18 Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with Jealousy

19 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.

The mammalian brain is primed for jealousy.
It is a staple of human interaction.
Any infringement on one's territory (land, family, lover, money, etc.) will stimulate a flight/fight/freeze reaction.
Unfortunately, unmanaged jealousy often leads to disaster for relationships.  

The mammailian #brain is primed for #jealousy


Bring mindfulness into your communication. Invite everyone involved to have a dialogue grounded in "Compassionate Communication." Share your deepest relationship values. Speak briefly and warmly. Listen deeply and ask everyone else to do the same. Share your vulnerability as you remain grounded in your deepest values. Wonderful things happen in a mindful conversation with anyone.

Research shows that the combination of a relaxed demeanor, gentle eye contact, a half-smile, slow speech, and a warm tone of voice builds trust and increases comprehension in the listener’s brain. Yet, even the slightest verbal or nonverbal expression of anger, irritability, or frustration can generate interpersonal conflict, releasing within a few seconds a cascade of stress neurochemicals in both the speaker’s and listener’s brain. Expressing negative emotions interrupts frontal lobe processes governing social awareness, collaboration, and executive decision-making.

Gentle eye contact, a half-smile, slow speech, and a warm tone of voice builds #trust

Here are the 12 Strategies of Compassionate Communication, documented in Words Can Change Your Brain. The first 6 steps are carried out before engaging in an important dialogue. The second 6 steps are applied throughout the conversation. When you speak, limit yourself to one or two sentences, and speak for 20 seconds or less. Why? Because we can only consciously hold four “chunks” of information in working memory for 10-20 seconds. During the training exercises, after each person speaks, they pause, relax, and listen deeply, paying close attention to the speaker’s facial expressions and tone of voice.

The Strategies

  1. Relax
  2. Stay Present
  3. Cultivate Inner Silence
  4. Increase Positivity
  5. Reflect on Your Deepest Values
  6. Access a Pleasant Memory
  7. Observe Nonverbal Cues
  8. Express Appreciation
  9. Speak Slowly
  10. Speak Warmly
  11. Speak Briefly
  12. Listen Deeply
18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

Preparation Strategies

1) Relax: Consciously relax your body (stretch, yawn, and breathe deeply for at least 30 seconds).

2) Stay Present - Intently focus on the present moment, being aware of your body sensations, feelings, and thoughts.

3) Cultivate Inner Silence - Take a few moments to clear your mind of distracting thoughts and feelings.

4) Increase Positivity - Envision a positive dialogue and outcome. Suspend negative thoughts, worries, and doubts.

5) Reflect on Your Deepest Values - Ask yourself these three questions: “What is my deepest personal value?” “What is my deepest relational value?” and “What is my deepest communication value as it pertains to this specific conversation?” When possible, share these values with your partner or colleague.

6) Access a Pleasant Memory - Think about someone you deeply love or an experience that brought you a deep sense of pleasure and satisfaction. Notice how this image or memory evokes a gentle half-smile and softens the muscles around your eyes and forehead. Maintain this expression throughout the conversation, coming back to it if you feel any degree of frustration, anxiety, or irritability.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

During the Dialogue

7) Observe Nonverbal Cues - Walk slowly into the meeting room and pay close attention to the nonverbal cues: facial expression, tone of voice, hand gestures, etc.

8) Express Appreciation - Open the conversation on a positive note, with a compliment or comment of appreciation.

9) Speak Slowly - Speak at about 2/3 of your normal rate. Average speech rate is 150 words/minute.

10) Speak Warmly - Research shows that when applied in healthcare situations, healing rates double.

11) Speak Briefly - Speak for 20 seconds or less, then relax and bring yourself back into the present moment.

12) Listen Deeply - Carefully observe the speaker’s facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. Listen non-defensively, without judgment, to the other person without interrupting. Avoid any negative language or facial expression, especially if you feel provoked by the other person’s words.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

When Dealing with Difficult Problems and Emotional Issues

1) Set up an appointment with an agreement to discuss the problem with kindness and warmth.

2) Agree to call for a time out (5 minutes to 2 days) when either person feels an increase in tension.

3) When intense conflicts break out, limit each person’s speaking to one brief sentence (about 10 seconds). This strategy often resolves problems quickly.

4) Don’t assume you know what the speaker meant; instead, ask for clarification. Research shows that each person gives a different meaning or value to nearly every spoken concept.

5) Monitor your “Positivity Ratio.” Fredrickson’s, Losada’s, and Gottman’s research found that when 5-7 positive expressions are generated for each negative comment, feeling, or thought a person has, relational satisfaction is enhanced and business productivity is increased.

6) Learn to read micro-expressions: Study Paul Ekman’s book Emotions Revealed.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.

A Simple Way to Mind Read

A Simple Way to #Mind Read
When I wish to find out how wise, or how stupid, or how good, or how wicked is any one, or what are his thoughts at the moment, I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression.
— Edgar Allen Poe, "The Purloined Letter"

The above is from a story where a schoolboy reverse-engineers the psychology of others. He mimics their facial expressions to tune in to how they are thinking. This practice gives him a sixth-sense that helps him win guessing games.

We now have scientific evidence to show this technique can work. A recent paper by Paula Niedenthal of University of Wisconsin shows why it does. 

In short, our expressions mirror our thoughts and feelings – and our expressions also trigger thoughts and feelings. It works both ways.

When you match the expressions of those you interact with, your experiences, thoughts, and feelings become more like theirs. Then, you have access to almost psychic insights about your interaction.


The above article was written by Josiah Hultgren, Founder of MindFullyAlive. The neuro-exercise above is by Mark Robert Waldman.  


Fashioning the Face: Sensorimotor Simulation Contributes to Facial Expression RecognitionWood, Adrienne et al.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences , Volume 20 , Issue 3 , 227 - 240

The faces we make are external representations of what we feel inside. There’s something to the idea that this also works in reverse and if you make an emotional expression, the associated emotions will follow.

Yawning is The Fastest Way to Hack Mental Stress and Focus

 Yawning is The Fastest Way to Hack Mental #Stress and #Focus

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.

Olympic athletes yawn before they race. Musicians and speakers yawn before they go on stage. Snipers get trained to yawn before they pull the trigger. Pack animals yawn together to establish communal empathy. This is because yawning is the ultimate stress and focus hack.

Here are 10 reasons to yawn frequently:

1. Stimulates alertness and concentration
2. Optimizes brain activity and metabolism
3. Improves cognitive function
4. Increases memory recall
5. Enhances consciousness and introspection
6. Lowers stress
7. Relaxes your upper body
8. Fine-tunes your sense of time
9. Increases empathy and social awareness
10. Enhances pleasure and sensuality

Yawning clears away the fogginess of sleep and increases cerebral blood flow. After yawning, you quickly benefit with enhanced mental efficiency and a heightened state of cognitive awareness. In fact, yawning appears to be the fastest way to lower mental stress and anxiety. 

Many neurochemicals get released during the yawning experience that are essential for motivation, memory recall, and voluntary decision-making. In fact, it’s hard to find another activity that positively impacts so many brain functions. So, If you want to maintain an optimally healthy brain, make it a habit to yawn whenever you want to relax or enhance your ability to concentrate on a task.

It has a similar effect on a person as having a cup of coffee. It helps your brain shift between the highly focused demands of decision-making and restful daydreaming states that give you access to creative problem-solving. It even regulates the time clocks in your brain, helping you to sleep better at night. Yawning helps you to wake up and stay alert during a stressful work day.


Yawning also appears to be a primitive form of empathy and is found in many mammals. There is a connection between frequent yawning and increased emotional empathy. That’s why we recommend that yawning a few times before entering a stressful business meeting or discussing a sensitive issue.

We recommend you yawn as many times a day as possible. When you wake up? Yawn. When you're confronting a difficult problem at work? Yawn. Whenever you feel anger, anxiety or stress? Yawn. 

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Yawn before giving an important talk, yawn before you take a test, and yawn whenever you feel bored. Do it mindfully, paying close attention to how it affects your mood and awareness.

Conscious yawning takes a little discipline to get past our social conditioning that it is rude. Another barrier is the “excuses” that people sometimes use: “I don’t feel like it,” “I’m not tired,” and a favorite, “I can’t.” Of course you can. All you need to do to trigger a deep yawn is to fake it four or five times. Try it right now, and you’ll see how each yawn feels more pleasant and relaxing.


A Mindful Yawning Experiment:

This exercise only takes two minutes, and works better if you are standing up. 

  1. Begin by taking a slow deep breath and then yawn. You can fake them at first, and if you make an “ahh” sound during exhalation you should be able to trigger a series of real yawns on your fourth or fifth try.
  2. As you continue to yawn, pay close attention to the sensations in your mouth, your throat, your chest and belly, and don’t be surprised if your eyes start watering. 
  3. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or disoriented, stop, sit down, and rest. Continue to yawn another ten or twelve times, and then pause, noticing the different body sensations you are having. Do you feel more relaxed and alert? 

If you feel tired, it probably means that you are exhausted from overwork. If you’ve been particularly stressed or anxious, you might find yourself yawning a great deal over the next half hour, or even throughout the day after you’ve tried this yawning experiment. It means that your brain needs more blood circulation to improve neural performance. Enjoy the yawns, knowing that it’s a special treat for your busy brain.

Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.