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Meditation and Neuroscience

Meditation has been extensively practiced in many civilizations for thousands of years as a means of cultivating a state of well-being and for religious purposes. It has now started to be studied in terms of its influence on the brain and body and used in clinical settings. This chapter will first review meditation effects at the physiological, attentional, and affective levels and the scientific paradigms used to study these effects. A clinical application on emotion regulation will then be presented.

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Mindfulness Meditation Therapy

As the socially active human beings, we spend a lot of time hanging around things that do not solve anything, but it makes us fall into anxiety or depression. Mindfulness therapy consists in nurturing our attention only in the present moment, which allows us to free ourselves from the disturbing influence of our thoughts. Learning to be calm, accepting situations without resistance and being present with lucidity in the various activities of daily life facilitates harmony, mental balance, and vital fullness. We believe that we are what we think. So our happiness depends, to a significant extent, on our thoughts before what we are living, subjective interpretations that, in many cases, generate much suffering, fears, and unwanted anxiety. The human mind lives in the past or the future, but very seldom in the present and this creates the unwanted stress that we are unable to cope with (Kabat-Zinn, 2014).

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