“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
Dear EVERYONE, particularly those who love me enough to follow me on both my blogs Curious to the MAX and here,
Peggy and Judy have put my health at risk. I’ve had to keep the BIGGEST secret ever about this blog. My consultant -Dr. Allen Towfigh, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical Center explained that keeping secrets is not healthy:
“Sleep may be disturbed, which could lead to emotional mood swings and a propensity to be ill-tempered or lose your cool. (Luckily, I can sleep all night and most of the day, consequently, nothing, including my mood, swings.) You may also have difficulty with memory and learning.”
“And the excess release of cortisol will cause a host of other ailments, including possible increase or loss of appetite and disruption of metabolism.” (Thank goodness I haven’t lost my appetite but who knows about my metabolism.)
Spiking cortisol levels have also been linked to:
Maui is still the “muse” but thankfully they renamed the blog to better reflect its mission, though I still think it should be named FREDDIE and the MIND:
The focus on both blogs is still the same:
MAX your MIND (formerly known as CATNip) – Tips, tools and techniques for health & wellness based on neuroscience and current scientific research.
CURIOUS to the MAX – Stuff that makes us smile, learn and gives expression to our more personal & “creative” sides.
For those of you who subscribe to both blogs (YEA YOU!) there will still be fresh content on each.
There is an ever-increasing body of research evidence that shows that meditation decreases stress, depression, and anxiety, reduces pain and insomnia, and increases quality of life.
One study looked at long-term meditators (seven to nine years of experience) versus a control group. “The results showed that those with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex, as well as insula and sensory regions.”
“This makes sense, since mindfulness meditation has you slow down and become aware of the present moment, including physical sensations such as your breathing and the sounds around you.”
Just to make sure this wasn’t because the long-term meditators had more gray matter to begin with, a second study was conducted in which they put people with no experience with meditation into an eight-week mindfulness program.
“Even just eight weeks of meditation changed people’s brains for the better. There was thickening in several regions of the brain, including the left hippocampus (involved in learning, memory, and emotional regulation); the TPJ (involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives); and a part of the brainstem called the pons (where regulatory neurotransmitters are generated).”
“Plus, the brains of the new meditators saw shrinkage of the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. This reduction in size of the amygdala correlated to reduced stress levels in those participants.”
There are two sides to a coin, two sides to a pancake and two sides to every thought you have. When a negative thought bothers you, flip the thought to the positive side:
Imagine the opposite – something better, pleasurable, anything POSITIVE – is true and how you would feel.
Positive thoughts signal your brain to release “happy” neurochemicals.