Human existence depends on relationships. Our brains rely on interconnected neural networks to function. Our minds relentlessly encode complex matrices of meaning to make sense of the world. And our physical and psychological development is contingent on the social bonds we share with others.
Mindful Relationships: The Seven Skills for Success integrates the science of mind, body and brain to reveal how stress undermines these relationships, and what we can do about it.
Chronic stress threatens our wellbeing and relationship success by creating systemic dysregulation of the mind, body and brain.
This dysregulation leaves us relying on primal defense strategies like aggression and withdrawal, and inhibits key cognitive-behavioral capacities essential to relationship success such as accurate appraisal, effective coping, and coherent communication.
The inspirational and accessible book introduces the BREATHE model – an evidence-rich approach that synthesizes the science of mind, body and brain to alleviate stress, increase self-awareness, self-regulation, and emotional intelligence, and cultivate resilient social bonds.
These Seven Skills are essential tools for creating and maintaining a healthy, harmonious, and successful relationship with yourself and others.
Filled with sound science, engaging stories and experiential exercises, this book is bound to change the way that you relate to your life and those in it.
PART 1 – Foundation: Why This Matters
1. Why Relationships Matter
2. Understanding Stress
3. Why Manage Chronic Stress?
4. The Stories We Tell: Why Mindset Matters
5. Mindfulness and the Mind
6. Personal Responsibility and Social Change
PART II – The BREATHE Model
7. The BREATHE Model
8. Breath Awareness
9. Regulating The Autonomic Nervous System Through Intentional Breathing
10. Experiencing Emotion
11. Appraising and Adjusting Your Mindset
12. Taking A Purposeful Pause
13. Humor: Life is a Practice
14. Engaging Others Mindfully
15. BREATHE in Action
‘I LOVE THIS BOOK! Unmanaged stress is such an important detriment to a great relationship. In this very thorough book Dr Bullock provides all the information necessary to manage stress and lead a calm, loving, and meaningful life with SPECIFIC STEPS that anyone can follow. It’s a great recipe. As a research-based therapist, I plan on giving a copy of this book to all of my clients.’
John Gottman, PhD Author of The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work
‘Relationships are at the core of what defines our humanity and gives meaning in our lives. Yet for many, successful relationships remain a challenge. Dr Bullock, in her ground breaking book, Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success, gives us a guide that synthesizes not only her vast personal experience but incorporates the latest research from neuroscience and psychology. Her profound BREATHE model allows us to incorporate this knowledge to not only enhance our relationships but to fundamentally change our lives for the better.’
Dr James R Doty, MD, FACS, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University School of Medicine, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart
‘Many of us can sit quietly, eyes closed, focusing mindfully on our breath. It is quite another challenge to bring mindful awareness – the ability to be with another human being without judgment, simply seeing this person as he/she is, appreciating all that he/she brings to the situation – into a relationship and to sustain that over time with honesty, compassion, and care. But we can do it, and this is important work for a just and sustainable 21st Century. Dr Bullock gives us a smart and loving guidebook for this work, including both research and humor to motivate us through the difficult challenges of creating healthy, supportive relationships.’
Mirabai Bush, Senior Fellow, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
‘I can hardly endorse this book strongly enough. B Grace Bullock has given us a book packed with wisdom, cutting-edge neuroscience, and with her own very unique combination of gifts as a psychotherapist, scientist, and committed practitioner of the contemplative arts. Most importantly, for me, it is an extremely practical and user friendly guide. There is no more complex challenge to the practice of mindfulness than relationships. As Ram Dass used to say, ‘If you think you’re enlightened, go back and visit your parents.’ Dr Bullock has given us a method for bringing mindfulness into relationship — a method which, as she herself points out, is simple and always accessible. Human beings of every stripe will want this book, and will want to give it to their friends and loved-ones!’
Stephen Cope, Senior Scholar in Residence, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Author of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide on the Journey to Your True Calling, and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self
‘This book is a must-have resource for leaders and organizations. Dr Bullock offers a compelling account of the most up-to-date science on stress, its impact on relationships and what to do about it. Her coherent narrative is well balanced between research findings, personal stories and interpretation of the relevance to the reader. And her BREATHE model is practical, applicable in the moment, and highly effective. Mindful Relationships is remarkably readable. Even the science had me turning the pages as quickly as I could. I highly recommend it!’
Deborah Reidy, Chair, Society for Organizational Learning, North America and President, Reidy Associates
Leadership Development & Executive Coaching