Linda Graham: Bouncing Back

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“We can begin cultivating this mindfulness by focusing our attention on one specific object of awareness — in Eastern wisdom traditions, usually the breath.
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Research has shown that even this introductory level of mindfulness practice can increase the cell volume of the anterior cingulate cortex (the brain structure that focuses our attention) and other associated brain structures.
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That makes sense; the more we use any structures of the cortex, the more they can grow new cells.
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Studies show that violinists who have mastered rapid fingering in the left hand have greater cell volume in the area of the motor cortex responsible for that dexterity.
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Taxi drivers in London, who are required to memorize the city’s many circuitous streets and alleyways and then use that information day after day, show a measurable increase in the volume of the area of the brain responsible for directional orientation.
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In the same way that working out our muscles at the gym actually builds them, focusing our attention strengthens the structures that our brain uses to focus that attention.
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This helps us see clearly what’s going on and then see our choices about what to do about what’s going on.
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Research also shows that mindfulness practices, even at this introductory level, increase the volume of the insula and improve its function of interoception — awareness of what’s going on in the body.
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Better interoception strengthens our capacities for self-attunement, self-awareness, and self-empathy: it helps us track how physically comfortable, how emotionally nourished, and how relationally supported we feel.
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This in turn increase the confidence in ourselves that increase resilience.
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We can strengthen the structures in the brain that help us become more present, engaged, and confident in our lives, simply by paying attention to our breathing.”
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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julie on April 4, 2017 at 6:03 am

    I would like to talk about mindfulness and how to begin. It looks like I stumbled into it with The Untethered Soul…and I can’t get past the first chapter. The voice is ever present. I want to know where to begin. Breathing?

  2. Hi Julie,

    I updated an old post about how to begin. I believe that a simple concrete specific plan is the best and quickest way to improve.

    I have designed a model to help focus on the breath plus,the addition of daily affirmations.

    We explore our inner world and make fri nds with our nervous system, our fight or flight mechanism and our demons.

    It is simple, not easy and this laser like approach can bring results rapidly with daily work and application.

    https://ptsdawayout.com/2017/04/04/a-question-from-a-viewer-nik-how-do-i-begin-where-do-i-start/

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