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Mindsight Essay

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Mindsight Essay

Mindsight, according to Dr. Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of

Medicine, is “the way we can focus attention on the nature of the internal world” (PsychAlive,

2009). The concept of mindsight appears to be largely in alignment with one’s self-awareness

and understanding of his or her place in the world, as well as his or her ability to change the

structure of the brain. Mindsight is, at the minimum, how people become aware of themselves

and their emotions, behaviors, values, and more, as well as how they exhibit empathy and

sympathy for others (Siegel, 2017). It is an internal and external experience and a construct that

is “larger than insight.” Unlike mindfulness, mindsight is about being present and aware of all

that is happening and then modifying if and when necessary. Mindfulness is about being still,

and mindsight is about taking intentional action to change the course of one’s life. Learning

about mindsight has shown me a new way to create my place in the world. Mindfulness,

meditation, and similar activities have been difficult concepts for me to master as they require a

stillness that is not innate to me. Learning about myself, the self as a concept, and mindsight has

shown me that I can be quiet enough to understand my own personal power and become

enlightened by it, creating a call to action to become the alchemist of my own life.

Dr. Siegel has also explained that through mindsight people are able to change their

brands, improve relationships, and stop self-limiting patterns (PsychAlive, 2009). His

perspective is physical and cognitive in nature and requires focusing attention on the structure of

the mind itself. By doing this, the brain can be rewired and regulate nervous system functions in

an entirely new way. As someone whose emotions can get the best of them, taking the time to

concentrate on wiring my brain in a new way would be beneficial. Knowing what I know now,

mindsight is a concept that I would like to integrate into my life as a consistent practice. The

brain, Siegel says, is a mechanism that governs how our information flows but can also be

changed. Mindsight seems like a motivational force that empowers people to change their lives,

seeing the brain and changing its shape. Siegel has said that the word “mindsight” is a mere

invention of his own (Greater Good Science Center, 2010), but in practice, it promotes mental


Learning from Dan Siegel has opened my mind to how I can be the creator of my own

life. The brain is elastic and open to changes throughout the lifespan and with this information, I

can change the way I experience emotions, the way I give and receive energy to others, and my

relationships with others. Mindsight is a form of strengthening the mind and using the brain’s

adaptability and flexibility to one’s full advantage. Central to the concept of mindsight is

integration which Dr. Siegel explains as “the linkage of differentiated parts” that are connected

to each other when allowed to separately flourish (Siegel, 2007). The different states of being

and the emotions accompanying them that each individual has can be integrated to better relate

to others and to have a more secure sense of self. Mindsight appears to be a shift in the view of

one’s world and is highly emotional, centering compassion, transmutation, and harmony. In my

opinion, an open and mindful brain is a powerful weapon to have. Dr. Siegel’s concept of

mindsight is quite mystical and less medicinal to me, but it is one that I welcome into my own

journey of mental health.



Greater Good Science Center. (12, November 2010). Daniel Siegel: What is mindsight? [Video].

YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jwGU7h2HdY

PsychAlive. (18, December 2009). Dr. Dan Siegel- on how you can change your brain. [Video].

YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4tR5Ebc4Mw&feature=youtu.be

Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-

being. W.W. Norton & Company.

Siegel, D. (n.d.). What is mindsight? An interview with Dr. Dan Siegel. PsychAlive.