Posts from the ‘meditation/mindfulness’ category

This New Wearable Device Says It Helps Lower Stress At Work–We Put It To The Test

A wearable device that tracks us where we actually are most of the time: In front of the computer and forgetting to breathe correctly.

You’re at work, and you’ve been glued to your computer for the last three hours, jumping between chat and email and tabs on your browser. When was the last time you took a deep breath?

It’s the kind of thing most of us don’t pay much attention to, which is exactly why a tiny new wearable device called Spire is useful. By tracking your breathing, Spire can figure out how stressed out you are, and help you adapt to better focus or relax.

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How Yoga Changes Your Body, Starting The Day You Begin

Reminding myself why I need to practice… :)

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The Eastern practice of yoga has become a modern-day symbol of peace, serenity and well-being in the West. More than 20 million Americans practice yoga, according to the 2012 Yoga in America study, with practitioners spending more than $10 billion a year on yoga-related products and classes.

The mind-body practice is frequently touted for its ability to reduce stress and boost well-being, but it also offers wide-ranging physical health benefits that rival other forms of exercise. While thescientific research on yoga’s health benefits is still young, here’s what we know so far about its potential effects on the body. Continue reading…

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The Science of Awe

Cedar Wright enjoys a view of the long way down, moments after getting the first ascent of the Virgin Tower in Enshi Grand Canyon National Park, China

“Scientifically speaking, the storm brought me into a state of awe, an emotion that, psychologists are coming to understand, can have profoundly positive effects on people. It happens when people encounter a vast and unexpected stimulus, something that makes them feel small and forces them to revise their mental models of what’s possible in the world. In its wake, people act more generously and ethically, think more critically when encountering persuasive stimuli, like arguments or advertisements, and often feel a deeper connection to others and the world in general. Awe prompts people to redirect concern away from the self and toward everything else. And about three-quarters of the time, it’s elicited by nature.”
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Slow Life

Daniel Stoupin shot 150,000 photos in order to put together this less-than-four-minute video, with every frame consisting of between three and 12 shots. Definitely to be seen full screen in HD – the bigger the better.

Well, I don’t even have the words to describe what this is; you just have to watch it. Preferably in fullscreen at full resolution. Takes about 30 seconds to get going but once it does………dang. Breathtaking is not a word I throw around after every TED Talk or Milky Way time lapse, but I will throw it here.

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How to heal our smartphone-addled, overworked brains

The biggest casualty of everyone being so connected is productivity. No one is getting much done at the office. A few ways you can maintain a healthy brain at work.

FORTUNE — When cars first became popular 100 years ago, there were no road rules or speed limits to begin with. Inspired by the freedom of their speedy new toys, drivers zoomed around as fast as they could. Crashes were a constant.

Today’s speedy new toys, the smartphone and tablet, help people work when, where, and how they want. Excited by their newfound freedom, people are staying connected 24/7, working as fast as they can. The crashes this time are less obvious but still producing pain.

A creative team that used to debrief with their client by video once a week from the office is now on video daily from their tablets. A software project that took six people a few months to complete is now broken into hundreds of parts for micro developers to finish in a week. While these ideas may sound enticing, there are implications to moving this fast, as HP HPQ -0.87% discovered with tablets and Apple aapl 0.10% with maps. Continue reading…

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Adaptive Room Personalizes Its Settings to Soothe Workplace Stress

In collaboration with a dynamic team of academics and professionals in mental health, Philips created a healing space that adapts to meet individual stress-relieving needs. Depending on where users stand, the room changes its shape and soundscapes to create new calming ambient experiences. This open space is built to combat various work-related tensions such as burnout and anxiety. Ideally, this innovation will fit perfectly in hospitals, mental healthcare facilities and even airports.

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Three key themes are introduced in order to reduce people’s stress levels: paced breathing, personal balance, and ambient experience. Embedded sensors under the soft flooring of this high-tech sanctuary trigger space partitions that enclose different areas. When a person moves from one area to another, they intuitively create their own individual space. Soothing rhythms and tones are generated by the people in room, nothing is prerecorded. To help re-energize people, pulsating lights that range in color and hues were installed to help control their pace of breath. Continue reading…

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6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fight Stress

A prolonged exposure to high stress levels can damage the brain and hamper good cognitive functioning. As part of a brain-healthy lifestyle, it’s essential to manage stress efficiently and effectively. What can you do when you realize that you are stressed? More importantly, what can you do to build resilience so you can go through difficult situations without feeling too much stress?

Here are six research-based lifestyle solutions that can be used to fight stress and build resilience: Continue reading…

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Shaking Off Loneliness

By JANE E. BRODY via The New York Times

I now know why I gained more than 30 pounds in my early 20s: I was lonely. I had left my beloved alma mater upstate for graduate school and a job in the Upper Midwest. I knew no one and felt like a fish out of water.

I filled my lonely nights and days with — you guessed it — food. Anything I could get my hands on, especially candy, cookies and ice cream. Food filled the hole in my soul, at least temporarily.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not rein in my out-of-control eating until I returned to New York and my family, and began dating my future husband.

Loneliness, says John T. Cacioppo, an award-winning psychologist at the University of Chicago, undermines people’s ability to self-regulate. In one experiment he cites, participants made to feel socially disconnected ate many more cookies than those made to feel socially accepted. In a real-life study of middle-aged and older adults in the Chicago area, Dr. Cacioppo and colleagues found that those who scored high on the U.C.L.A. Loneliness Scale, a widely used psychological assessment, ate substantially more fatty foods than those who scored low. “Is it any wonder that we turn to ice cream or other fatty foods when we’re sitting at home feeling all alone in the world?” Dr. Cacioppo said in his well-documented book, “Loneliness,” written with William Patrick. “We want to soothe the pain we feel by mainlining sugar and fat content to the pleasure centers of the brain, and absent of self-control, we go right at it.” Continue reading…

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Easing Brain Fatigue With a Walk in the Park

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Scientists have known for some time that the human brain’s ability to stay calm and focused is limited and can be overwhelmed by the constant noise and hectic, jangling demands of city living, sometimes resulting in a condition informally known as brain fatigue.

With brain fatigue, you are easily distracted, forgetful and mentally flighty — or, in other words, me.

But an innovative new study from Scotland suggests that you can ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park. Continue reading…

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The Art of Rock Balancing by Michael Grab

Michael Grab is an artist that has been ‘rock balancing‘ since 2008. Much of his recent work has been done around the Boulder, Colorado area. Grab finds the process both spiritual and therapeutic. On his site gravityglue.com, Grab explains:

“The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on. Every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another.

Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.”

On gravityglue you will find an extensive gallery of his work along with videos, an in-depth interview and an active blog about his thoughts that accompany his work.

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