“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”—Thomas Moore (via neobutterfly)
How meditation rewires your brain to be more positive
A recent controlled study showed that meditation was associated with increased grey matter in the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory, and decreased grey matter in the amygdala, which is the initiator of the brain’s pre-cortical alarm system. These physiological changes parallel the theory that meditation increases conscious control over emotional, behavioral, and attentional response to threat.
Patients in another mindfulness study demonstrated significantly greater changes in brain electrical activity from activation in the right to the left cortical hemisphere, from before to immediately following meditation and several months later, compared to a control group. This pattern of brain activity is associated with a shift away from negative and towards more positive emotional experience. In other words, mindfulness meditation regimen appeared to help people to experience more positive emotions such as love, compassion, or contentment.
Simple Breath Awareness Meditation Instructions
Pick a comfortable, quiet place where you will not be disturbed
Sit with the spine upright on a cushion on the floor or a chair. If you use a chair, make sure your feet are touching the ground.
Begin to notice your breathing. Try to maintain an open and curious attitude. Notice where the breath goes when it enters and leaves your body.
Do not try to change the breath in any way. It may change naturally as you observe it.
If your mind wanders away, note what it is doing, than gently bring your attention back to the breath.
“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and types of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason too.”—Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (via icanskiforever)