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The Science Behind Meditation

24 Mar

The Science Behind Meditation

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay

Did you know that the practice of meditation is over five and a half thousand years old?

This thought-provoking anime by @UpRising on the science behind meditation tells us “Everytime we think, feel, or learn something new, a neural connection appears in our brain. Those things that we repeat the most, like our habits, make these connections grow stronger and stronger. And over time, the connections that we don’t use grow weaker, and eventually disappear. This is why our habits are automatic, and we don’t have to think before doing them.”

Your brain is like an iceberg: 90% of it is unconscious, strong neural connections we’re not aware of, built by habits, that influences our choices and reactions without us even realizing it.

So when you tell someone you’re not creative, good at sports, or procrastinate too much, it may be you’re listing a string of unconscious thoughts or habits, rather than listing fact. In this anime, we learn what we often call our “personality” are really just the “thoughts, emotions, and habits that we have repeated the most growing up.”

You speak over 50,000 words to yourself every day. That’s a novella you are reading to yourself day in and day out. And according to @UpRising, 98% of those words are repetitive thoughts you tell yourself every day, 80% of which are negative. Now, don’t cry in dismay yet-- as we’ve learned through our Mindfulness mini-series this week, there’s a way to shift our minds to change our lives. As @UpRising says, “To change ourselves, we need to change our brains by creating new connections and practicing them until they become strong and automatic.” Kind of like playing a violin. The first time you glide the bow over the strings, it may sounds like a cat clawing a metal grate. A few months later, when you’ve successfully mastered “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and your parents are gushing buckets of tears and researching “prodigy violinist”, it won’t seem so hard.

What do you think? What self-limiting thoughts are lurking in your mental iceberg?

** Interested in discovering more about mindfulness for online students? Our resident marketing guru and chief story-teller Mark Guay will be hosting a webinar with author, educator, and health coach Peter Berg for the CMASAS community on March 30th at 4 PM PST/ 7 PM EST. This webinar will focus solely around the concept of mindfulness, and how it can help our students to thrive both in academia as well as in life. Mark and Peter will share fundamental mindfulness techniques meant to empower teenagers and help them grow their health and happiness. Find more information about the webinar by clicking the link below!