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How Loneliness Effects Our Brain

Loneliness can have a serious effect on our genes and cause epigenetic changes: loneliness can alter gene expression, changing genes that regulate immune response, inflammation, and brain growth. This may also have a major effect particularly on the prefrontal cortex, which restraints impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

loneliness_by_mehrdadartThus, this might mean increased feelings of loneliness may increase the risk for diseases associated with faulty wiring of the prefrontal cortex, such as ADHD or schizophrenia.

Since loneliness increases stress, prolonged loneliness and increased feelings of emotional isolation may cause chronic stress, which is known to disrupt the immune system.

And believe it or not, loneliness may cause heart disease! According to previous studies, loneliness increases vascular resistance, in which arteries narrow as tissues become inflamed, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood. This can wear out blood vessels, and if this prolongs, it can morph into heart disease. Psychologists have even noted that emotional isolation is ranked as a high risk factor for mortality is smoking.  Continue reading

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How To Raise Spiritually Awakened Children

Children are born with open heart chakras, a perfect balance of loving energy that has been undisturbed, untouched and unscathed. Only to learn emotional traumas, and toils of “growing pains” in this physicality. It takes courage to come to this plane and fight the battles of this world. And yet, we are all here. We are all in this present moment learning and discovering emotional hardships on our quests to spiritual fulfillment and joy.

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As it is only, by connecting back to our source of creation while here, can we experience the euphoric state of our spiritual, eternal origin.

Whether you understand it or not, all children are born with what is called Extra Sensory Abilities. Expressed or unexpressed all children have unique gifts of what would be called “spiritually awakened children”. It is only time, and improper nurture of these natural gifts that deflower our children’s natural abilities.

How can we know every child has these gifts? It is quite simple and it is because all abilities, of pychic awareness, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. simulate at the heart center. It is only be knowing your own heart that you can give these gifts to the world. Intuition is the basis of our connection to the esoteric and intuition stems from feelings that are generated by our heart centers. Continue reading

5 Attachments To Let Go Of To Experience True Freedom In Life

“Attachment is the root of all suffering” – Buddha

We all want to be free and feel free, but what does this really look like?  Most people imagine it looks like something along the lines of being your own boss, not living by the alarm clock, or leaving the ratrace.  The truth is, freedom is more of a mental state than anything else, and you can be working a 9-5 and be absolutely free.  You can also be your own boss and be totally enslaved.

It all comes down to your intentions, your desires, and your level of attachment to particular outcomes.  Are you resisting your heart and resisting life, or are you flowing with them both and embracing each moment?  For the last year and a half, I have been my own boss.  I have also been more of a slave than ever before up until recently, not because of my lifestyle, but because of my mentality.

Here are 5 attachments we need to let go of to experience true freedom in life:

1) Societies expectations

Your dad wants you to get a good education.  Your mom wants you to find a nice girl or guy to marry.  Your teachers want to see you land a 9-5 job.  The media forces down your throat what the “ideal” life is and wants you to spend your life chasing after the “American dream”.  All of these outside influences keep you trapped in a state of mind that is plagued by the constant need to impress someone or live up to expectations that have nothing to do with what YOU really want to do as a person.

Maybe you want to drop out of school and start your own business.  Maybe you want to be single, and you are content without having very much money or material items.  The world around you is constantly trying to make you into someone you are not by imposing their expectations on to your life.  This creates a program in your psychology that keeps you constantly trying fulfill these expectations to feel like you are “successful”, when in reality you are spending your energy trying to make a mark in someone else’s consciousness to gain their approval.  To be free is to live for yourself.

2) Your past

Your past doesn’t define who you are.  Contrary to what people around you may tell you, you are not defined by your sins, achievements, mistakes, successes, or failures.  Anything you have done in your past, whether it is good or bad, will prevent you from evolving if you are attached to it.  If it is bad and you are attached to it, you are doing to cause yourself depression self-hate over something that no longer even exists.  If it is good and you are attached to it, you are projecting yourself out of the present moment and into a memory-stream.

Your past is meant to act as a guide and a compass to serve you, but we are told by the world that we are the sum of our history.  When we apply for a job, we are expected to provide a resume.  We are also expected to provide a kind of resume to the world when we are discussing who we are as a person.  When we see an old friend we haven’t seen in a while, the first thing that often comes up is “What have you been up to?”.

This translates into “What have you done or accomplished within your recent past?”, which keeps us attached to the past and reliant on it for our sense of identity and worth in the world.  Whatever you have or haven’t done in your past, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t define you.  The only thing that matters is what you choose to do with this moment moving forward.

3) The need to impress others

The need to impress others ultimately comes from our egos, which are products of millions of years of evolution.  It has created a spirit of competition within us that keeps us enslaved to the constant need to outshine other members of our species. The species that are fastest, strongest, and most adaptable are the ones that carry over into the next generation and reproduce, and this is the purpose the ego has served us in our past.

This is not needed in a modern society of rational human beings, but the sense of needing to compete with one another ultimately stems from an archaic part of our brains that is still wired through millions of years of evolution.  This translates into competing for “likes” with other people on Facebook, comparing cars, bank accounts, or physical fitness levels. It manifests in the to be recognized, the instinct to compare ourselves with others, the need to make impressions on others, and so forth.

Being free from your ego is the key to being free from feeling like you have to outshine other people.  Live for yourself, and be true to what you want in life.  A lot of people work at jobs they hate to buy things they can’t afford to impress people they don’t even know, and this all boils down to being identified with the ego.

4) Fear of the future

Fear of the future stems from us projecting our attention away from the present moment and into an undesirable hypothetical moment that doesn’t even exist.  Because our attention is consumed with that undesirable hypothetical moment, emotions begin to generate within our energy field that correspond to those thoughts.

There is nothing scary about the future.  The future is only scary of we anticipate failure and pain, and we would only anticipate failure of pain if we lack confidence or self-esteem in the present moment.  The key to overcoming fear of the future comes in two parts.  First, we have to keep our mind and attention concentrated on what is happening within the present moment.  Secondly, we have to overcome any feelings of disbelief we have in ourselves.

The future is nothing to fear. It is just another present moment just like this one.  If we can learn how to tap into the present moment and make it as awesome as possible, our future is guaranteed to be as awesome as possible since the future is just an extension of the present moment.

5) Relationships that aren’t worth it

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes.  Romantic partnerships, friends, family members, co-workers.  Sometimes, we remain in relationships we know we don’t want to be in simply because we don’t want to hurt another person.  In other words, we maintain relationships and friendships with people out of a feeling a guilt.

If you are staying in a relationship that isn’t worth it because of guilt, then you are attaching yourself to an unhealthy situation out of fear.  So many people put up with unhappy marriages and relationships out of fear, forgetting that life is too short to do anything but follow your heart.  Let go of fear and giver yourself permission to follow your heart.  Being free means being free to expressive yourself, say what you mean, and feel what you feel, even if it means it make make someone else unhappy.

You are not free in life until you are free from all attachment.  You can still work hard, be ambitious, and be in relationships without being attached and dependent upon a particular outcome to rectify your existence.  Just as much as we pursue money, education, and health we should pursue freedom.   Am I following my heart?  Am I living for myself or for my parents? Am I being true to what I feel each moment?

Hope this helps!

Steven Bancarz,

Team Spirit

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6 Questions Left Unanswered By Science

We are going to take a look at ten very unique questions that some of the most brilliant men and women still quarrel over. When you take a minute to think about it, there are so many things we still don’t have definite or even well-substantiated answers for. From the possibility of advanced life extension, to the apocalyptic end of our universe as we know it, prepare to put your thinking caps on.

1. What Is Consciousness?

What Is Consciousness

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes consciousness as “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself.”

Despite these fancy words strung together, we have yet to grasp what exactly it means to be in such a state. Science tells us that consciousness has to do with multiple regions of the brain all in a network together rather than a single compartment.

Consciousness is a concept so difficult to understand because of the simple fact that it’s something that has been wired into our brain since birth.

Subconsciously we make choices that affect the outcome of events while at the same time following a personalized routine or carrying on with everyday life. In 1994, cognitive scientist and philosopher, David Chalmers, published a paper explaining why consciousness is such a complicated concept. Continue reading

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What Happens To Our Body When We Suppress Our Emotions?

Our emotions and thoughts deeply affect us because they are physically connected to our bodies through the immune, endocrine and central nervous system. All the emotions, even those that are suppressed and unexpressed, have physical consequences.

mental-and-emotional-healthUnexpressed emotions remain in the body like little time bombs – they are diseases that will flourish in the future.

Subsequently, every emotion that you do not understand or suppress will turn into a disease. In other words, the diseases that you now have are caused by your emotions.

But the principle of the unconscious is: if you suppress it, the eruption will be stronger and it will reflect as an illness or a nervous breakdown. Abuse in childhood through some other form of pain is common to many people, and it makes the spirit and the body feel uneasy. Remembering this life experience, reliving it in order to re-experience it, is one of the ways, in addition to other methods, that we should strive for in order to revive many emotions and then assimilate them. Continue reading

Lights of ideas

Harvard Study Shows Meditation Actually Builds Brain Cells

A team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital demonstrated that meditation builds brain cells and increases gray matter in the brain. The researchers used magnetic imaging (MRI), and found that meditation produced physiological changes in the brain’s gray matter.

They noticed thickening in some areas of the participants’ brains after only eight weeks of meditation. This research was published in 2011 and it was the first documented proof that meditation can cause physical changes to the brain.

solomeditationThis research was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH. The participants in the research spent eight weeks doing a mindfulness meditation program. During the trial, the participants listened to audio recordings of guided meditation for an average of 27 minutes a day.

The group had weekly meetings. The participants had magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) of their brains taken two weeks before the beginning of the trial, and then again at the end of the eight-week program. There was also a control group that also had brain imaging (MRI), but did not listen to the audio-recorded meditation guides.

The research findings

science-meditationAfter eight weeks, the participants reported feeling less stressed. The MRI scans showed decreased gray matter in the amygdala and increased gray matter in the hippocampus.

The amygdala is the part of the brain that helps the body deal with anxiety and stress, and it also controls the “fight or flight” mechanism.

The hippocampus, which showed increase in gray-matter density, is the brain’s area that controls learning, memory, self-awareness, introspection and compassion.

Conclusion and implications

Science-Meditation-Mind-Molecular-Zen-BrainThe study concluded that meditation can build brain cells. The shrinking of the amygdala indicated a decreased stress response of the body, due to the feeling of relaxation and the reduced stress that were reported by the participants in the study.

The shrinking of the amygdala allows the pre-frontal cortex around it to thicken. And this pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain that makes decisions and is in charge of concentration and awareness.

It has been concluded that meditation can indeed build brain cells, increase gray matter and allow the brain to have a slower response to stress, while at the same time providing better learning, concentration and memory.

Sources:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

http://news.harvard.edu

http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

http://talyadagan.com/

Seeking Higher Consciousness