Michelle stewart hw420-02-unit5project


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Michelle stewart hw420-02-unit5project

  1. 1. Michelle Stewart Kaplan University HW420-02 Unit 5 Project November 16, 2010
  2. 2. 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 • Longevity
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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).
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. Two Ways to Improve Mental Fitness 1. Meditation • 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 and energized.
  7. 7. 2. Yoga • Find a quiet, warm room and wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing • 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 refreshed
  8. 8. Summary • 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 others.
  9. 9. References • Dacher, E.S. (2006) Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications