New research looks at how experiences can positively shift our self-perception.
By Daniel Goleman via mindful.org
I often hear people say, \”I\’m the kind of person who…\” or, \”I\’m not a people person.” These seemingly off-the-cuff comments suggest they’re resigned to not changing their self-perception—regardless if it’s inaccurate or self-defeating. My longtime colleague, Dr. Richard Davidson, founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, has studied neuroplasticity, the ability of the mind to change throughout life.
In his interview with Mirabai Bush for the Working with Mindfulness webinar series with More Than Sound, Dr. Davidson touches upon the possibilities of using our experiences to positively shift our self-perception—and retrain our brains. Here’s what he had to say.
“What we often refer to when we speak in that way are differences that we perceive in ourselves, in our emotional reactions, the way we respond to adversity, and the kinds of moods that we often inhabit. And these are differences that do exist among people. They are part of an umbrella that we call ‘emotional styles’. It\’s one of the things that gives life a lot of color. Continue reading
You may know when you’re awake, but you can’t prove it scientifically. That’s because there’s no objective way to distinguish between a “conscious” and “unconscious” brain. But now, scientists may have discovered the telltale neurological signature of a mind that’s awake.
Over at the New York Times, Maggie Koerth-Baker has a great essay on the scientific quest to discover what consciousness looks like in the brain. Interestingly, our greatest insights have come from studying what unconsciousness looks like. She begins:
More than a decade ago, a 43-year-old woman went to a surgeon for a hysterectomy. She was put under, and everything seemed to be going according to plan, until, for a horrible interval, her anesthesia stopped working. She couldn’t open her eyes or move her fingers. She tried to breathe, but even that most basic reflex didn’t seem to work; a tube was lodged in her throat. She was awake and aware on the operating table, but frozen and unable to tell anyone what was happening.
Studies of anesthesia awareness are full of such horror stories, because administering anesthesia is a tightrope walk. Too much can kill. But too little can leave a patient aware of the procedure and unable to communicate that awareness. Continue reading