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The Happiness Track: Rest Within Yourself

<em>Edit Article</em> The Happiness Track: Rest Within Yourself

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Learn how to take a vacation within your own mind.

I became a mother a year-and-a-half ago. Before that, I was busy writing a book and articles, working full-time at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, and volunteering up to 20 hours a week teaching yoga-based breathing to veterans with trauma. I loved creating above everything else—letting inspiration alight and sitting down to bring my thoughts to life. And then little Michael came along. My heart was full of love and gratitude and I cried tears of joy almost every day. Yet I also noticed something else. My productivity decreased by 95 percent. I was keeping a baby alive, warm, fed, and rested, yet nothing else was getting accomplished. I was lucky if I got a shower and a short meditation—a nap was unthinkable. Hours upon hours were spent breastfeeding and taking care of an adorable and highly vulnerable little man. My heart felt full, but my mind was going crazy. I was so used to getting things done. I would have writing ideas and would long to complete them. Yet I realistically could not do them. The experience of spending a whole da …

About the Author

Emma Seppala

Emma Seppälä, PhD, is author of The Happiness Track, founder of, and Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

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