Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
 
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated

 


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Positive Psychology & Emotions, Mindfulness, Meditation, Presence, Yoga, Spirituality & Self-Compassion


Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions & Mindfulness Research | Presence / Not Being Present, Meditation & Yoga Benefits | Practical Spirituality & Self-Compassion

Positive Psychology

Popular articles on "Positive Psychology"—Since its inception in 1998, the subfield of "positive psychology" has grown tremendously, although some worry whether the science has lagged the application.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology
metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/2627/Default.aspx
gmj.gallup.com/content/1177/power-positive-psychology.aspx
health.usnews.com/articles/health/brain-and-behavior/2009/06/24/~
psychologytoday.com/blog/the-good-life/200805/what-is-positive~
huffingtonpost.com/amy-tardio/is-the-world-ready-for-a_b_233741.html

See the April 2011 article in the American Psychological Association's Monitor on Psychology for an update on the field.
apa.org/monitor/2011/04/positive-psychology.aspx

Positive emotion protects against poor health outcomes in later life
cdp.sagepub.com/content/19/6/358.abstract
docs.google.com....unc.edu/peplab...Positive+Emotion+and+Health+in+Later+Life~
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_resilience

Trust and Well-being: A fine 2010 article "Trust and Well-being" presents new evidence linking trust and subjective well-being.
wellbeing.econ.ubc.ca/helliwell/papers/w15911.pdf

A blog called The Skeptical Psychologist on Psychology Today asks can positive psychology be negative? "Defensive pessimists" show lower performance on tasks when forced to look on the bright side of life. People with low self-esteem after repeating a positive self-statement (e.g., "I'm a lovable person") actually felt worse, probably because it reminded them of how unloveable they really feel.
psychologytoday...the-skeptical-psychologist...positive-psychology...research-raises-doubts~

Martin Seligman, Ph.D. is a former President of the American Psychological Association and one of the seminal leaders in spearheading the sub-field of Positive Psychology.

Here is his "Authentic Happiness" site with a broad array of scientifically tested questionnaires, surveys, and scales to develop insights into yourself and the world, a landmark 2005 article reporting the efficacy of positive psychology interventions as well as informative resources, newsletters, books, popular articles and other links.
authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx

Videos: youtube.com/watch?v=9FBxfd7DL3E
youtube.com/watch?v=vxMUiwZ-w-w&feature=related

Also see Ben Dean, Ph.D.'s "Ben's Top 11 Positive Psychology Internet Resources"
authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/newsletter.aspx?id=76

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, Ph.D. is the co-founder of the field of "Positive Psychology" and the originator of the concept of "flow." Explore Mihály Csíkszentmihály and his description of "flow" as optimal experience on Wikipedia and other links
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29
unrealities.com/essays/flow.htm
Video: ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html

Matthiew Ricard, a scientist who became a Buddhist monk, offers the article "A Way of Being: Finding happiness is mostly a matter of perspective" from his book From Happiness (2003) and presents the video "Change Your Mind Change Your Brain—The Inner Conditions For Authentic Happiness" in early 2007 at Google University.
tricycle.com/insights/way-being?offer=dharma
Video: youtube.com/watch?v=peA6vy0D5Bg&feature=channel

Positive Emotions Research

Positive emotion protects against poor health outcomes in later life
cdp.sagepub.com/content/19/6/358.abstract
docs.google.com....unc.edu/peplab...Positive+Emotion+and+Health+in+Later+Life~
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_resilience

"Broaden-and-Build"—A new theory of positive emotions: Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. has spent more than twenty years researching emotional expression--positive and negative. Her theory of how positive emotions have functioned in human evolution was given the 2000 American Psychological Association's Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology. Learn about her "broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Her new 2009 book is Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How To Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. She found that a ratio of three positive events to one negative event was "the tipping point where things became chaotic--in a good sense--and a medium-performing team becomes a high-performing one." Read interviews with her
psych-it.com.au/Psychlopedia/article.asp?id=246
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broaden-and-build
utne.com/Spirituality/Finding-Happiness-Cultivating-Positive-Emotions~
thesunmagazine.org/issues/401/the_science_of_happiness
aliceboyes.com/barbara-fredrickson-interview

Therapies based on positive emotions may not work and be "positive" for all cultures—Research released in March 2011 found cultural differences, specifically that positive emotions were associated with benefit recovery from depression among European Americans and Asian Americans, but not immigrant Asians. An excerpt: "Our findings raise the question of whether positive psychology interventions (i.e., optimistic thinking or replaying positive experiences) which typically alleviate depression symptoms for Westerners (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009), will be similarly effective for Asians to practice. Instead, therapies which encourage individuals to embrace both positive and negative emotions may be more effective with Asian clients."
sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425091511.htm
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443338

Mindfulness and Mindfulness Research

Popular articles describe mindfulness and the growing acceptance of this way of being in the world
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_%28psychology%29
psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness
psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art-now-six-steps~
psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200812/back-the-present-~
usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-07-meditate_N.htm

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks, according to a new controlled longitudinal study appearing in the January 30, 2011 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging—An excerpt: "The results suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking."
sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121144007.htm

Mindfulness therapy, which combines elements of Buddhism and yoga, has solid supportive evidence for relieving anxiety and improving mood/depression: A January 2011 Los Angeles Times article summarizes the research evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness therapy. Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, and his colleagues reviewed 39 previous studies involving 1,140 patients in an April 2010 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and concluded that mindfulness therapy was effective for relieving anxiety and improving mood. Awarenesses include feelings aren't facts (actually they are purely bodily feedback) and intelligence may aid picking up the skill of mindfulness. An excerpt: "The treatment seemed to help ease the mental stress of people recovering from cancer and other serious illnesses, but it had the strongest benefits for people diagnosed with mood disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and recurring depression."
latimes.com/health/la-he-mindfulness...latimes/features/health~

A research study released 11-10-2009 finds that relatively short and simple mindfulness meditation training can have a significant effect on pain management: Other research demonstrating a positive impact of mindfulness on pain, stress and illness management is summarized in author Jon Kabat-Zinn's 1990 book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (pages 288-291). Another wonderful book that remains on the cutting edge of pain management today is Free Yourself From Pain (1978) by David E. Bresler, Ph.D. Links to more recent research findings on the effect of mindfulness on pain, stress and a wide range of illnesses are listed below.
eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-11/uonc-ssb110909.php
...yogahillsboro.com...mindfulness+training+on+physical+symptoms~
scienceblog.com/community/older/2001/A/200111444.html
docstoc.com/docs/13405865/Mindfulness-Meditation-Research-Findings
...mindfulnesscds.com...mindfulness+training+on+physical+symptoms~

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a pioneer in mindfulness. He is known for bringing mediation and mindfulness into medicine.
Videos: youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc&feature=related
youtube.com/watch?v=qvXFxi2ZXT0
youtube.com/watch?v=rSU8ftmmhmw

Ellen J. Langer is another pioneer in mindfulness: As a Harvard social-clinical psychologist who has conducted many very creative behavioral experiments, she has written several books on mindfulness, including the classics Mindfulness (1989) and The Power of Mindful Learning (1997) along with her recent Counter Clockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility (2009). In the late 1970's, she became the first women ever to be tenured in psychology at Harvard University. She and her colleagues developed the Langer Mindfulness Scale, a 21-item questionnaire that assesses the four domains of mindfulness, that is, novelty-seeking, engagement, novelty producing, and flexibility, and is intended for use as a training, self-discovery, and research instrument. Her articles (listed as "Recently Added" on her website and others listed in a directory on Psychology Today) on mindfulness are discerning, original and refreshing. Also listen to a 54 minute podcast taped on February 26, 2010 of Dr. Ellen J. Langer discussing her most recent book Counter Clockwise with George Kenney on his program "Electric Politics" along with written comments by listeners.
ellenlanger.com
nytimes.com...scientist-at-work-ellen-j-langer-a-scholar-of-the-absent-mind~
psychologytoday.com/articles/authors/ellen-j-langer
ellenlanger.com/books
ellenlanger.com/research
wjh.harvard.edu Ellen Langer Bio

Audio: electricpolitics.com/podcast/2010/02/empirical_monism.html

Phillippe Golden, post-doctoral researcher in clinically applied neuroscience at Stanford University, presents "Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation" in early 2008 at Google University
Video:youtube.com/watch?v=sf6Q0G1iHBI

Matthiew Ricard, a scientist who became a Buddhist monk, offers the article "A Way of Being: Finding happiness is mostly a matter of perspective" from his book From Happiness (2003) and presents the video "Change Your Mind Change Your Brain—The Inner Conditions For Authentic Happiness" in early 2007 at Google University.
tricycle.com/insights/way-being?offer=dharma
Video: youtube.com/watch?v=peA6vy0D5Bg&feature=channel


Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions & Mindfulness Research | Presence / Not Being Present, Meditation & Yoga Benefits | Practical Spirituality & Self-Compassion

Presence / Not Being Present / Attention & Distraction Research

Not being present, or a wandering mind, is associated with a lower mood: According to November 2010 research findings from Harvard University (published in Science as an article "A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy mind" by Matthew Killingsworth & Dan Gilbert) tracking how frequently 2,250 U.S. adults reported their mind wandering and how their moods changed according, participants self-reported being significantly less happy when their minds wandered than when they were focused on the task at hand. Specifically people spend 46.9% of their lives thinking about something other than what they're actually doing. This is not only a quite inefficient and ineffective use of one's mind, it actually seems to make people unhappy. Thinking about the past or future, along with daydreaming, even about pleasant things, were consistently associated with a lower mood. The embedded videos provide an overview. There is really nothing like being present. Given that almost all studies are conducted with undergraduates attending universities in the western world, the use of an iPhone application in this study can help expand the traditional data set for research into happiness and many other topics. The iPhone application used in this research study was "TrackYourHappiness" and is found at TrackYourHappiness.org.
abcnews.go.com...wandering-mind-unhappy-mind-study-finds~
boston.com...mind_wandering_a_fact_of_life_study_says~

Attention and distraction: Several new excerpted articles in Utne Reader (March-April 2010) from recent books address how remarkably scattered attention is in modern Western society and how rampant distraction is for most of us. The first book is Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (2008) by Maggie Jackson and the second book is Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life (2009) by Winifred Gallagher. Mindfulness and training one's attention can be most helpful in school, work, relationships and life.
utne.com/Spirituality/A-Nation-Distracted-Maggie-Jackson.aspx
utne.com/Spirituality/The-Focused-Life-Distracted-Attention.aspx
utne.com/Spirituality/Stop-Paying-Attention.aspx
utne.com/Spirituality/Meditation-Start-Paying-Attention.aspx
scholarpedia.org/article/Attention
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention
chronicle.com/article/Scholars-Turn-Their-Attention/63746
spring...2009...attention-how-it-works-how-it-fails-and-how-to-improve-it~
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distraction
news.cnet.com/Driven-to-distraction-by-technology~
nymag.com/news/features/56793

Research demonstrates a 500 millisecond (one-half second) delay in conscious awareness, that is, the time between an event and our becoming aware of it! Thus, we all are half a second behind reality, although we have the illusion we are in this precise moment—Experiments by neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet appear to show that our unconscious responses are far quicker than our conscious ones, that unconscious processes in the brain are the true initiator of volitional acts, and that free will or choice plays no part in their initiation. Libet's experiments, compiled and summarized in his book Mind Time (2004), showed that a stimulus applied to the skin produces an evoked potential in the brain within tens of milliseconds, and that appears to be enough to register unconsciously and effectively. We register unconsciously that which may never cross the threshold into consciousness. The implication, as discussed by sage Ramesh S. Balsekar in his mastepiece The Final Truth: A Guide To Ultimate Understanding (1989, page 123), is "...the actions of a human being at any moment would appear to be caused not by his conscious participation at that moment, but by the memory of what he thought and felt in the past." He goes on to say (quoting Libet), "Therefore, actual sensations "are replays of events that are well in the past, but manage to convey to us the delusion of a conscious immediacy and participation." The significance of this fact is startling: we are living not in the present as we think but in the past. It follows that there is no present at all but only a shadow of what is already past. What is more, what we think of as future will have become the past before we are aware of it. Life would thus seem to be "a grandiose hoax", unless we accept the metaphysical view of space-time as only a concept and not some thing to which we are bound as slaves." Thus, even being present and "awakened" is only another illusion. At the same time, being one-half second delayed from now is really not comparable with being locked in the ego-mind's past memories and regularly projecting these onto future expectations.
consciousentities.com/libet.htm
democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg~
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet
hup.harvard.edu/catalog/LIBMIN.html
sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/18/BANFRK1TG.DTL
psychologytoday.com...the-greatest-magic-trick-ever-part-i
psychologytoday.com...the-greatest-magic-trick-ever-part-ii~
psychologytoday.com/articles/200303/pts-book-review

Videos on Libet's work:
youtube.com/watch?v=XLFkprZl7-I
youtube.com/watch?v=fI1624SwYnI&feature=related

Meditation: Approaches, Benefits & Research

Meditation: The benefits from a regular meditation practice are becoming clearer. Philosopher Ken Wilber claims that studies show meditation to be the most effective skillful means to move up through developmental levels of psychological and spiritual maturation. Listen to Ken Wilber on audio: "How Meditation Accelerates Vertical Development." Philosopher Ken Wilber claims that studies show meditation to be the most effective skillful means to move up through developmental levels of psychological and spiritual maturation. Listen to Ken Wilber on audio: "How Meditation Accelerates Vertical Development." Particularly the research by neuroscientist Richard Davidson at the invitation of Tibet's Dalai Lama to scientifically explore the workings of Tibetan monks that produced results that unambiguously showed that meditation activated the trained minds of the monks in significantly different ways when compared with those of volunteers. Read about different ways to meditate and what studies show and judge for yourself. May 2010 publication of Psychological Science provides research showing that "Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention."
integralworld.net/meditation.html
pickthebrain.com/blog/the-physical-and-mental-benefits-of-daily-meditation
anandapaloalto.org/joy/BenefitsOfMeditation.html
anmolmehta.com/blog/2009/09/28/health-benefits-of-meditation
lorinroche.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation
...fammed.wisc.edu...patient.pdf+ken+wilber+on+benefits+of+meditaton~
physorg.com/news177347438.html
medicalnewstoday.com/articles/171065.php
...bermansexualhealth.com...scientific research benefits of meditation~
pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/05/11/0956797610371339.abstract
docs.google...www.sbinstitute.com...Meditation improves attention perception plasticity of adult brain~

Psychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D. writes in a Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Blog post dated April 2011 of the recent research findings of the impact on the brain for those who routinely meditate as well as five simple steps for a great preliminary meditative practice (with what occurs in terms of brain functioning at each step): 1) bring your awareness to the sensations of breathing and set your intention on doing just this; 2) relax by taking some long exhalations and take care to relax your tongue; 3) feel as safe as you reasonably can; 4) open to feelings of simple well-being; and 5) get a sense of your awareness being like boundless space.
http://media.rickhanson.net/home/files/SlidesNeuroplasticity.pdf

Research on Meditation with Buddhist monks who have meditated for many years
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/1847442.stm
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html
wired.com/wired/archive/14.02/dalai.html
abc.net.au/science/articles/2005/06/07/1383179.htm
himalayaninstitute.org/yogaplus/Article.aspx?id=2019
scienceline.org/2009/08/13/storrs-neuroscience-meditation-fmri-brain

Audio:
diydharma.org/how-meditation-accelerates-vertical-development-ken-wilber

The 30-Minute Meditation Method: Research released in April 2011 in the online University of California, Berkeley magazine Greater Good suggested meditating 30 minutes a day for eight weeks can change parts of your brain that regulate emotions and memory, specifically can increase the density of gray matter in brain regions that are associated with stress, memory and empathy.
utne.com/Spirituality/30-Minute-Meditation-Method~
greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/a_little_meditation_goes_a_long_way/

Jack Kornfield, one of the leading Buddhist teachers in the West, offers a brief "Meditation for beginners"
Videos: youtube.com/watch?v=TzhmktSOPOw&feature=fvw
youtube.com/watch?v=COBSzdqDvAk~

Yoga Benefits

Yoga—Many health benefits of practicing Yoga: Flexibility, strength, posture, breathing, less stress/more calm, detoxification, toning of muscles, lubrication of joints/ligaments/tendons, concentration/mood, heart benefits, relieving physical symptoms pain prevention, learning/memory improvement, slowing the aging process, increased self-acceptance, improved energy levels, quality of relationships/marriages and enhanced spiritual awareness all are associated with practicing yoga. Highly recommended
webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga
healthandyoga.com/html/yoga/Benefits.html
nursingdegree.net/blog/24/77-surprising-health-benefits-of-yoga
abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp
yoga.about.com/od/beginningyoga/a/benefits.htm
fuelthemind.com/health/fitness/pilates_yoga/what_is_yoga.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_%28alternative_medicine%29
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asana
scribd.com/doc/1243184/Yoga-pose-for-mind-body-yoga-Sun-Salutations
yogasite.com/sunsalute.htm

Research results released in April 2011 show that doing fourty-five minute yoga sessions with a certified professional three times a week cut in half the risk of irregular-heartbeat episodes, a common a potentially dangerous physical symptom. Already shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, this study found that yoga also reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression related to the condition. It might be easier to ask what benefits yoga does not provide.
reuters.com/article/2011/04/02/us-heart-yoga-idUSTRE7312AP20110402 


Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions & Mindfulness Research | Presence / Not Being Present, Meditation & Yoga Benefits | Practical Spirituality & Self-Compassion

Practical Spirituality

Distinguishing Pain from Suffering is highly practical spirituality: A Buddhist saying goes, "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Several articles explore this distinction that is one of the major proponents of all forms of one of the most sophisticated moral and psychological system ever developed that also continues to this day—all forms of Buddhism. Without the ego-mind's leaning into pain by resisting it, negatively evaluating it and obsessively focusing upon it, pain simply can be pain, whether sensory-physical, cognitive-mental, feeling-emotional, social-relational or spiritual-religious, without it turning into suffering. This is an incredibly valuable and life-changing view! Sogyal Rinpoche addressed the First International Congress for Tibetan Medicine in Washington DC in November 1998. His address is available in its entirety. He specifies that within the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, the general cause of all illness (i.e., suffering) is ignorance (also called unawareness, and includes all forms of resistance to "what is" such as pain, reality and truth) and that this aries from the "three poisons" of attachment (e.g., craving and desire) , hatred (e.g, animosities and pride) and closed-mindedness (e.g., bewilderment and self-righteousness). Also look at videos that shine light on this distinction.
spiritualitytoday.blogspot.com/2006/11/pain-vs-suffering.html
ezinearticles.com/?Pain-Versus-Suffering&id=2323996
beingwithyoga.blogspot.com/2009/05/tension-in-body-pain-vs-suffering.html
dragosroua.com/pain-is-unavoidable-suffering-is-optional

Videos:
youtube.com/watch?v=Deq_1lg9Dlo&feature=fvw
youtube.com/watch?v=0qnSHElAZe0
youtube.com/watch?v=vAa9x_xs4bs
youtube.com/watch?v=v5EEtPq8o10

Self-Compassion

The website of Kristin Neff, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Human Development at the University of Texas at Austin, is a remarkably supportive one. She has a primary research interest in the development of self-compassion. She offers a wonderful set of links to websites on mindfulness and compassion, their clinical applications and use in education, along with Buddhist meditation sites. Her site and video are a lovely contribution to exploring self-compassion for yourself.
self-compassion.org/links.html
self-compassion.org
Video: youtube.com/watch?v=3OdWeqCJGdc&feature=related

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Zen Master whom Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, presents "Simple Mindfulness" as a part of the "Colors of Compassion Retreat—Healing Our Families, Building True Community" in late 2005 and other videos

 


George Demont Otis         Desert and Sage Brush

 
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
 
 


Home | Dedication/Orientation | Articles by Dr. Friedman | Video and Audio Clips | Annotated Resource Links | Psychology Professionals

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