Habits & Rhythms

Healthy spiritual practices and regular rhythms that allow us to slow down to gain insight, connect to love, and energize into purposeful endeavors. 

Healthy habits help us grow.

Although human tendency often propels us to be creatures of habit, for better or for worse, we also have equal capacity for agency. This means we have the power to make choices about our lives and the habits we form. We can choose to habituate spiritual practices that help us come wholly alive and thrive, and they don’t have to take much time. A practice can be as simple as intentionally taking someone else’s perspective. Essential to spiritual health is adopting practices and rhythms that allow us to regulate our attention, emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and to set goals. We need practices that help us connect more deeply with ourselves, others, and God. It’s crucial that we take in sacred texts and instruction from wise sources, but also that we include practices that prompt us to reflect on our lives and increase our awareness of who we are and what matters to us. Good practices help us make sense of and become more resilient to the inevitable suffering in life, while also growing our capacity to show love.

A curated content list

Discover more about habits and rhythms

The Big Picture on Thriving & Spiritual Health — Season One Wrap Up with Dr. Pam King & Dr. Jill Westbrook

Dr. Pam King and Dr. Jill Westbrook take a look back on the first season of With & For and its unique approach to exploring thriving and spiritual health. Together they draw upon insights from the twelve expert guests featured in this inaugural season—reflecting on their wisdom, and pulling key moments from each conversation to weave a tapestry of interdisciplinary scientific research, diverse spiritual perspectives, and practical guidance for a life of thriving.

Responding to Trauma: Psychological Tools for Resilience and Recovery with Dr. Cynthia Eriksson

Whole human thriving includes the ability to feel, deal, and heal when we encounter trauma. Psychologist Cynthia Eriksson (Fuller School of Psychology) wants to help us understand the human response to pain, suffering, tragedy, and grief. She’s finding that resilience and recovery comes through a spiritually and therapeutically informed approach that prizes vulnerability, honesty, emotional grounding, attention to our bodies, and mutual presence with and for others. Includes a Meditative Exercise: Cynthia Eriksson guides listeners through a Grounding Practice for Emotional and Embodied Connection. Note: This episode contains content about trauma. Listener discretion is advised.

Cultivating a Healthy Mind: The Neuroscience of Awareness, Connection, Insight, & Purpose with Dr. Richie Davidson

What is a healthy mind? Do you practice mental hygiene? Dr. Richie Davidson’s mission is to cultivate wellbeing as a skill, and relieve suffering through a scientific understanding of the human mind. As a pioneering neuroscientist, a mindfulness and meditation teacher, and a global public advocate and guide—he has been a proponent for healing, wellbeing, and social change, finding evidence that awareness, connection, insight, and purpose are the pillars of a healthy mind—and woven through it all, is compassion. Includes two real-time meditative practices to help integrate empirical and spiritual insights with a practical way of being.

Screen Time: Here’s What Happened When I Took my Kids’ Screens (Part 2)

Writer Amy Dunn tells us that taking screens away marked her. "I watched my kids immediately become completely lost in their own imaginations for not just minutes, but hours and hours."

Screen Time: How Much Do We Pay for Our Screen Time Subscriptions? (Part 3)

What are the real costs of our screen time? How can you become more mindful for yourself and your children? Writer, Amy Dunn, explores this question and more in Part 3 of a 3-part series.

How Can Savoring Improve Your Quality of Life?

Can we increase our feelings of happiness simply by noticing when we are happy? Research is teaching us there is a way and a benefit to observing our own happiness through the practice of savoring.

Feeling burned out? Research shows that Play might be the Answer.

Play is vitally important for adults as well as youth. Here’s how to play more and add spontaneity back in your life to avoid burn-out.

A Practice: Small Acts of Love—An invitation to create and explore

Is it possible to create a more loving world? Practices that link us to our senses support our ability to love.

Why Can’t I Change? How Flexibility Might Be the Key to Getting Unstuck (Part 2)

We can thrive by flexibly facing change, rather than avoiding it. This post is Part 2 of a two-part series.

Why Can’t I Change? How Flexibility Might Be the Key to Getting Unstuck (Part 1)

We can thrive by flexibly facing change, rather than avoiding it. This post is Part 1 of a two-part series.

A Practice: Shift Your Inner Critic to an Inner Nurturer

Here's how to shift your inner critic to the inner nurturer by teaching your body that you can also find strength in being tender with yourself.  

A Practice: Values-Based Living

Identifying your values to figure out how you would like to show up in pursuit of what matters most to you

Change is Challenging: How Psychological Flexibility Can Make Change Your Ally

Change is inevitable, but can be challenging. A practice of psychological flexibility - becoming open, centered, and engaged - can help us grow our lives toward what matters most.

Pursuing Goals: The Castle, the Estate, and The Long Walk

Guest blogger, Amy Dunn, reflects on being present in the day to day of our lives as we pursue goals and purpose. The journey is where we live, even as we keep our eye on a telos.

Dropping Anchor: How Can We Stay Steady During Change?

What support systems buoy us on our journeys? Blogger, Amy Dunn, offers some ideas and practices to keep us steady during times of change and transition.

A Practice: Lamenting with Movement

Lament is a constructive way to embrace suffering. It aligns our emotions and beliefs, and invites us to action. 

A Practice: Reflecting on Love and Goodness Towards Others

This practice helps build compassion for the struggles of others by shifting our perspective and imagining how we can offer love.

Well-Being: Four Essential Pillars Backed by Science

Research has identified four aspects of the mind that exhibit plasticity, and it turns out that we can practice to make our minds healthier.

A Radical Idea: Becoming Skilled in Our Own Well-being

Wellbeing is something we can actively cultivate through practice, or through a practice of "mental hygiene."

We Really Can’t Do it All: Destigmatizing Human Limitations to Reclaim Joy

Reclaim joy through examining the rhythms of your life. A series of questions will help you explore.

Micro-dosing Rest to Avoid Burnout

How do we create regular rhythms between work and rest?

Burnout Culture: Is it Possible to Rest and Achieve?

How do we address the problem of burnout in our modern society?

A Practice: 5 As of Agility Worksheet

Download this worksheet and work through the practices. We recommend working with a friend and discussing your answers.

Do your Habits Promote Growth and Support your Purpose?

Healthy practices help us live into our values, reflect on our choices, and connect us with others and God.

A Practice: Who’s at Your Table?

Connect to your spiritual source with this practice.

Want more Love and Goodness? Savor Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to attend to goodness. The goodness of gifts, the goodness of givers, and the goodness of ourselves as receivers.

Take a Breath: How Breath Work Provides a Portal to Our Spiritual Lives

Paying attention to the pattern of our breath is a spiritual practice with power to gain insight into meaning and change our lives.

Do you have practices to support healthy spirituality?

Nurturing our spiritual health involves times of reflection and connection to our body, mind, and emotions.

Growing Forward: Questions to Promote Love and Meaning

If you want to train your brain out of anxiety and/or discover more about yourself, find a trusted friend or small group and work through these questions

A Practice: Observing the Body for Understanding

A daily spiritual practice focusing on embodied emotions provides insight into what matters most and informs purpose.

Want to become more present, healthy, and connected? Pay attention to your body (Part 2)

Our emotions are linked to how we make meaning of our lives, and attending to our embodied emotional selves leads to spiritual health.

Want to become more present, healthy, and connected? Pay attention to your body (Part 1)

Thrive Fellow, Lauren Van Vranken, offers practices for reconnecting to our bodies and asks us to think about our relationship to our embodied selves.

The Power of Pausing in Gratitude

Gratitude affect happiness and wellbeing primarily through positive relationships. We finding that beliefs matters toward experiences and practices of gratitude.

A Practice: Using the 5 A’s to Slow down and Offer Thanks

Practicing gratitude can change your life. Use the 5 As mindfulness practice to offer thanks and live into a practice of gratitude.

A Practice: How might we access the transcendent?  

Accessing the transcendent can be pursued with tangible practices.

Thriving through Trauma: Five R’s for Resilience and Recovery

Dr. Cynthia Eriksson offers a 5-tier framework for recovery from trauma and offers practices for regulation and reflection.

A Practice in Emotional Regulation: Tending to our Inner Selves

Practice attention and emotion regulation using the following.

A Practice: The Five A’s for Agility in the Face of Change

Finding joy requires practice. Learn how you can be agile and experience more joy in your daily life through our 5-step process.

Growing Through Hardship: Practices for Resilience and Purpose

How do we build resilience and stay connected to purpose in the midst of suffering? Lauren Van Vranken shares 3 practices.

A Practice: The Five R’s of Resilience and Recovery

Cynthia Eriksson's psychological and theological framework points to 5 self-care practices to developing resilience and recovery.

A Practice: The Five B’s of Thriving by Accessing God’s Love

Our research-based framework highlights the 5 modes in which we can actively develop and strengthen your thriving "muscles."

Positive signs posted on gate

Strength Training for Thriving: How to Build our Mental Health Muscles

As mental health awareness grows, Pamela King reflects on the tools we need to live coherent, purposeful lives.

Up view of forest

New Rhythms: How Can I Grow my Daily Spiritual Practices?

Dr. Pamela King invites us to find daily spiritual practices that will draw us closer to ourselves, others and God.

The Church and Trauma in Times of the Pandemic (A Workshop for Clergy and Faith Leaders)

Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary emotional turmoil and stress in the United States and globally. As first responders in crises, clergy and faith leaders have to contend with increasing grief and trauma reactions in their faith communities. Faith leaders must understand and recognize trauma, and its multidimensional impact in times such as these. This webinar provided practical and faith-based tips to reduce stress and promote resilience and trauma healing in the clergy and their faith communities. Psychologists, Lisseth Rojas-Flore and Joseph Currier and theologian, Tommy Givens also address critical theological insights in responses to trauma and recovery.   Additional Resources When Your Whole World Changes, COVID-19 Special Ed.—Downloadable devotions and resources by Biblica (also available in 30 languages). COVID-19, ICE, and the Betrayal of Latino Children—Article by Lisseth Rojas-Flores on FULLER Studio.

Mindful Parenting During COVID-19

Summary Parenting can be challenging and stressful, especially during an ongoing pandemic. Mindfulness experts and clinical psychologists, Joey Fung and Patricia Broderick discuss how parents and caregivers can practice mindful parenting at home. In this webinar, you will learn: (1) how to manage stress and anxiety related to parenting, (2) ways to address emotional exhaustion and caregiver fatigue, (3) how to model and practice mindfulness in the family, and (4) how to practice self-compassion as a method for self-care.   Additional Resources Guide to Applying Mindful Parenting Based on webinar, Joey Fung outlines ways parents and caregivers can integrate mindful parenting practices to their daily lives, as well as how they can cultivate self-compassion and gratitude. How to Practice Mindful Breathing Patricia Broderick shares a step-by-step guide on how parents and caregivers can practice mindful breathing and self-compassion…

A Practice: 4-Step Mindful Breathing Exercise

Practicing mindful breathing can help us pause, check in with our bodies, manage our emotions, and redirect our attention.

Tips for Thriving Through Unpredictable Times

Move from surviving to thriving by using the six tips in this post. Explore the links for deeper understanding.

Dad Jokes: Science Agrees we Need More Laughter

Research shows that humor can ease stress during hard times. Dr. Susan Mangan shares 3 evidence-based practices to help us get started.

A Practice: The Five A’s of Agility

Part of our journey towards thriving involves agility. Pamela King explains how we can be agile through a 5-step process.

Resiliency Part 1: Bending not Breaking During Hard Times

Dr. Pam King shares 8 tips on how to simplify and thrive during challenging times.

Resiliency Part 2: Thriving for the Long Haul

Dr. Pamela King reviews the elements of a thriving mindset, providing tips on how to pursue purpose and agility.

Kids and Anxious Minds (Part 2): Practices to Help Kids Cope During Times of Anxiety

Student researchers share 3 research-based techniques to increase relaxation, support positive behaviors, and create a structured routine for kids.

Kids and Anxious Minds (Part 1): How Parents Can Support Children Struggling with Anxiety

Student researchers recommend 3 evidence-based interventions that parents can use to help regulate kids' stress and emotions at home.

It’s Okay to Let Your Child be Bored This Summer

Written during the Summer of 2020, this post maintains wisdom for parents about the importance of unstructured time and play.

Mindful Parenting: The Importance of Creating Space from Within

Dr. Joey Fung emphasizes the importance of mindful parenting and how parents can thrive during this pandemic.

Woman looking out

Six Tips for Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty

A key to thriving is learning how to respond to our emotions in the face of loss, grief, and pain. Here are 6 ways you can start doing this.

Grief and Mindfulness: How to Manage Your Emotions

Dr. Joey Fung discusses the myths of grief, offering 3 ways mindfulness can help us manage our emotions during times of grief.

Girl reading sacred text

Staying Grounded, Connected, and Directed

Dr. Pam King discusses how spirituality can help us stay grounded, connected, and directed throughout difficult challenges.

Mindfulness: The Importance of Checking In with Your Body

Dr. Joey Fung shares 5 mindfulness practices to help us check in with our bodies and manage grief during change and difficult times.

A Practice: Embracing Self-Compassion During Times of Grief

Guest blogger, Stephanie Trudeau talks collective loss and how we can approach our feelings with compassion and grace.

Girl laying on table

Activities for Busting the Blues

Dr. Susan Mangan shares activities that help build resilience and beat the blues.

Girl on a prayer walk

Protecting Our Spiritual Health

Guest blogger, Dr. Angela Gorrell emphasizes the importance of nurturing our spiritual health in order to thrive during COVID-19.

Mother embracing daughter

Mindful Parenting Practices for Stressful Times

We share 4 mindful parenting practices to help parents become more engaged and less stressed when interacting with teens.

Family laughing at home

Practices to Boost Positive Emotions at Home

Dr. Susan Mangan provides 3 at-home exercises that can increase our positive emotions during times of difficulty.

GIrl contemplating

Changing Our Focus from Surviving to Thriving

Dr. Pamela King reflects on the importance of contemplative practices as the key to thriving during difficulty.

Aspire to Inspire: Learning the Mamba Mentality for Every Day Greatness

Dr. Stephanie Trudeau breaks down the Mamba Mentality framework and offers tips for how to integrate it into our own lives.

Inspiring Kids to Adopt a Posture of Gratitude

What does research tell us about gratitude? Explore the key benefits of gratitude and how you can nurture it in kids.

Top Apps for Thriving

When used properly, technology can help us thrive. Our research team shares the 9 apps that can boost relationships, beliefs, and purpose.

Spiritual Practices

Summary Pamela Ebstyne King, executive of the Thrive Center, shares a variety of practices that have helped her spiritual life, including Ignatian spiritual exercises, silence, and carefully reflecting on achievable goals.   Author’s Note This interview was originally published on FULLER Studio.   About the Author Pamela Ebstyne King Pamela Ebstyne King is the executive director of the Thrive Center and serves as the Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her primary academic interests are applied research at the intersection of human thriving and spiritual development. Dr. King’s work combines theology, empirical research, and community engagement to further understand what contexts and settings enable all people to thrive.

Parents playing basketball with their kids

What My Parents Did Right (When It Came to Sports)

A student researcher shares the integral role his parents played in fostering positive youth development through sports.

Coach and young athlete laughing

The 10 Commandments of Coaching

Learn about the 10 research-backed techniques coaches can adopt to positively influence a young athlete's development. 

71 Content Resources

Do your habits promote growth and support your purpose?

Healthy practices help us live into our values, reflect on our choices, and connect us with others and God.

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