"This book is about one simple thing: the hidden power of everyday positive experiences to change your brain -- and therefore your life -- for the better."
How Your Brain Works
“They include positive mood, common sense, integrity, inner peace, determination, and a warm heart. […] self-compassion, secure attachment, emotional intelligence, learned optimism, the relaxation response, self-esteem, distress tolerance, self-regulation, resilience, and executive functions. [He also uses the word strength broadly to include positive feelings such as calm, contentment, and caring, as well as skills, useful perspectives and inclinations, and embodied qualities such as vitality or relaxation.”
“Finding out how to grow these strengths inside you could be the most important thing you ever learn. That’s what this book is all about.”
Taking In the Good
Let it GO
Let it IN
“The best way to develop greater happiness and other inner strengths is to have experiences of them, and then help thse good mental states become good neural traits. This is taking in the good: activation a positive experience and installing it in your brain.”
Have a positive experience.
Link positive and negative material.
Tying to Gratitude
In our section on gratitude, there is much to be found that ties to Hanson’s H.E.A.L. method:
Having a positive experience is akin to recognition of the feeling of gratitude. Instances of joy, often arriving as small bursts in otherwise static scenarios, can be fleeting and reactionary. In fact they are opportunities to notice more. Bring these positive experiences to the forefront of your mind, absorbing them in your short-term memory. This familiar noticing of a parcel of gratitude with get easier over time.
Also discussed in our gratitude section are some pragmatic ways to Enrich and Absorb positive experience. Starting a gratitude journal, keeping a gratitude jar, or modeling an attitude of gratitude for those around you are all viable ways of furthering the HEAL method.
“Most positive experiences are relatively brief and mild. But taking in half a dozen of them a day, half a minute or less at a time, will add up to something big for you.”