Well-being emerges when we create connections in our lives—when we learn to use mindsight to help the brain achieve and maintain integration, a process by which separate elements are linked together into a working whole. I know this may sound both unfamiliar and abstract at first, but I hope you’ll soon find that it is a natural and useful way of thinking about our lives. For example. integration is at the heart of haw we connect to one another in healthy ways, honoring one another’s differences, while keeping our lines of communication wide open. Linking separate entities to one another—integration—is also important for releasing the creativity that emerges when the left and right sides of the brain are functioning together.
Integration enables us to be flexible and free; the lack of such connections promotes a life that is either rigid or chaotic. stuck and dull on the one hand or explosive and unpredictable on the other.
With this connecting freedom of integration comes a sense of vitality and the case of well-being. Without integration we can become imprisoned in behavioral ruts—anxiety and depression, greed, obsession, and addiction.
By acquiring mindsight skills, we can alter the way the mind functions and move our lives toward integration, away from these extremes of chaos or rigidity. With mindsight we are able to focus our mind in ways that literally integrate the brain and move it toward resilience and health.
While it is true that being self-obsessed decreases happiness, mindsight actually frees you to become less self absorbed. not more. When we are not taken over by our thoughts and feelings, we can become clearer in our own internal world as well as more receptive to the inner world of another. Scientific studies support this idea, revealing that individuals with more mindsight skills show more interest and empathy toward others. Research has also clearly shown that mindsight supports not only internal and interpersonal well-being but also greater effectiveness and achievement in school and work.
A quite poignant concern about mindsight came up one day when I was talking with a group of teachers. “How can you ask us to have children reflect on their own minds?” one teacher said to me. “Isn’t that opening a Pandora’s box?” Recall that when Pandora’s box was opened, all the troubles of humanity flew out. Is this how we imagine our inner lives or the inner lives of our children?
In my own experience, a great transformation begins when we look at our minds with curiosity and respect rather than fear and avoidance. Inviting our thoughts and feelings into awareness allows us to learn from them rather than be driven by them. We can calm them without ignoring them; we can hear their wisdom without being terrified by their screaming voices. And as you will see in some of the stories in this book, even surprisingly young children can develop the ability to pause and make choices about how to act when they are more aware of their impulses.Daniel J Siegel, “MindSight – The New Science of Personal Transformation “
From anxiety to depression and feelings of shame and inadequacy, from mood swings to addictions, OCD, and traumatic memories, most of us have a mental “trap” that causes recurring conflict in our lives and relationships. In his book “MindSight”, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, shows us how to use MindSight to escape these traps.