Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Brains are Like Velcro for Negative Experiences

I just read an article in the NY Daily Times entitled "In high-stress situations, you can Zen your way to calm, says author Rick Hanson." Hanson, author of Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, describes our brains like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.” We actually need to train our brains to hang on to positive experiences and feelings especially when we are in high stress situations.
Remembering positive experiences is something I try to help my students with pretty often. It is common for someone to enter my office with a list of all the things that aren't going well (homework, parents, friend troubles, etc.) and to breeze past all of the wonderful things they've accomplished. Whether it is getting an A on test or winning a sports trophy or doing something nice for someone else, all of those experiences give reason to celebrate in the midst of everything else that is going on. It's not just a trick for students, everyone can benefit from taking a moment to pause and reflect on what's good.

I think I really need to read Hanson's book.

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