||Articles & Research:
Mental Focus and Creative Visualization, Stress Reduction
Right Brain Aerobics developed exercises which are stress redycubg and forster a kind of modern career mental focus and "meditation." Research shows positive, even quick effects of meditative mental focus practice for career and mental development. Exercises like Right Brain Start Up and Doors of Consciousness Focus with Sound can particularly be used to lower stress, interrupt sitting for long periods with no mental/physical break -- and ability to access "inner genius" and multidimensional intelligence more readily.
Just a few of literally thousands of articles in the last decade indicating the benefits of mental focus meditation and guided imagery on brain power, ability, learning, health.
“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it.
Make your mental blue print and begin to build.”
-- Robert Collier, Author (1885-1950)
“The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.”
-- William Lyon Phelps, Educator (1865-1943)
Brain Building for Business, Career, Learning...?
Can you change mental ability and become more creative for any career at any age? Yes. New research shows significant effects for mental focus/visualization meditation exercises. Right Brain Aerobics for Business & Career was developed for to get just this kind of effect -- but applied to business & career. Examples of new research:
- Mental Focus and Meditation Exercises can actually increase brain size... See new Massachusetts General Hospital study published in Psychiatry Journal 1-30-11 -- including "thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration
in as little as 8 weeks.
- "How to build a bigger brain -- Study shows that meditation [mental focus exercises] may increase gray matter." UCLA Newsroom..
Why does this matter?
- "If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brain Shrinking?" -- by Kathleen McAuliffe from Sept. 2010 Discover Magazine, Published Jan. 2011 and rehighlighted June 2012.
"John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution... Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.' " .. "Some believe the erosion of our gray matter means that modern humans are indeed getting dumber." There's a lot of debate here -- worth the review.
Meditation in the Workplace. Management Issues, Andy Puddicombe, 1-08-08
"This growing trend is perhaps not surprising given the extensive scientific research published by the likes of the National Institute of Health and Harvard Medical School. The findings consistently demonstrate a decrease in the production of chemicals associated with stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. At the same time they show an increased ability to relax, heightened levels of concentration and the alleviation of the many aches and pains that plague employees everywhere."
"With employee healthcare high on the agenda these numerous benefits alone would be reason enough for many to sign up. But increasingly it is the performance-enhancing qualities of meditation that are attracting all the attention - at the individual, departmental and organisational level."
As a Scientist I Used to Think Meditation Was Hokum. Not Any More! Daily Mail, Kathy Sykes 3/18/08
Kathy Sykes reports her personal experience of trying meditation in conjunction with a study begin conducted: "At the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor Richard Davidson has carried out a study where he has seen significant changes in brain activity when people meditated."
"At the same hospital, neuroscientist Sara Lazar is also getting some intriguing results looking at meditation's effect on neuroplasticity — which is the ability of the brain to change structure as it learns new tasks. Neuroplasticity occurs when we learn to juggle or play a musical instrument. In these instances, parts of the brain actually thicken, which shows the brain is, growing new connections."
"Lazar has also found the cortex of the brain — which governs thought processes — are thicker in people who meditate regularly compared to non-meditators. To see if this is actually down to meditation will require more research, but the potential implications are exciting."
"Meditation Can Lower Blood Pressure, Study Shows." Science Daily 3/15/08
"Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for controlling high blood pressure with the added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs, according to a new meta-analysis conducted at the University of Kentucky." ... The study's lead author, Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said that blood pressure reductions of this magnitude would be expected to be accompanied by significant reductions in risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease—without drug side effects."
"Meditation Can Change Brain Function, Psychology Study Says " Findings appear in December issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience'
Dec 14/07, Jenny Lass
"Feeling stressed or depressed? You may one day be prescribed meditation rather than medication, thanks to a study conducted by researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) at St. Joseph's Hospital." ...
"People with no meditation training showed very little change in brain activity from task to task. They mostly engaged the areas along the middle of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for personality expression and appropriate social behaviour. However, participants who had practised meditation regularly for eight weeks showed a more dramatic change in brain activity..."
"Brief Meditation Boosts Attention, Curbs Stress" Reuters UK, Oct. 9, 2007
"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Recent studies have suggested that months to years of intensive meditation can improve attention and lower stress. Researchers now believe that in less than one week of meditation practice with the integrative body-mind meditation training method can produce noteworthy improvement in attention and ones' state of mind." ... Dr. Yi-Yuan Tang from University of Oregon in Eugene and colleagues report their research in today's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
"Our study is consistent with the idea that attention, affective processes and the quality of moment-to-moment awareness are flexible skills that can be trained," they add."
"10 Telling Studies Done on Student Meditation," Mental Health Community, Improving Mental Health Worldwide, 3-27-12
10 Studies from Universities and Journals briefly summarized in the excellent overview:
- "Meditation improves standardized academic achievement
- Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students
- Meditation can improve academic stress
- Meditation may improve the integrity and efficiency of certain connections in the brain
- Meditation decreases drug and alcohol abuse
- Meditation reduces behavior incidents and absenteeism in high school students
- Meditation may make students happier and boost self-esteem
- Meditation has heart health benefits
- Meditation reduces depression and anxiety
- Meditation may increase intelligence."
"Eyes of the mind: Can dynamic meditation really help the body to heal itself? An American psychologist and researcher believes so." The Star online, 5/9/07
"Studies done in universities across the United States over the years have shown guided imagery to be effective in relieving stress, boosting immunity, and also alleviating depression. These techniques are also used in what is known as dynamic meditation, and Dr Aretoula Fullam, a psychologist who has trained in clinical mind-body medicine in Harvard, believes that dynamic meditation is fast becoming accepted even in scientific circles."
"Meditate to Concentrate: Penn Researchers Demonstrate Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training," University of Pennsylvania Office of Communications, 5/9/07
"Meditation, according to Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works. Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment."
"Researchers found that even for those new to the practice, meditation enhanced performance and the ability to focus attention. Performance-based measures of cognitive function demonstrated improvements in a matter of weeks. The study, to be published in the Journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, suggests a new, non-medical means for improving focus and cognitive ability among disparate populations and has implications for workplace performance and learning."
"Changed Thinking Can Alter the Brain: Meditation can create brain changes that in turn affect perception," St. Petersburg Times, Florida, 4/10/07
"Anything that stimulates your brain, including the words you are reading at this moment, affects the way you think. But, as neuroscientists are learning, this road runs in two directions: While your brain produces your thoughts, your thoughts have the ability to make physical changes in your brain. For example, if you develop the habit of recognizing and challenging negative thoughts about yourself (I'm stupid; no one will ever love me, etc.), you may be able to brighten your mood more effectively than Prozac could."
"Quieting your mind through meditation may increase the activity in your left prefrontal lobe, which produces feelings of happiness and contentment. ... The secret to such changes is focusing your attention, according to Sharon Begley, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves [01/2007] ."
Quote: "I have meditated for 40 years, and have long felt that the potential of mind training to improve our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being has barely been tapped. ... As human beings, we really do have inner powers that can make a world of difference, particularly if our goal is not merely to advance our own agendas, but to cultivate compassion for the benefit of all living beings.”
--John Robbins, author Healthy at 100 and Diet For a New America
"What's New in Science" -- Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention. he Daily, University of Washington, 5/02/07
"UW scientists are testing a new approach to drug and alcohol addiction treatments, called mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), which melds Buddhist meditation techniques with traditional therapeutic approaches."
The MBRP program helps people cope with these emotions by teaching them Vipassana, a Buddhist meditation that emphasizes mindfulness, said Sarah Bowen, a psychology graduate student involved in the research. Mindfulness is the ability of the meditator to be 'in the present moment,' observing his or her thoughts without judging them, said Neharika Chawla, another psychology graduate student who works on the treatment."
"Becoming a 'Walking Meditation" - Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise online , 5/01/07
"It is important to realize that meditation is not a practice that one uses to escape in order to hide form a disruptive life, nor is it a practice for relaxation alone. It is so much more and provides the opportunity to experience ourselves from an entirely different perspective."
Dr. Sue Morter