102 STASHED IDEAS
The term "mindfulness" is about focusing on the moment. It is about embracing every moment of the day.
While being in the moment can be transformative, scientists still don't fully understand what happens in the brain when we practice mindfulness. What is known is just the tip of the iceberg.
Research indicates that mindfulness can help with the following:
Many studies have been done on mindfulness. The most widely recognised are:
Neuroplasticity means the brain is malleable and able to restructure itself by forming new neural connections.
Some studies compared mindfulness therapies to medication.
One meta-analysis found 8 unique regions of the brain consistently changed in people experienced in meditation. These are:
Consistent changes were noticed as follows:
While medication is often used to treat ADHD, its effects are usually short-term. The medicine also has side effects.
In a randomised controlled trial, researchers found that mindfulness instruction is a good choice for young people with ADHD. The study is focused on measures of attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Milk should be added at the last possible moment before drinking, so the tea stays as hot as possible. Also, ensure to use freshly boiled water as it helps the flavours spread through the liquid.
Non-diary milk such as oat milk tends to add a good flavour to teas.
Tea tastes best in cups from inert materials like ceramic or glass. Styrofoam cups are porous and will absorb some of the flavour compounds and affect the taste. Plastics can also absorb flavours.
There is also psychology involved in the way we perceive taste. Hot drinks taste sweeter in a red or orange mug, and drinking from a fine bone china cup will taste better because it feels more special.
We are struggling with anxiety as our habits don’t let us part with it, with the pleasure and pain coming in a package. The habit loop of any habit cycle is:
Review your daily actions and map out the habits that create such loops.
Creating healthy habits requires mindfulness, so that new habit loops can be inserted when a trigger surfaces in your mind.
The brain labels our actions and behaviour as ‘rewarding’, usually in our formative years. We need to review our behaviour and habits and update the brain’s reward system.
Example: We may be having a habit of eating a lot of cake, since our childhood. Now as an adult, the habit is resulting in a high intake of sugar, without our realizing it.
If we use this method to review and update our reward system, the brain will naturally lose the urge to take the habitual action, something much more powerful than using willpower, which only suppresses the urge.
A new book by psychiatrist Judson Brewer, Unwinding Anxiety, proposes that anxiety exists in our daily habits, and is not something that simply goes away by breathing exercises.
Our brain is addicted to the habits due to the rewards attached to them, and we need to dismantle and decouple the rewards in order to break free from the habit and eventually the associated anxiety.
Anxiety triggers habit loops, but can also be the result of a habit loop (like reading the news online). Constant worrying is also a reinforcing pattern of habit loops.
The reward can be a eureka moment towards a potential solution (which is rare) or a feeling of productivity and passive action, providing us with a sense of control.
Nutrition experts provide their insights on our morning hydration process: