This nifty infographic is a great introduction to neuroplasticity

It’s startling to think about how we’ve got a spaceship billions of miles away rendezvousing with Pluto, yet here on Earth there are major aspects of our own anatomy that we’re almost completely ignorant about. We’ve climbed Everest, sent men to the moon, and invented the Internet — but we still don’t know how our brains work. The positive outlook is that many health, science, and research specialists believe we’re on the precipice of some major neuroscientific breakthroughs.

One example of a recent discovery with major implications is our further understanding of neuroplasticity. Simply put, we used to think our brain was what it was — unchangeable, unalterable. We were stuck with what nature gave us. In actuality, our brains are like plastic. We can alter neurochemistry to change beliefs, thoughts processes, emotions, etc. You are the architect of your brain. You also have the power to act against dangerous impulses such as addiction. The therapeutic possibilities here are endless.

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Meditação para crianças e seus benefícios para a vida

 

A meditação para crianças é uma técnica que auxilia os pequenos a lidarem com situações que promovam estresse, falta de paciência e desequilíbrios emocionais. Não se engane! Esses comportamentos não impactam apenas os adultos. Pais, educadores e estudiosos afirmam que as crianças também precisam de métodos que os ajudam a desenvolver resiliência.

Leia neste artigo como os treinos para lidar com situações que exijam autocontrole podem colaborar para o desenvolvimento na infância, como eles vêm crescendo nas escolas, os principais benefícios identificados e dicas de como aplicar.

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Overcome your fear factor

Fear and worry got you down? Here’s how to calm these feelings.

Have you grown more worried and fearful about life over the years? You aren’t alone. Research has shown that feelings of fear, general anxiety, and nervousness tend to rise with age.

These negative feelings can manifest in many ways. You could be more concerned about your financial future, the risk of a new or returning health problem or injury, or as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, changes in world events.

“People become more fearful about daily life because they worry a setback will come at any time, and it’s something they can’t control,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital.

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Why Men Need Mind-Body Medicine Now More Than Ever

 

Clink on the image for video – or here

I’m Dr Gregory Scott Brown, director of the Center for Green Psychiatry and affiliate faculty at the University of Texas Dell Medical School, reporting for Medscape on the importance of mind-body medicine for men.

Mind-body medicine focuses on how interactions within the mind, including thoughts, feelings, and emotions, relate to physical health and well-being. A mind-body practice could include guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, acupuncture, meditation, or yoga.

Let’s face it: Men are lukewarm when it comes to incorporating a mind-body practice into their own life. Many would rather go for 18 holes of golf, a pick-up game of basketball, or go spend time in the gym instead. Evidence, in fact, supports the idea that men are less likely to develop a meditation practice.

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Yoga in schools has ‘profound impact’ on behaviour

A project taking yoga classes into schools has helped children with social and emotional challenges, according to a head teacher.

The classes at Reedham Primary in Norfolk have been aimed at children with a range of special needs, including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The yoga teachers concentrate on techniques that promote a sense of calm and the trial has said to have given the children the ability to manage behaviour and respond to stress, anxiety and depression.

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Meditation in schools can markedly improve the lives of students

At first glance, Quiet Time – a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area – looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can’t sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds. I’ve spent lots of time in urban schools and have never seen anything like it.

This practice – meditation rebranded – deserves serious attention from parents and policymakers. An impressive array of studies shows that integrating meditation into a school’s daily routine can markedly improve the lives of students. If San Francisco schools Superintendent Richard Carranza has his way, Quiet Time could well spread citywide.

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Meditation’s Effects on Alpha Brain Waves

A new study out of Brown University has found that a form of mindfulness meditation known as MBSR may act as a “volume knob” for attention, changing brain wave patterns.

What is MBSR?
Originally developed by a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is based on mindfulness meditation techniques that have been practiced in some form or another for over two millennia. The 8-week MBSR program still follows some of the same principles of the original Buddhist practice, training followers to focus a “spotlight of attention” on different parts of their body. Eventually, it is hoped, practitioners learn to develop the same awareness of their mental states.

In the last 20 years, MBSR and a similar practice called mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been included in an increasing number of healthcare plans in the developed world. Some studies have shown that these practices can reduce distress in individuals with chronic pain and decrease risk of relapses into depression.

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Une journée de méditation modifie la régulation des gènes

Sa pratique influence l’expression de gènes impliqués dans l’inflammation, le métabolisme et le vieillissement des cellules, selon une équipe du Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon. Cet article est issu du magazine Sciences et Avenir n°875 daté janvier 2020.

Méditer pendant huit heures modifie la régulation de certains gènes ! Telle est la découverte étonnante qu’ont faite les équipes de Raphaëlle Chaix de l’unité d’éco-anthropologie du CNRS à Paris, et Perla Kaliman, de l’Université ouverte de Catalogne (Espagne), en collaboration avec Antoine Lutz, chercheur au Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon, et Richard Davidson, de l’université du Wisconsin à Madison (États-Unis).

Un effet sur l’expression des gènes pro-inflammatoires déjà démontré

Pour les besoins de l’étude, publiée en novembre 2019 dans la revue Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 17 volontaires entraînés à méditer et 17 témoins ont passé une journée sous la surveillance des scientifiques. Le premier groupe a été invité à méditer pendant huit heures, tandis que le second a pratiqué des activités de loisirs (lire, marcher, jouer à des jeux vidéo…). Deux prélèvements sanguins, en début et en fin de journée, ont permis de déterminer les modifications qui interviennent dans la régulation des gènes (épigénome) de chacun. “Déjà en 2014, nous avions montré que huit heures de méditation entraînent une diminution de l’expression des gènes pro-inflammatoires chez des méditants experts”, rappelle Perla Kaliman. Cette fois, les scientifiques ont voulu aller plus loin dans la compréhension du mécanisme moléculaire.

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Why being busy is a modern sickness

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the books from last century we can turn back to for guidance, Alan Watts’s The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety is particularly suited for this task. Published in 1951, Watts knew post-World War II America was ramping up at unsustainable social and technological speeds. More people were working more hours while offering more excuses as to why they were never really present—the word “more” being the constant catalyst of inattention and stress. He writes:

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