Meditation Journal: Sharper Focus After 184 Hours.

The mind can wander off on its own, without warning, at an unfavorable timing like the middle of a conversation.

What was I writing? 

Oh right, focus. These attention-grabbing thoughts can range from positive memories or anticipation to past cringe moments. Something awkward you said as a kid perhaps? The distracted mind knows no limits.

Off-task thoughts account for half of our thinking according to Mengran Xu, a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, in Canada.  His academic team published a study on the protective effects of brief meditation in the scientific journal Consciousness and Cognition on May 1st.  (Science Daily, 2017)

The researchers determined a ten minutes mind workout was enough to decrease the repetitive loss of focus in anxious subjects. 

"We also found that meditation practice appears to help people to shift their attention from their internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand." explains Xu.

Meditation does not have to be about anxiety or even spirituality. Modern science is beginning to catch up on this age-old wisdom. The benefits are measurable, and the skill is no different than learning how to ride a bike or curl a dumbbell. You might suck at first, but practice sharpens the mind like you strengthen a muscle.

Headspace is a mobile application to simplify meditation. You can try it for free, all you need is a ten-minute investment. The first sessions had me hooked, I am now at hour 184, and I plan on continuing far beyond 500.

You may not find it useful, however. There is only one way to know: Meditate before a workout as a scientific experiment. Note any changes in focus as you exercise. Does your mind wander a little less?

Related Articles

150 Hours Of Meditation Later

Faster To Sleep After A 100-Hour Meditation Trip
Tales Of A 100-Hour Meditation Trip
 

Sources
University Of Waterloo study
Science Daily report
 

Fearless

Fear secured emergency control of the body in a deal with the brain some time ago. An important partnership for a time when we were pieces of the food chain and every day was a battle for life. Fear taught us passivity and caution against an unforgiving nature and the savageries of our kind.

We can thank our ancestors for the omnipresent advisor, our personal Jafar of the mind still kicking around today. A coded GPS to keep us out of danger, forever. Everybody hears the same messages but sees different images.

Our capacity to outgrow fear and evolve made us the biological miracles we are today. We would be swimming around somewhere like fish, otherwise. The instinct is past its prime, though. Human history is a series of revolutions against terror, after all. The once naiïve and vulnerable brain dependent on fear to survive matured, and is stronger than ever.

Terror aged awfully - Its worldview is anchored deep in a past reality obsolete in our fast-changing world. There are still many maniacs at the head of mighty nations, murders, food insecurities and wild animal attacks, or tsunamis, sure, we have every reason to be afraid. But our innovation allows us to live well in spite of the dangers that killed our ancestors routinely.

The bored ageing advisor passes the time in the absence of immediate threat by creating and growing problems in our minds to for us to believe. Tyrants are acutely aware of this.

But we are at a turning point of humanity for the first time since the printed press empowered the Renaissance, more than half a century ago.  A pocket-sized device connected to an invisible network on all four corners of the globe can access a treasure of knowledge and cheap laughs at any time of the day. The possibilities for you to become the strongest version of yourself are endless - whether you aspire politics, fame, agriculture, or body building.

Courage is a presence, not an absence of terror. You give body and mind space to create a solution by accepting the constant fear as a chance to learn. Heroes have risen in spite of all dangers to provide us with the bright future we know today. The power is in our hands to honor their legacy and push humanity further out of the darkness because from now on we are fearless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear Food

Fear is no fad diet. Humans have eaten terror for as long as there has been power. The story is different, but the formula stays the same. There are villains and heroes, and they interchange based on who or when you ask. Enemies bear different names; they are heathens, quacks, or carcinogens. 

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We eat fear like pigs, and there have always been people to feed it to us. Terror is served warm for better digestion. The taste fades and needs heat fast. The mind moves on, so the rhetoric must evolve to keep the fire alive. Solutions saturate when there are no more problems to solve. The plot twists to maintain adepts confused and easy to control.

What is it about food that terrifies us? The mortal body is never enough against the poisons of the day. A strict adhesion to scriptures and guidelines is necessary to thrive, experts say. Everything else is contaminated. Adaptation is impossible.

The human body is a biological miracle that has survived eons of storms, plagues and several other natural disasters without the technology and knowledge we have today. We know we can adapt.There is no reason to be afraid at this point, yet We depend on authority to keep us healthy because we are scared and they know better. 

Are your eating habits rooted in fear? Do you avoid food because you've tried and felt worse after or did someone scare you out of it? The difference is huge. A documentary or seminar should not limit your dietary potential either. Keep an open mind and

Everybody can agree on the foods that kill you instantly. We know because some time ago our ancestors saw relatives die on the spot after eating a particular mushroom or berry. The shock transcended generations. We are aware now and avoid it intuitively. 

But what about the rest? The crashing health trends indicate we all have much to learn. No one knows how this story is going to end.

by Alex Bernier

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ear Of Injury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakfast Delusion

The breakfast debate is hot amongst experts. The most important meal of the day according to one is hurting you, says the other. Who to believe, the doctor? If so, which one? The nutritionist? The girl with a 12-pack, maybe? Trouble comes when health professionals within the same field disagree on a crucial topic.

The confusion perpetuates a degrading global health happening faster than ever before. It is hard for Tony the lawyer and Martha the accountant, busy dealing with the chaos of life, to learn the boring scientific jargon only understood by an elite few needed to verify any claim for themselves.

Take the matter into your hands and empower yourself. Health professionals are guides, not authorities. Sure, they may know more about the human body theoretically, but there is no medical textbook or scientific study about you.

Create your science by noting your body’s responses to various food options and adjust accordingly. Eat a certain way because it makes you feel optimal, not because an authority told you so.

Open your mind and be curious. Breakfast should be the product of your experiments. What you eat and drink in the morning is bound to affect you for the rest of the day; the question is how? I teach my students about different morning routines and how to track their effects on energy and stress levels, digestion, and other subjective parameters.

www.creavinci.com/onlineeducation

Mastering The Art Of Doing Nothing.

by Alex Bernier

Are you allergic to doing nothing?

Recently on Instagram, 2,950,051 users have anchored the powerful hashtag #nodaysoff to their six-pack selfies, fitness motivational one-liners, and other entrepreneurial-hustling related posts.

Stillness intolerance, it seems, has become somewhat of an epidemic. So much that we now relate doing nothing to laziness and weak-mindedness. The logic makes sense after all, how are you supposed to get ahead in life if you are not always moving forward?

Grinding it out for 120 hours a week has become the panacea of success. Whether it is at the gym or in our professional lives, we honor those who dedicate every ounce of energy to getting things done.

But as global stress levels rise, burnouts become more frequent, and chronic diseases soar, has the all-or-nothing attitude become an obsolete mentality?

‘’ STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!!’’

‘’ PUSH YOUR LIMITS!!!”

'' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ''

Hustling is addictive, especially when it pays off.

The problem is that we are stuck with a primitive piece of biological equipment known as the human body, which has not yet evolved to sustain the ridiculous demands imposed by the modern mind. We operate as if willpower was sufficient to propel us towards success eternally when in reality we are draining the finite amount of resources we have available without adequately replenishing any of it.

Eventually, we start dipping into our energy savings account, which is necessary to sustain basic biological functions such as mental acuity, digestion, and supporting the immune system.

We love the idea of hard work, but practically it is an extremely taxing endeavor. Often, my most successful students professionally and financially were the ones with the unhealthiest bodies – the mind is exceptional at ignoring the physical signs that we are diving head first into an ailment, and it can take decades before the real damage starts manifesting.

The longer you wait, the harder it will be to reverse any of it - No matter how ‘’successful’’ you might be.

If you find yourself in a vicious cycle of stress, chronic pain, sleepless night, low-energy, or weight-gain: focus your resources on actively doing nothing to let your body and mind recover. Take a long vacation from exercising, dieting, or whatever exhausting grind-work you strive to achieve on a daily basis in order push yourself to the next level.

Get even more comfortable in your comfort zone.

Seriously, don’t do anything: Binge on Netflix, nap, meditate, eat whatever you want for a whole month. The time off will allow deeper components of your whole-self to heal, which is an impossible task to accomplish when you remain in a constant state of action.

Use the free time to observe the changes and strategize accordingly – Sustainable results only manifests when the body is in full recovery mode. It is a short-term investment that will pay off exponentially later in your life.

It will teach your body to maximize rest time, perform more efficiently once you start moving again, and allow you to soar to the greatest levels of success sustainably.

If you have a hard time mastering the art of doing nothing, Creavinci is here to guide you.

Faster To Sleep After a 100-Hour Meditation Trip

What’s worse, a sleepless night, or the day after?

I struggled with chronic bouts of insomnia my entire life. I would sleep less than 1-2 hours a night, go through the entire next day thinking about how being so tired will finally give me a restful night of sleep, only to find myself wide-awake at 3:43am, counting the minutes until my dreaded alarm clock would announce another day of sluggishness. 

For some reason, my mental acuity was always at its sharpest once I put myself to bed. I’d go from being a wired human body scientist capable of reading through pages of useless knowledge between 10 pm and 5 am, to a baggy-eyed chump barely able to formulate coherent thoughts by day.

Insomnia is an awful vicious cycle, and discussing how poor sleep disrupted virtually every aspect of my life would take an entire novel. It is much easier, however, to share my experiences with the very few ‘’sleep solutions’’ that made a difference in completely reversing the condition.

Pharmaceuticals did nothing. Cleaning my diet, surprisingly, actually made my insomnia worse. Changing my night time routine; writing a grateful log, stretching before bed, and stop using electronic devices after 10 pm, instituted some much-needed discipline in my life, but did little regarding falling and staying asleep. 

Taking large doses of magnesium, the anti-stress mineral, for three years noticeably improved the quality of my sleep, more so because it reduced my anxiety levels throughout the day than having a direct impact on the insomnia. Same with rebalancing my gut flora.

Still, nothing can compare to the effects mindful meditation has had on my sleep patterns. I felt a significant difference after accumulating ten total hours and completing the incredible sleep package offered in the Headspace application.

 My meditaton journey with @headspace - The Sleep package

My meditaton journey with @headspace - The Sleep package

I have never been able to fall asleep so quickly, sleep like a log for the entire night, and wake up fresh, ready to take on the day the next morning. Considering all other meditation apps and techniques I had tried in the past irritated me more than anything, I have to say I am completely biased towards Headspace and the teachings of Andy Puddicombe, its founder.

The life-changing improvements meditation has generated do not undermine all the other important things that have helped me improving along my journey, but I can confidently say it has played a significant role in eradicating my chronic insomnia. I have learned to change my relationship with sleep, and can now fall asleep within 5 minutes after bedtime - something I would never have thought possible.

I am an entirely different sleeper.

Exercising and changing your diet will be useless if you cannot get an optimal night of sleep. If you are struggling with falling or staying asleep, I strongly advise giving a meditation trip a try. It certainly empowered me in creating my victory.

 

 

 

 

Thoughtfood 8: NFL Concussions, Saturated Fat, and Making a Murderer.

Head-on

The year is 1994,

The National Football League is in a state of panic. An avalanche of serious concussions has knocked several profit-generating players into early retirement – and they are not happy about it.

As a result of the growing epidemic, a scientific committee created by the NFL set out to investigate the impact of concussions on the players' health. From 1996 to 2001, a league-wide investigation covering 887 shocks; analyzed under various parameters serves as the solid foundation supporting the League's downplay of the condition's magnitude.

The players, outraged, proceeded to sue the League accusing them of covering up what they knew about the dangers of repeated hits to the head. The case settled in 2013 when the NFL agreed to pay $765 million to 4,500 players and their families.

''The settlement, announced Thursday, will be seen as a victory for the league, which has nearly $10 billion in annual revenue and faced the possibility of billions of dollars in liability payments and a discovery phase that could have proved damaging if the case had moved forward. ''

For 13 years now, the NFL has stood by its research, which has been praised by the committee for the completeness of the data. The findings, published in 13 peer-reviewed articles, which in academic publishing grants you scientific immunity, served as legal evidence to prove that brain injuries did not cause long-term harm to its players.  

Ouch.

Today, however, the New-York times revealed after further investigation of the data that the studies omitted more than 100 concussions from their calculations – including some severe injuries to stars like Steve Young and Troy Aikman.

For anyone suffering from severe post-concussion symptoms and has not benefited any of the multi-million dollar settlement, this new data could serve as substantial evidence against the NFL and its scientific committee.

“Settlement on concussions not gonna make up for early death, forgetting kids name and rest of stuff that come w/ brain trauma,”  Aaron Curry, a former NFL player who was not part of the lawsuit said on Twitter. ''

How much money is your brain worth to you?

Follow the saga @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/sports/football/nfl-concussion-research-tobacco.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

The War on Fat

It wouldn't be the first time Scientific authorities omit crucial data from important reports. In the 1950's, as soldiers returned home from a gruesome war, a new villain emerged - heart disease.

In a desperate attempt to identify a culprit, the American government turned to Ancel Keys, a charismatic scientist who had studied the influence of diet on cardiovascular health in 22 countries around the world.

In his study, Keys found a correlation between saturated fat and the incidence of heart disease in 7 of the 22 countries. Such findings seemed compelling enough for him to publish The Seven Countries Study in 1958, where he coined saturated as the culprit behind the epidemic, completely ignoring countries where fat consumption was high with low rates of heart disease, such as Norway and Holland, and those with higher rates albeit lower fat consumption.
 
Although the scientific community and the American Medical Association criticised the flawed study, Keys found political support from Senator George McGovern, a presidential candidate, who in 1977 published the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans advising the population against the consumption of saturated fat.

The rest is history.

Similar to the War on Drugs, the War on Fat been nothing short of a failure. Additionally, saturated has been exonerated by science. What a world we live in.

Lacking evidence, political & corporate corruption, and questionable Science – is this Making a Murderer?

Thoughtfood 7: Rich Diets, Poor Diets, and the Trillions of Bacteria Pulsating Inside You.

 

How Well Do You Know Your Shit?

by Alex Bernier


Let's talk about the elephant in the bathroom. 
 

 How well do you know your shit?

How well do you know your shit?

We are at the peak of our scientific advancement; technological breakthroughs have allowed us to understand the functioning of a cell one-billionth the size of a grain of salt, yet, our global health continues to degrade at an alarming rate. 
It is a paradox particularly prominent when it comes to the food we eat. Still today, much like the US Congress, doctors and other health scientists remain highly divided on the matter of nutrition.  

Over the last six decades, governmental agencies have spent a tremendous amount of resources on funding ambiguous science, establishing generalized guidelines for 7.4 billion people, and generating fear-inducing campaigns in a relentless battle against the chronic disease goliath. 

As scientific egos clash, the population is left in a state of mass confusion. Nobody knows what to eat anymore except for the enlightened gym rats endorsing a wide-variety of contradicting diets. Still, amidst a continuous display of six-packs, the gold standard of health, chronic diseases prevail. 

There is always a villain; Big Pharma, McDonald's, Television, or genetics. Even those adhering to the nutritional dogmas are falling ill. Fearing blasphemy, we never question the establishment of Science itself. Are we missing an essential piece of the puzzle? 

We emphasize the importance of the calories we consume and rarely discuss the ones we defecate. If you think about the infinite variations amongst our organisms, all knowledge about food remains a myth until YOU eat and process it.


Your feces provide valuable insight on the complex digestive universe processing what we eat – They are great storytellers. In the light of the ongoing chronic disease epidemic, perhaps it would be wise for those in charge of our health to adopt an individual-oriented scientific perspective and start looking for answers at the other end of the tunnel. 

Want rapid results? Pay closer attention to the impact of food on your stool instead of your body fat. 


Get to know your shit.