com/hkv94anp Is There an Altruism Gene? https://tinyurl.com/5n8r7eh5 More Resources on Kindness MasterClass - How to Be Kind to Yourself: 5 Ways to Practice Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/ycx7uysu The New York Times - The Unexpected Power of Random Acts of Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/ycxxd7af TED Talk - Mark Kelly: How one act of kindness a day can change your life: https://tinyurl.com/u2n3t3s Have you ever tried practicing random acts of kindness? Ever been the recipient of one? Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
3/30/202318 minutes, 34 seconds
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Happiness Break: Embodying Resilience, with Prentis Hemphill

What if you could tap into your inherent resilience at any time? Prentis Hemphill guides a meditation to turn good memories into a state of resilience. How to Do This Resilience Practice: Find a position that is comfortable for you, whether that is sitting, laying down or even standing. Don’t feel pressured to remain still for this practice. If you feel like you need to move or make sounds to stay present, feel free to. Think of something that brings you a sense of resilience. While in this memory, what are you doing with your body? What does your body feel like? Try to intensify those feelings. Notice how that feels in your body and in the experience of that memory. Take yourself back to how the memory was at the beginning of this practice, at a lower intensity. Notice how you’re able to make that change. Thinking about the day ahead or the day that you’ve had, ask yourself how much space do you want the day to take up in this moment? Once you’re ready, move from that comfortable position. See if you can take this experience with you throughout your day. Today’s Happiness Break host: Prentis Hemphill is the founder of the Embodiment Institute, and a writer and therapist who prioritizes the body in their approach to healing. Learn More About the Embodiment Institute: https://www.theembodimentinstitute.org/about Check out Prentis’ website: https://prentishemphill.com Follow Prentis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/prentishemphill Follow Prentis on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/4d99f4xs More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Hardwire Resilience into Your Brain: https://tinyurl.com/26mff6hf Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8u Evidence Mounts that Mindfulness Breeds Resilience: https://tinyurl.com/2u6k6mkh Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work: https://tinyurl.com/yrujmwxs Three Ways to Boost Your Resiliency as a Parent: https://tinyurl.com/w6f3w3ak How Tuning into Your Body can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/yv5yzper We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of this resilience meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
3/23/20239 minutes, 19 seconds
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One Way to Make Work More Meaningful

We all overestimate how much we know. Our guest tries a practice in slowing down to ask more questions, and finds it leads to higher quality connections. Episode summary: What happens when we pause and open up to ideas that we didn’t think of ourselves? This episode is about intellectual humility, the ability to surrender to the idea that we might not have all the information or may not be right. Our guest is Kelly Corrigan, a best-selling author and host of PBS talk show Tell Me More and podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Her teams look to her for direction, but she wanted to see what would happen if she paused more to ask them questions, and found it totally changed her approach to both her work and family life. We also explore science around the subtle ways we react differently to people we disagree with, and how intellectual humility can change that. Try this practice: Cultivate Intellectual Humility If you can, write out your answers. When you encounter information or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask yourself questions like these: Why do you disagree? Are you making any assumptions? Might those assumptions be wrong? How did you come to your opinion? Think about the scenario from the perspective of a person who disagrees with you. Try to imagine how they came to believe what they believe: What information might they be basing their opinion off of? What values do you think they’re weighing in how they think about this topic? Can you imagine how they came to hold those values? 3. Tap into your intellectual humility: Identify places where, before, you didn’t acknowledge the limitations of what you know Now that you’ve worked to see this issue from another person’s point of view, do you see more value in their perspective? Today’s guests: Kelly Corrigan is the author of five books. She’s also the host for PBS’s longform interview show, Tell Me More and Kelly Corrigan Wonders*.* Check out Kelly’s website: https://www.kellycorrigan.com Follow Kelly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/corrigankelly Follow Kelly on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellycorrigan/ Mark Leary is a psychologist and emeritus professor at Duke University. Learn more about Mark and his work: https://sites.duke.edu/leary/ Check out Mark’s research on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/p8ayz8dn Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What Does Intellectual Humility Look Like? https://tinyurl.com/5n949h69 Five Reasons Intellectual Humility is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/2ce3jrmc Intellectual Humility Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/574k99fs Three Reasons for Leaders to Cultivate Intellectual Humility: https://tinyurl.com/2s4ecda6 How to Know if You’re Actually Humble: https://tinyurl.com/y8js44v More Resources on Intellectual Humility Vox - Intellectual humility: The importance of knowing you might be wrong: https://tinyurl.com/2cryd336 Financial Times - Why Intellectual Humility Matters: https://tinyurl.com/5n84hsh7 Psych Central - How Humility Strengthens Your Relationship: https://tinyurl.com/2fj9a4wh University of Notre Dame - To Make Better Decisions, Get More Comfortable Saying “I Don’t Know”  https://tinyurl.com/3npysxh8 Tell us about your thoughts on intellectual humility. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." For more on the project, go to www.ggsc.berkeley.edu/IH.
3/16/202318 minutes, 55 seconds
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Happiness Break: Pause to Look at the Sky, with Dacher Keltner

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and vastness of the sky. Dacher Keltner guides us through a practice of pausing to turn your gaze to the sky as a pathway to awe, creativity and wonder. Practice: Go someplace where you feel safe and also have a nice view of the sky. First, focus on your breathing. Take a few slow inhales and even slower exhales. As you breathe in and out, relax your shoulders, your hands, and your face. On the next breath in, look up at the sky. Notice how vast it is. Breathing naturally, notice everything you can about the sky. What colors are present? Are there any clouds? Do you see any gradation of light? Expand your gaze to get the fullest view and sense of the sky that you can. Spend a few moments taking it in. On the final deep breaths in and out, reflect on how doing this practice has made you feel. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Check out Dacher’s most recent book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life:  https://tinyurl.com/4j4hcvyt Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why we Should Look up at the Sky (Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/fn3bttw6 Six Ways to Incorporate Awe into Your Daily Life: https://tinyurl.com/3j5hdtj7 How to Choose a Type of Mindfulness Meditation: https://tinyurl.com/py6b729h How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative:  https://tinyurl.com/2fmpdpkj Why is Nature so Good For Your Mental Health? ​​https://tinyurl.com/23zavth3 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of looking up. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
3/9/20237 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why We Need Friends with Shared Interests

Episode summary: Having strong relationships is vital to our well-being. We tend to be happier and healthier when we’re involved with community. Today’s guest is the world-famous scientist Temple Grandin. She was born with autism, which led her to be socially isolated from her peers. Join us on this episode of The Science of Happiness to hear about how Grandin credits her support networks for her success and making her into the person she is today. We’ll also look at the science behind the health repercussions of not having strong social networks. Today’s guests: Temple Grandin is a leading animal behaviorist, prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behaviors. Today, she teaches courses at Colorado State University. Her latest book is Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions. Temple’s Website: https://www.templegrandin.com Follow Temple on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtemplegrandin?lang=en Check out Temple’s Latest Book: https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpck Tegan Cruwyis is a clinical psychologist at The National Australian University who studies social connection and how loneliness and chronic isolation are literally toxic. Learn more about Cruwyis and her work: https://tinyurl.com/3etuvket Follow Cruwyis on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc5ujhaj Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient https://tinyurl.com/34ntce8u What is Social Connection? https://tinyurl.com/nk8crbbz Is Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness? https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tn Why are We so Wired to Connect? https://tinyurl.com/uttppd3p More Resources for Improving Social Connections Emotional Wellness Checklist https://tinyurl.com/4wxc66tn How to Strengthen Social Relationships https://tinyurl.com/5fdv8ra9 The Science of Social Connection https://tinyurl.com/3tftxpck Tell us about your experiences with building social connections. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
3/2/202316 minutes, 24 seconds
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Happiness Break: Being Present from Head to Toe, with Spring Washam

Try this body-scan meditation to ground your mind in the present moment and in your body, guided by Spring Washam. How to do this practice: Find a comfortable seat where you can relax your body. Beginning with the top of your head, relax any sense of tension, one body part at a time. Slowly scan down to your face, neck, upper arms, hands, feeling their presence. You might want to place your hands on your belly to feel your breath and let go. End by placing your hand on your heart and offer your body some kindness. Today’s Happiness Break Host: Spring Washam has been a devoted Buddhist practitioner in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for more than 25 years. She is a founding teacher of The East Bay Meditation Center and has spent more than a decade studying Shamanic indigenous healing practices. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Awakening from the Underground. Learn more about Spring and her book: https://www.springwasham.com/ Follow Spring on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/springwasham/ Check out Spring’s YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/22njyd29 More Resources from the Greater Good Science Center: Six Minutes to Connect with Your Body:  https://tinyurl.com/2337f85e How a Body Scan Can Help with Strong Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/58wfsvnd Krista Tippett on Being Grounded in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/59pkp324 Turning Into Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/5av68v62 Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/dwb9vvue What Self-Compassion Feels Like in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/2p9rdepk Seven Ways to Have a Healthier Relationship with Stress: https://tinyurl.com/m6mbv2np We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of embodiment meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
2/23/202310 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why We Need Reminders of Connectedness

How can we feel more connected to our loved ones, even when they're not around? Our guest tries a practice shown to make us feel less lonely and more socially connected. Episode summary: Mónica Guzmán describes herself as a raging extrovert, but she still feels less connected to others than she’d like to. Working from home, she often finds herself alone, or worse — feeling alone because she’s still in work mode when her family is around. She tried a Reminders of Connectedness practice by making subtle changes to the interior of her home – like decorating with more family photos and rearranging the living room  – and found that these seemingly small changes made a big difference in how she felt throughout her day.  We also hear from clinical psychologist Tegan Cruwys about the powerful influence our sense of connectedness can have on our mental health. Practice: Reminders of Connectedness Look around your home, office, or classroom and notice what things around you remind you of being connected to others – words, photographs, memorabilia. As you move through your day, keep an eye out for things that evoke a feeling of connection. See where you can use them to add more reminders of connection to your space by adding them in or replacing existing objects.  Finally, consider how the furniture is arranged. Are chairs facing toward or away from each other? Find any changes you can make to common spaces so that they’re more conducive to spontaneous interactions.  Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/reminders_of_connectedness Today’s guests: Mónica Guzmán is Senior Fellow for Public Practice at Braver Angels, a nonprofit working to depolarize America, founder and CEO of Reclaim Curiosity, an organization working to build a more curious world. She’s also the author of I Never Thought Of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times.  You can check out the book here: https://boook.link/I-Never-Thought-of-It-That-Way Visit Mónica’s website:https://www.moniguzman.com/ Follow Mónica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moniguzman/?hl=en Follow Mónica on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3k4pn4c4 Follow Mónica on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moniguzman Tegan Cruwys is a professor and clinical psychologist at Australian National University.  Learn more about Tegan and her work: https://tinyurl.com/ykepk5r4 Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: 11 Things to Do When You Feel Lonely: https://tinyurl.com/b8m86fhy What the Longest Happiness Study Reveals About Finding Fulfillment: https://tinyurl.com/2s3b59fn What Psychedelics Can Teach Us About Human Connection: https://tinyurl.com/5buyydw7 Skills You Need for Happier Relationships with Family: https://tinyurl.com/weeusepn More Resources The Atlantic - What Makes Us Happy: https://tinyurl.com/2nxpbhsd NYT - I Love You But I Don’t Want To Sleep With You: https://tinyurl.com/tjnxbdtt Scientific American - Why We Are Wired To Connect: ​​https://tinyurl.com/59u4ffua Tell us about your experiences of connectedness. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
2/16/202314 minutes, 56 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation for When Others are Suffering, with Anushka Fernandopulle

Seeing others suffering is painful. Learn to practice both compassion and self-soothing in this guided meditation led by Anushka Fernandopulle. How to Do This Practice: Find somewhere peaceful, sit down and get comfortable. Once you’re ready, gently close your eyes. Start taking deep breaths and relax your body. Part by part, release tension in different areas of your body. Think of someone or a group of people you know or have heard of who may be having a hard time. Bring to mind an image of them. Connect with whatever it is they are struggling with. Mentally, make some wishes of compassion for them. For example, “May you be free from pain.” Or, “I am here with you.” You can also use this practice to focus on your own pain. To do this, call to mind your struggles and give yourself the same compassion you gave others. Today’s Happiness Break host: Anushka Fernandopulle is a meditation teacher who trained in Buddhist meditation for over 30 years. After studying Buddhism at Harvard, she spent four years in full-time meditation training in the U.S., India, and Sri Lanka Check out Anushka’s upcoming meditation retreats https://www.anushkaf.org Follow Anushka on Instagram https://tinyurl.com/ytn3vvhz Follow Anushka on Twitter https://tinyurl.com/485vj8xn Check out Anushka’s Dharma Talks https://tinyurl.com/ydacvamn Find another version of the Compassion Meditation practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/compassion_meditation More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: What is compassion? https://tinyurl.com/2s3ztcpt Take Our Self-Compassion Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yysrf663 Try Dr. Neff’s Fierce Self-Compassion Break: https://tinyurl.com/yk9yzh9u How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: https://tinyurl.com/45zkrkam The Five Myths of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2p88vass Read Dr. Neff’s interview about Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/286njtje How Self-Compassion Can Help You Through a Breakup: https://tinyurl.com/222scejz Can Self-Compassion Overcome Procrastination? https://tinyurl.com/mrfmvyj We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of compassion meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
2/9/20238 minutes, 55 seconds
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How Music Evokes Awe

Why do some songs send chills down your spine or give you goosebumps? We explore the science of how music induces awe — and how that affects our well-being. Episode summary: In the last episode of our awe series, Dacher explores the mysteries of how music inspires awe and can transport us to another space and time with sound alchemist Laura Inserra. Later, we hear from the scientist who showed how awe-inspiring songs change the way we think and feel. This is the last episode in our special series The Science of Awe. Check out the last four releases in our feed for Happiness Breaks that will help guide you to experience more awe in your life, and episodes of The Science of Happiness about the other profound ways that awe affects — and more places to find it.  Our host, Dacher Keltner, has a new book out about awe. It’s called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/3uzk8m5r   Today’s guests: Laura Inserra is an instrumentalist, composer, producer, and a teacher who works with music to help people tap into a sense of awe. Follow Laura on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laura_inserra/ Follow Laura on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/laurainserra Check out Laura’s website: https://www.laurainserra.com  Qihao Ji is an assistant professor of Communication at Marist College Learn more about Ji and his work: https://www.marist.edu/communication-arts/faculty/qihao-ji Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Music Bonds us Together: https://tinyurl.com/5x5xxnmz Where Music and Empathy Converge in the Brain https://tinyurl.com/84sep62v How Many Emotions Can Music Make You Feel: https://tinyurl.com/8pxud5bt More Resources About Awe and Music Bluefield Daily Telegraph - Music: A sense of Awe and Admiration: https://tinyurl.com/5eyc4ehw NYT - How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/4zdzcusk Yamaha Music - The Science of Awe (And Why It Matters): https://tinyurl.com/4njv9mpb Tell us about your experiences with music awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
2/2/202320 minutes, 18 seconds
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Happiness Break: Feeling the Awe of Nature from Anywhere, with Dacher Keltner

Host Dacher Keltner leads us through an exercise in feeling the serenity and wonder that nature brings us, no matter where we are. How to Do This Practice: Find a spot where you can sit and rest comfortably. Once you’re ready, close your eyes. Begin breathing slowly and deeply. Focus on your breath and unclench your muscles from head to toe. Think of a place in nature that is sacred or significant to you. What do you hear? What do you see? Try to create as clear of an image as you can in your mind. Notice what feelings arise as you think of this place; what feelings do you associate with it? Contemplate how this place has become a part of who you are; how it lives in your mind and how you can conjure up the feeling of it within yourself. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He’s also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His new book is Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Secrets of the Vagus Nerve: https://tinyurl.com/yzuxtuzp Why We Should Look Up at the Sky (Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/fn3bttw6 What’s the Most Common Sense of Awe? https://tinyurl.com/2p842t8r Happiness Break: How to Ground Yourself: https://tinyurl.com/289ph9cz Happiness Break: Experience Nature Wherever You Are: https://tinyurl.com/yv46xrr4 Why You Should Snap Pictures of Nature: https://tinyurl.com/5fp7bhk6 Could Your Life Be More Awesome? Take our Awe Quiz https://tinyurl.com/2p8mz57f We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of awe in nature. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
1/26/20237 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why We Should Look Up at the Sky

When did you last take a moment to really look up at the sky? Shifting our gaze upward is linked to more creativity, capacity to focus—and it's a gateway to awe. Episode summary: Natalie didn’t spend much time finding shapes in the clouds as a small kid. And when she got older, looking up was even worse for her. Natalie spent time in jail, where she spent most of her days indoors under harsh lights. Today, she’s a student at a prestigious university. She tried a practice in looking up for our show. When we look up, our brain gets better at being playful, creative, and thinking critically. We also tend to see vast and beautiful things above our heads, like a canopy of leaves, branches and singing birds, or a starry night sky. Often, looking up is all we need to do to find moments of awe in our day-to-day lives. And that’s a wonderful thing, because feeling awe changes how our brains work in a way that’s really good for us. This is the second episode of The Science of Happiness in a three-part series called The Science of Awe. If you’d like to learn more about awe, our host, Dacher Keltner, has a new book out about it. It’s called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. Learn more here: <https://tinyurl.com/3uzk8m5r \](https://tinyurl.com/3uzk8m5r) Practice: Look Up Over the course of a week or so, make it a point to look up in several different locations and at different times of the day and night. Be sure everywhere you choose is a safe place to do so, and of course, never look into the sun. Each time before you look up, take a moment first to notice how you feel, and then take a few deep, intentional breaths to help you get grounded into the present moment. Look up and let your eyes wander, noticing what inspires awe. If nothing does, that’s ok! This practice might help you cultivate awe more often, but it’s best to go into it each time with no expectations. Spend at least a few minutes looking up if it’s comfortable to do so, or as long as you like. When you’re done, take another moment to notice how you feel now. Today’s guests: Natalie is a student at UC Berkeley and also works with the UC Berkeley's Underground Scholars Program, which creates pathways for formerly incarcerated people to study at universities. We're not sharing Natalie's last name to protect her privacy. Michiel van Elk is a professor at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Learn more about van Elk and his work: https://tinyurl.com/4kc5tycc Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/yepuxd27 Six Ways to Incorporate Awe Into Your Daily Life: https://tinyurl.com/3emucdez How the Science of Awe Shaped Pixar’s “Soul:” https://tinyurl.com/37z43vrz How a Sense of Awe Can Inspire Us to Confront Threats to Humanity: https://tinyurl.com/3k6xprau More Resources About Awe KQED - Dacher Keltner on Finding Awe: https://tinyurl.com/575v6rvf The Atlantic  - The Quiet Profundity of Everyday Awe: https://tinyurl.com/yz623mff NYT - How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/4zdzcusk Sierra Club - The Science of Awe: https://tinyurl.com/3pfn23t7 Tell us about your experiences of awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
1/19/202320 minutes, 6 seconds
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Happiness Break: Awe for Others, with Dacher Keltner

The communities we create are one of the most awe-inspiring parts of our lives. Host Dacher Keltner guides us in a meditation on awe and togetherness in this week’s Happiness Break. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable, safe, place where you can close your eyes and relax. Notice your breathing and begin to take deep, intentional breaths. Think about a community you are a part of – work, recreation, spiritual, any group you’re a part of. Cultivate a sense in your mind of being with that community. Reflect for a few minutes on the faces of the people in this community; bring them into your mind’s eye and notice the details of their eyes, smiles, perhaps even their tones of voice or the sounds of their laughter. Think about this remarkable quality of communities: That all of these separate individuals create one hole. Think about how each person contributes to this community to create that whole. Contemplate how everyone in this community is connected, and how they’re mutually influencing each other. Think about what value unites all these people share, what they have in common. Imagine yourself within this network of connected individuals. Cultivate a sense of what connects you with them, think of them as threads of mutual influence. It doesn’t all have to be good; tension is a part of being a community, too. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He's also the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His new book is Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why Do We Feel Awe? https://tinyurl.com/3xms3dm2 How Awe Brings People Together: https://tinyurl.com/2p8m2tyk Eight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better: https://tinyurl.com/2p8ccav2 Six Ways to Incorporate Awe Into Your Daily Life: https://tinyurl.com/3emucdez How Music Bonds Us Together: https://tinyurl.com/329scmf6 Can a Sense of Awe Improve Our Arguments? https://tinyurl.com/pb2eh8c6 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience contemplating your communities. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
1/12/20238 minutes, 42 seconds
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How Awe Brings Us Together

Feeling awe changes your brain. In our first episode in a series about the science awe, we explore how awe can make you a better friend, partner, and community member. Episode summary: When Mirna Valerio tried out hiking for the first time as a young kid, she discovered something she didn’t expect: Being outdoors seemed to bring strangers closer to one another. It was like it somehow fastracked forming meaningful relationships. Today we know that the feeling of awe nature often inspires has something to do with this. Awe is the feeling you get when in the presence of something vast and incomprehensible. When we feel it, our sense of self shrinks – in a good way – and we get better at connecting with others. Today on The Science of Happiness, we explore what it’s like when awe helps us create communities, and the science behind how it works. This episode is part of special series we’re doing on Awe. In the weeks ahead, we’ll share Happiness Breaks to help you contemplate what’s awe-inspiring in your life and explore more dimensions of awe in the stories and science we share on this podcast. Our host, Dacher Keltner, has a new book out about awe. It’s called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/3uzk8m5r Practice: Awe Narrative Think back to a time when you felt a sense of awe; when you were around something vast and incomprehensible. It could be something physically vast, like a mountain range or beautiful valley, or psychological, like a brilliant idea or inspiring person. Describe the experience in writing in as much detail as possible. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just get down as much about the experience as you can. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/awe_narrative Today’s guests: Mirna Valerio is an ultra-marathon athlete and author known for her body-positive presence on social media. Follow Mirna on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themirnavator/?hl=en Follow Mirna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheMirnavator Follow Mirna on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMirnavator/ Yang Bai is a professor at Peking University in China. Learn more about Bai and her work: https://en.gsm.pku.edu.cn/faculty/ybai/ Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Six Ways to Incorporate Awe Into Your Daily Life: https://tinyurl.com/3emucdez How the Science of Awe Shaped Pixar’s “Soul:” https://tinyurl.com/37z43vrz How a Sense of Awe Can Inspire Us to Confront Threats to Humanity: https://tinyurl.com/3k6xprau More Resources About Awe The Atlantic  - The Quiet Profundity of Everyday Awe: https://tinyurl.com/yz623mff NYT - How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/4zdzcusk Sierra Club - The Science of Awe: https://tinyurl.com/3pfn23t7 Tell us about your experiences of awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
1/5/202319 minutes, 33 seconds
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Happiness Break: An Affirmation Practice for the New Year, with Chris Murchison

This New Year, affirm the wonderful qualities you already possess with this meditative writing practice called "I Am." How to Do This Practice: Take a moment to sit still and take a few deep breaths, and notice how you’re feeling right now. Open your eyes, and on a sheet of paper, write “I am ____,” and then fill in that blank. Set a timer for 1 minute, and repeat step 2 until the time is up. Take a moment to observe what you’ve written. Where did you begin? Where did you end? What can you glean about how you’re showing up today, from what you’ve written? Look for patterns. Take a few more mindful breaths. Consider how what you’ve just written might influence what you’ve just written and the rest of your day. Today’s Happiness Break host: Chris Murchison is an artist and meditation teacher. Check out Chris’s website: https://chrismurchison.com/ Follow Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrismarcellmurchison/ Follow Chris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.m.murchison More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Be a Remarkable Boss During Lockdown (by Chris Murchison): https://tinyurl.com/yypps3aw Can Self-Awareness Help You Be More Empathic? https://tinyurl.com/eefds36s Do You Have a True Self? https://tinyurl.com/3xasurwp Ten Habits of Highly Creative People https://tinyurl.com/yt83udz6 Make Self-Compassion One of Your New Year’s Resolutions https://tinyurl.com/ymn6m5pp The Dark Side of Self-Help: https://tinyurl.com/4jajdfum We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experiences with self-insight or self-affirmations. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
12/29/20228 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Make Life More Meaningful

Chris Sharma is one of the greatest rock climbers of all time, and he's taking on some of the biggest challenges in life: becoming a parent and starting his own business. Chris tries a practice shown to help us craft our own path and purpose in life. Episode summary: Chris Sharma spent his youth traveling the globe and becoming one of the greatest rock climbers of all time. His passion for climbing has filled his life with purpose, but now in middle age, he wants to also focus on other sources of meaning in life that are just as important to him. Chris joins us after trying a practice in life crafting — where you get clear on your values, imagine what your ideal life would look like, and make a plan to get closer to that vision. Later in the show, we hear from Michael Steger, a psychologist and director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose at Colorado State University, about the surprising places in our lives we can find meaning, and the different roads we can take towards living a more meaningful life. Try the Life Crafting Practice: Identify your deepest values and passions — what’s most important to you. Reflect on your ideal future: Write a paragraph envisioning how you’d like your social life or your career path to turn out if you had no constraints. Write down how you’ll attain those goals. Prioritize them, and write “if, then” plans for how you’ll overcome obstacles you’re likely to encounter. Make a public commitment. Tell your community about your goals. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/life_crafting Today’s guests: Chris Sharma is an elite rock climber known for traveling the world to find the most beautiful and challenging places to rock climb. His new show The Climb premieres on HBO on January 12. Check out the trailer here: https://tinyurl.com/suz35w8y Follow Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chris_sharma/ Check out his website: http://www.chrissharma.com/ Michael Steger is a professor of psychology at Colorado State University, where he is the director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose. Learn more about Steger’s work: http://www.michaelfsteger.com/ Follow Steger on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/yc79d6mb Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Michael Steger: Why We Search for Meaning: https://tinyurl.com/2s469242 Here’s How to Find Meaning in Your Midlife Crisis: https://tinyurl.com/4kpcnr9c What Our Photos Say About Us (Podcast): https://tinyurl.com/y56wvj42 Purpose in Life Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yz4ztenp Living with a Purpose Changes Everything: https://tinyurl.com/d3ea7afa More On Meaning and Purpose: The Atlantic - The Meaning of Life Is Surprisingly Simple: https://tinyurl.com/2yfucadj Pew - Where Americans Find Meaning in Life: https://tinyurl.com/nek5j6tk Scientific American - To Feel Meaningful Is To Feel Immortal: https://tinyurl.com/yuhe99m9 NPR - What's Your Purpose? https://tinyurl.com/465aknec Harvard Business Review: What Is the Purpose of Your Purpose? https://tinyurl.com/43pjrc6j Tell us about how you find meaning in your life. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
12/22/202218 minutes, 59 seconds
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Happiness Break: Finding Presence Through Your Senses, with Dacher Keltner

Sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste: all of our five senses provide unique pathways to presence and happiness. We spend a few minutes being mindful of each one. How to Do This Practice: Find a comfortable place where you feel safe. Close your eyes or soften your gaze. Take a few deep breths, noticing the sensation of the air as it moves through your nose, into your lungs, and back out again. Sound: For a few breaths, pay attention to the sounds around you. Notice where they are in space. Touch: Put one hand on top of the other. Notice the sensations you feel in your hand as your fingers’ knuckles touch the other, like temperature and texture.. Shift your attention to your cheeks, noticing temperature and the feel of the air. Taste: Now, pay attention to the taste you are experiencing on your tongue. There may be no taste or the taste of saliva. Smell: Move your focus to the smell around you as you take a breath. See how many odors you can identify. **Sight: Finally, focus your gaze on a point eight inches in front of you for a few seconds and see what colors, forms, light, and shadow you notice there. Take a few more deep breaths here and notice if any of your senses feel heightened. More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to our Happiness Break on body scan meditation: https://tinyurl.com/bd6x8ba5 How to Focus Under Pressure (podcast) https://tinyurl.com/mxpd6mtd Coming to Our Senses: https://tinyurl.com/3d4jkprr Hands-On Research: The Science of Touch: https://tinyurl.com/y79vpbre 10 Steps to Savoring the Good Things in Life: https://tinyurl.com/2zwb5y8v We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with the five senses meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcast: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
12/15/20227 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Science of Synchronized Movement

Moving in sync with someone else — even a total stranger — can change how you feel about them, and how you act, without you realizing it. Episode summary: When was the last time you moved in sync with someone else? Dancing, exercising, even just walking in step — for some, it comes easily, for others, it’s a challenge. But can moving to the same beat make all of us kinder to one another? This week, our guest Chris Duffy steps out of his comfort zone to try a practice in Body Music, rhythmically making sounds just by tapping your body, with body percussionist Keith Terry. Later, we learn how tapping in sync with someone else tricks you into thinking you have more in common with them, and can make you more inclined to help them. Practice: To start, stand up. Clap your hands together in front of your chest, then tap your left palm to your right chest, then right hand to your left chest. Repeat at a steady cadence. Next, cap your hands together in front of your chest, then tap your left hand to your right chest, then right hand to your left chest, the right hand to top of your right thigh, then left hand to left thigh. Repeat at a steady cadence. You can add on by tapping your right hand to your right buttocks and left hand to left buttocks after you finish tapping both thighs in step 2. Repeat (including all of step 2) at a steady cadence. To add even more complexity, stomp each foot one at a time after completing all of step 3. Repeat at a steady cadence. Check out a video of body percussionist Keith Terry performing this practice (and try it with a friend!): https://tinyurl.com/mwffv447 Today’s guests: Chris Duffy is a comedian, writer, and host of the TED podcast How to Be A Better Human. Listen to Chris’s podcast, How to Be a Better Human: https://tinyurl.com/bdey9pm5 Follow Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisiduffy/ Follow Chris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopheriduffy Check out Chris’s comedy: https://chrisduffycomedy.com/videos Keith Terry is a body percussionist and creator of the Body Music practice Chris tried today. Learn more about Keith’s work: https://crosspulse.com/keith-terry/ Check out one of Keith’s original compositions: https://tinyurl.com/ybhweyux Piercarlo Valdesolo  is a psychologist and Chair of Psychological Science at Claremont McKenna College in California. Learn more about Piercarolo’s work: http://www.valdesolo.com/ Check out the Moral Emotions and Trust Lab: http://www.valdesolo.com/meat-lab Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Music Bonds Us Together https://tinyurl.com/329scmf6 To Resolve Conflicts, Get Up and Move https://tinyurl.com/bdf6zswn Five Ways Music Can Make You a Better Person https://tinyurl.com/mwa22r8m How to Train the Compassionate Brain https://tinyurl.com/32nbuh94 More Resources on Synchronized Movement PRX - Body Music with Keith Terry https://tinyurl.com/2p8tz5j3 Scientific American - Moving in Sync Creates Surprising Social Bonds among People https://tinyurl.com/3y3ahfa3 Oxford University - Let’s dance: synchronised movement helps us tolerate pain and foster friendship  https://tinyurl.com/c8tvrmdx Science Daily - Social Synchronicity https://tinyurl.com/4mzvahe Tell us about your experiences and struggles with body music or moving in sync. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
12/8/202217 minutes, 54 seconds
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Happiness Break: Tune Into Your Body, with Radha Agrawal

Happiness isn't only in your head — your body is important, too. This week, Radha Agrawal leads us in a short Japanese calisthenics practice called Radio Taiso. Check out Radha Agrawal’s video guide to this practice: https://dose.daybreaker.com/videos/microdose-oxytocin-healthy-spine Today’s Happiness Break guide: Radha Agrawal is Japanese-Indian author and a founder of Daybreaker, a company that throws sober dance parties at sunrise all around the world. Learn more about Daybreaker: https://www.daybreaker.com/ The Science of Happiness listeners get 100% off their first month of Daybreaker’s Dose, using code GGSC at check out:  http://dose.daybreaker.com?code=ggsc Follow Radha on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/love.radha/ Follow Radha on Twitter: https://twitter.com/radhatwin Learn more about Radha and her book, Belong: https://belongbook.com/ More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Moving Your Body Is Like a Tune-Up for Your Mind: https://tinyurl.com/2f64na8b Five Surprising Ways Exercise Changes Your Brain: https://tinyurl.com/4pbx3rua How Tuning In to Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/328scfjj Four Ways Dancing Makes You Happier: https://tinyurl.com/yxp6mxdw We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of trying radio calisthenics. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
12/1/20227 minutes, 57 seconds
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How to Practice Gratitude When You're Not Feeling Thankful

One way to feel more thankful for things is to imagine life without them. Our guest tries a practice for seeing the bright side, even when you feel down. Episode summary: We know that gratitude is good for us. But what can we do when we’re struggling to actually feel thankful? Our guest this week is author and podcast producer Stephanie Foo. Foo built a network of close friends around her in California, where she grew up. As a survivor of child abuse and Complex PTSD, her friends in California became her chosen family. And since she’s moved to New York City, she finds herself often pining for the Golden State and the people she loves there. This week, Foo tries a practice in mental subtraction, which gratitude researcher Ernst Bohlmeijer describes as an antidote to taking things for granted. Imagining her life if she didn’t live in New York helps Foo tap into gratitude even in the depths of winter – when she misses California the most. She even discovers her particular skill in getting the benefits of this practice by leaning into one of her PTSD symptoms. Later in the show, Ernst Bohlmeijer breaks down how keeping a gratitude practice can alter the emotions you’re likely to experience in a given day, and maybe even change you as a person. Practice: Take a moment to think about a positive event in your life. It could be a career or educational achievement or a special trip you took. Imagine yourself back in the time of this event. Think about the circumstances that made it possible. Ponder on the ways in which this event may never have happened and write them down. For example, if you hadn’t learned about a certain job opening at the right moment. Imagine what your life would be like now if you had not experienced this positive event and all the fruits that came from it. Remind yourself that this positive event did happen and reflect upon the benefits it has brought you. Allow yourself to feel grateful that things happened as they did. Find the full Mental Subtraction of Positive Events practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mental_subtraction_positive_events Today’s guests: Stephanie Foo is a radio producer and author of the book What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma. Learn more about Stephanie and her book: https://www.stephaniefoo.me/ Follow Stephanie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/imontheradio Follow Stephanie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foofoofoo/ Follow Stephanie on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/yx6pwdnf Ernst Bohlmeijer is a psychology professor who studies gratitude at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. Learn more about Ernst and his work: https://tinyurl.com/2p92p6vn Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Great Gratitude Strategies: https://tinyurl.com/2p9buvkd Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal: https://tinyurl.com/3jdbe52u How to Increase the Love in Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/3k4ayj4n Why Cynicism Can Hold You Back: https://tinyurl.com/bd4ussjt More Resources for Mental Subtraction of Positive Events: New York Times - Five Ways to Exercise Your Thankfulness Muscles: https://tinyurl.com/t29ukucc NPR - A.J. Jacobs: How Can We Thank Those We Take for Granted?: https://tinyurl.com/56x48u99 TED - Your 5-day gratitude challenge: 5 exercises to increase your gratefulness: https://tinyurl.com/mt8j3x65 Tell us your thoughts about this episode. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
11/24/202216 minutes, 41 seconds
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Happiness Break: 5 Minutes of Gratitude, with Dacher Keltner

Not sure how to start practicing gratitude? Psychologist Dacher Keltner guides you through a practice that can help you see the good things in your life that you might otherwise overlook. How to Do This Practice: Sit or lay down somewhere comfortable. You may close your eyes if you wish, and take a slow, deep breath in to ground into the present moment. Then, scan your body from head to toe, noticing how you’re feeling in this moment. Let worries and plans clear from your mind. Start by thinking about all the things that make your life comfortable: Clean water on tap, light at the flip of a switch, a roof over your head to protect you from the weather, warmth, and comfort when it gets windy, rainy, or cold. Let your mind wander to all the millions of people who have worked hard to make your life more comfortable: Those who plant and harvest the food you eat, who bring it to markets, people who ensure the water we drink is clean, delivery drivers, teachers, all the people who create art and music and books and films and all the things that can bring us so much meaning, and so on. Think about the acquaintances who bring richness to your life, like a colleague, neighbor, or someone you often see at the gym or a coffee shop. Take a moment to think about what you’re really grateful for today, right now. Notice how you’re feeling now, compared to when you started, and then start to bring movement back to your body, wiggling fingers and toes, maybe slowly standing up. If you have the time, spend a few minutes journaling about what you thought about. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dacher Keltner is the host of The Science of Happiness podcast and is a co-instructor of the Greater Good Science Center’s popular online course of the same name. He's also a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. This practice was created by Dr. Kathy Kemper, who's the director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at the Ohio State University. Learn more about some of her work here: https://mind-bodyhealth.osu.edu/ More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Try GGSC’s online Gratitude Journal, Thnx4: https://tinyurl.com/2s4e4bx6 Take our Gratitude Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yhbz6cwv Four Great Gratitude Strategies: https://tinyurl.com/2muyff64 Is Gratitude Good for You?: https://tinyurl.com/ycknm2ru Three Surprising Ways Gratitude Works at Work: https://tinyurl.com/yc2c8y4n How Gratitude Motivates Us to Become Better People: https://tinyurl.com/5n6ejpdy We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with practicing gratitude. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
11/17/20227 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Emerging Science of ASMR (Encore)

There are millions of YouTube videos with people crinkling bubble wrap or whispering about folding laundry. Our guest talks about why autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) makes her, and many others, feel more calm and happy. Episode summary: Melinda still remembers the tingling feeling she felt when she first listened to the close-up sound of someone drawing on a TV show at the age of ten. She learned later that the subtle sounds that create soothing sensations for her are called autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR. Now, she creates ASMR experiences on her YouTube channel and through her live production company, Whisperlodge — from delicately handling a plastic package to gently stroking a microphone with a makeup brush. In today's show, Melinda demystifies the world of ASMR and how it brings both calm and delight to her and her participants. Later, we hear about the emerging science behind ASMR from Dr. Giulia Poerio, who studies it in her lab at the University of Essex. As it turns out, those tingles might actually benefit our mental health. Today’s Science of Happiness Guests: Melinda Lauw, is the co-creator of Whisperlodge, an immersive ASMR theater experience. Check out some ASMR videos from Whisperlodge's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/Whisperlodge Learn more about Whisperlodge: https://whisperlodge.nyc/ Follow Melinda on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melinda.lauw/ Follow Melinda on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melindalauw Giulia Poerio is a psychology professor at the University of Essex who studies the effects of ASMR on the mind and body. Learn more about her work: https://www.essex.ac.uk/people/poeri14804/giulia-poerio Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to our Happiness Break on silence: https://tinyurl.com/2hny7pcd Just One Thing: Pay Attention!: https://tinyurl.com/cm2xb86j What Music Looks Like in the Brain: https://tinyurl.com/2k9t3sjz Does Your Voice Reveal More Emotion Than Your Face?: https://tinyurl.com/ympr4brk More Resources for ASMR: TED - The brain science (and benefits) of ASMR: https://tinyurl.com/y8a89xv3 Vox - ASMR, explained: why millions of people are watching YouTube videos of someone whispering: https://tinyurl.com/4j4kn7dh New York Times - How A.S.M.R. Became a Sensation: https://tinyurl.com/2jke45k5 NPR - Some People Get 'Brain Tingles' From These Slime Videos. What's Behind The Feeling?: https://tinyurl.com/2p8p4u7d National Geographic - ASMR or not? Unpicking the science behind a sensory phenomenon: https://tinyurl.com/yvnvuzk5 Tell us your thoughts about ASMR. Do you get tingly sensations?  Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
11/10/202218 minutes, 23 seconds
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Happiness Break: Making Space for You, with Alex Elle

Consider what you want to make space for in your life in this 6-minute contemplation guided by Alex Elle. How to Do This Practice: Take a few deep breaths. File up your belly on each inhale. Drop your shoulder and soften your body on each exhale. Say these eight phrases to yourself, or your own variation of it. Consider which resonates with you the most: a. “In the presence of fear, I will make space for courage.” b. “In the presence of self-doubt, I will make space for self-belief.” c. “In the presence of hurriedness, I will make space for slowing down.” d. “In the presence of overwhelm, I will make space for rest.” e. “In the presence of overthinking, I will make space for letting go.” f. “In the presence of chaos, I will make space for inner peace.” g. “In the presence of confusion, I will make space for clarity.” h. “In the presence of pain, I will make space for self-compassion.” Bring your attention to the line from this meditation that resonates with you the most. Think about all the ways you wish to make space so you can bloom into the best version of yourself. Write it down, perhaps on a sticky note, and keep it somewhere you can see it. Today’s Happiness Break host: Alex Elle is a breathwork coach, author and restorative writing teacher. Her new book, How We Heal, will be published this November. Keep an eye on our Instagram page, @greatergoodmag for a chance to win a copy. Learn more about Alex and her new book: https://www.alexelle.com/about Follow Alex on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex/ Follow Alex on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@easewithalexl Follow Alex on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alex__elle Follow Alex on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexElleFB More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to another Happiness Break podcast hosted by Alex: A Note to Self on Forgiveness Being Kinder to Yourself: https://tinyurl.com/yxu64duk Can Self-Awareness Help You Be More Empathic?: https://tinyurl.com/bjue72bn How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: https://tinyurl.com/2xn4f3pk Can Self-Compassion Overcome Procrastination?: https://tinyurl.com/ytvxmp5d Does Self-Compassion Make You Selfish?: https://tinyurl.com/528h6h6x We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of making space for yourself. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcast: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day
11/3/20226 minutes, 1 second
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Happiness Break: Restore Through Silence, with Tricia Hersey

When was the last time you spent a moment savoring silence? Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, guides us through an appreciation of silence and its restorative powers. Scientists have found that spending just two minutes in silence can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, even when compared to listening to slow, relaxing music. How to Do This Practice: Find a quiet place to rest. Set a two-minute timer and put it aside. Close your eyes and soften your face. Allow yourself to listen to the silence and rest your body. At the end of the two minutes, slowly open your eyes and notice how you feel in your body. Or, continue resting in silence for as long as you need. Today’s Happiness Break host: Tricia Hersey is an activist, organizer, and founder of The Nap Ministry. She is also the author of a new book, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto. Order it here: https://tinyurl.com/5bkk6txk Learn more about Tricia and her work: https://thenapministry.com/ Follow Tricia on Instagram: [https://www.instagram.com/thenapministry/\](http:// https://www.instagram.com/thenapministry/) Follow Tricia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thenapministry/ Follow Tricia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thenapministry More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Avoid Burnout—or a Breakdown: https://tinyurl.com/5h4nrahy What Is Black Fatigue, and How Can We Protect Employees from It?: https://tinyurl.com/yzcujre7 Quiet Justice: https://tinyurl.com/yc78fknk More resources on the science of silence: TIME - How Listening to Silence Changes Our Brains: https://tinyurl.com/4brpst8b Healthline - 8 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Silence, Plus How to Get More of It: https://tinyurl.com/5d84mxen New Scientist - The power of quiet: The mental and physical health benefits of silence: https://tinyurl.com/2wn82wkr PsychCentral - The Hidden Benefits of Silence: https://tinyurl.com/2p9fkc36 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of holding silence. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
10/20/20229 minutes, 43 seconds
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How to Focus Under Pressure

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider tries a body scan meditation to sharpen her focus and calm her nerves as she prepares for the Tournament of Champions. Episode summary: Amy Schneider is the most successful woman to ever compete on Jeopardy!. Part of her winning strategy was to shut down all her mental chatter and completely focus on the competition. But when the cameras are off, she struggles to find the same calm. For today’s show, Amy tries a body scan practice to connect with her body and quiet her busy mind. Later we hear from Jonathan Greenberg, a Harvard psychology professor. He explains how mindfulness can make us better problem solvers, and how that can benefit our emotional health, too. How to Do This Practice: Find a quiet place where you feel safe and comfortable. You can be standing, sitting, or lying down. Close your eyes, and take a few deep, long breaths. Move your attention through your body slowly, part by part, starting with your feet. Focus on your feet, then your calves, knees, and so on, until you get to the top of your head. Without judgment, notice what sensations you can identify in each part of the body. When your mind wanders, gently and with self-kindness, guide your attention back to the part of the body you’re focusing on in the present moment. Find the full Body Scan Meditation practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/body_scan_meditation Today’s guests: Amy Schneider is the most successful woman to compete on the quiz show Jeopardy! and won 40 consecutive games. Follow Amy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jeopardamy Follow Amy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeopardamy/ Follow Amy on Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/5b4dyezy Jonathan Greenberg is a psychology professor in Harvard University’s Clinical and Translational Science Center. His research focuses on the role of mindfulness and relaxation. Learn more about Jonathan’s research: https://tinyurl.com/yn7j73au More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Try a body scan meditation guided by host Dacher Keltner, on Happiness Break: https://tinyurl.com/bd6x8ba5 Where to Find Wisdom in the Body: https://tinyurl.com/yctxtkzt Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body: https://tinyurl.com/5n79ary9 Moving Your Body Is Like a Tune-Up for Your Mind: https://tinyurl.com/2f64na8b Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/4j9ynwr9 More resources on body scan meditation: NPR - A Crash Course in Body Scan Meditation: https://tinyurl.com/mu24fx7p Harvard Health - You can practice mindfulness in as little as 15 minutes a day: https://tinyurl.com/4aex7738 10% Happier - Change Your Posture, Change Your Mood: https://tinyurl.com/4crydjs6 Time - This Quick Meditation Helps You Let Go of Stress and Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/4mzpu2zr Tell us about how you feel after trying the body-scan meditation. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
10/13/202218 minutes, 47 seconds
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Happiness Break: How to Awaken Joy, with Spring Washam

Cultivate more joy in your life with this practice led by meditation teacher and author Spring Washam. How to Do This Practice: Think about an area of your life that brings you joy, it could be anything.  Imagine yourself experiencing that moment of happiness. Feel the smiles, the peace and laughter. As you reflect on the moment, say to yourself, “may my joy and my happiness increase.”  Next, practice “sympathetic joy.” To do this, think about someone you know having a great experience. As you think of them in their joy, say to them in your mind, “May your joy and happiness increase.” Or you can also say, “I'm happy for your happiness. May your happiness continue.” Remember that happiness is infinite. Being joyful for others is a way to increase your joy.  Today’s Happiness Break host: Spring Washam, is a meditation teacher based in Oakland, California. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: Awakening from the Underground. Learn more about Spring and her new book: https://www.springwasham.com/ Follow Spring on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/springwasham/ Follow Spring on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teacher.springwasham/ Follow Spring on Twitter: https://twitter.com/springwasham Check out Spring’s YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/22njyd29 More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy: https://tinyurl.com/3cn22wcb How Your Life Is Shaped by the Emotions You Want to Feel: https://tinyurl.com/54ff3b4k Moments of Love and Connection May Help You Live Longer: https://tinyurl.com/328scfjj Can You Be Too Happy?: https://tinyurl.com/4jswnf94 Why Other People’s Good News Could Be Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/4d8dxsw5 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of cultivating joy. Email us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcast: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
10/6/202210 minutes, 42 seconds
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Why Listen to the Other Side?

These days, it's hard to imagine befriending people with different politics than your own. But these two men did it using a tried and true practice. Episode summary: When a graphic work of art depicting two men having sex was hung up in a busy hallway on a community college campus, it stirred up a huge controversy. Some students wanted it taken down, while others opposed the idea of censoring art. Instead of retreating to their respective echo chambers, two students who disagreed had a public debate. It was so successful, they actually went on to create a discourse club on campus. We learn the tactics that helped them navigate a divisive topic with their civility and differing values intact. Later, we hear from psychologist Cynthia Wang on how taking someone else’s perspective can bring people of different backgrounds together and disrupt stereotyping. Practice: Think of someone whom you might be at odds with — perhaps they have different political beliefs, or they’re not part of your ethnic or religious group, or they have arguments with you. Take a moment to imagine yourself as this person, seeing the world through their eyes. Recall a moment you shared with this person and think how you, as this person, experience that shared situation. What does the world look like from their point of view? Try to imagine how it feels to be them as vividly as possible. Ask yourself questions such as, what emotions are they experiencing? How might that feel in their body? How might their feelings in the situation differ from yours? If you’re in a debate with this person, try taking their side and formulate an argument on their behalf. You might understand more nuances about their views. If you have the time, you can even try to imagine a day in your life as this person. Find the bridging differences playbook in our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/what_we_do/major_initiatives/bridging_differences Today’s guests: Mark Urista is a professor of communication at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon. Anthony Lusardi and Steven Olson are former students at Linn-Benton Community College. Learn more about LBCC Civil Discourse Club: https://tinyurl.com/5becxpba Follow the LBCC Civil Discourse Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LBCCCivilDiscourse/ Dr. Cynthia Wang is the clinical psychology professor at Northwestern University. She’s also the executive director of the Dispute Resolution Research Center at the Kellogg School of Management. Learn more about Cynthia and her work: https://tinyurl.com/56kebcvw Follow Cynthia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cynthiascwang Resources for bridging differences from The Greater Good Science Center: Learn more about the Bridging Differences Initiative: https://tinyurl.com/5n6j5e3t Eight Keys to Bridging Our Differences: https://tinyurl.com/ywaay6ux What Will It Take to Bridge Our Differences? https://tinyurl.com/yjvvt622 How to Get Some Emotional Distance in an Argument: https://tinyurl.com/342r4sjz More resources on bridging differences: TED - Bridging Cultural Differences(playlist): https://tinyurl.com/racj5edf NPR - Why We Fight: The Psychology Of Political Differences: https://tinyurl.com/52rxnxwj Tell us about your experiences of bridging differences by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap This episode is supported by Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, as part of the Greater Good Science Center’s Bridging Differences initiative. To learn more about the Bridging Differences initiative, please visit: https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/what_we_do/major_initiatives/bridging_differences
9/29/202216 minutes, 48 seconds
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Happiness Break: Six Minutes to Connect with Your Body, with Dacher Keltner

Dedicating a little time to tune into your body fortifies you to better handle the stresses of daily life. How to Do This Practice: Find a quiet place where you feel safe and comfortable.You can be standing, sitting, or lying down. Make sure that you feel relaxed. Close your eyes, and take a few deep, long breaths. Move your attention through your body slowly, part by part. Focus on your feet, then your calves, knees, and so on, until you get to the top of your head. Without judgment, notice what sensations you can identify in each part of the body. When your mind wanders, gently and with self-kindness, guide your attention back to the part of the body you’re focusing on in the present moment. Find the full Body Scan Meditation practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/body_scan_meditation More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to a Science of Happiness episode on the body scan meditation with Daniel Wu: https://tinyurl.com/hn6vhx4b How a Body Scan Can Help With Strong Emotions: https://tinyurl.com/57sdek76 How Tuning In to Your Body Can Make You More Resilient: https://tinyurl.com/328scfjj What Self-Compassion Feels Like in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/426hfnjj Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body: https://tinyurl.com/5n79ary9 Your Anxiety Might Be Coming From Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/4j9ynwr9 Why Yoga Is Good for Your Body and Brain, According to Science: https://tinyurl.com/ynja9f22 We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience with the body scan meditation. Email us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Apple Podcast: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
9/22/20227 minutes, 5 seconds
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Nine Steps to Forgiveness

How do you forgive someone while still holding them accountable? What if that person is yourself? This week, our guest tries a practice in forgiving herself and someone else. Episode summary: Anoosha Syed appreciates her name now, but as a kid, she struggled with feeling different from everyone else. She had friends call her “Annie” and even dyed her hair blonde in an effort to look less Pakistani. Anoosha joins us after trying a practice in forgiveness. Anoosha explores the complexities of forgiving someone who’s in a position of power and privilege and should know better, like the teacher who always mispronounced her name. Then, Anoosha took the practice a step further and directed it inward. She shares what it was like to forgive her younger self for not being as proud of her culture as she is today.  Later, we hear from psychologist Dr. Lydia Woodyatt about the power of self-compassion and affirming our important values to release us from destructive self-blame while still holding ourselves accountable when we need to. Practice: Make sure you know how you feel about what is going on and be able to articulate it. Then, tell someone you can trust about your experience. Tell yourself you will feel better because of this forgiveness. Forgiveness is for you, not for others. Remember, forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upsets you or condoning the behavior. Recognize that your primary pain comes from hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical discomfort you are experiencing now, not from the thing that offended or hurt in the past. Practice stress management to soothe yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed. Try things like mindful breathing or going for a walk. Remind yourself that you cannot expect others to act in the way you think they should, but it’s ok to hope that they do. Find another way to achieve the positive outcome you had hoped for in the first place. Instead of focusing on your hurt feelings, look for the bright side of things. Focus on what’s going well for you. Change the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your heroic choice to forgive.. Find the Nine Steps to Forgiveness Practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/nine_steps_to_forgiveness Today’s guests: Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian freelance illustrator and author of the children's book, That is Not My Name. Learn more about Anoosha and her works: http://www.anooshasyed.com/ Follow Anoosha on Twitter: https://twitter.com/foxville_art Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/3pahbn7x YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/anooshasyed Dr. Lydia Woodyatt is an associate professor in Psychology at Flinders University in Australia. She studies wellbeing, justice, emotions, and motivation. Learn more about Lydia and her works: https://tinyurl.com/mrs974by Follow Lydia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LydiaWoodyatt Resources for forgiveness from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to an episode of Happiness Break on Self-forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/3d7sevfs Eight Keys to Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/5n82yjkf Is a Grudge Keeping You Up at Night?: https://tinyurl.com/yc7pkdyk More resources on forgiveness: TED - How (and why) to forgive: https://tinyurl.com/mu2zep4f Harvard Health - The Power of Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/2p9fden3 10% Happier - Writing a Forgiveness letter: https://tinyurl.com/mr5y624x Tell us about your experiences letting go of a grudge by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
9/15/202218 minutes, 35 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Note to Self on Forgiveness, with Alex Elle

Letting go of our regrets can motivate us to improve and help us grow. Alex Elle, a certified breathwork and writing coach, guides us through a meditation to forgive and accept ourselves. How to Do This Practice: Take a deep breath. As you exhale, remember all you have done in the past that led you to come to be where you are today. Remember that you are allowed to forgive yourself and let it go. Give yourself permission to release any shame that you’re carrying. Forgive yourself. Think of the good things about yourself. Trust your worth and acknowledge that you are evolving. Remember, you are worthy of good things even when you think you are now. When you're ready, you can bring your attention back to the present moment. Take a few deep breaths in through the nose, and out through the nose. Drop your shoulder and unclench your jaw. If you'd like to take this practice a step further, you can write your own letter of self forgiveness, it can start with “Dear self, I forgive you for …” Today’s Happiness Break host: Alex Elle is a certified breathwork coach, author and restorative writing teacher. Her new book, How We Heal, will come out soon. Learn more about Alex and her new book: https://www.alexelle.com/about Follow Alex on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex/ Follow Alex on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@easewithalexl Follow Alex on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alex__elle Follow Alex on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexElleFB More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to a Science of Happiness episode on self-compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2hundtmc How to Grow from Your Regrets: https://tinyurl.com/ys8239k2 Just One Thing: Forgive Yourself: https://tinyurl.com/5ybny4xx Forgive Yourself, Save Your Relationship: https://tinyurl.com/49by7ma6 The Healthy Way to Forgive Yourself: https://tinyurl.com/4p3e9eha How to Let Go of an Old Regret: https://tinyurl.com/4mryyyfy We love hearing from you! Tell us how letting go of your regret makes you feel. Email us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
9/8/202211 minutes, 11 seconds
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When Rumination Is a Good Thing

When's the last time you made a good memory — intentionally? Our guest tries a practice in cultivating positive experiences and taking time to savor them. Episode summary: Life doesn't always hand us good times, but we can benefit as much or more when we create our own happy memories and take time to appreciate them. This week on The Science of Happiness, our guest tries a practice to intentionally create good experiences and reflect on them. Deandrea Farlow is a member of the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a re-entry home where formerly incarcerated people can find community and connections. Deandrea  brings us into his experience with this practice, and shares what it’s like to find strength through the hardest times as well as  positive events, like the ones he created for our show. Psychologist Meg Speer explains how ruminating on good times can actually change the way we respond to stress. . Practice: Creating and Recalling Positive Events 1. Do an activity that you enjoy doing alone. 2. With a friend, do something that you enjoy doing with others. 3. Do something that you consider personally important and meaningful. 4. Then take a step back and really think about these three events. Write about how they make you feel. Talk about it with a friend, or just really think about it. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/creating_and_recalling_positive_events Today’s guests: Deandrea Farlow is a member of the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a home by and for formerly incarcerated people, which provides resources and support for their re-entry. To learn more about Bay Area Freedom House: https://www.collectivefreedom.org/ or: https://www.facebook.com/bayareafreedom/ To financially support the Bay Area Freedom Collective: https://givedirect.org/freedomcollective/ Meg Speer is a postdoctoral researcher in the SCAN lab at Columbia University. She studies how autobiographical memories and positive thoughts affect our brain function. Learn more about Meg and her work: https://tinyurl.com/yf39acwk Follow Meg on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mspeer3 Follow Meg on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/9cn3tmbh Resources for Recalling Positive Event: TED —There’s an art to happy memories — you can make more by experiencing more “first”s: https://tinyurl.com/2p8sdsy7 Hidden Brain (NPR) — Nostalgia Isn't Just A Fixation On The Past - It Can Be About The Future, Too: https://tinyurl.com/5d8dej3a Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Five Ways Nostalgia Can Improve Your Well-Being: https://tinyurl.com/veeraw6u Listen to our episode, “How to Make Time for Happiness” https://tinyurl.com/yhf39awt Listen to our last episode featuring the Bay Area Freedom Collective, “How to Feel Less Lonely and More Connected” https://tinyurl.com/4d6dm9zp We’d love for you to try out this practice and share how it went for you. Email us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
9/1/202221 minutes, 48 seconds
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Happiness Break: A Meditation to Connect to Your Roots, with Yuria Celidwen

When was the last time you thought about your ancestors? This guided meditation by indigenous scholar Yuria Celidwen will help you connect to your heritage and reap the potent benefits of remembering your roots. How to Do This Practice: Bring your attention to the center of your chest, allow the chest to open, and relax. Notice an open space in your chest when you breathe in. Pause before exhaling, resting your awareness in the space between breaths, then breathe out. Contemplate the pause that connects the constant flow between openings and returning. In that pause, contemplate your  lineage. Think about the origin stories of your elders, their own elders, and their own elders, moving back in time. Think about those elders and the lands that touched their feet. Imagine bringing that land into the center of your chest, into the pause between breaths. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dr. Yuria Celidwen is an Indigenous scholar of Nahua and Maya descent. She also works at the United Nations to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability. Learn more about Dr. Celidwen: https://www.yuriacelidwen.com/ More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Listen to Dr. Yuria Celidwen on The Science of Happiness episode about listening to your elders: https://tinyurl.com/ykn8euhc Try the grounding practice led by Dr. Yuria Celidwen from Happiness Break: https://tinyurl.com/24kdurc4 Why Telling Our Own Story Is So Powerful for Black Americans: https://tinyurl.com/2nvcxpam We love hearing from you! Tell us how connecting to your ancestors made you feel. Email us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
8/25/202210 minutes, 43 seconds
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Riding The Waves of Anxiety

Comedian Aparna Nancherla has always struggled with anxiety — can a new technique help her cope? Episode summary: Comedian Aparna Nancherla has always struggled with anxiety. Starting a new task at work, writing her book, talking to a baby — you name it, she worries about it. And while she’s built a career in stand-up comedy making light of her struggles, she still suffers. Aparna joins us to share what it’s like to try a new technique to cope with her anxiety. She tries to see her anxiety through a new lens, and actually lean into it. We also hear from psychologist and anxiety expert Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary about this radical new approach to understanding anxiety and coping with it by understanding it not just as a crucial part of being human, but as a strength unto itself.  Practice: Ask yourself: what am I feeling anxious about? What do I want to happen? Take a few minutes to write out your answer. Next, ask yourself: Is there something I can do right now to get closer to the outcome I described in question 1? If the answer is yes, go to part A. If the answer is no, go to part B. A. Remind yourself: My body is preparing me to do what I need to do. I will be better at what I need to do because of these feelings. Then, do whatever it is you identified in question 2. If you still feel anxious and there’s nothing more you can do right now, go to part B. B. Sometimes there are circumstances in our life that make us feel nervous or scared, and there’s nothing we can do in the moment to change our situation. When that’s the case for you, try a mindfulness practice to ground yourself in the present moment. Here are a few you can try: Noticing Nature Walking Meditation Mindful Breathing Body Scan Meditation Savoring Walk Today’s guests: Aparna Nancherla is a comedian, writer, and actress in New York City whose stand-up often focuses on her experience living with depression and anxiety. Check out more videos from Aparna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR_pr8Pdh84 Follow Aparna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aparnapkin Follow Aparna on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aparnapkin/ Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is an anxiety researcher and psychology professor at Hunter College. She just published a new book, Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good For You. Learn more about Tracy and her book: https://www.drtracyphd.com/future-tense Follow Tracy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracyadennis Follow Tracy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.tracyphd/ Resources for Surfing Anxiety TED - How to Cope with Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/copeanxiety Harvard Health - Anxiety: What it is, What to do: https://tinyurl.com/anxietyhowto  10% Happier - How a Buddhist Monk Deals with Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/2wpa9pz2 More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How to Turn Bad Anxiety into Good Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/goodanxiety Can We Help Young Brains Fight Off Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/HelpBrains How to Be Yourself When You Have Social Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/Socialanxious Tell us about your experiences with anxiety by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
8/18/202221 minutes, 40 seconds
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Happiness Break: Walk Your Way to Calm, with Dacher Keltner

A few slow, mindful paces can lower your cortisol and make you more at ease. Psychologist Dacher Keltner guides you through this Walking Meditation. How to Do This Practice: Find a relatively peaceful space that allows you to walk back and forth for 10-15 paces, where you won’t be disturbed or observed. Begin to walk forward slowly, lifting one foot first, then placing it gently on the floor or ground ahead of you, heel first. Notice your weight shift as you lift your back heel, then the whole foot, and then place it down heel first in front of your first foot. Walk 10-15 paces this way, then reverse directions. As you walk, try to focus your attention on one or more sensations that you would normally take for granted, like your breath, the movement of your feet and legs, or how the pressure on the bottom of each foot shifts throughout each step. If you notice your mind wandering, simply bring it back to noticing those sensations, without judgment. Repeat this practice as often as you’d like, ideally for at least 10 minutes twice a week. Find the full Walking Meditation practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/walking_meditation More resources from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: How to Cultivate Awe With a Walking Meditation: https://tinyurl.com/yckz7hu8 How to Choose a Type of Mindfulness Meditation: https://tinyurl.com/2u6rfzhb Can Meditation Help You with Depression? https://tinyurl.com/3ny8jjhj A Walk in the Park: https://tinyurl.com/58v6d9k2 Why You Should Take a Relaxing Lunch Break: https://tinyurl.com/8kckdhmx How Resting More Can Boost Your Productivity: https://tinyurl.com/2p97yfff Four Tips for Sticking to a Meditation Practice: https://tinyurl.com/5b22pynt Tell us how this walking meditation made you feel by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each bi-weekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
8/11/20226 minutes, 6 seconds
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36 Questions to Spark Intimacy

What if you could fall in love, or forge deep connections in just 45 minutes? Our guests try out 36 questions with their partners to see if they can strengthen their connection. Episode summary: There are 36 questions that have been shown over and over again in lab studies to help people fall in love or form fast connections. In this week’s episode, we bring back Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg of By the Book podcast*.* They recruit their husbands to ask and answer these questions and then fill us in on the surprising ways they helped each of their relationships. Later, we hear from psychologists Arthur and Elaine Aron, the married duo who co-created the 36 questions this practice is based on. They explain the principles behind the questions, so you can come up with your own conversation starters to foster closeness with anyone — family, friends, or your partner. Practice: 36 Questions for Increasing Closeness Identify someone with whom you’d like to become closer. Find a time when you both have about 45 minutes to meet in person. Take 15 minutes answering the questions in Set I below. Each person should answer every question, but alternate who answers first. If you don’t finish the set in 15 minutes, move on to Set II. Repeat the steps above for sets II and III. Find the 36 questions at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/36_questions_for_increasing_closeness Today’s guests: Kristen Meinzer is a pop culture commentator, Royals expert, and co-host of By the Book podcast. She also co-hosts the new podcast Romance Road Test. Jolenta Greenberg is a comedian, pop culture commentator, and aslo co-hosts of By the Book and Romance Road Test. Listen to Romance Road Test: https://tinyurl.com/mr298rwr Listen to By the Book: https://pod.link/1217948628 Arthur and Elaine Aron are two of the leading psychologists studying the psychology of love and close relationships, and they are a married couple. The Arons created the original 36 questions this practice is based on. Resources For Increasing Closeness: The New York Times, Smarter Living - How to Be a Better Friend: https://tinyurl.com/3bpn2bvr NBC News - How to build emotional intimacy with your partner: https://tinyurl.com/bdz84apz Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel - Twice Married, To Each Other: https://tinyurl.com/mt4r7zw More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take our Compassionate Love Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/bdfuucw3 36 Questions That Can Help Kids Make Friends: https://tinyurl.com/2bc42vvt Moments of Love and Connection May Help You Live Longer: https://tinyurl.com/2s3h58yw Tell us about your experience asking and answering these 36 questions by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
8/4/202218 minutes, 8 seconds
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Happiness Break: How to Ground Yourself, with Yuria Celidwen

Connect to yourself and the land you stand on in under 10 minutes with this grounding practice led by Indigenous scholar Dr. Yuria Celidwen. How to Do This Practice: If possible, go outside and find some natural ground, like grass or dirt. If you're wearing shoes or socks, take them off and place the soles of your feet directly on the ground. Bring your attention to the earth beneath you. Allow it to hold you, paying attention to how it feels — soft, firm, reliable. Imagine you're starting to grow roots from the tip of your toes, digging deep into the earth. Visualize energy and wellness flowing through your roots to your toes, into the soles of your feet, your thighs and knees, then base of the spine and upwards into your chest, expanding the whole center of your chest. Take a full, deep breath and contemplate the  openness you feel in your chest. Look up towards the sky and open your eyes, allowing all of your senses to awaken to the sounds, smells, colors, and life around you. Feel their presence. Today’s Happiness Break host: Dr. Yuria Celidwen is an Indigenous studies, cultural psychology, and contemplative science scholar of Indigenous Nahua and Maya descent. She also works at the United Nations to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples and the Earth. Learn more about Dr. Celidwen’s work: https://www.yuriacelidwen.com/ More resources from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Listen to Dr. Yuria Celidwen on The Science of Happiness episode about listening to your elders: https://tinyurl.com/yr2ydk43 Does Nature Make You More Mindful? https://tinyurl.com/4wcreu9z Why You Need More Nature in Your Life: ​​https://tinyurl.com/ye282e5d Being Around Nature Helps You Love Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/57d5ntxm How Modern Life Became Disconnected From Nature: https://tinyurl.com/yc6u73f9 Listen to The Science of Happiness episode featuring podcast host Krista Tippett, on Being Grounded in Your Body: https://tinyurl.com/8t7rr4yy Tell us how connecting to the earth beneath you made you feel by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
7/28/202210 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Feel Less Lonely and More Connected

When we feel more connected, we're kinder and care more for others. After 21 years of being incarcerated, our guest Simon Liu, of Bay Area Freedom House Collective, tries a practice that helps him remember the profound connections he's made both inside and out of prison // throughout his life. Episode summary: When’s the last time you felt a deep connection with someone, and then really reflected on your connections? This week on The Science of Happiness, our guest tries a writing practice to feel more connected to those close to him. Simon Liu is the co-founder of the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a home where other formerly incarcerated people can find community and connections. Simon talks about the importance of the social connections he made while in prison, and outside. Psychologist David Cwir explains how finding and building connections not only supports our emotional well-being, but can also change our bodies. Practice: Feeling Connected Think of a time when you felt a strong bond with someone in your life. Choose a specific experience where you felt especially close and connected to them. Spend a few minutes writing about what happened during the experience. In particular, consider how the experience made you feel close and connected to the other person. Today’s guests: Simon Liu co-founded the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a home by and for formerly incarcerated people, which provides resources and support for their re-entry. Simon is also a software engineer. To learn more about Bay Area Freedom House: https://www.collectivefreedom.org/ or: https://www.facebook.com/bayareafreedom/ To financially support the Bay Area Freedom Collective: https://tinyurl.com/2p93j8x8 David Cwir is an associate professor of psychology at Briercrest College and Seminary. His research has looked at how moments of social connection with strangers can positively affect our bodies and minds. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/feeling_connected We’d love for you to try out this practice and share how it went for you. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607 Resources for Feeling Connected: Harvard Health — Easy daily ways to feel more connected: https://tinyurl.com/5jxykfhb NPR — 4 tips to stay connected when your friends live far away: https://tinyurl.com/2p82en68 The New York Times — Need to Dust Off Your Social Skills? (featuring Dacher): https://tinyurl.com/yckwkmku How to Start Over (The Atlantic) — The Misgivings of Friend-Making: https://tinyurl.com/2ysn7zd2 Invisibilia — Therapy, With Friends:https://tinyurl.com/yvmkkbrs More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Feeling Connected Makes Us Kind: https://tinyurl.com/f5xd27ue Is Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness? https://tinyurl.com/2v9e9c9n Why You Click With Certain People: https://tinyurl.com/2p8w38rw Why Are We So Wired to Connect? https://tinyurl.com/bddukrxx Listen to our episode, “Who Makes You Feel Connected?” https://tinyurl.com/4pmj775a Listen to our episode, “What Are Your Strongest Reminders of Connection?” https://tinyurl.com/sbs6waha
7/21/202220 minutes, 43 seconds
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Happiness Break: Experience Nature Wherever You Are, with Dacher Keltner

Just a few moments of tuning into nature can make you feel more inspired, connected, and less lonely. Let us guide you through a five-minute noticing nature practice — you don't even have to leave the city. How to Do This Practice: Pause and take notice of the natural elements around you, like trees, clouds, leaves, moving water, animals, bugs and butterflies, etc. Take a moment to allow yourself to truly experience the nature around you, and notice what emotions this evokes. When you encounter something that moves you in some way, take a mental photo of it. In a few words or sentences, jot down a brief description of what caught your attention and how it made you feel. Try to repeat this every day for at least two weeks. Remember: The key is your experience with what you are noticing—how nature makes you feel. Find the full Noticing Nature practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/noticing_nature More resources from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Four Ways Nature Can Protect Your Well-Being During a Pandemic: https://tinyurl.com/98t8p7r5 What Happens When We Reconnect With Nature: https://tinyurl.com/4jef7r82 How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative: https://tinyurl.com/2s95n6ps Six Ways Nature Helps Children Learn: https://tinyurl.com/5t2tnv3p Why Is Nature So Good For Your Mental Health? https://tinyurl.com/nj7kpn28 How Nature Helps Us Heal: https://tinyurl.com/2kea52n9 Listen to The Science of Happiness episode featuring NYT restaurant critic Tejal Rao trying the Noticing Nature practice: https://tinyurl.com/yckkte9w Tell us about your experiences noticing nature by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
7/14/20227 minutes, 5 seconds
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How to Make Better Decisions (Encore)

Can practicing mindfulness make us wiser? Judge Jeremy Fogel explores how being present in the moment helps him keep a clear mind and stay connected to his true values. Episode summary: What do you think it takes to become wiser, more compassionate, and more open-minded? This week on The Science of Happiness, we bring you one of our most popular episodes. Former district judge Jeremy Fogel shares his insights on how being present can help us make more mindful decisions. He recounts how, after experiencing stress as a judge, his wife suggested he try an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. After taking the course, Jeremy felt more connected to himself and his surroundings, and decided to make mindfulness a part of his everyday life. The changes Jeremy made had profound impacts on his work as a judge. We also hear from Dr. Shauna Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and professor at Santa Clara University, about how mindfulness affects our moral reasoning. Practice: Mindful Breathing Find a comfortable, seated position and invite your body to relax. Tune in to the sensations it experiences — the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Do your best to relax any areas of tightness or tension. Listen to the natural rhythm of your breath, in and out, without trying to control it. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen, chest, throat, or nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, one breath at a time. As you do this, you may start thinking about other things. Try to notice that your mind has wandered, and say “thinking” or “wandering” in your head softly. Then gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing. Stay here for 5-7 minutes. Finally, notice your whole body seated here once more. Let yourself relax even more deeply, and thank yourself for doing this practice today. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing Today’s guests: Jeremy Fogel is a former district judge in Northern California. Today he’s the executive director of the Judicial Institute at UC Berkeley and is at the forefront of a movement to bring mindfulness practices into the work of judges. Learn more about Judge Fogel’s work: https://tinyurl.com/5yw2fwpp Shauna Shapiro is a professor at Santa Clara University and the author of Good Morning, I Love You, a book on how to cultivate mindfulness and self-compassion. Listen to Dr. Shapiro’s TED talk on the power of mindfulness: drshaunashapiro.com/videos/ Resources for Mindful Decision-Making Harvard Health - Can Mindfulness Change Your Brain? https://tinyurl.com/yzj98cts NPR’s Life Kit - Faced With A Tough Decision? The Key To Choosing May Be Your Mindset: https://tinyurl.com/2ywhzp6m The Atlantic - Mindfulness Hurts. That’s Why It Works: https://tinyurl.com/2y2k2wdm The New York Times - How to Be More Mindful at Work: https://tinyurl.com/mcfd7cze More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take our Mindfulness Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yc4747jx Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/2fhd3mhb Three Ways Mindfulness Can Make You Less Biased: https://tinyurl.com/3wm69zvc The Mindfulness Skill That is Crucial for Stress: https://tinyurl.com/38dxzhfc Can Mindfulness Improve Decision Making? https://tinyurl.com/b67ae6ck Tell us about your experiences bringing mindfulness to your decision-making by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
7/7/202218 minutes, 17 seconds
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Happiness Break: 36 Questions to Feel Connected, with Dacher Keltner

Having close bonds with others is one of the most important things to our happiness. Host Dacher Keltner walks you through a practice you can do with someone else to create new bonds or strengthen old ones. Plus, hear some of his answers to these questions alongside his wife, Molly. How to Do the 36 Questions for Increasing Closeness Practice: Take a few deep breaths, and notice how you feel. Identify someone with whom you’d like to become closer. Find a time where you both have about  45 minutes Take 15 minutes answering the questions in Set I below. Each person should answer each question, but alternate who answers first. If you don’t finish the set in 15 minutes, move on to Set II. Repeat the steps above for sets II and III. Here’s a sample of the questions: Set I 1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? 2. Would you like to be famous? In what way? 3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? 4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? 8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common. Set II 14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? 15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? 16. What do you value most in a friendship? 17. What is your most treasured memory? 18. What is your most terrible memory? 19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why? 20. What does friendship mean to you? Set III 25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling…” 26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…” 28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met. 29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life. 30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? 32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? Find the full 36 Questions for Increasing Closeness practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/36_questions_for_increasing_closeness More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Can You Cultivate a More Secure Attachment Style? https://tinyurl.com/2p8ue7n6 Moments of Love and Connection May Help You Live Longer: https://tinyurl.com/3nyfbwwh Listen to our Science of Happiness episode about this practice: https://pod.link/1340505607/episode/f2ca309e37d261b86223bb52eab3ab08 36 Questions to Help Kids Make Friends: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/36_questions_to_help_kids_make_friends Today’s host: Dacher Keltner is the host of The Science of Happiness podcast and a co-instructor of GGSC’s course by the same name. He’s also the founding director of The Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Tell us about your experience asking these 36 questions by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 We're living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That's where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
6/30/20228 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Say "Sorry" Like You Mean It

Apologies are key to successful relationships. But are you doing them right? Episode summary: We all have moments when we say or do something we later regret. Then the time comes to make an apology. But a halfhearted “I’m sorry” rarely gets the job done. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, public defender Sam Dugan joins us for a second time to try science-backed tips for making an effective apology. First, she takes a moment to cultivate mindfulness through a mindful breathing practice. Next, Sam invites us in as she apologizes to her husband Nate. Sam reflects on how she took out her stress on Nate, what led her to lash out, and the importance of making a true, heartfelt apology — as opposed to the mindless ones many of us make on a near-daily basis. Then we hear from Sana Rizvi, a professor at the University of New Brunswick, about the science of how mindfulness can make us more apologetic. Practice: Mindful Breathing Invite your body to relax into a comfortable position. Tune into the rhythm of your breath, and pay attention as you breathe in through your nose, hold your breath, and exhale through your mouth. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Making an Effective Apology Acknowledge the offense by showing that you recognize who was responsible, who was harmed, and the nature of the offense. If helpful, provide an explanation, especially to convey that it was not intentional and that it will not happen again. Express remorse. Make amends. When considering how to best make amends, be sure to ask the offended person what would mean the most to them. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/making_an_effective_apology Today’s guests: Sam Dugan is a public defender in Salt Lake City, Utah. She and her husband Nate have three dogs, and they were on the show last year to try the Three Funny Things practice. Listen to Sam and Nate on Why Love Needs Laughter: https://tinyurl.com/5s45ps2v Sana Rizvi is a professor in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of New Brunswick, in Canada. Learn more about Dr. Rizvi’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4kzs4n4w Resources for Making an Effective Apology Hidden Brain - The Power of Apologies: https://tinyurl.com/bdze6yzz The Verywell Mind Podcast - A Science-Backed Strategy for Making an Effective Apology: https://tinyurl.com/2j6ar3x8 The Atlantic - The Art and Science of Apologizing: https://tinyurl.com/38j2re9d The New York Times - No, You Don’t Have to Stop Apologizing: https://tinyurl.com/3zwns9n3 More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Can Mindfulness Make You Better at Apologizing? https://tinyurl.com/bdes29w5 The Three Parts of an Effective Apology: https://tinyurl.com/3p273tym A Better Way to Apologize: https://tinyurl.com/34hp2re5 Should You Ask Your Children to Apologize? https://tinyurl.com/4vcrktju Eight Keys to Forgiveness: https://tinyurl.com/3x7v8rj7 Tell us about your experiences and struggles trying to make a mindful and effective apology by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
6/23/202217 minutes, 27 seconds
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Happiness Break: How To Be Your Best Self, with Justin Michael Williams

Visualize your best possible self and tap into your inherent enough-ness with this guided meditation by Justin Michael Williams. How to Do This Practice: Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and visualize your ideal future self, the person of your dreams you’ve always wanted to be. Try noticing as many details as you can: What color are you wearing, how do you feel, what are you doing, is anyone with you? Answer this question in your mind with 1-3 words: As you look at this future version of you, what energy do you need to cultivate more of in your life now, today, to become closer to being that person you see in your vision? Breathe in deeply, and as you do imagine yourself breathing in that energy. As you exhale, imagine that energy spreading throughout your body and energy field. Open your eyes. ​​Remember, you have what you need to become that which you want to become. We are enough to start stepping into the life of our dreams. Today’s Happiness Break host: Justin Michael Williams works at the intersection of social justice, mindfulness, and personal growth — with a touch of music that brings it all to life. Learn More About Justin’s work: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/ Listen to Justin’s debut album: https://www.justinmichaelwilliams.com/music Order Justin’s book, Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide For the Rest of Us: https://tinyurl.com/2p8xu6hx Follow Justin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wejustwill Follow Justin on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wejustwill/ More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take our Purpose in Life Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/3uh8jjdv Try Imagining Your Best Possible Life: https://tinyurl.com/bdekum2v What to Do When You Never Feel Good Enough: https://tinyurl.com/kpy9b44t How Strong is Your Sense of Purpose in Life? https://tinyurl.com/2p9h7rm5 How Thinking About the Future Makes Life More Meaningful: https://tinyurl.com/2p83y2n5 Listen to The Science of Happiness episode featuring comedian Margaret Cho visualizing her best possible self: https://tinyurl.com/s2s7rdpn Tell us about your experience visualizing your best possible self by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Find behind-the-scenes material behind this podcast on Pocket, Mozilla’s save-for-later and content discovery app: https://getpocket.com/collections/how-to-access-your-best-possible-self-start-with-your-imagination Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607
6/16/20228 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Questions to Ask Yourself in an Argument

Our guest explores how reminding yourself that you don't know everything can have a profound impact on your relationships, and our society. Episode summary: Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a playwright, a rapper, and a former deputy sheriff. His band Flipsyde toured the world, but Jinho wanted to make real change to end police violence against his community – so he became a deputy sheriff himself. He was on the force for eight years before resigning in 2019. Jinho joins us today after trying a practice in cultivating intellectual humility. It asks us to consider how our memories and understanding of the world might be fallible, so we might not have all the answers. When Jinho tapped into the practice during a disagreement with a bandmate, he was able to navigate the conflict and come to a resolution. Check out Jinho’s band, Flipsyde: https://flipsyde.com/ Try this practice: Cultivate Intellectual Humility If you can, write out your answers. When you encounter information or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask yourself these questions: Why do you disagree? Are you making any assumptions about the other person and the source of their opinion? Might those assumptions be wrong? What about your own opinion, how did you come to believe it? Do you really have all of the information? Now think about the scenario from the perspective of a person who disagrees with you. Try to imagine how they came to believe what they believe. What information might they be basing their opinion off of? What values do you think they’re weighing in how they think about this topic? Can you imagine how they came to hold those values? If you find yourself getting stuck, imagine yourself as a third person weighing in with an opinion that’s different from both of yours. Try to generate an entirely new perspective. Can you think of another way to understand this issue? 3. Tap into your intellectual humility: Identify places where, before, you weren’t acknowledging the limitations of what you know about the issue. Can you find any? Now that you’ve worked to see this issue from another person’s point of view, do you see more value in their perspective than you were able to see before? What other ways do you engage with viewpoints that challenge your own? Do you notice any patterns? Today’s guests: Jinho “Piper” Ferreira is a rapper in the Band Flipsyde, a former deputy sheriff, and playwright. Follow Jinho on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipedreamzent?lang=en Listen to the episode of Snap Judgment podcast about Jinho’s story: https://snapjudgment.org/episode/jinhos-journey/ Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University who studies intellectual humility. Learn more about Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso and her work: https://tinyurl.com/2t6aaa5f Check out Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso’s article on intellectual humility: https://tinyurl.com/526m8b93 More resources about Intellectual Humility: Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong: https://tinyurl.com/m2ct29m7 Five Reasons Why Intellectual Humility Is Good for You: https://tinyurl.com/4dnx5vu4 The Benefits of Admitting When You Don’t Know: https://tinyurl.com/4frk84k8 Share your thoughts on this episode and intellectual humility by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607 This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, as part of our project on "Expanding Awareness of the Science of Intellectual Humility." For more on the project, go to www.ggsc.berkeley.edu/IH.
6/9/202213 minutes, 43 seconds
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Happiness Break: How to Be Your Own Best Friend, with Kristen Neff

Take 10 minutes to be guided through a practice of meaningful self-kindness: A self-compassion break with Kristin Neff. How to Do This Practice: Think of a situation in your life that is difficult and is causing you stress. For this practice, especially if you are new to it, it's better to choose something that is moderately difficult in your life, rather than overwhelming. Call the situation to mind and get in touch with what happened or what you think might happen. Now say to yourself, “This is a moment of suffering.” This acknowledgment is a form of mindfulness—of noticing what is going on for you emotionally in the present moment, without judging that experience as good or bad. You can also say to yourself, “This hurts” or “This is stress.” Use whatever statement feels most natural to you. Next, say to yourself, “Suffering is a part of life.” This is a recognition of your common humanity with others—that all people have trying experiences, and these experiences give you something in common with the rest of humanity rather than mark you as abnormal or deficient. Other options for this statement include “Other people feel this way,” “I’m not alone,” or “We all struggle in our lives.” Now, put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch on your chest, and say, “May I be kind to myself.” You can also consider whether there is another specific phrase that would speak to you in that particular situation. Some examples: “May I give myself the compassion that I need,” “May I accept myself as I am,” “May I learn to accept myself as I am,” “May I forgive myself,” “May I be strong,” and “May I be patient.” Today’s Happiness Break host: Kristin Neff is the creator of this practice and a professor of psychology at The University of Texas, Austin. She is a pioneer in the study of self-compassion and the author of the book, Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive. Order Dr. Neff’s book: https://tinyurl.com/yaubmy7v Learn More About Dr. Neff’s work: https://self-compassion.org/ Find classes taught by Dr. Neff; https://tinyurl.com/4kf52x8c Follow Dr. Neff on Twitter: https://twitter.com/self_compassion\ Follow Dr. Neff on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neffselfcompassion/ Find the full Self-Compassion Break practice at our Greater Good in Action website:  https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/self_compassion_break More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take Our Self-Compassion Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yysrf663 Try Dr. Neff’s Fierce Self-Compassion Break: https://tinyurl.com/yk9yzh9u\ How to Bring Self-Compassion to Work with You: https://tinyurl.com/45zkrkam The Five Myths of Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/2p88vass\ Read Dr. Neff’s interview about Self-Compassion: https://tinyurl.com/286njtje How Self-Compassion Can Help You Through a Breakup: https://tinyurl.com/222scejz Can Self-Compassion Overcome Procrastination? https://tinyurl.com/mrfmvyj Can Self-Compassion Help Trans Teens Thrive? https://tinyurl.com/4xs7nxre Tell us about your experiences and struggles with self-compassion and this practice emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Find us on Amazon Music: https://tinyurl.com/28hcdfsd Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607
6/2/20229 minutes, 10 seconds
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Catch Yourself in a Dream

Have you ever known you're dreaming while you're asleep? Our guests try practices to help induce lucid dreams, and we hear what they can teach us about consciousness. Episode summary: How do you know you’re awake? Are you sure? Practicing lucid dreaming means taking a step back to question your very consciousness — throughout your day, and even when you’re asleep. It’s no wonder lucid dreaming is associated with mindfulness. In this episode, journalists Marylee Williams and Michaeleen Doucleff try a practice to induce lucid dreaming, and researcher Benjamin Baird explains what lucid dreaming is teaching scientists about consciousness, plus how it might benefit our well-being. Lucid dreaming appears to help foster creativity and can boost your mood when you wake up. Try Lucid Dreaming There are a few different ways to induce lucid dreams. All of them take time and practice. Find a brief summary below and more information at this link: https://tinyurl.com/2m86pw7p (i) Reality Testing (RT), a technique that involves checking your environment several times a day to see whether or not you’re dreaming; (iii) MILD, a technique that involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then developing the intention to remember that you are dreaming before returning to sleep, by repeating the phrase ‘The next time I’m dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming;’ you also imagine yourself in a lucid dream; (iv) SSILD, a technique that involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then repeatedly focusing your attention on visual, auditory, and physical sensations for 20 seconds each before returning to sleep; this technique is similar to mindfulness meditation but involved repeatedly shifting your focus; More Resources: Lucid Dreaming FAQ by The Lucidity Institute: https://tinyurl.com/2m86pw7p Lucid Dreaming at TEDx: https://tinyurl.com/ywkymhs2 Learn about the cognitive neuroscience of lucid dreaming from today’s expert Benjamin Baird: https://tinyurl.com/mr3anzer More sleep resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Why Your Brain Needs to Dream: https://tinyurl.com/yc3makhp The Influence of Dreams: https://tinyurl.com/p6cfh8n4 How Mindfulness Improves Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/39tk85m9 Your Sleep Tonight Changes How You React to Stress Tomorrow: https://tinyurl.com/2p8zvbjz Dear Christine: Why Can’t I Sleep? https://tinyurl.com/yb88a5z6 Today’s guests: Michaeleen Doucleff f is a science reporter for NPR and author of the book Hunt, Gather, Parent. Check out her reporting: https://tinyurl.com/5de2kyt7 Read her book: https://michaeleendoucleff.com/ Follow Michaeleen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodieScience Mary Lee Williams is an editor and producer on a morning news show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Check out her website: http://www.maryleewill.com/about Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marylee_will Benjamin Baird is a Research Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, where he focuses on consciousness, including lucid dreaming. Check out Dr. Baird’s website: https://www.benjaminbaird.org/ Tell us about your experiences and struggles with lucid dreams by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness OR HB! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607
5/26/202219 minutes, 56 seconds
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Happiness Break: A 10-Minute Guided Practice, with Dacher Keltner

We guide you through a reflection of three things you're grateful for today. This practice is shown to boost happiness, connection, and motivation while reducing stress. Happiness Break is a new series by The Science of Happiness. How to Do this Three Good Things practice: Take a few deep breaths, and notice how you feel. Think back on your day. Start from when you woke up, and mentally trace your steps forward in time. What was the most beautiful, amazing, or interesting thing you saw all day? How did it make you feel? Take a moment to feel grateful for it. Think what had to happen so you could see that thing today, and let yourself appreciate those things. Keep reflecting on your day. What’s the best sound you heard all day? How did it make you feel? Take a moment to feel grateful for that, and think about how you came to hear that thing today. Look back over your day again: What’s the best thing that happened all day? It could be anything. Sit with your gratitude for that thing. What caused that thing to happen? Take a moment to appreciate all the factors that led to this good thing happening today. Notice how you feel now. Find the full Three Goods Things practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three-good-things More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Take our Gratitude Quiz: https://tinyurl.com/yc3dc53c Why Gratitude is Good: https://tinyurl.com/fr4r2xyw Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal: https://tinyurl.com/6khs9k28 Can Gratitude Help You Live More Sustainably? https://tinyurl.com/bdfws2e5 Four Great Gratitude Strategies: https://tinyurl.com/2s4h6z3f How Gratitude Helps Your Friendships Grow: https://tinyurl.com/yc55bvw8 Cultivate more gratitude for the people you love with the Mental Subtraction of Relationships practice https://tinyurl.com/mthra2jd How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times: https://tinyurl.com/m9jz5atd Today’s host: Dacher Keltner is the host of The Science of Happiness podcast and a co-instructor of UC Berkeley’s course by the same name. He’s also the founding director of The Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Tell us about your experiences trying this version of the Three Good Things practice by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and copy and share this link: pod.link/1340505607 Find us on Amazon Music!
5/19/20229 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Science of a Good Night's Sleep

Do you struggle with sleep? This week Drew Ackerman of Sleep with Me podcast tries tips for a good night's sleep, and we explore why it's so important to our well-being. Episode summary: A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by, and beating yourself up over not sleeping enough will only make it worse. On this episode of The Science of Happiness, the host of Sleep With Me podcast Drew Ackerman joins us to try science-backed tips for finding your natural sleep rhythm. Drew, also known as “Dearest Scooter,” talks about his history with insomnia and sleep anxiety, sleep hygiene, and his philosophy on bringing more self-compassion into his approach to trying to fall asleep. Then we hear from sleep scientist Eti Ben Simon about how sleep affects your social life. Practice: Here are four tips to help you sleep from Dr. Eti Ben Simon. Avoid alcohol and caffeine after 2 p.m. to unmask your true biological sleep needs. Keep lights dim in the evening and limit access to LED lights after 9 p.m. Go to sleep as soon as you feel tired (even if you're in the middle of something). This will help you figure out the earliest window it is physiologically possible for you to fall asleep. Do not use an alarm clock to wake up. Try a version of this practice with the sleep tips in this article by expert Eti Ben Simon: https://tinyurl.com/2nesff8t Today’s guests: Drew Ackerman You might know Drew as his alias, “Dearest Scooter*,”* the host of Sleep with Me podcast. Drew struggles with bedtime worries and has a history of insomnia himself, but he’s great at helping others sleep. Sleep with Me is one of the most listened-to sleep podcasts. On each episode, “Scooter” lulls listeners off to dreamland with meandering bedtime stories intended to lose your interest. Listen to Sleep With Me Podcast: https://pod.link/sleep-with-me Follow Drew on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/2p8nrhnp Follow Drew on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearestscooter/ Follow Drew on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sleepwithmepodcast/ Eti Ben Simon is a sleep scientist and postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley, where she works at Matthew Walkers’ Center for Human Sleep Science. Learn more about Eti and her work: https://www.sleepingeti.com/ Follow Eti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/etoosh Follow Eti on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/328aa5yr Resources for A Good Night’s Sleep Psychology Today - What’s Your Sleep Type? Two forces that dictate our sleep, by Eti Ben Simon: https://tinyurl.com/2nesff8t Matthew Walker’s 11 Tips for Improving Sleep Quality: https://tinyurl.com/2kadu7va TED - Sleeping with Science: https://tinyurl.com/23mmbdy3 Harvard Health - 8 Tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p8um9z7 BBC - Why Do We Sleep? https://tinyurl.com/2p8z9v2d More resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Four Surprising Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p832bh5 How Mindfulness Improves Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2p8rhkhj Your Sleep Tonight Changes How You React to Stress Tomorrow: https://tinyurl.com/2p8zvbjz Tell us about your experiences and struggles with falling asleep by emailing us at [email protected] or using the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or copy and share this link with someone who might like the show: pod.link/1340505607
5/12/202220 minutes, 53 seconds
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BONUS: The Science of Happiness at Work

What would make you happier at work? Featuring some of our happiness guinea pigs, we share the latest insights and research on well-being and happiness in the workplace.
10/11/201857 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Science of Happiness Trailer

What does it take to live a happier life? Learn research-tested strategies that you can put into practice today. Hosted by award-winning psychologist Dacher Keltner. Co-produced by PRX and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.
1/23/20181 minute, 29 seconds