Posts

Showing posts from February, 2019

Loving-Kindness

Image
Emma Seppala, Science director of Stanford University’s “Center for Compassion and Altruism” and Co-director of Yale University’s “Center for Emotional Intelligence” defines loving-kindness as feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards others. Self-compassion is the ability to extend these feelings to ourselves. Research demonstrates that a regular loving kindness meditation practice increases positive emotions and decreases negative ones; increases vagal nerve tone (which is a marker of well-being), slows aging; has an immediate relaxant effect, decreases migraine, chronic pain, and the symptoms of P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). An increase in empathy and emotional processing in the brain has also been demonstrated. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another by being able to put yourself in their shoes. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express your own emotions - and handle interpersonal relationships …

Taming the Beast (your inner critic)

Image
In my last blog post I talked about how increasing creativity can help us reach our goals. Personally, I love work that is a marriage of the creative and the practical and that has the potential to improve my life and others. Starting a yoga business ticks all the boxes for me. It has been a rewarding journey finding new ways to move, breathe, be mindful, meditate, design playlists, advertise, and use different media. It has given my emotional repertoire a real workout too. I’ve gone from excitement to doubt; tranquil to hesitant, fearful, and anxious, and back to a growing sense that what I have learnt is worth sharing. There have been setbacks but the biggest obstacle I’ve encountered is my own inner critic. I am not alone. Researchers in the area of creativity and success report that the biggest obstacle to creativity and achievement of goals is the inner critic. Performance coaches are trained to help elite athletes deal with this. Have you ever noticed the extremely harsh way yo…

Meditation and yoga can 'reverse' DNA reactions which cause stress

Image
Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don't simply relax us; they can 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviews over a decade of studies analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different MBIs including mindfulness and yoga. Experts from the universities conclude that, when examined together, the 18 studies -- featuring 846 participants over 11 years -- reveal a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health. The researchers focus on how gene expression is affected; in other words the way that genes activate to produce proteins which influence the biological make-up of the body, the brain and the immune system. When a person is exposed to a stressful event, th…

Life Hack #Achieving Dreams in 2019

Image
Do you like to do novel, useful things? Does your job or life require you to innovate and problem solve ingeniously? You might be surprised to learn that this is the scientific definition of creativity, and we all need it if we want to live a productive, fulfilling life and achieve our goals. Creativity is really important. Creative thought has enabled mankind to survive and thrive; adapt to change; produce art and music; manage social lives, build civilizations and write blog posts like this! And the belief that only “right brained” arty, paintbrush-wielding, types are creative is a myth. Creativity actually involves the whole brain and we are all capable of it. When scientists looked at what successful people have in common they found they were all highly creative. What novel, useful plans do you have for 2019? I’d like to share the science of how you can accomplish your plans with some simple actions and mindset shifts that increase creativity, grow a healthier brain, and make lif…