Tag Archives: The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion

“Building Compassion, Reducing Stress” is a day-long seminar led by Dacher Keltner, and featuring Stanford University biologist Robert Sapolsky.

As reported on: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/news_events/event/the_science_of_a_meaningful_life_building_compassion_reducing_stress/

This day-long seminar will offer strategies for cultivating compassion, empathy, and resilience in yourself and others. It will be led by Dacher Keltner, a renowned professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Keltner will highlight the strong connections between happiness, compassion, and altruism, identifying the health and social benefits that come from practicing gratitude, kindness, and other positive behaviors.

Building on this science, Dr. Keltner will present researchbased tips for fostering empathy, compassion, and other positive skills in yourself, in children, and in colleagues and clients. He will also shed light on those who have trouble forming compassionate relationships, such as those who suffer from social disorders like autism.

The seminar will also feature a presentation by Robert Sapolsky, the Stanford University biologist whose lectures are celebrated for their humor and humanity. Dr. Sapolsky will discuss his ground-breaking work on stress, explaining how stress impacts our brains, our bodies, and our long-term prospects for health and happiness. He’ll also reveal the major causes of stress-related diseases for humans, and what we can do to protect ourselves—and help others protect themselves—from some of these effects of stress.

The seminar will also feature a presentation by Robert Sapolsky, the Stanford University biologist whose celebrated lectures are filled with humor and humanity. Dr. Sapolsky will discuss his ground-breaking work on stress, explaining how stress impacts our bodies and our long-term physical and mental health; the major determinants of stress-related diseases for humans; and what we can do to protect ourselves—and help others protect themselves—from some of these effects of stress.

Workshop Topics:

* People are wired to form deep social connections, to cooperate, and to feel compassion
* There are research-tested steps one can take to cultivate compassion, empathy, trust, and other qualities of social-emotional well-being in themselves and others
* One’s own emotional well-being can foster social well-being in their relationships, families, workplaces, communities, and the world at large
* Practicing pro-social behaviors—such as compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude—brings measurable psychological and physiological benefits to oneself
* Chronic stress can damage one’s physical as well as mental health
* There are proven strategies for reducing stress in yourself and others, but not every strategy works for everyone

Agenda:
8:30 – 9:00am – Registration and check in
9:00-10:30 – Dacher Keltner on the evolution and neuroscience of social well-being
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-12:00 – Keltner on compassion, empathy, and gratitude as paths to social well-being and the meaningful life
12:00-1:00 – Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:30 – Robert Sapolsky on “The Biology of Stress and Happiness”
2:30-2:45 – Break
2:45-3:30 – Keltner on breakdowns in social and emotional well-being: autism, depression, antisocial disorder
3:30-3:45 – Break
3:45 to 4:45 – Keltner on practical steps toward cultivating happiness and compassion in yourself and others

Learning Objectives
* Identify the connections between compassion and happiness
* Identify the causes, symptoms and outcomes of chronic stress
* Design effective ways to handle stress and maintain a more resilient, compassionate approach toward other people
* Diagnose the root causes of anti-social behavior, such as aggression and autism
* Utilize research-based practices to boost happiness in themselves and others

The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion, Trust, and Happiness” is a day-long seminar featuring Dacher Keltner and John Gottman as part of the GreaterGood’s Science of a Meaningful Life series. We are glad to provide further information on this important event which is hold on November 5, 2010 at Town Hall Seattle, Seattle, WA.

Led by Dacher Keltner, a renowned professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, “The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion, Trust, and Happiness” draws on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Keltner will reveal the deep roots of human goodness, and he will explain why humans have strong propensities for caring and compassionate behavior. His presentation will highlight the strong connections between happiness, compassion, and altruism, identifying the health and social benefits that come from practicing trust, empathy, gratitude, kindness, and other positive behaviors. For instance, cultivating feelings of gratitude have been shown to boost people’s health, make them happier, and improve their relationships.

Building on this science, Dr. Keltner will present research-based tips for fostering positive emotions and behaviors in yourself, in children, and in colleagues and clients. He will also shed light on those who have trouble forming relationships, such as those who suffer from social disorders like autism.

The seminar will also feature a special guest presentation by John Gottman, the nation’s foremost researcher of marriage and parenting. Dr. Gottman will explain how attendees can develop stronger, more compassionate, and more trusting relationships with their romantic partners and others. He will focus on how to practice constructive, compassionate conflict resolution in relationships, including (but not limited to) marriages. He will also discuss how that approach is complicated after one partner has betrayed the other, and explain how partners can restore trust, compassion, and empathy to their relationship after such a betrayal has occurred. Ultimately, he will identify principles and practices that are vital to any healthy relationship.

The Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series is made possible through a generous grant from the Quality of Life Foundation.

Agenda
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and check in
9:00 – 10:30 The evolution and neuroscience of social well-being
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Compassion, empathy, and gratitude as paths to social well-being and the meaningful life
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:30 John Gottman, PhD, on fostering empathy and trust in relationships
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:30 Breakdowns in social and emotional well-being: autism, depression, antisocial disorder
3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:45 Practical steps toward cultivating happiness and compassion in yourself and others

Learning Objectives

– Identify the connections between compassion and happiness
– Develop effective ways to handle stress and maintain a more resilient, compassionate approach toward other people
– Diagnose the root causes of anti-social behavior, such as aggression and autism
– Cultivate compassion and trust in relationships with spouses, children, and others
– Use research-based practices to boost happiness in themselves and others