"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wise Brain Bulletin

Today I am grateful for time with recovering friends and for opportunities to exercise indoors.

I have referenced the work of Dr. Rick Hanson before on my blog. Those posts include
Buddha's BrainNegativity Bias, and What Are You Hardwiring?, all from the summer of 2015.
He captures the science of why gratitude practice works for me. I don't need his proof, I have my own. But I appreciate his work and the work of others like Dr. Robert Emmons and those at the Greater Good Science Center (which also includes both Drs. Hanson and Emmons).

As Dr. Hanson states, our brains are like velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive. That helped us survive and evolve over time. Too much of it now means we stay stuck, we sell ourselves and our potential short. We can and do learn from pain and negative life experiences, but if we remain there, how is that really living?

Dr. Hanson provides some good resources on his website and at wisebrain.org.  A recent "Wise Brain Bulletin" piqued my interest. It is titled "Flow Machine: Hacking the Human Brain for Healing and Wellbeing" and was written by Michael Taft. You can read it here. It talks about the flow state and how accessing that, through mindfulness and meditation, could help those with addictions.

Though I have much more to learn and much room for improvement, I believe I have tapped into some of these benefits. (More beneficial than tapping into that keg in the drinking days of my youth.)

Critics of some recovery programs say that people are brainwashed by such programs. I say that my brain needed a good washing. It was full of thoughts that fed my self-hatred, self-pity, and perfectionism. My brain is wiser today. But I look forward to continuing the search for more wisdom.

Consider reading some or all of the links provided in this post. Read with an open mind and you may be surprised what you think and feel.

2 comments:

  1. Like the "my brain needed a good washing" - great line.

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    1. I don't remember where I first heard that line, but it sure fits me. I guess it gives "dirty mind" new meaning. Thanks!

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