Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Bliss for Your Brain

all use a little bliss in our world now. So check out this new book by Dawson Church called BLISS BRAIN: THE NUEROSCIENCE OF REMODELING YOUR BRAIN FOR RESILIENCE, CREATIVITY AND JOY. He presents the Default Mode Network that operates for most of us as a scanner for all the things that can go wrong and fuels worries and negative thinking. With the Ecomeditation technique he developed and also other meditation techniques  the brain is rewired and creates a calmer and even blissful state. His technique is fun – starting with a round of tapping Emotional Freedom Technique and then a breathing pattern.

There is clear discussion of the parts of the brain that change along with neurochemical and brain wave changes. He stated that the Ecomeditation puts one in the alpha brainwave state immediately – not needing 20 minutes as other meditation techniques seem to need. Then there are the “Seven Drugs of Bliss” that kick in – dopamine (motivational neurotransmitter), serotonin (feel-good neurotransmitter), norepinephrine (wake-up neurotransmitter), oxytocin (hug drug), beta-endorphin (pain killer), anandamide (the primary endocannabinoid).

Especially now that our ability to hug and be with others along with other activities meditation that produces all the above benefits and more is even more crucial to our state of well-being.

There is a lot of good and interesting information in this book. You can sample Ecomeditation at http://www.blissbrainbook.com.

October 31, 2020 Posted by | Emotional Well Being, meditation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mindfulness Continues To Surprise

Another study using mindfulness meditation that increases the support for its amazing benefits. This study was summarized in Mindful April 2019. Adrienne Taren, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon, studied the size of the amygdala in people with stress and mindfulness. The amygdala is part of the limbic system and involved in emotional responses including fear, anxiety and aggression. It can react with anxiety even when there is no danger but there is a learned pattern.

Taren’s first study looked at people who were not meditators but had mindfulness as a personality trait. She compared them with people who had high stress levels.The mindfulness group had smaller amygdalas that the high stress group. The assumption is that with smaller amygdala you are less stress reactive.

Now comes the amazing study – Taren had a group of high stress unemployed people and enrolled them in a three day retreat. Half of the group practiced Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and the other half were given relaxation practice. The mindfulness group after three days had smaller amygdalas. If this can be replicated, it is truly revolutionary. How quickly we can change and rewire our brains!

May 10, 2019 Posted by | Emotional Well Being, meditation, mindfulness | , , | Leave a comment

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

This information is extracted from a new book by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson, ALTERED TRAITS: SCIENCE REVEALS HOW MEDITATION CHANGES YOUR MIND, BRAIN AND BODY.  It is fairly dense reading about the controlled scientific studies done to date. The importance of these new studies is that they are demonstrating changes in the brain through fMRIs that with continued meditation become traits or permanent changes in the brain.

These authors look at studies that used Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Compassion practice and different types of meditation practices.

Studies are showing certain areas of the brain enlarge. These areas help attention and self-regulation. It is less likely to become hijacked by emotions and to fall into anxiety or depression or impulsive action. The amygdala has reduction in activity which leads to a calmer state of being.

Other benefits: age-related brain atrophy slowed, reduction in shortening of telomerase, reduction in pain.

 

 

 

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Depression, Emotional Well Being, meditation | , , | Leave a comment