3 Simple Things That Will Make You 10% Happier | TIME
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Meditation, meditation, and meditation.
Via 10% Happier:
Meditation suffers from a towering PR problem, largely because its most prominent proponents talk as if they have a perpetual pan flute accompaniment. If you can get past the cultural baggage, though, what you’ll find is that meditation is simply exercise for your brain. It’s a proven technique for preventing the voice in your head from leading you around by the nose… There’s even science to back this up.
Btw, don't we want to be more than 10% happier?
Meditation is not some magic incantation; it’s a bicep curl for your brain that can tame the thoughts in your head.
So what is science learning about meditation? A lot. Here’s Dan Harris:
So what happened when the Journal of American Medicine recently looked at more then 18,000 citations on the subject?
Meditation demonstrated clear results in helping people with anxiety, depression and pain.
And Dan’s not the only one who’s realized this:
- The SuperBowl winning Seattle Seahawks meditate.
- Google has someone in charge of teaching meditation.
- 12 minutes a day of meditation makes US Marines more resilient in war zones.
Looking at the research a while back, I said meditation is one of the ten things people should do every day to improve their lives.
(For more on the science of meditation, click here.)
I know some of you are saying, “Great. But what does it do, really?”
Meditation and mindfulness are two things we hear about constantly but few of us can really define what they are and what they do. That’s about to change.
And here’s how Dan explained meditation to Eric Barker:
It really involves three extremely simple steps.
One: Sit with your eyes closed and your back straight.
Two: Notice what it feels like when your breath comes in and when your breath goes out, try to bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out.Third step is the biggie. Every time you try to do this, your mind is going to go crazy. You are going to start thinking about all sorts of stupid things like if you need a haircut, why you said that dumb thing to your boss, what’s for lunch, etc. Every time you notice that your mind is wandering, bring your attention back to your breath and begin again. This is going to happen over and over and over again and that is meditation.
Eric Barker likes to think of it as the toughest and most maddening video game in the world. Dan agrees:
It’s not easy. You will “fail” a million times but the “failing” and starting over is succeeding. So this isn’t like most things in your life where, like if you can’t get up on water skis, you can’t do it. Here the trying and starting again, trying and starting again, that’s the whole game.
Eric Barker says it works.
And meditation doesn’t cost anything. All you need to do is be breathing, and breathing is something that’s always with you and never stops.
And if it ever does stop, well, you may have more urgent problems to deal with.
(For more on what the happiest people do every day, click here.)
Is meditation going to give you magic powers? No. Even the Dalai Lama loses his temper.
Seriously — Dan asked him during an interview.
Via 10% Happier:
“Is your mind always calm?” I asked.
“No, no, no. Occasionally lose my temper.”
“Oh yes. If someone is never lose temper then perhaps they may come from another space,” he said, pointing toward the sky and laughing from the belly, his eyes twinkling beneath his thick glasses.
But research says meditation can make you less stressed and more happy. Here’s what Dan told me:
The bad things in my life are still bad but I am not making them worse than they need to be by adding on a bunch of useless rumination. We assume that our happiness is derived from external circumstances, like how much money we’re making, if we had a happy childhood, if we married well, whatever. The radical proposition of meditation is that happiness is self-generated. You can develop your happiness muscle the way you develop your biceps in the gym. That is hugely, hugely empowering and a comforting notion.