Through the Education Lens

Mind Overload! from Technology & "Societal Exhaustion"

CJ Westerberg, December 16, 2014 3:51 PM


"I've seen it (mindfulness) transform classrooms,
I've seen it heal veterans,
I've seen what it does to individuals
who have really high levels of chronic stress . . .
 I wouldn't be willing to stick my neck out this far
if I didn't think it was the thing that can help shift the country."

- Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan
who secured $1 million in funding to teach mindfulness to schoolchildren in his district

Video Below
60 Minutes explores Mindfulness

If you missed 60 Minutes this weekend, check out the segment with Anderson Cooper on Mindfulness. We feature a few short Overtime clips below (2 min. and 5 min).

No longer reserved for the "new-agey" set, this practice is infiltrating Congress, schools, businesses and most surprisingly (or maybe not, depending how one looks at it), Silicon Valley.

"If you look at people out on the street,
if you look at people at restaurants,
nobody's having conversations anymore,"  . . . 
"They're sitting at dinner looking at their phones,
because their brain is so addicted to it.
It's the same reward pathways as addiction . . .

All this is leading to societal exhaustion."
-Researcher Judson Brewer, head of the University of Massachusetts' Mindfulness Center

Via Forbes:

Cooper is certainly not alone in his newfound devotion. Everyone from politicians to businesspeople is starting to practice it, and oftentimes, introducing it to their colleagues. One of the attendees at Cooper's retreat was Ohio democratic congressman Tim Ryan, who wrote the book A Mindful Nation. As a stressed-out congressman of 10 years, Ryan began meditating to deal with his chronic stress in 2008. He says that in meetings in Washington, mindfulness helps him manage his responses to peers who may say things to rile others up. . .

 . . . Big companies have gotten into it, too. Google, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the companies that attend the Wisdom 2.0 conference, and are bringing meditation back to their companies. One of the job perks at Google, is that its 52,000 employees are given free lessons in mindfulness. ......

Lest people think that mindfulness is "new-age gobbledygook," Cooper allowed himself to be a subject in a one-person experiment showing the neurological effects of meditation. There are dozens of studies showing the functional and structural changes meditation can bring about in the brain . . .

Meditation is really a form of cognitive training, says Brewer, who has studied the effects of mindfulness meditation for years, first at Yale and now at UMass. His specialty is using mindfulness to help people with their addictions. "This is just the next generation of exercise," he says. "We've got the physical exercise components down, and not it's about working out how we can actually train our minds." Brewer's research has found that mindfulness meditation can lead to measurable changes in the brains of both experts and novices.

 . . . So should more people give meditation a try? It's probably not a bad idea . . . but thinking of it as a "should" won't work, says Kabat-Zinn. If it feels like something extra you have to add to your day, that's probably not the right motivation. "It's not a big should," he says. "They shouldn't do it if it feels like a should - it's a being.

  • adan532165

    Social execution is very important for us and there are so many people are have more interest about this. So i think your post will be more helpful to know more about this.

  • Patricia Sobieski

    I`ve been a minfulness practitioner for almost 12 years now, and I can assure you that this practice truly does wonders. I do believe teaching it to schoolkids is a great initiative and should be introduced at least on experimental basis.

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