SILENCE YOUR MIND

A new approach to meditation that can improve your happiness, wellbeing and productivity – in just 10 minutes a day.

SILENCE YOUR MIND BLOG

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Cooling Brain Inflammation Naturally with Food

A staggering one in six Americans now take psychiatric medication (link is external) in an attempt to manage psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Unlike other medical problems, psychiatric problems shake us to our very core—affecting not only our productivity and health, but also our relationships with others and with ourselves. We tend to think of psychiatric problems as “chemical imbalances” in neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and most psychiatric m

Source: Cooling Brain Inflammation Naturally with Food | Psychology Today

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The Link Between Sugar And Depression: What You Should Know

The study tracked the diets and medical conditions of 8,000 people over 22 years (all part of a larger study called the Whitehall Study II) using surveys about diet and doctors’ visits completed every few years. By keeping tabs on what the participants ate and the sorts of conditions they were seeing doctors to treat, the researchers could analyze correlations between diet and health outcomes. The one that popped out is that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with depression in a five-year period than men who ate 40 grams or less.

Source: The Link Between Sugar And Depression: What You Should Know

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The Reasons Why We Can’t Put Down Our Smartphones

Former Google exec Tristan Harris, interviewed for the episode, argues that we’ve been fooled into believing the “technology is neutral” argument. Instead, he says that software makers have mastered a sort of “addiction code” that keeps people compulsively engaged, such that we can’t stand leaving our phones for even a little while. In other words, the technology has been manipulated to leverage our brains’ habit-forming tendencies. Tech insiders call it “brain hacking,” and Harris argues that it’s destroying our focus and relationships.

Source: The Reasons Why We Can’t Put Down Our Smartphones

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Mindfulness Fad Corporate America Buddhism Without Buddha

Andy Lee has an interesting job title: He is his company’s “chief mindfulness officer,” and he is not employed at some voguish Silicon Valley start-up or by a chain of organic-food co-ops — he works for Aetna, as old-fashioned a corporate giant as you could ever hope to find. In an interview with Healthy Workplace author Leigh Stringer, Aetna’s mindfulness program was described in familiar terms: “Participants are regaining 62 minutes per week of productivity,” Stringer wrote. “They are seeing an approximate dollar return, in terms of productivity alone, of more than $3,000 per person per year.” Never mind karma — this is a bottom-line issue. “Mindfulness,” a meditation practice that is in essence Buddhism without Buddha, is everywhere in corporate America and celebrity culture. (The two are no longer entirely distinguishable: Bill Gates is a celebrity, and Oprah is a vertically integrated global conglomerate.) Google offered a course under engineer-guru Chade Meng Tan (employee No. 107) that at one point had a six-month waiting period; Meng has since gone off on his own. Goldman Sachs has caught the mindfulness bug and uses a mindfulness app to keep its employees mindful. Intel is on board, and a study undertaken by the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments found that one in five of the companies surveyed offered mindfulness training, with another 21 percent planning to do so — at a cost of up to ten grand per session. When they aren’t pushing Häagen-Dazs out the door, General Mills employees and executives have access to a seven-week mindfulness program. After completing the program, 80 percent of executives reported that their decision-making skills had improved. One wonders about that datum: Were these executives going to tell their superiors that their decision-making skills had been degraded, or that they’d wasted their time? Bear in mind that Häagen-Dazs doesn’t actually mean anything in any language — the guy who founded the company just thought it sounded cool and that people would buy it. There may be a bit of that at work here, too. Scientifically, mindfulness is way down there with yoga, acupuncture, and homeopathy in terms of empirically observable results. The evidence for its effectiveness is largely subjective, e.g., self-reported improvements in mood, attitude, stress, or sleep. A recent paper published in Perspectives on Psychological Science — co-authored by 15 prominent psychological and cognitive-science researchers — gently derided the “pervasive mindfulness hype” associated with research on the subject and concluded that there was very little evidence for its effectiveness on any metric. There were predictable design problems with the research: inconsistent and conflicting definitions, lack of control groups to adjust for placebo effects, lack of replicable results. A review in American Psychologist found that fewer than one in ten mindfulness studies had included a control group. “A 2014 review of 47 meditation trials, collectively including over 3,500 participants, found essentially no evidence for benefits related to enhancing attention, curtailing substance abuse, aiding sleep or controlling weight,” Scientific American reports. Mindfulness is way down there with yoga, acupuncture, and homeopathy in terms of empirically observable results. Mindfulness training is a $1 billion–plus business in the United States alone and growing robustly. Why? Ronald Purser has an interesting perspective on that: As a professor of management in the business school at San Francisco State University and an ordained teacher in the Zen Taego Buddhist tradition, he has a foot in both the corporate and mindfulness worlds, and he is a trenchant, at times scathing, critic of corporate mindfulness, which he dismisses as a kind of prosperity gospel for coastal liberal elites — Joel Osteen in a saffron robe. “I’ve been to a number of corporate mindfulness conferences,” he says, “just as a fly on the wall to see what’s going on. Some of the consultants selling this stuff are Buddhist practitioners. But the Buddhism is backstage. At the Awakened Leadership Conference, a big mindfulness event, one of the consultants told me: We know we’re teaching Buddhism — but they don’t. “They” meaning the corporate sponsors. In order to sell, they’ve really had to go stealth, selling mindfulness as a scientifically proven method. And the conference was all about how to sell the program, how to sell this stuff in corporate-speak, how to get them to perceive it as a performance-enhancement technique. Cf. Aetna’s purported $3,000-per-person-per-year productivity kick. Purser says he is sometimes accused of being a “Buddhist fundamentalist,” but his attitude toward corporations and corporate culture is pretty much what you’d expect from a college professor in San Francisco. He thinks that corporations are a major source of the problem that mindfulness advocates purport to mitigate, especially stress: Ari

Source: Mindfulness Fad Corporate America Buddhism Without Buddha | National Review

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How The Brain Deals With The Deluge Of Unwanted Thoughts

Our brain continuously spins out thoughts, whether we want it to or not. When unwanted thoughts keep occurring, despite our efforts to control them, they feed a cycle of rumination that’s at the heart of depression and anxiety disorders. New research  (link is external)shows what’s going on in the brain when those unwanted thoughts occur, and why some brains are better at controlling them than others.

Source: How The Brain Deals With The Deluge Of Unwanted Thoughts | Psychology Today

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Top 10 Cool Psychological Research Findings

Here is a list of 10 cool psychological research findings—findings that you might find surprising—findings that can help you better understand the people in your world. Note that this is in David Letterman Top-Ten-List format, to make it more fun!

Source: Top 10 Cool Psychological Research Findings | Psychology Today

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Five Things an Unloving Mother Never Does

Leo Tolstoy observed that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way;” nonetheless amid the differences, there are broad commonalities. That’s true of unloving mothers too, even though there are observable differences in how they behave and treat their daughters.

Source: Five Things an Unloving Mother Never Does | Psychology Today

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How Do Nostalgic Scents Get Woven Into Long-Term Memories?

Even though we all know from life experience that scent is directly tied to many of our long-term memories, the complex neural mechanisms behind this process have remained a mystery.

Source: How Do Nostalgic Scents Get Woven Into Long-Term Memories? | Psychology Today

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Lord of the Rings- An Analysis of Symbolism and Archetypes

“The real reason for a quest never involves the stated reason [. . .] The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge”

Source: Lord of the Rings- An Analysis of Symbolism and Archetypes In The Trilogy | ReelRundown

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How Breathing Calms Your Brain

The science of breathing stands on quite ancient foundations. Centuries of wisdom instructs us to pay closer attention to our breathing, the most basic of things we do each day. And yet, maybe because breathing is so basic, it’s also easy to ignore. A brief review of the latest science on breathing and the brain, and overall health, serves as a reminder that breathing deserves much closer attention – there’s more going on with each breath than we realize.

Source: How Breathing Calms Your Brain | Psychology Today

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