Meditation makes us happier
A Life / / December 19, 2019
Studies have confirmed that meditation really helps us feel happier, but also affect our health and relationships with others. And this is not some sort of magical practices, which conflict with the psychology. This is the psychology.
What is meditation?
From the point of view of neuroscience meditation - is training attention.
"That which we call attention determines our behavior, and thus - our happiness," - says Paul Dolan (Paul Dolan), professor of psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
We feel happier when the focus on the physical sensations that we get from the right hemisphere of the brain, on the "here and now". But it is not so easy to do, if we fixate on constant comments, ideas and concerns of our left hemisphere.
How correctly to meditate, to worry less and feel happier?
How to meditate
Focus on inhaling and exhaling. When you notice that distracted and thinking about something, go back to the breath. And so over and over again.
That's all. No longer have to do anything. It seems that it is quite simple. But the reality is somewhat more complicated: the constant comments of the left hemisphere of the brain prevent us from focusing on the breath.
This is how it is explained in the book of Daniel Siegel "The attentive brain»:
Often during meditation, our mind is filled with incessant flow of words and ideas. It works our left hemisphere. Both hemispheres (the right - the physical sensations, left - thought and speech) are constantly competing for our attention, and so limited. Mindfulness involves consciously opportunity to shift the focus from the linguistic and speculative facts of the left hemisphere, on the non-verbal images and bodily sensations, which are the responsibility right.
Why is this so hard?
The left hemisphere
Even when we do not perform any action except breathing, left brain continues to throw our ideas and experiences. We jump from one subject to another and can not stop.
Many drop out of meditation at this stage. Do not give up. Since your brain is all right, madness does not threaten you. You just encountered the phenomenon, which in Buddhism is called "monkey mind."
Here is how this concept psychologist Mark Epstein (Mark Epstein), in his book "Thought without thinking»:
Our mind is undeveloped, or metaphorical monkey, is in constant motion, jumping from one thought to another. Anyone who begins to meditate, faced with his monkey mind - a troubled part of the psyche, an endless stream useless thoughts.
Remember, your left brain - it's just the body that carries out its function. Heart beats, and the left brain generates thoughts and ideas. And these ideas, though, and seem to be important at the moment, will lose value if you will not give them too much attention. This is especially important if you are overwhelmed by negative thoughts and feelings. Do not focus on them, and they recede into the background.
Of course, it's not so easy if the left hemisphere reminds us of all the problems and worries. Our first reaction is - pick up the phone, check Instagram, or email, turn on the TV - in general, in any way to escape. Do not give in. Go back to the breath.
It happens the other way. Perhaps you just terribly boring. But consider whether you really get bored? Or is your left brain? Boredom - just a lack of attention. How can cope with it?
Mark your thoughts
Listen to the left hemisphere and the mark of his experience, and then returning to the breath.
Your inner dialogue can be.
The left hemisphere"If you continue meditating, you can be late for dinner."
You"This is a concern."
The left hemisphere"I wonder if there is new mail."
Marking so everyone thought, you seem to set them aside for later, and they no longer interfere with you.
As meditation is associated with awareness
When you practice meditation regularly, it becomes a feature of your character. You gradually begin to apply the methods of distribution of attention and marking thoughts in everyday life.
Try to do it consciously. For example, if you are stuck in traffic, try to focus on something else, at least for the weather. And when your left hemisphere starts to shout angrily, "Why does this always happen just with me! ', Just gave this idea to the category of" irritation ". This will help cool the amygdala body and returns control to the prefrontal cortex.
Gradually the cries and complaints of the left hemisphere will still quieter and quieter. You will be easier to focus on the positive.
That's what comes to awareness.
How to Meditate:
- Sit back. Just not so easy to sleep.
- Focus on your breathing. You can repeat to yourself "take a breath", if it helps you to concentrate.
- Mark your thoughts. When the left brain will start to fill up your feelings, it will stop the flow of thoughts.
- Always go back to the breath. Again and again. Persistence in this case is more important than duration. It is better to meditate for two minutes each day than one hour per month.
What makes us happiest? According to research - relationship.
Meditation and mindfulness can help here. Remember, what is most often complain about our loved ones (especially now, in the era of smartphones): "You're not giving me attention."
And then it turned out useful for meditation skills. When you stop spending so much time getting stuck in their own thoughts, you will be able to really listen to others.