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Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

Moving From Autopilot Towards Mindfulness

November 24th, 2020 No comments

https://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/zoning-outHave you ever been carrying on a conversation with a friend when you realize you have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about–let alone how you’re still talking? Or, maybe you’ve been driving when you blink and an entire hour goes by leaving you wondering where your mind went… and how your car is still intact? I could just be a bad friend, or a slacker driver, but I suspect I’m not alone. It’s likely that you’re zoned out a lot more often than you realize, and this isn’t without negative repercussions. In 2010, Harvard psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert used a phone app to randomly record what 2,250 subjects’ minds were focused on in a specific moment in relation to what they were doing and how they were feeling. They discovered that the average person spends about 47% of their day on “autopilot,” following automated behaviors while their thoughts wander from the task at hand. Equally intriguing, when the participants reported their mind wandering, they also reported being significantly less happy in that moment. It may be unsettling to realize that you aren’t consciously aware of your behavior for half of your day, and that generally the more time we spend directed by automated behaviors, the less happy we’re likely to feel. (Killingsworth, 2010)
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Don’t get too personal when it’s the all about the situation: Fundamental Attribution Error

April 17th, 2017 2 comments

Fundamental attribution error (FAE) happens when people explain a behavior of another by drawing inferences about that person’s personalities, dispositions or other internal factors, but underestimate the effect of external factors such as the situation the person is in (Gilbert & Malone, 1995). People often make FAE without realizing it. What are some examples of FAE, why does it happen so often outside our consciousness, and how can we avoid it?

Let’s starts with some examples of FAE. Imagine you are traveling in a foreign country and want to buy souvenirs for your friends. After careful selection, you decide to buy seventeen homemade chocolate bars; each is thirteen dollars. Before checking out, you want to know how much do they cost but you are having a hard time calculating the exact number. Then, the little boy next to you says immediately: “Hey, that’s 221 dollars.”

So you take out the cell phone to check the total; you find out that the boy is correct. What would be your first reaction? Read more…

Can Loving-Kindness Meditation Increase Positive Affect and Attentional Control?

May 10th, 2014 2 comments

grumpy cat

Finals period: a time when we question our life choices. “Why didn’t I start studying for this test last week?” “Why did I start writing this essay the day before it is due?” By finals period, most of us are already pretty burnt out from the semester and it can become increasingly difficult to concentrate on work. As Jim Terhune mentioned in his last email to Colby students, we often feel grumpier around this time of year. Recent research in the field of psychology suggests that practicing loving-kindness meditation may actually improve our ability to form positive attitudes and to control attention, a much needed cognitive resource during finals period.

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Don’t just do something — sit there! A cognitive perspective on how meditation and mindfulness support mental wellbeing

May 2nd, 2014 4 comments

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I remember my first time attending one of Jing Ye’s meditation sessions in the Rose Chapel at Colby. The idea of meditation had always been appealing to me; it sounded “new age” and profound. In reality, meditation is a lot different from what most people imagine. During my first attempt, my irritation grew as the dull aching in my lower back intensified and the sensation of pins and needles spread through my crossed legs. Not to mention the frog-like noises coming from the guy sitting next to me as he swallowed down saliva. Couldn’t he just stop that? Sitting there with eyes closed, I resorted to generating a to-do list in my head – no one would know I was cheating. Jing had told us to be present and aware of our body’s sensations and emotions in a nonjudgmental manner, but being asked to sit still left me with no choice but to confront the internal chaos that I was usually too busy to notice.

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