Master These Two States of Consciousness and You Can Overcome Any Challenge

#Accomplish almost anything by #mastering these 2 #brain states. #brainhacking #fullyalive

Society is waking up to the powerful effects of mindfulness on the brain. However, most people (even research scientists) don't realize that different forms of mindfulness yield different benefits. Which one is right for you? It depends on your goals.

There are now over 3000 studies showing that mindfulness is the most important skill that one can master to improve cognitive function, lower stress and enhance emotional intelligence. Yet, many are unclear on what mindfulness is.

Broadly defined, mindfulness is a state of awareness in which you remain anchored in the present moment, allowing thoughts and feelings to flow through your consciousness without judgement.

The two forms of this awareness are: focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM). Both types of mindfulness have very different effects on the brain, and different advantages.

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Focused Attention:

In FA, as the name implies, you literally “focus your attention” on a specific sound, object, or experience such as watching or counting your breath or listening intently to the sound of a bell. When thoughts or feelings intrude, you notice them without judgment and then bring your attention back to the focused activity. You gain greater control over your emotions and your ability to concentrate on work tasks is enhanced.

Open Monitoring:

In OM, you do the opposite of FA. You just observe all the different thoughts, feelings, sensations, or memories that constantly flow in and out of conscious awareness. You let your mind wander and daydream, observing the spontaneous shifting in consciousness and awareness. In this state, both your intuition and creative problem-solving skills can be enhanced.

#Accomplish almost anything by #mastering these two #brain states #focus #mindfulness

Each of these forms of meditation has specific neurological and cognitive benefits. Used together they can increase your ability to integrate states of alertness and relaxation. You'll enhance your ability to observe the creativity of your mind-wandering. You may discover fascinating insights that way. Plus, you'll improve your ability to monitor excessive mind-wandering that distracts you from your goals.

If you master these states, you'll have a powerful tool to solve virtually any problem or obstacle you encounter. And as you get better at it, you'll find solutions in a matter of minutes. Over time, you'll be able to play these beautiful neuroelectrical patterns like a piano and radically accelerate your progress towards anything you want in life.

Focused attention, open monitoring and loving kindness meditation: effects on attention, conflict monitoring, and creativity – A review
Dominique P. Lippelt, Bernhard Hommel, Lorenza S. Colzato
Front Psychol. 2014; 5: 1083. Published online 2014 Sep 23.
Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking.
Colzato LS, Ozturk A, Hommel B.
Front Psychol. 2012 Apr 18;3:116.


This post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. He is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a cognitive coach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain.

David Lynch on How to Capture the Flow of Creativity

David Lynch on How to Capture the #Flow of #Creativity

The Atlantic captured David Lynch's insights about the nature of inspiration and how to harness creativity in this beautiful animation.

Everything that we do starts with an idea. We don’t know what to do unless we have an idea. Ideas are like fish - and you don’t make the fish, you catch the fish.

Desiring an idea is like putting a bait on a hook and lowering it in the water. You can catch ideas from daydreaming, or you can catch ideas from places. If you think that maybe a place could conjure ideas, then you have to go out of the house and go traveling.

You can be going down the street, see a reflection on a little pot of pool and the gutter - and *BANG* an idea will come. Who knows how it happens?

I always say it’s like there’s a man in another room with the whole film together, but they’re in puzzle parts. And he’s flipping one piece at a time into me. And, at first it’s very abstract. I don’t know have a clue. More pieces come, more ideas are caught. It starts forming a thing. And then one day, there it is. So… in a way, there’s no original ideas. It’s just the ideas that you caught. The thing is to be true to the idea

A lot of artists think that suffering is necessary, but in reality, any kind of suffering cramps the flow of creativity. Let’s say that with Van Gogh, every time he went out and painted got diarrhea. It wouldn’t be so good for him to go out. You’d have to be really crazy.

Happiness “in the doing” is so important. I always say it’s our life going by…. [With creativity flowing], ideas are easier to catch - and ideas that could take you out of “drudgery work” and lead you to some… fantastic things.

Trillions and zillions of ideas and they’re all there bubbling and ready to be caught.
— David Lynch

The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.

The Best Way to Access Your Creativity

The Best Way to Access Your #Creativity at Work

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.

Contrary to what many believe, creativity is not something that you need to stir up within yourself. In fact, it naturally occurs in your brain several times an hour. But how does one best tap into the creative brain? How does one make space for it in a busy work environment? 

By practicing the steps below for 60 seconds every hour, you can dramatically improve your ability to access your creativity.

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Deeply relax
  3. Invite your brain to daydream

What happens next

Thoughts and feelings will bounce around chaotically. That's creative mind-wandering. Watch it without interfering because this is your brain's way to solve the problems you've been working on. Now throw yourself back into work and notice how your productivity increases as your stress levels drop.


Before your 60-second daydreaming break, ask your brain a question you want solved. Then let your mind wander. Afterward, ask your intuition for an insight and pay attention to anything your creative imagination suggests. It may be golden advice!

Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.