Health

How Shortening Your Meditation Can = Bigger Results

 How Shortening Your #Meditation Can = Bigger #Results | #Brain #Lifehacking #Mindfulness

It’s no secret that meditation and mindfulness are amazing practices for your brain. They make you healthier, smarter, and more fulfilled. Yet, despite best intentions, many struggle to find the time to engage in these life-changing practices.

Here’s good news: when it comes to meditation and mindfulness sessions, length doesn’t appear to matter. (And, of course, by “length”, I mean the length of time engaged in a given mindfulness exercise or meditation.) In fact, you may experience even more benefit by shortening your sessions.

Researchers in the 1990s believed it took 50-60 minutes of meditation practice a day to achieve brain benefits. Today, many people assume that you need to engage for some duration between 10 minutes to over 2 hours. But the latest research tells a different story: even 60 seconds of practice changes the brain in powerful ways.


Rewire Your Brain and Become the
Best Version of You

Get personalized cognitive training proven to
enhance the structure and functioning of the brain.


The research suggests that it’s the accumulated time that matters, not the session length. In fact, the data shows that shorter sessions, spread throughout the day, are much more effective in many ways.

With frequent, spread out, shorter sessions, mindfulness is more fully woven into the fabric of your life. This gives you a greater opportunity to more acutely leverage the brain-boosting effects to address everyday challenges at work or at home.

With this approach, the biggest obstacle can be remembering to engage with these states as the chaos of the day unfolds. That’s why we recommend you set some kind of timer to go off 1-4 times an hour. When it goes off, enjoy 60 seconds (give or take) to relax and engage in your choice of mindfulness practice.

 

One of my favorite tools for this is Awakeningbell.org. This site triggers Tibetan bell sounds at whatever time interval you choose. A recent study confirmed that focusing on the sound of a resonant bell helps the mind become more focused and attentive. A simple Google search will reveal several alternatives. And yes, there’s an app for that (actually several). After 60-90 days, mindful states will become your habit.

Once you set up a system, and make it a habit to engage in short mindfulness exercises throughout the day, you’ll develop a zen-like focus. You’ll be less stressed, more productive, more aware, and more socially intelligent. All it takes is seconds.


SOURCES:

Effects of brief and sham mindfulness meditation on mood and cardiovascular variables. Zeidan F, Johnson SK, Gordon NS, Goolkasian P. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Aug; 16( 8): 867-73.

Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training. Zeidan F, Johnson SK, Diamond BJ, David Z, Goolkasian P. Conscious Cogn. 2010 Jun; 19( 2): 597-605.

The effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on experimentally induced pain. Zeidan F, Gordon NS, Merchant J, Goolkasian P. J Pain. 2010 Mar; 11( 3): 199-209.


1-8_1qGzIGtw76_8MRX9uvjQ.jpg

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.

5-Step Formula For Interrupting Anxiety and Negativity

 5-Step Formula For Interrupting #Anxiety and #Negativity

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


These are some of the best evidence-based strategies for reducing neural stress:

1. Suppress them. Contrary to what psychologists used to say, the research on thought suppression is robust. So when you find yourself ruminating on a worry, fear, or doubt, “just say no.” Tell that inner voice to shut up!

2. If suppression doesn’t work, use cognitive reframing: are you exaggerating? Is your worry real? Remember: worrying about a problem doesn’t help you solve it, but looking for solutions, and remaining positive, stimulates the “success” circuits in your frontal lobe.

3. If logic and reason fails, practice mindfulness: sit back and observe – without judgment – all the thoughts and feelings that flow in and out of consciousness. Mindfulness teaches your mind and your brain to disconnect from the emotional impact of negativity, and it stimulates both the “success” and “self-love” circuits in your brain. When you mindfully watch your thoughts, sudden bursts of insight often occur.

4. Still can’t free yourself of those negative thoughts? Accept them! A meta-analytic review study of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies showed that the “oh well” approach is one of the most effective ways for dealing with most emotional problems.

5. After acceptance, begin to practice lovingkindness and forgiveness meditations, coupled with keeping a gratitude journal. We all need to send love to ourselves on a daily basis, consciously reflecting on the small accomplishments we achieve everyday and the people in our lives who care for us.

 5-Step Formula For Interrupting #Anxiety and #Negativity

Still feeling negative?

Practice the NeuroWisdom and NeuroCoaching strategies of staying deeply relaxed and mindfully attentive as you yawn, stretch, and ground yourself in a core value. Try self-nurturing, doing any physically pleasurable activity. Recall a pleasant memory and immerse yourself in memories of past accomplishments. Each of these techniques interrupts the neural circuits involved in negative feelings, emotions, and thoughts.


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

Research Suggests Sunshine Helps Your Mind Stay Sharp

 #Research Suggests #Sunshine Helps Your #Mind Stay Sharp

According to a new study by Duke University, getting sun can help keep your mind sharp.

One of the benefits of sun exposure is that your skin responds by producing vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to be necessary for bone and muscle health. Now, new research suggests that it is also crucial for a maintaining a healthy brain. 

The study found that low levels of vitamin D predicted cognitive decline in the elderly. Researchers followed 1,202 "cognitively intact adults" above the age of 60 for two years. The researchers measured the participants' vitamin D levels and assessed their cognition using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Over the course of the study, they found that those with a low vitamin D levels had a 2-3x higher likelihood of declining cognition than those who had the most. This finding adds to evidence that vitamin D protects against neuron damage.

It's another excuse to get to the beach.


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.