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Archive for the ‘transformative tools’ Category

meditation reduces inflammation & prevents disease…

BrainMeditation

Brain scans show increased functional connectivity in the brain after a mindfulness meditation retreat.

From huffingtonpost.com, 2/8/16:

Here’s How Meditation Reduces Inflammation And Prevents Disease*

by Carolyn Gregoire

Science has shown that mindfulness meditation can have a positive impact on a huge range of health conditions, including cancerdepression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The practice has even been found to slow HIV progression and protect the brain from aging.

Mindfulness seems to improve nearly every aspect of health — but how? While mounting research has revealed many of the numerous physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness, little is known of the mechanisms underlying these positive changes.

Now, a new study from Carnegie Mellon Universitypublished on Jan. 29 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, demystifies the neurobiological effects of cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment.

“Many people are skeptical about whether there are helpful aspects of mindfulness meditation practices,” Dr. David Creswell, a professor of psychology at the university and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post. “We show that mindfulness meditation impacts measurable brain circuits more so than helpful relaxation practices, and that these brain circuit changes help us understand how mindfulness meditation improves health.”

The researchers found that inflammation seems to be the key factor, as mindfulness reduces it by (more…)

the hidden power of smiling…

So easy…and powerful…

 

“Peace-Promoting Technology”

From HuffPost Impact, the Blog, Dec. 8, 2015:

Scientists Propose “Peace-Promoting Technology” To Counter Terrorism: An Interview With Quantum Physicist John Hagelin

As governments falter in their struggle to find a solution to unpredictable outbreaks of terror, an international alliance of concerned scientists has offered a possible solution.

The Global Union of Scientists for Peace has recently published an Open Letter to Presidents Obama, Hollande and Putin–and to the leaders of all nations–proposing a scientific alternative to the conventional approach of creating peace through force or violence (International New York Times, December 3, 2015).

In the following interview, Quantum Physicist John Hagelin, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, answers questions about this novel approach.

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Dr. Hagelin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). He is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring, and his scientific contributions include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences.

Your open letter in the Times offers an explanation of the root cause of terrorism: deep-rooted societal stress. Could you summarize? 

It is the overwhelming consensus of experts in the field of conflict resolution that the first stage in the emergence of war is mounting societal stress–acute political, ethnic and religious tensions among rival factions in critical hot-spots throughout the world. If these tensions continue to grow unchecked, they eventually reach a boiling point. Then they inevitably erupt in social violence: crime, war, and terrorism. If we can defuse these societal tensions before they erupt–even a little–they do not break out into social violence. Water does not boil at 99 degrees centigrade.

‘Collective consciousness’ is a term that means the sum total of all the individual consciousnesses that make up a society. Stressed individuals create (more…)

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breathe…

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gratitude is health-making…

Article by Ocean Robbins, posted in “Huffpost Healthy Living“, 1/4/12:

The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier

Our world is pretty messed up. With all the violence, pollution and crazy things people do, it would be easy to turn into a grouchy old man without being either elderly or male. There’s certainly no shortage of justification for disappointment and cynicism.But consider this: Negative attitudes are bad for you. And gratitude, it turns out, makes you happier and healthier. If you invest in a way of seeing the world that is mean and frustrated, you’re going to get a world that is, well, more mean and frustrating. But if you can find any authentic reason to give thanks, anything that is going right with the world or your life, and put your attention there, then statistics say you’re going to be better off.

Does this mean to live in a state of constant denial and put your head in the sand? Of course not. Gratitude works when you’re grateful for something real. Feeling euphoric and spending money like you just won the lottery when you didn’t is probably going to make you real poor, real quick. But what are you actually grateful for? It’s a question that could change your life. It’s a question that could change your life.

Recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages.

As Drs. Blaire and Rita Justice reported for the University of Texas Health Science Center, “a growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits.”

In one study on gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants were given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group briefly described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another five recorded daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or on the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

In a later study by Emmons, people were asked to write every day about things for which they were grateful. Not surprisingly, this daily practice led to greater increases in gratitude than did the weekly journaling in the first study. But the results showed another benefit: Participants in the gratitude group also reported offering others more emotional support or help with a personal problem, indicating that the gratitude exercise increased their goodwill towards others, or more tehnically, their “pro-social” motivation.

Another study on gratitude was conducted with adults having congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those who were not jotting down their blessings nightly, participants in the gratitude group reported more hours of sleep each night, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. The gratitude group also reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole, felt more optimism about the upcoming week, and felt considerably more connected with others than did participants in the control group.

Perhaps most tellingly, the positive changes were markedly noticeable to others. According to the researchers, “Spouses of the participants in the gratitude (group) reported that the participants appeared to have higher subjective well-being than did the spouses of the participants in the control (group).”

There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. It turns out this isn’t just a fluffy idea. Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.

Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington has been researching marriages for two decades. The conclusion of all that research, he states, is that unless a couple is able to maintain a high ratio of positive to negative encounters (5:1 or greater), it is likely the marriage will end.

With 90 percent accuracy, Gottman says he can predict, often after only three minutes of observation, which marriages are likely to flourish and which are likely to flounder. The formula is that for every negative expression (a complaint, frown, put-down, expression of anger) there needs to be about five positive ones (smiles, compliments, laughter, expressions of appreciation and gratitude).

Apparently, positive vibes aren’t just for hippies. If you want in on the fun, here are some simple things you can do to build positive momentum toward a more happy and fulfilling life:

1) Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.

2) Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.

3) Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.

Sure this world gives us plenty of reasons to despair. But when we get off the fast track to morbidity, and cultivate instead an attitude of gratitude, things don’t just look better — they actually get better. Thankfulness feels good, it’s good for you and it’s a blessing for the people around you, too. It’s such a win-win-win that I’d say we have cause for gratitude.

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accelerating radical bliss…

lifebeforedeath
by Rick Cowley at isurflife.com:

Fyckit List* Contest ~ Win a free SURF LIFE Bali Yoga & Surf Retreat in 2015

(valued at USD $2395)

Submissions due by Dec. 30, 2014 — just do it NOW

*Fyckit List = Five year bucket list

If you knew you were going to die in five years, what would you want to be ~ do ~ have in that time?

This list is a powerful tool for orienting your life around what inspires you. To live these dreams you’re going to have to regularly say “fyckit, I’m going for it”.

Click here to learn more–and accelerate your radical bliss!

meditation in the digital age…

Posted by Synchronicity on Oct. 3, 2014:

Meditation in the digital age with Master Charles Cannon (Founder of Synchronicity High-Tech Meditation) and Fred Kofman (VP of Leadership and Organizational Development at LinkedIn)

Location: San Francisco, California

hack your brain’s default mode with meditation…

Published by Big Think on Aug 19, 2014:

Dan Harris explains the neuroscience behind meditation, but reminds us that the ancient practice isn’t magic and likely won’t send one floating into the cosmic ooze. He predicts that the exercise will soon become regularly scheduled maintenance, as commonplace as brushing your teeth or eating your veggies. Harris, an ABC News correspondent, was turned on to meditation after a live, on-air panic attack. His latest book is 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story (http://goo.gl/wfSX4E).

for the blind to read…

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Photo : MIT Fluid Interfaces Research Group

Device helps blind read print. The FingerReader is audio reading gadget for index finger

By Michael McEnaney, Tech Times | July 8, 12:18 PM

We’ve covered lots of new wearable tech over the last several months, some of which was fairly cool and some of which was fairly useless.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have developed something that will truly lift the category to new heights.

Take a gander at the FingerReader, a ring that slips on the index finger and enables people with visual disabilities to read text printed on paper or electronic devices. A mood sweater this is most certainly not.

The prototype the MIT team is showing off was created using a 3D printer and fit very snugly on the user’s index finger. A small camera positioned on the top of the ring actually scans the text. As the user moves their finger across the text, a synthesized voice reads the words aloud, quickly translating the text from any printed material including books, newspapers and restaurant menus.

The developers created a software program that tracks the finger’s movements, identifies each word and then processes that information for the synthesized voice to read aloud. Should the users stray from the correct order of the text on the page, vibration motors are activated alerting the reader that their finger has gone off course.

“The FingerReader is like reading with the tip of your finger and it’s a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now,” explained Pattie Maes, an MIT professor who founded and leads the Fluid Interfaces research group developing the prototype.

While the MIT team that developed the device feels it will be able to affordably bring the device to market, there’s no guess at a final price.

The National Federation for the Blind estimates that 20.6 million adult Americans (or nearly 10% of all adult Americans) have reported they either “have trouble” seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, or that they are blind or unable to see at all.

The developers of the FingerReader might be interested to know that the National Federation for the Blind further reports that the number of legally blind children (through age 21) enrolled in elementary and high school in the U.S. eligible to receive free reading matter in Braille, large print, or audio format stands at over 59,000.

And the organization adds that the number of noninstitutionalized males or females under 20 years of age in the United States, including all races and at all education levels, who reported a visual disability as of the beginning of 2012 stood at 656,100.

 

dr. smartphone…

Published by Neil Versel on Jan 24, 2013

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, chief academic officer of San Diego-based Scripps Health and digital health’s rock star, was featured Jan. 25 on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams. In this interview with NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman, he showed off a number of technologies and gadgets that can provide better care at lower cost, often using little more than a sensor connected to a smartphone.

For more, including names of the products Topol demonstrated, see Neil Versel‘s story in MobiHealthNews:http://mobihealthnews.com/20032/topol…

 

 

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