“Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen!”
Mindfulness is a practice that allows you to slow down and appreciate the moment and be present. It sounds easy but since many of us live in the virtual world of social media, or we live in the past- thinking about those things that happened to us or live in the future planning or worrying about those that have not happened yet. We seem to be in a constant state of multi-tasking so we’re never fully present to a single task or even to the person standing in front of us.
The holidays bring joy, happiness and fond memories for many people but for others, the holidays can bring the blues. The underlying psychological causes for the sadness may be different for each person but the physiological cause is low serotonin levels.
Neurotransmitters are powerful chemicals that regulate numerous physical and emotional processes such as mental performance, emotional states and pain response. Virtually all functions in life are controlled by neurotransmitters. They are the brain's chemical messengers.
Dopamine is associated with physical movement, memory, alertness, attention, emotions and perception Think of dopamine as the reward and pleasure center of the brain.
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder is more common than you think, however it often goes undiagnosed because many people think of this as a childhood issue. Children who exhibit symptoms of ADD are easy to recognize but we tend to dismiss the symptoms in adults as just having too much on our plate or too many responsibilities.
As the average life expectancy has increased to the record high of 78.8 years, dementia and Alzheimer’s is also rising at record rates. The Alzheimer’s Association is expecting the number of people with Alzheimer’s or other age related dementia to triple by 2050 to over 13.8 million people diagnosed.
Research shows that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
Many people start the New Year off with a list of personal goals and they have good intentions to follow through and successfully accomplish those goals. Unfortunately, only about 8% of people actually achieve their goals. These successful people know that there is a planning process that starts with defining the goal, with the successful outcome in mind.
Researchers are pinpointing the brain circuits involved in forming habits. Dr. Elisha Goldstein, clinical psychologist, describes how a mindfulness practice can be used to curb bad habits.
A mindfulness practice is one of the techniques that can be used to train your brain to let go of old bad habits and create new good habits. With brain training techniques such as mindfulness, you’re able to break the automatic response by creating awareness of triggers, thoughts and body sensations that are associated with that habit.
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and color the minutest cells of the brain . . .” This is Rudyard Kipling's most famous quotation, and it is from a speech he made to the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1923.