Today, research helps us understand a surprising key to happiness- the mind.
Neuroscientist Daniel Bor, author of “The Ravenous Brain” can “see” how meditation decreases the “fight or flight” triggers in the amygdala and increases focus and calm in the prefrontal cortex. He reports that the size of the amygdala literally shrinks!
What does that mean for you? It means meditation offers you an increased ability to handle pains and bothersome emotions, spatial processing, attention tasks and working memory. Plus all of that enjoyed without lots of sleep. (This may be the best antidote on how to enjoy holiday parties and still get up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the A.M.)
I’ve had a love affair with my mind throughout my life. As a child, I wondered how it worked. In college I volunteered to have wires attached to my head to explore biofeedback. Since the ‘90s, I’ve practiced meditation to access the greater calm and peace promised for 100’s of years.
Do you have one minute?
The Smile “Risa” Meditation (or yoga for the mind)
1. Close your eyes and imagine yourself either working long, hard hours, or alone in a room, or dreading the next holiday requirement.
2. Now see someone walking towards you wearing a smile, an authentic smile conveying their caring, kindness and compassion. How do you feel? Take a moment and find where in the body the feeling is registering. Stay with it for 15 seconds.
3. Now imagine that authentic smile is from you. Feel this experience for 15 more seconds enjoying the caring, kindness, and compassion.
You have just been the creator of your inner peace. And having done that once, you can do it again and again…anywhere.
And from this place of inner peace, you are able to make wiser decisions, better communicate with everyone in your life, and be more successful.
But please don’t believe me. Just practice. I’ll bet you will find what research already validates and millions of people experience- that this is your key to happiness.
P.S. Can you imagine a world of smiling people? If that brings a smile to your face, then please pass this on to your family and friends. We’re out to create a more kind, caring world, one smile at a time. (And would love to hear what you think.)