What if the future of well-being is about “tipping the scales in the world away from fear and toward love”? asks On Being’s Krista Tippett in The Future of Well-Being, her interview with Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy and neuroscientist Richard Davidson.
This simple premise can be a guidepost for navigating the extraordinary elevation of fear the past years have brought, wrought by the pandemic, politics fueled by animosity, climate change.
We were particularly struck by Davidson’s idea of “microdosing of well-being”, similar to the way people take tiny amounts of hallucinogens to gently shift their state of mind into greater harmony. He offers a number of micro-practices to do this, from cultivation of awareness to know our true feelings better and live more in the present —which makes us happier and allays dwelling on the fearful future — to the many forms of connection that help us thrive, like appreciation and gratitude and kindness and compassion.
...It doesn’t really take much to activate these parts of our mind and our brain and our heart… because this is our true nature. And so we can tap into this nature, really quite easily.
…I think it is in the simple activities of our daily life that we can bring [forth] these qualities of love and kindness…This is a choice between love and fear, and love is what is consistent with our nature.
Since we started thinking about “micro-dosing well-being”, we’ve found it to be an easy practice that can take just a few seconds throughout the day, in myriad tiny ways. For starters, we are actively, consciously practicing turning fear, anxiety, self-critical thoughts into love, if only for a few seconds. And then we do it for another few seconds. And then another. Micro-doses.
Here’s another we found: A micro-clip of meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein’s Lovingkindess Meditation, a tiny gift to self:
May I feel safe
May I feel content
May I feel strong
May I live with ease.
In the original meditation, Boorstein guides us to move the blessing outward to someone you love tremendously…then someone you rarely think about, a familiar stranger…then “all the unfamiliar strangers near and far”….
May you feel safe
May you feel content
May you feel strong
May you live with ease.
… It is a simple action of love we can take just about anywhere.