A strange encounter with the Dalai Lama led a scientist to conduct a strange investigation into the human mind.
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Without a doubt, we all want to have a healthy brain and the first thing we think about to achieve it is at rest, in adequate sleep. While this is important, there is another element that enhances the good state of our brain and is not usually our top of mind . It is about goodness, even though emotions often seem to be far from scientific study.
According to the doctor in neuropsychology and researcher in affective neuroscience, Richard Davidson, he came to this discovery thanks to an encounter with the Dalai Lama. At first, he had dedicated his career to the study of depression and anxiety and the way in which meditation could help treat them (according to the studies he carried out his practice allows the infamous parts of the brain to deflate in two hours) .
However, in 1992 he met the spiritual leader, who said he was an admirer of his work and gave him advice: “I think he is very focused on stress, anxiety and depression; Hasn't he considered focusing his neuroscientific studies on kindness, tenderness and compassion? ”, Also revealed the Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in an interview with the Spanish media La Vanguardia.
From that moment on, this man, who is also one of the 100 most influential people according to Time magazine, devoted himself to investigating how kindness, tenderness and compassion affect the brain. And what did he find? First, that there is a difference between empathy and compassion. The first allows us to feel what other people experience. The second leads to action and gives us tools to alleviate suffering, in addition to each one reaching the brain through different neurological circuits.
Davidson landed these findings at the foundation of the Center for Research of Healthy Minds, through which he intends to share them with more and more people across the planet. He also realized that these emotions (kindness, kindness, tenderness …) can be trained at any age and if they are stimulated in children and adolescents they will get better results in school, and they will be healthier physically and emotionally.
According to the doctor, these feelings can be trained in the following way: “(to children) we make them bring to their minds a person close to the one they love, relive an era in which they suffered and cultivate the aspiration of rid her of that suffering. Then we extend the focus to people who don't care and finally to those who irritate them. These exercises substantially reduce bullying in schools, ”he explained.
Richard Davidson is so convinced of the significance of his discoveries that, as a member of the Council of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he seeks to convince world leaders to bring these practices closer to the world population through education, health, governments and international companies … Its mission is to “convince leaders that what science knows about well-being must be made accessible,” he said.
So you know, if you want to have a healthy brain, away from anxiety and depression, you have to put aside selfish thoughts and be good people: kind, tender and kind. A good leader must put them into practice especially.