New approaches in neuroscience show it’s not all in your head

Our own unique experiences shape how we view the world and respond to the events in our lives. But experience is highly subjective. What’s distressing or joyful to one person may be very different to another. These differences can matter, especially as a growing body of research shows that what happens in our inner landscapes — our thoughts about and interpretations of our experiences — can have physical consequences in our brains and bodies.

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In the South China Morning Post: Healthy habits of mind bring happiness and can be learned – even by the busy

Richard J. Davidson, director of the UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds, says research into how mental training like meditation affects our health throws light on what constitutes a healthy mind. Well-being – as understood by its qualities of awareness, connection, insight and purpose – is a skill that can be learned.

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In The New York Times: Can kindness be taught?

The Kindness Curriculum is part of a growing global movement to teach emotional intelligence in schools. Advocates of this approach say it’s shortsighted for teachers to focus narrowly on intellectual learning and ignore the cooperative emotional skills that enable learning — and learners — to flourish.

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Research to relieve stress of police officers expands

The Madison Police Department teamed up with UW–Madison's Center for Healthy Minds for a pilot study exploring a mindfulness-based program with officers and is partnering again with the UW alongside UWPD and the Dane County Sheriff's Office to expand the research and understand ways to improve the well-being of law enforcement professionals

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The Center for Healthy Minds helps doctors cope with stress

The Center for Healthy Minds works to cultivate well-being and relieve suffering through a scientific understanding of the mind. Applying its teachings helps this doctor better cope with the stresses of his profession.

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In The New York Times: Why doing good is good for the do-gooder

Dr. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has been studying the effects of positive emotions, such as compassion and kindness, on the brain since the 1990s. He said the brain behaves differently during an act of generosity than it does during a hedonistic activity.

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Davidson elected to National Academy of Medicine

University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist and professor Richard Davidson has been elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the premier authority dedicated to the health and medical sciences. The academy awards this honor to the world's top experts who demonstrate outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service in the field.

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Preschool “Kindness Curriculum” is now available, free

What if kindness, attention and gratitude were taught in schools just like math, history and reading? Today, they can be, as the UW–Madison Center for Healthy Minds­ is releasing its free mindfulness-based “Kindness Curriculum.” 

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Scientists pinpoint area of the brain that regulates emotional spillover

Emotional spillover, when one emotional experience carries over into the next, can color our impressions and behavior in the situations that follow. Researchers at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are discovering what happens in the brain when such emotional spillover occurs, which could help us better understand how negative emotions are regulated and improve well-being.

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