Being Well Podcast on changing for the good, the benefits of the COVID-19 vacciens, and overcoming vaccine fears
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MindFull of GOOD


An Occasional Offering from Rick Hanson, Ph.D.


How to Change for Good

"Our sense of self has more depth than ideas we have about ourselves. The ideas about self are like the part of the iceberg above the waterline, while the sense of ourselves, always running in the background, is underneath the waterline this is where a lot of the action is."
- Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
There are times in our lives when we recognize that something’s got to change. In this episode, Forrest and I explore a big question: What goes into making who we are, and how can we give ourselves the freedom to grow and change over time?
  • What does “self-concept” mean?
  • Where does self-concept come from?
  • Different ways to understand childhood development
  • Why is it so hard for people to change?
  • Social forces that prevent us from changing
  • Do you really want it?
  • We can change if we’re willing to take risks
  • Trusting yourself, and feeling validated


How to Change Your Brain

Everything you think, feel, and do is based on stuff that's happening in your brain. This means that by changing what happens in our brain, we can affect every other process in our lives. Check out this video where Forrest Hanson talks about how to use the power of "positive neuroplasticity" to change your brain for good.


What do you think about getting vaccinated against Covid-19? I’ve heard different things, and I fear for the future for my children and grandchildren.

I am offering my personal opinion here about general matters of public health, and not giving medical advice about any individual situation. You should talk with a physician if you have specific questions about your own health.

I have gotten a lot of value from holistic health practices. I’m concerned about the potential impact of multiple vaccinations delivered all at once to particularly vulnerable infants, and I’m skeptical of the profit motives of large pharmaceutical companies. I understand why people could have reservations about Covid-19 vaccines.

That said, I have received the vaccine myself and am very glad about it. Covid-19 is deadly for many: as of mid-February, it’s killed nearly 500,000 people in America and over 2,400,000 people worldwide. And it causes lingering health problems for 1 in 8 of those it does not kill.

Covid-19 is an extremely infectious and dangerous plague. So it’s remarkable that the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine prevents virtually everyone who gets it from dying or needing to be hospitalized. And about 95% of the people who receive it will never experience any Covid-19 symptoms at all. This is the main purpose of the vaccine – keep people from dying or needing to be hospitalized – and in terms of that purpose, it is very very successful.

By protecting ourselves, we increase the protection of others. Without widespread vaccination, what’s the alternative plan? Stay hunkered down for another year or two while this plague slowly spreads to infect 80-90% of us as we develop “herd immunity?”
This approach would continue to disrupt people’s jobs and lives while leading to the deaths of roughly 1% of us, with higher percentages in middle-aged and older people. That’s about 2-3 million Americans – and many more worldwide. Meanwhile, the virus would have opportunities to mutate and get even more infectious and deadly.

In terms of potential side effects, 35,000 people participated in the trials that tested the vaccine, and there were very few serious side effects. Over a long period, in the millions of people who will get the vaccine, it is possible that a tiny percentage of them will develop serious side effects. Someone who is elderly and frail, or who has a very weak immune system, might weigh the risks and make a reasonable choice not to get the vaccine, while staying extremely Covid-safe meanwhile.

But in most cases: The risks to oneself in getting the vaccine are much, much less than the risks to oneself and to others of not getting it.

We humans are one single tribe. We breathe together, we touch each other, and we live and die together. We balance individual choices with the common good.

I, too, have children (though not yet grandchildren, darn). Our children and grandchildren are facing much greater challenges than receiving a proven and life-saving vaccine against a terrible plague that is even now spreading invisibly among us. And despite these challenges, I am very hopeful about the world that these young people will mend and make together.


Overcoming Vaccine Phobia

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett was on the team of immunologists that developed the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 and she's now one of many Black scientists sharing the science behind vaccines to help people overcome their fears.

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