Research & Articles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Mindfulness

Post published by Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on Mar 06, 2013 in Compassion Matters

 

Teaching ourselves to calm down and to be more receptive than reactive is a practice made possible through mindfulness techniques. Whether learning to meditate or merely to tune in with ourselves at various times throughout our day, we are enhancing our ability to feel more integrated and to act with integrity. We improve our ability to focus our attention. We are better able to slow the racing thoughts that lead us to engage in limiting or self-sabotaging behaviors. We strengthen our resilience and enhance our capacity to experience the joys of everyday life.

 

 

Mindfulness and EMDR Therapy

Jason N. Linder, MA, LMFT

 

Both EMDR and mindfulness therapies are present-oriented, helping clients notice what they are currently experiencing and feeling as transitory events in consciousness, not fixed traits, without judgment or self-criticism. Both are essentially present-time, nonjudgmental awareness. Both involve trusting the process as it organically unfolds, what Alan Watts (1951) called the “wisdom of insecurity.” As EMDR trainers Jaime Marich and Stephen Dansiger point out, they naturally go complement each other.

 

 

 

Harvard Study Unveils What Meditation Literally Does To The Brain

Arjun Walia, December 11, 2014 

 

An eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brains grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter.

 

“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life. Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.” – (1) Britta Holzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany

 

 

 

 

7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change The Brain

Alice G. Walton, FORBES, PHARMA & HEALTHCARE 2/09/2015 

 

The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. 

 

 

 

The Art of Now:  Six Steps to Living in the Moment

Jay Dixit, published November 1, 2008 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

 

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past. "We're living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence," says Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace. We're always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.

When we're at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don't appreciate the living present because our "monkey minds," as Buddhists call them, vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

 

 

Search for Meaning:   Existential-humanistic psychologists hope to promote the idea that therapy can change not only minds but lives.

Michael Price, Monitor on Psychology, November 2011, Vol 42, No. 10, American Psychological Assn.

 

Many areas of psychology are great at answering such questions as how stress influences mood or why depression can lead to substance abuse. But what if you want answers broader than a diagnosis or a neurochemical explanation for why your brain does what it does? What if you want to know how to lead a fuller, richer life, not just change a problematic behavior?

You might consider existential-humanistic psychology, which seeks to give clients a greater awareness of how their constellation of pleasures, worries, thrills and anxieties all come together to form their experience of living.

 
 

The Optimism Revolution

Psychology Today: Jill Neimark, published May 1, 2007 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

 

Optimism has long been considered a straightforward asset when battling illness or adversity. And, broadly speaking, it is. Harvard graduates who were optimists at age 25 had better health outcomes for the next three decades. As Dossey explains, "Optimists have more stable cardiovascular systems, more responsive immune systems, and less of a hormonal response to stress compared to pessimists. They have a stronger sense of self-efficacy, so they're more likely to invoke healthier behaviors because they think it can make a difference." 

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