23 Jun 2010 |
Posted by Lama Surya Das | 0 Comment.
There’s a great deal of significant new neorioscience research about meditation and it’s effects on the brain, beuroplasticity, our happiness and well being, led by pioneers including Dr Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and Dr Richard Davidson of U. of Wisconsin, etc.
My Buddhist friend in Oregon, Donald Altman, known as “America’s Mindfulness Coach”, has a new blog. He writes: “I am always in awe at the human brain (any brain, for that matter—cat, dog, bird, fish, etc.). Human brains in particular are exceedingly complex. Imagine 100 billion neurons with more connections than there all the known stars in the universe. There’s almost nothing it’s not capable of…well, maybe one thing. Ignoring negativity is hard for us. Negative events are like Velcro to the brain!
Is there someone at work who annoys you—and you know you’ll remember it until the day you die? Do you still recall the nasty and insensitive comment your sister (brother, parent, friend, fill-in-the blank) made back in 1993? Don’t feel bad—your brain is wired that way!
Your brain has what is called “a negativity bias” which means that its survival programming constantly scans for anything that might go wrong. And when it does, the brain remembers this so it can avoid it next time. Of course, you can’t always avoid your boss who may be under stress herself or distressing daily news.
Here are 3 strategies for rewiring your natural inclination for glomming onto doom and gloom
1) Take five slow, deeper than normal breathes. Notice how good this feels! These will shift your focus and turn on the body’s relaxation system.
2) Remember a time when you were feeling joyful and happy. This can be a time when you were with a friend, a pet, or any other situation where you felt positive. Recall all the details about that event, letting yourself completely soak it in.
3) Call someone who makes you laugh or feel good. Meet them for a cup of coffee and make this good time last. Look for times like this throughout the day where you can find and share enjoyment with others.”