Gain the Power of Unions


We are attacked.

Aggressive lawyers.  Bungling bureaucrats. Cheating brokers. Forceful taxmen. Lying politicians. Tricky businesses. Fraudulent bankers.

To name just a few…

Each makes us feel separate and alone.

Yet, we need to belong.   Belonging is a primal, fundamental force that shapes our sense of happiness and well-being.  We need friends, families, cultures,  a country… to belong to our world and more..

Belonging shapes our interests, motivation, health and happiness.

Isolation, loneliness and a feeling of not belong, of not being important can harm our sense of well-being, our creativity, intellectual achievement, immune function and health.

A CNN article “Importance of Belonging” (1)  says: “Research shows that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance and self-control.

The article explains the development of belonging interventions using a technique known as “attributional retraining”.

The interventions shift blame for negative events from “It’s just me” to “I’m not alone, and there are others going through it.”   This helps people understand that when bad things happen, it doesn’t mean they don’t belong in general.

These short belonging interventions have significant and lasting results.   They increase happiness, improve health and reduce feelings of negativity for several years after the initial intervention.  They help making daily adversities feel personal, but part of a life we all belong to.

Here is one way to fight back. 

Integrate the left and right segments of your brain.  Unite your mind and heart.  Have a way to expend the realization of how much you belong.

An article from NPR.org, “Prayer May Reshape Your Brain … And Your Reality” outlines some research on prayer and meditation.

Scientists are making the first attempts to understand spiritual experience — and what happens in the brains and bodies of people who believe they connect with the divine.

The field is called “neurotheology,” and although it is new, it’s drawing prominent researchers in the U.S. and Canada. Scientists have found that the brains of people who spend untold hours in prayer and meditation are different.

“The more you focus on something — whether that’s math or auto racing or football or God — the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain,” Newberg says.

The study used a SPECT scanner, which created image of  the brain. The scans showed that prayer and meditation increased activity in the frontal lobes, which handle focused attention.

The researchers described Meditation as “sheer concentration”.   Another really important part is , that at the same time the brain’s frontal lobes are activated, the brain’s parietal lobes go dark.

“This is an area that normally processes sensory information to create a sense of ourselves and our place in the world.

This part of the brain slows down when we  feel a sense of oneness with the world.

They tested the brains of many faiths, monks, Franciscan nuns praying, Sikhs chanting.  Christian, Jewish, Muslim, the brain activity was the same.

Prayer and meditation helped normal people with jobs and kids as well.

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson says you can change your brain with experience and training.

A researcher explained saying, “You can sculpt your brain just as you’d sculpt your muscles if you went to the gym. Our brains are continuously being sculpted, whether you like it or not, wittingly or unwittingly.”

The process is called neuroplasticity.  One researcher scanned the brains of Buddhist monks and others who have spent decades in prayer and  meditation.  Then he tested people who had not prayed or meditated to see of they could achieve the same feeling of being connected.

The research found that in as little as two months there was positive systematic change in both the brain and the immune system.  For example, the test subjects developed more antibodies to flu virus than those who did not meditate.

Mediation or prayer, whatever one wishes to call it is a great way to defend against the many forces that would like to isolate us each.

The world is full of forces that like to separate and divide so they can take advantage of us.

They are not after just you.
We are all struggling to adapt to the world’s rapid change.  We should all feel like we are in this together.

As we are.

Gary

(1) CNN.com: The importance of belonging

(2) NPR.org: Prayer May Reshape Your Brain … And Your Reality


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