I read Dr Rick Hanson’s book, Resilient, a few months ago and I occasionally browse it for personal motivation. Recently I found myself drawing more from his book especially during stressful times. According to Dr. Hanson, we have three basic needs (safety, satisfaction, connection) and we meet these needs in 4 ways (which I’ll call the 4 Rs):
- recognizing what’s true (using mindfulness, compassion, and learning)
- resourcing ourselves (through grit, gratitude, and confidence)
- regulating our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (with calm, motivation, intimacy)
- relating skillfully in interactions with others and our community (through courage, aspiration, generosity)
Here are some reflection prompts for each of the 4 Rs to help you engage in deeper processing around each way you can meet your safety, satisfaction, and connection needs.
Recognizing what’s true:
- how can you use a mindfulness practice to be more aware of your surroundings and needs?
- how can you practice self-compassion during times of suffering or difficulty?
- what new information can you learn to enrich your life and experiences?
- how can you improve your sense of agency to refuel grit and improve life satisfaction?
- how can you use gratitude as a way to improve the connection you have with yourself and others?
- how can confidence help you to feel secure and safe in your sense of being?
Regulating our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- what are some accessible and realistic calming practices you can implement throughout your day to increase emotional safety?
- make a list of your sources of motivation and how motivation is related to life satisfaction
- what is the connection between intimacy and connection in your life?
Relating skillfully in interactions with others and our community
- how can you use courage to build healthy and meaningful connections with others?
- what aspirations do you have around life satisfaction?
- how can you practice safety when being generous?
Keep a journal to document how you are meeting your needs and how the quality of your needs may change over time.
~ Karisse C