As promised in my last Healing Series post, here is a recommended calming, positivity and neuroplasticity programme for you to follow if, like me, you respond well to hand-holding, having a concrete, regular thing to do to feel you are moving forward in this healing lark.
If you’ve not a clue what I am talking about, do please go back and read the whole healing series from the bottom up here. It is effectively our investigations about healing using methods other than avoidance diets, supplements and meds for those of us super-sensitives who can’t tolerate the usual approaches. In fact, though, the healing series is morphing into an additional ‘prong’ if you like of the whole Gluten Plan. My approach nowadays, having researched and done a lot of this now, is to both identify and heal physiological (biochemical, nutrient, immunological etc) and any psychological (emotional, neuroplasticity) elements of the problem if we want to heal effectively.
This is essentially a year-long programme (or shorter if you like) designed to help you switch from a negative and fearful mind perspective to one of happiness, calm and peace. This, for me, is a big part of how we calm our central nervous system down and learn to let go of the fear and reactivity.
It’s basically 12 ‘pillars,’ as he calls them, that build into a comprehensive mental and physical wellbeing kind of programme. I wasn’t sure it was going to be right at all as I don’t really like his famous book Hardwiring Happiness but he is a much better video teacher than he is writer in my opinion! I like his voice, calm demeanour and in-depth, scientific approach combined with meditation and positivity.
Each pillar has a theme eg. confidence, gratitude, motivation etc and you watch a video, do some creative exercises and a quiz if you like, listen to a guest discussion and do some meditation and brain-training exercises. You can also access a forum if you want to talk about anything and not be alone with it.
It is a really good blend of meditation (he is very Buddhist in approach) and neuroplasticity techniques, which is just what I identified was helping me the most. You want to be able to calm the system down and change the way the brain is perceiving things – to build new synapses and neuron pathways, replacing the learned reactivity behaviours we’ve built up like Pavlovian dogs and changing them to new, non-reactive ones. That’s the aim of the whole healing series approach really. I found this a really hopeful, positive programme to follow and I liked having something concrete and regular to actually do to effect change.
It can take as long as you like to complete – I think they give you access for 2 years at least. I started off trying to do one pillar a week, repeating the brain/meditation exercise as much as possible every day, but actually have slowed down now and am taking it in a bit more. I dovetail this with my normal Chopra meditations, EFT and visualisation techniques. Letting go and doing it more slowly actually has helped me improve faster, ironically – that letting go thing again! The more we push and strive, the less we actually heal I’m finding.
Anyway, here’s the general blurb from Rick for you:
This guided, step-by-step program is taught by Rick Hanson, Ph. D. and uses science-based methods to hardwire lasting happiness into your brain and your life. In just an hour a week, you will be turning everyday experiences into a deep sense of contentment, love, and peace by using the power of positive neuroplasticity.
Rick is a Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and invited speaker at Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford universities. He’s also the New York Timesbestselling author of Buddha’s Brain, Hardwiring Happiness, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture, a neuropsychologist, meditation teacher, and very down-to-earth, practical, and warm-hearted guy.
Step-by-step, Rick will help you grow the 12 Pillars of Well-Being—the foundation of steady resilience, confidence, and compassion for yourself and others.
It’s simple and easy, with short videos that explain the how of happiness, guide you into self-nourishing experiences, creatively tap all parts of your brain, and inspire you with guest experts like Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and Gretchen Rubin. You also get revealing personality quizzes, vibrant community forums, the science behind the program, special interest areas (e.g., children, addiction) – and a money-back guarantee.
It costs just $29/month—less than $1 a day—and you can try it for free.
You really can change you brain for the better, and in the Foundations of Well-Being program, it’s straight-forward, fascinating, and fun.
Go and have a look anyway: Rick Hanson’s Foundations of Wellbeing – you’ve nothing to lose as you can try it for 30 days free. Even the first video I found very useful so do that at least. The marketing, as usual with these type of US things, is initially a bit in your face for staid Brits, but the programme itself is not like that at all – not too much ‘awesomeness’!
A note: just to be clear, this post includes an affiliate link and I hope you don’t mind that – I have spent thousands now trialling this type of programme so it will be nice to get a bit back if you think it could help you too, thank you. I hope you like it as much as I did. (And still do – I haven’t finished it yet!)
In essence, today’s advice is:
If you respond well to having a programme to follow, then follow one. Actually do it rather than think about it! Take as much time as you need but my advice to keep moving forward is to do one meditation, visualisation or journalling a day (this only needs to be 10 minutes, but more is great), watch one video or listen to a discussion or success story a week and complete one pillar of this kind of neuroplasticity programme a month. You won’t always achieve it, but that’s a good and helping healing aim to have.