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How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts

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https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_gain_freedom_from_your_thoughts

greatergood.berkeley.edu

How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts
If you practice meditation, you probably spend a lot of time training your focus-on the breath, the body, or your wandering thoughts and feelings. But if you only train focus, you may be missing out on some profound benefits.

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Open awareness

One of the valuable skills in meditation is called open awareness, where you rest in the awareness of awareness. You can then approach situations with fresh eyes, and let go of your habitual reacti...

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The power of open awareness

Some find that being aware of awareness is confusing or even bizarre.

However, upon further reflection, they consider it very peaceful.

Social neuroscientists found ...

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Our brain is an anticipation machine

We typically see the world through a set of filters that can limit our experience and keep us stuck in painful patterns of emotion.

Filters help us anticipate what is going to happen next...

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Relax the filters you have

Major growth can occur when we give up some of the filters that arise in our lives - whether those filters are our expectations of the future, our biases about other people, or the limitations w...

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Laughter and humor

When we have a sense of humor about who we are, it opens awareness and connection with others.

Jokes are funny because they move in an unexpected direction - not where our filters expected i...

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Reducing Stress

Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress.

  • In an eight-week study, a meditation style called "mindfulness meditation" reduced the inflammation response caused by stres...

Controlling Anxiety

Less stress leads to less anxiety.

Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Promoting Emotional Health

Some types of meditation can improve depression and help you maintain these benefits.

  • Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
  • One study found that participants experienced a long-term decrease in depression.

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Mindfulness meditation

It is based on Buddhist traditions and it's described as "the non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment."

Sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed, focusing on yo...

How meditation works

It  works through a combination of several distinct mechanisms:
  • Attention regulation. Focused attention for an extended period of time.
  • Body awareness. Paying attention to surroundings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
  • Emotion regulation. Learning to observe your thoughts and accept them without reactive judgment while refraining from the habitual response.
  • Change in perspective on the self. 

Learning To Be Charismatic

Charisma is about what you say and do as opposed to who you really are as a person. Your subconscious, social cues, physical expression, and the way you treat others all play a part in developin...

Presence As A Charisma Tool

Presence is necessary for charisma and it’s all about being truly engaged with others and showing them that they have your complete attention. Without presence, you can come across as just wanting to show off.

Shut down your ego, and pay attention to and focus on every word that others say. 

Develop A Sense Of Confidence

People like confident individuals, even if their other qualities are less attractive. Developing confidence is a balancing act as you don't want to be arrogant, but you also don't want to come across as timid or scared.

Exercising regularly, dressing in clothes that make you feel good, and talking about the things you understand well can help you build and maintain confidence.

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