Mind Fitness: How Meditation Boosts Your Focus, Resilience, and Brain (Video)

Big Think aims to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life. Have you, like me, heard about meditation a million times? And does it feel like everyone around you is doing it, yet you might not be convinced? This short 8 minute video gives more scientific consequences of meditation. Psychologist Daniel Coleman explains the behavioral, cognitive, and neuroscientific changes long-term meditators go through. Coleman goes further and talks about improving resilience, minimizing mindwandering and more.

Still not convinced? If you’re like me and  want more scientific proof on the benefits of breathing exercises (which is probably the main focus when meditating) then perhaps you like this video. Here Neuroscientist Alan Watkins talks about Heart Rate Variability and how breathing exercises can improve resilience, strengthen your heart, help your digestive system, and more!

Why You Need a Creative Hobby, Even if You Think You’re Too Busy (Article)

Foundr is a multifaceted digital business that is independently published, with the muscle of a traditional media company. Their mission is to create a supportive, potent global community and to provide young/new entrepreneurs with courage and valuable information. This article is about the potential effects of having a creative hobby that you enjoy regularly. The article uses research to provide potential evidence that making time for a creative hobby regularly can have positive benefits for your work. Some of the benefits of having a creative hobby which is further explained in the article are performing better at work, greater feeling of control/mastery, opportunity to recharge, diversifying your attention (taking pressure off your work), building your network, and more.

The Science of Breathing: How Slowing It Down Can Make Us Calm and Productive (Article)

Forbes Media is a global media, branding and technology company, with a focus on news and information about business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles. In this article, contributor Seth Porges simplifies the explanation of how our autonomic nervous system works, it’s ties to stress and anxiety, and how breathing can be used as a solution to get rid of those unpleasant feelings. When stressed and anxious the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight part of our nervous system) reacts causing body reactions such as shortage of breath and tensing of your muscles.  Porges writes that slow, consistent, and deep breathing can slow down all bodily functions leaving you in a calmer and more controlled state. Dr. Gerbarg suggests coherent breathing as a daily practice, such as slow and long breaths of about 10 to 12 seconds, can significantly improve your ability to deal with feelings such as stress, depression, and anxiety.

Blue Zones (Book)

Author, Dan Buettner, is Founder of Blue Zones where their mission is to “use an innovative, systematic, environmental approach to well-being that optimizes policy, urban and building design and social networks.” In this book, Blue Zones; Lessons From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, Buettner researches extraordinary long-lived communities around the world (blue zones) to study their diet, life-style, outlook, and stress-coping mechanisms to understand why they are an exception to the rule when it comes to life-expectancy.  Buettner finds that the reason for this longevity is deeply intertwined with community, lifestyle, and spirituality. The 5 areas people lived the longest statistically and that Buettner researched are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), and Loma Linda (California, USA). 

Stoicism 101 (Article)

Time Ferriss is a writer, entrepreneur, and investor who dedicated his time on learning from experts in their field and experimenting himself with new challenges. Ferriss lives by the philosophy of stoicism and was initially inspired by the letters of Lucius Seneca (these letters are provided for free on his website) back in 2006. In this blog, Tim lets his friend Ryan Holiday (author, marketer, and entrepreneur) talk about stoicism, what it stands for, and how you can apply it in your own life.  The fundamentals of stoicism are based off the practice of misfortune, training perception to avoid good and bad, and remembering it’s all ephemeral (remember how small you are). According to Ryan and Tim, the reason for the significant impact of stoicism in their lives is because it’s a philosophy that provides simple and practical rules that you can live by.

How To Strengthen Your Mind, Body, and Spirit Like a Navy Seal (Video)

Big Think  aims to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life. This video you will hear from David Goggins, former Army Ranger and Navy Seal, who believes that to grow one person must be look to put him or herself in uncomfortable situations on a consistent basis. Goggins tells his story of when he experienced when the mind, body, and spirit were at one as he finished a 100 mile race.  

Harvard Psychologist: “Why You’re Not Achieving Your Goals” (Article)

The World Economic Forum carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from both the public and private sectors, international organizations and academic institutions. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Harvard Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, has focused most of her career on research why people do or do not achieve their goals. This article writes about the importance of enjoying the process and not setting unrealistic poorly planned goals. In stead, she advises, chop up a big goal into a string of daily or weekly goals that are easier to accomplish.  The article provides a link to a video of Amy Cuddy personally explaining this issue.

Ray Dalio’s 5 Most Valuable Principles (Video)

Ray Dalio is the Founder and CEO of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and is widely seen as the most successful investor in the industry. Recently Dalio published a book called “Principles” which he believes “are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life”. In this video he describes one of his 5 most valuable principles, recognize your two barriers, that he has used in his life (understand your ego barrier and your blind spot barrier)

Leo Messi and Larry Ellison Have More In Common Than You Think (Article)

The European Business Review is the leading business intelligence magazine provides readers with indispensable insight, current best practices and breakthrough ideas. This article discusses the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and how Leo Messi (Barcelona striker) and Larry Ellison (CEO Oracle) both use it though one is for sport and the other for business. Explains HRV’s physical and emotional advantages. Heart Rate Variability is used for recovery, energy efficiency, program/work tailoring, and stress management. 

The Art of Learning (Video)

Google puts all of the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers and doers in the same room, so you could hear what they have to say. Talks at Google is created for you to find out what drives them and how they make our world a better place. In this talk, Josh Waitzkin, chess champion and world champion martial artist, talks about his book the art of learning and how it relates to all fields/specialties. Some of the topics he speaks on are how he has seen that patterns in life have transpired in his chess or thai chi (thematic interconnectiveness), talks about the influence of losses on him, how teachers/educators/coaches should operate, how your character should come out in your art/sport/work, and more.