Relaxing in nature</li></li></ul><li>Part One: Benefits of Mental Fitness<br />1. Reduce Anxiety and Boost Positive Emotions<br />2. Reversing Heart Disease<br />3. Increased Focus and Boost Mental Performance<br />4. Decrease Chance of Heart Stoke<br />5. Increased Productivity<br />6. Increase Positive Social Connection <br />
Mental Fitness Studies: Reduce Anxiety and Negative Emotions<br />Dr. Richard Davidson – Psychosomatic Medicine July 2003- From Integral Health <br /><ul><li>First study done on group who were offered and eight week course in stress reduction and relaxation techniques showed improvements in reducing anxiety and negative emotions. Enhanced immune system. Reduce sickness.
Second Study- Mental Fitness Olympians. Positive emotions, compassion and kindness “off the charts”. Brain highly “aware”, calm and peaceful. </li></li></ul><li>Mental Fitness Studies: Reversing Heart Disease<br />Dr. Dean Ornish <br />Study that gave heart disease patients diet, stress management, and other lifestyle changes.<br />Group with the lifestyle changes 91% reduction in chest pains.<br />Overall improvement in health.<br />“Stress is not just what you do, is how you react to what you do.” - Cornish<br />
Increased Focus and Boost Mental Performance<br />Cultivating a “Winner’s Brain”<br />Harvard Mental Health Letter; May2010, Vol. 26 Issue 11, p4-5, 2p<br />The article discusses the nonpharmacological ways to boost mental performance. An individual can achieve a state of heightened concentration and pleasure by having a commitment to master a craft. Maintaining focus was found to improve one's ability to recall how to do a task later on. It is also considered that practicing something physically and using imagery repeatedly help individuals to gain skills and confidence.<br />
Decrease Chance of Heart Stoke with Transcendental Meditation<br />Meditation: Shock Absorber for the Heart.<br />By Gelman, Lauren<br />Prevention; Apr2010, V<br />Heart disease patients who practiced Transcendental Meditation twice a day were 47% less likely to experience heart attack stroke, and death over a 5-year period, compared with a control group that took classes on healthy eating and exercise. TM's benefit is so powerful, it's comparable to a new class of heart disease-preventing drugs, says study author Robert Schneider, MD, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, IA.ol. 62 Issue 4, p18-18, 1/3p<br />
Increased Productivity with Transcendental Meditation<br />TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION AND PRODUCTIVITY.<br />By Frew, David R.<br />Academy of Management Journal; Jun74, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p362-368, 7p, 2 Charts<br />The article explores the relationship between transcendental meditation and productivity at work. Using six measures of productivity, mediators reported they experienced increased job satisfaction, better performance and better relationships with supervisors and co-workers. Data support the proposition that productivity gains are an increasing function of structural level. Mediators reported that their gains in job satisfaction and performance and improved interpersonal relationships were more position than those of mediators who work at low levels of organizations.<br />
Loving Kindness Meditation Increases Social Connection<br />Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness.<br />Gross, James J., Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Jordan Hall, Bldg. 420, Stanford, CA, US, 94305-2130, firstname.lastname@example.org <br />In this study, the authors used a brief loving-kindness meditation exercise to examine whether social connection could be created toward strangers in a controlled laboratory context. Compared with a closely matched control task, even just a few minutes of loving-kindness meditation increased feelings of social connection and positivity toward novel individuals on both explicit and implicit levels. These results suggest that this easily implemented technique may help to increase positive social emotions and decrease social isolation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) <br />
Part 2: Examples of Mental Fitness Exercises<br />Transcendental Meditation<br />The Work – by Byron Katie<br />3-2-1 Shadow Work – by Ken Wilber<br />
Transcendental Meditation<br />Relax. Sit quietly with your eyes closed in a controlled environment with minimal distractions.<br />Breathe deeply and practice allowing your mind time to calm down.<br />Repeat your mantra over and over for 20 minutes.<br />Focus your mind on the "oneness" of the universe. This is achieved through repetition of your mantra and by shutting out any external distractions around you.<br />Observe, accept and move past any intrusive thoughts that pop into your mind. Simply practice repeating your mantra until you've gone 20 minutes thinking of nothing else.<br />http://www.tm.org/<br />
The Work by Byron Katie<br />The power to change your thoughts<br />
1) Judge Your Neighbor<br />Who angers, confuses, saddens, or disappoints you, and why? What is it about them that you don’t like?<br />How do you want them to change? What do you want them to do?<br />What is it that they should or shouldn’t do, be, think, or feel? What advice could you offer?<br />What do they need to do in order for you to be happy?<br />What do you think of them? Make a list.<br />
2) Ask the Four Questions<br />1. Is it true?<br />2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?<br />3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?<br />4. Who would you be without the thought?<br />
3) Turn it Around<br />Turn the thought around (original thought: Paul doesn’t listen to me.)<br />a) to the opposite (Paul does listen to me.)<br />b) to the self (I don’t listen to me.)<br />c) to the other (I don’t listen to Paul.)<br />And find three genuine, specific examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.<br />http://www.thework.com/<br />
Ken Wilber’s 3-2-1 Shadow Work<br />Transform Negative Emotions<br />
3- Third Person<br /><ul><li>Choose a difficult experience in your life that you want to work with. It's often easier to begin with a person with whom you have difficulty (e.g., lover, relative, boss).
Face It :Now, imagine this person. Describe those qualities that most upset you, or the characteristics that you are most attracted to using 3rd-person language (he, she, it). Talk about them out loud or write it down in a journal. Take this opportunity to "let it out." Don't try to be skillful or say the right thing. There is no need to sugar-coat your description. The person you are describing will never see this. </li></li></ul><li>2nd- Person<br /><ul><li>Talk to It: Begin an imaginary dialogue with this person. Speak in 2nd person to this person (using "you" language). Talk directly to this person as if he or she were actually there in the room with you. Tell them what bothers you about them. Ask them questions such as "Why are you doing this to me?" "What do you want from me?" "What are you trying to show me?" "What do you have to teach me?" Imagine their response to these questions. Speak that imaginary response out loud. Record the conversation in your journal if you like.</li></li></ul><li>1st- Person<br /><ul><li>Be It: Become this person. Take on the qualities that either annoy or fascinate you. Embody the traits you described in "Face It." Use 1st-person language ( I, me, mine). This may feel awkward, and it should. The traits you are taking on are the exact traits that you have been denying in yourself. Use statements such as "I am angry," "I am jealous," "I am radiant." Fill in the blank with whatever qualities you are working with: "I am__________."</li></li></ul><li>Complete the Process<br /><ul><li>To complete the process, notice these disowned qualities in yourself. Experience the part of you that is this very trait. Avoid making the process abstract or conceptual: just BE it. Now you can re-own and integrate this trait in yourself.
The 3-2-1 Process helps you uncover your shadow and integrate unconscious thoughts and emotions, so you can become more healthy and whole.
See: http://integrallife.com/awaken/shadow/practice-3-2-1-shadow-process</li></li></ul><li>Summary<br /><ul><li>Research has demonstrated the benefits of mental fitness
These benefits include reduced anxiety, decrease heart disease, increased focus and concentration, social connection and mental calm.
Studies have shown Transcendental Meditation to help reduce stress and increase productivity
Byron Katie’s “The Work” can change your thoughts
Ken Wilber’s 3-2-1 Shadow –can help you transform negative emotions and integrate them.</li></li></ul><li>References<br />Dacher, E. S. (2006). Integral health: the path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach: Basic Health.<br />Gelman, L. (2010). Meditation: Shock Absorber for the Heart. Prevention, 62(4), 18. Retrieved from Health Source - Consumer Edition database.<br />Frew, D. (1974). TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION AND PRODUCTIVITY. Academy of Management Journal, 17(2), 362-368. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.<br />Hutcherson, C., Seppala, E., & Gross, J. (2008). Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness. Emotion, 8(5), 720-724. doi:10.1037/a0013237.<br />Schlitz, Marilyn, Amorok, Tina, & Micozzi, Marc. (2004). Consciousness & healing. Churchill Livingstone.<br />