Over the past few years, meditation has evolved from an of-the-moment fad to a legitimate health craze, as research has linked the practice to everything from improved cardiovascular health to cognitive benefits. Science has even shown that mindfulne...
"Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days. The now-classic ‘Adaptation to Life’ reported on the men’s lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation. Now George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement. Reporting on all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study’s subjects), ‘Triumphs of Experience’ shares a number of surprising findings. For example, the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength. Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50. The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup."
Wisdom is the ability to make sound judgments and choices based on experience. It’s a virtue according to every great philosophical and religious tradition, from Aristotle to Confucius and Christianity to Judaism, Islam to Buddhism, and Taoism to Hinduism. According to the book From Smart to Wise, wisdom distinguishes great leaders from the rest of the pack. So what does it take to cultivate wisdom?
"...Seigel highlighted findings in the field of interpersonal neurobiology and from his own"mindsight approach" to psychiatry -- both systems revolve around the principle of "integration," which suggests that the linking of different aspects of a system, such as the brain, is at the heart of well-being, resilience, mindfulness and compassion.
"Integration is seen as the essential mechanism of health as it promotes a flexible and adaptive way of being that is filled with vitality and creativity," Siegel writes on his website. "The ultimate outcome of integration is harmony."
Through this interdisciplinary form of inquiry into the brain and mind, Siegel says, we can "build a framework thats based on science but goes beyond what science says, and looks more deeply at what it means to be human."
Compassion is a central component of what it means to be human, but we don't necessarily know how it works in the brain or why we're wired to be compassionate towards others -- and interpersonal neurobiology may be a particularly helpful framework for examining the importance of this quality in our lives and relationships..."
Parents with social anxiety disorder are more likely than parents with other forms of anxiety to engage in behaviors that put their children at high risk for developing angst of their own, according to a small study of parent-child pairs.
Anxiety is the result of a complex interplay between genes and environment, the researchers say, and while there's not much to be done about one's genetic makeup, controlling external factors can go a long way toward mitigating or preventing anxiety in the offspring of anxious parents.
"Children with an inherited propensity to anxiety do not just become anxious because of their genes, so what we need are ways to prevent the environmental catalysts -- in this case, parental behaviors -- from unlocking the underlying genetic mechanisms responsible for the disease," Ginsburg says.
What drives our powerful need for social interaction? And what makes being alone difficult? These are just a couple of the questions that Matthew Lieberman, a social neurologist from the University of California, explores in his newest book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. Through his research, Lieberman has identified compelling evidence demonstrating the neuroscience behind our human interactions -- with broad implications for how we live our lives. For example, we now know that the connection between physical and social pain is very real -- in that, they are both processed through the same neural pathways. From an evolutionary standpoint, this begs the question -- that perhaps our social connections are more than just a mere luxury, that perhaps they are, in face, a necessity. Our brains are continuously working, and in order to better respond to our environment. This is what our brains were wired for: reaching out to and interacting with others, writes Lieberman. This article shares more.
The psychology of the 'winter blues' and 'retail therapy' Lawrence Journal World Seasonal affective disorder or “winter blues” is scientifically explained as a winter depression caused by little exposure to sunlight, said Steve Ilardi, clinical...
When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. in this TED-Ed video Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.
With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of meditation.
After eight hours of practice, meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.
"After eight hours of practice, meditators showed altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation."