Slow (e)Motion

“Tachypsychia” is a neurological condition that distorts the perception of time, appearing to make events slow down or speed up. While we don’t hear often hear the word much in conversation, most of us have experienced it—whether during a traumatic accident or some other stressful moment. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation that felt like it spiraled out of control in a speeding blur or warped into slow motion like a scene from the old television series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” you’ve experienced tachypsychia.

Conceptual image of business woman without head and daily routin

It’s believed that high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine induce tachypsychia. These hormones are what trigger the fight or flight response, our survival mechanism. If we feel attacked or anxious, our heartbeat quickens, blood pressure rises and breathing becomes shallow. Fortunately, the occasions in life where we truly need to react with great intensity are rare these days, so it’s important to be able to control this instinct when it’s not needed, especially in day-to-day interactions that can trigger emotional reactions.

We are not our emotions. With mindfulness practice, you can make a subtle, yet important, shift […]

Moving through the Darkness: Accelerating Joy

As those of us in the Northern Hemisphere slide closer toward the deepening darkness of the winter solstice on December 21, many of us sometimes experience something that feels darker than just the dwindling daylight outdoors. The winter blues are most easily remedied with sunlight, but in lieu of traveling to sunnier lands, mindfulness and meditation can help focus on finding light during the darkest months of the year.

Over time, many people who practice formal meditation discover a powerful quality sometimes referred “non-energetic joy.” Once tapped, this is bountiful energy.

Happy boy at sunset

Practicing Joyful Mindfulness accelerates this quality and begins by bringing full attention to small joyful experiences in our daily lives. Riding a bike, savoring a good cup of coffee, watching a child learn something new or petting a purring cat are examples of times during which we can apply Joyful Mindfulness. The key is to appreciate these moments of joy with a highly attuned consciousness.

Bringing mindfulness to these every-day experiences is immediately rewarding because the moments themselves become even more enjoyable, simply because you’re more present to appreciate them. Then, like anything, the more you practice, the more adept […]

The Written Word: a Path to Self-Discovery?

In 2009, researchers asked 49 college students to take two minutes on two consecutive days to write about something they found to be emotionally significant. After completing the writing (four minutes in total), participants registered immediate improvements in mood and performed better on standardized measures of physiological well-being. The study concluded that merely “broaching the topic on one day and briefly exploring it the next” is enough to put things in perspective.

This study, combined with others, is a strong argument for journaling. Writing things down helps free your mind, organize your thoughts, process emotions and access a world of possibility.

businesswoman with a note-book
While journaling, you’re not trying to communicate with somebody else. Instead, the goal is to let your thoughts flow, without judgment, to see what comes up. To do this, all you need is a few minutes and, perhaps, some prompts. To get started, create a few open-ended phrases to get the pen moving. Here are a few examples:

• I am aware that…
• What motivates me is…
• I am inspired by…
• Today, I aspire to….
• What hurts me is…
• I wish…
• Others are…
• Love is…

Then give yourself a certain amount […]

Simple Gratitude

November brings a holiday in the United States to give thanks, but the act of being grateful deserves more attention than only one day of the year. Even during difficult times, most of us still have something or someone in our lives to appreciate. It’s easy to underestimate gratitude, but research shows that people who exercise gratitude are more likely to be productive, optimistic, generous and compassionate.

Some of the most compelling science to show the benefits of gratitude has explored its expression in a variety of ways: asking participants to think about a living person for whom they are grateful, to write and deliver a letter to someone for whom they are grateful or to keep a gratitude journal. In all of these studies, participants demonstrated increased happiness over time.

Like gratitude, it’s also easy to underestimate the power of intention. Without intent, we couldn’t scratch our noses, get out of bed, or call a friend. What we manifest begins with intention, so cultivating gratitude through meditation can be especially rewarding.

How do you combine the two?

Initiating meditation by setting an intention of gratitude, such as “I intend to practice gratitude for …” or “My intention is to appreciate …”, is a good place […]

Replacing Self-Criticism with Compassion Through Metta Meditation

Everyone has an inner critic. The voice inside that says “you can’t do it” or “you’re not good enough.” For some, this voice is a whisper – just a nagging doubt in the back of the mind. For others, it’s stronger. It’s a constant voice that hurts confidence and eats at self-worth.

What’s your relationship like with your inner voice? Are you happy with it? Like any other relationship, this relationship can also be changed. Instead of tearing you down, this voice can help build you up. It can help you build your confidence, boost your self-worth and increase your overall happiness.

So, how can you transform your inner critic into your inner champion? Through metta meditation.

What Is Metta Meditation?

Metta meditation is “kindness meditation.” It’s any kind of meditation that encourages and develops compassion.

Most traditional types of metta meditation focus on developing compassion towards others. However, this same meditation can actually be turned inward – and be directed at your own inner voice.

Here’s the meditation. For self-critical people, it’s often easier to start by loving others rather than themselves – so that’s where this meditation starts.

  • Start by doing one to two minutes of breathing meditation. Let yourself settle into the present moment.
  • Now, […]

5 Tips for a Deeper Meditation Practice

Want to dive deeper into your meditation practice? In this blog post, we’ll talk about five different ways to take your meditation practice deeper and further.

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