The Third Metric

Mindfulness Could Make You Less Swayed By Immediate Rewards

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/05/mindfulness-rewards-positive-feedback_n_4213365.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

mindfulness rewards

Mindfulness could help you to be less swayed by immediate rewards, a new study suggests.

A study in the journal Emotion shows that people high in mindfulness have less brain activity in response to positive feedback. Mindfulness is the act of nonjudgmental focus on the present moment.

“These findings suggest that mindful individuals may be less affected by immediate rewards and fits well with the idea that mindful individuals are typically less impulsive,” study researcher Rimma Teper, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto Scarborough, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers tracked brain activity of study participants using electroencephalography as they completed a computer task that involved receiving positive, neutral or negative feedback. Researchers found that participants high in mindfulness showed less brain response to rewarding feedback when compared with other study participants.

A study published earlier in the British Journal of Health Psychology also showed that mindfulness had benefits for self control. In that research, using mindfulness strategies seemed to help people resist sweets, Scientific American reported.

In addition, a study conducted by University of Utah researchers showed that mindfulness is associated with greater emotional stability and self-control over emotions.

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen

In search of simple, quick and cheap stress relief? Meditation is what you’re after.

Often associated with Eastern-world practices, meditation has been making headlines and infiltrating the West. It’s no mystery as to why: Just 20 minutes has been shown to decrease stress, help with depression and even lower blood pressure.

Best of all, there’s no catch: Meditation is free, and you can take it anywhere (all you need is your head). We were curious where you take your meditation; while we might typically think it’s a practice for stillness and silence, it turns out there’s no place too loud or exclusive to find peace of mind.

We asked on Facebook the strangest place you’ve found yourself practicing, and from your answers it’s clear: Meditation can happen in motion, and is often helpful in times we anticipate feeling tense. Check out some creative and brilliant places to meditate below, then tell us in the comments where else you like to clear your head.
“In a tree.” — Marty Daymunde
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“In the middle of a rock concert.” — Jane Sayre
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“On the NYC subway!” — Lauren Loma Calixte
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“On a plane.” — Sandrine Laurent
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“In the car.” — Heather Hunter
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“Public restroom!” — Jane Sayre
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“While running on a treadmill.” — Travis H Heinrich
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“While in an MRI. It helped keep me calm in the tube.” — Katherine Nobles
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“In the middle of the airport.” — Sky Can Horn
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“In the dentist’s chair.” — Sean Mac An Ultaigh
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“In a bar.” — Denise Helberg Snider
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For more on meditation, click here.

Where To Meditate: 11 Surprising Places To Find Some Zen.

‘Meditation Has Changed My Life,’ Says Hugh Jackman

An unlikely poster boy for meditation, Wolverine star Hugh Jackman revealed in the latest issue of Men’s Health that meditation “changed his life.” The August issue of the magazine features a world exclusive on his workout (and some mighty fine muscles he has too).

Talking about the gruelling training involved to shape up for the film, he said: “The bottom line is you’ve got to train until you want to throw up and you have to eat until you want to throw up. And that’s pretty much it.”

Meditation may play a role in the mindful attitude he takes to working out. He added: “Over the years I’ve really got to know my body. I know what it takes to get ready, I know how long it’s going to take to get there and I know what I need to eat. I’ve really adjusted my diet and narrowed it down to the least painful way for me.”

hugh jackman

Looking fit comes at a price however, as his diet involved eating one piece of steak a day and was so off-putting towards the end, that he’s thinking of becoming a vegan. “I eat one steak a day minimum. Now I don’t know any doctors recommending a 12oz steak every day. I’m pretty sure that’s not good.”

The star has been very open about relaxation and meditation, which has become a fundamental part of his wellbeing over the last 20 years. He said: “I practise different strains of meditation and its really changed my life. It is not a religious thing.”

This isn’t the first time the actor has spoken about it – he explained in an interview to Oprah:

“In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it.”

Transcendental meditation has also featured in Hugh’s life, and he uses it to give himself space in an otherwise busy life. He says: “Nothing has ever opened my eyes like transcendental meditation has. It makes me calm and happy, and, well, it gives me some peace and quiet in what’s a pretty chaotic life!”

‘Meditation Has Changed My Life,’ Says Hugh Jackman.

Work Stress: An Email Meditation To Reduce Tension At Your Desk

Checking your overflowing Gmail inbox — or sending out a message to an important business contact — is a pretty surefire way to make your pulse quicken and your mind start racing with worries about deadlines and obligations. In fact, one study actually found that checking and sending email at work can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and cause levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body to spike.

“People expect us to respond within 24 hours … just handling the amount of email we get can be stressful,” Dr. Lillian Cheung, mindfulness expert and editorial director of The Nutrition Source at Harvard, tells the Huffington Post. “But instead of getting stressed and overwhelmed with emails, I think it’s an opportunity for us to refresh and restore ourselves.”

Taking a moment to perform a short meditation before sending an email can be an easy way to lower your stress levels and integrate mindfulness into your everyday work life. Before sending out your next message, try a simple breathing exercise outlined by Cheung and zen master Thich Nhat Hahn in their book “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.”

After writing an email, stop and take three deep breathes, focusing on each inhale and exhale. You can repeat to yourself, “Breathing in, I thank the power of the Internet. Breathing out, I am fully conscious of my current email actions.” Then, input your recipient and cc-recipient addresses, and click send on the email.

“Not only are you helping yourself to calm down, but you’re also preventing yourself from making mistakes,” says Cheung. “It’s just a moment of pause and it doesn’t take long.”

Read the original instructions from “Savor,” and click here for more ways to de-stress at your desk.

via Work Stress: An Email Meditation To Reduce Tension At Your Desk.