Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success - Integrating the science of
mind, body and brain
B Grace Bullock, PhD
Why do we struggle in relationships, and cause harm?
Why do we ruminate over the same thoughts, and re-enact the same patterns of behavior?
Why do organizations and systems fail to thrive?
Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success integrates the science of mind, body and brain to reveal how chronic stress undermines our social bonds, and what we can do about it. Chronic stress puts our minds and bodies in a state of imbalance, threatening important relational capacities like accurate appraisal, effective coping, emotion-regulation, and coherent communication, and increasing the risk that we will attack, defend, or withdraw from others. This inspirational and accessible book introduces an evidence-rich approach that synthesizes research in neuroscience, psychophysiology, cognitive-behavioral psychology, and mindfulness to alleviate stress, increase self-awareness, self-regulation, compassion, and emotional intelligence, and create resilient social bonds. Filled with sound science, engaging stories and experiential exercises, Mindful Relationships will change the way that you relate to your life and those in it.
Table of Contents
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
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
Published by Handspring Publishing
Advanced Praise for Mindful Relationships!
"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, Ph.D.
Best selling 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 groundbreaking 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 & 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 if the Heart
“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, a scientist, and a 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!”
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!"
Chair, Society for Organizational Learning NA Council and President, Reidy Associates Leadership Development & Executive Coaching
"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, 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 21rst 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 into healthy, supportive, creative relationships."
Senior Fellow, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
“B Grace Bullock’s book Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success is a powerful and user-friendly discussion of what it really takes to develop healthy relationships in the modern world. Her paradigm-shifting explorations explain the role of stress on the relationships we have with our selves as well as with the people around us. Dr Bullocks’ mastery of the integration of practice, philosophy, and psychology is evident here. Her expert voice allows the reader to incorporate techniques immediately into everyday life. This is a must-have book for anyone who wants to experience healthy relationships that support their overall well-being.”
Felicia Tomasko, RN, E-RYT-500
Editor in Chief of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine, President of Bliss Network.
"Elegantly written, meticulously researched, and astonishingly comprehensive, Mindful Relationships is the definitive resource for anyone interested in understanding the origins of relationship troubles and how to heal them. As a scientist and clinician, Bullock is a passionate educator who can explain the neuroscience of stress and the psychological foundation of love in ways useful to us all. From polyvagal and attachment theory 101, Bullock takes us through her own journey of awakening to the power of breath to affect healing for herself and her clients. Mindful Relationships will be an important resource for my own work going forward!"
Amy Weintraub,MFA, E-RYT500
Author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists
"B Grace Bullock has done the world a great service in writing this book. Her work brings together all aspects of the true relationship experience: what we think, what we feel, how we act and speak, and most importantly, how our bodies and minds register these in real time. It is a valuable contribution to relational science, and an easy pathway to creating better connections with those around us."
Founding member of the Kripalu Center and Past Chief Executive at the Omega Institute
"There is nothing more important than our relationships with ourselves and each other. Yet, there are few resources to help us negotiate these critical and sometimes complicated waters. We all want supportive and effective relationships and most of us just don't know how to make that happen. This important and timely text provides the scientific context, knowledge, and tools needed for deepening personal insight and tools for positive, effective relationship. This book is a must have for those of use who want deeper more meaningful relationships."
Catherine Cook Cottone, PhD
Professor U Buffalo, Yoga and Mindfulness Researcher, Author of Mindfulness and Yoga for Self Regulation
"Mindful Relationships is a skillful and engaging account of both the science and the consequences and lived experience of the seven skills leading to better relationships for ourselves and others. From the exuberance of someone committed to supporting thriving and joy to the balanced and clear evidence and exercises, Grace's unique background, wisdom and deep commitment shines through each of the chapters."
Daniel Barbezat, PhD
Executive Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Professor Amherst College,
“Comprehensively founded in current research and a wealth of personal and professional experience as a scientist, psychologist, educator, and contemplative practitioner, in this book B. Grace Bullock has integrated seven practical, accessible skills in the acronym BREATHE designed to deepen and strengthen our relationships with ourselves and others. But make no mistake: This is much more than a mindfulness-based self-help book. From understanding the breath to uncovering the stories we tell ourselves to increasing prosocial behavior, Dr. Bullock seamlessly weaves wisdom and knowledge from the fields of neuroscience, mindfulness, and psychology to create a coherent and truly compelling narrative of human nature and the central importance of authentic connectedness to ourselves and to others. And to her great credit, she does so by skillfully incorporating ideas that exhibit, time and again, a deep understanding for the depth and rigor of these disciplines. Dr. Bullock’s ability to synthesize a diversity of information clearly and insightfully is a true gift for those who want to be more deeply connected to themselves and others, and for those professionals who work with people striving to improve their lives by bettering their relationships.”
Kelly M. Birch, ERYT-500, PYT 500
Editor in chief, Yoga Therapy Today