HW420-02 Unit 5 Project
November 16, 2010
The Benefits of Mental Fitness
• Able to achieve good mental health
• Decreases depression/anxiety/tension/fear
• Provides relaxation
• Promotes happiness that is energizing
• Increases physical wellness
• Improves mental health
Davidson Research Study
• Dr. Richard Davidson has conducted experiments
highly trained and skilled contemplative scholars
who have mad inner development their life’s
work (Dacher, 2006). These scholars were asked
to enter mental states such as compassion or
pure awareness. He found that the left prefrontal
cortex were activated to levels that were far
above an “ordinary individual’ (Dacher, 2006).
This study proves that the when properly trained,
the mind can be permanently changed.
Lutz’s Research Study
• Antoine Lutz and his colleagues studied a
particular brain wave called the gamma wave
(Dacher, 2006). They used contemplative
scholars to develop a compassionate mental
state and this showed that there was an
increase and synchronization of the gamma
waves compared to the control group. What
this shows is the mind can be trained to
function at higher levels of integration and
organization (Dacher, 2006).
Ader’s Research Study
• One of the first breakthroughs in this field was
done by Dr. Robert Ader in the early 1970’s. The
experiment conducted typical behavioral
conditioning on rats (Dacher, 2006). He fed the
rats saccharine-sweetened water mixed with
Cytoxan. The rats learned that the sweetened
water with the Cytoxan was associated with the
nausea and even when the Cytoxan was removed
from the water the rats still experienced nausea
(Dacher, 2006). This is a response that was
mentally learned by the rats.
Two Ways to Improve Mental Fitness
• Find a quiet place where you will not be
disturbed. Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
• Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly
and deeply following the movement of your chest
in and out.
• Focus on these breathes and be aware of your
thoughts, when distracted push the thoughts
away by concentrating on either the chest lifting
when inhaling or falling when exhaling.
• Let the mind be calm.
• When finished open your eyes to feel refreshed
• Find a quiet, warm room and wear loose fitting,
• After learning yoga, positions and breathing
techniques (watching videos or taking classes)
spend 30 minutes following your yoga routine
• Concentrate on each fluid movement
• Control your breathing paying close attention to
each inhale and exhale
• After 30 minutes relax your body and quiet your
mind for 3-5 minutes until you feel calm and
• The three research studies conducted all
showed that the mind can be trained. There
are many exercises, activities and practices
that you can do to gain mental fitness.
• Practicing every day will improve your
lifestyle and the relationships you have with
• Dacher, E.S. (2006) Integral Health: The Path
to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA:
Basic Health Publications