DAY 16: Patience is Progress

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
— Haruki Murakami
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Day 16 Self Reflection:

On Day 16 or your workbook identify the “thinking errors” you are most guilty of.


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Day 16 Micro-Science: Corpus Callosum

You have many different and conflicted sides to your brain that are constantly trying to fight for dominance until one of them comes out the victor. The corpus collosum allows these different sides to speak, which for the most part, is a very positive thing. The corpus collosum is a thick side of nerve fibers that connects and allows for communication between the two sides of the brain, each side with its specialization. Some people have had their corpus collosum cut apart to avoid epileptic seizures. After the surgery you can ask the patients left and right hemispheres the same question: such as what would you like to do as a career? In response, each side will answer differently, for instance the emotional right side of brain will say it wants to be an artist and the rational left side of the brain will answer they want to be an architect. Each side totally unaware of how the other side answered. The corpus collosum is thus very important to overcoming stress because it allows your emotional brain to calm itself when it opens up a line of communication to the rational brain that can help calm it down.

Corpus Callosum strengthens during meditation, allowing the two hemispheres of your brain to communicate and solve problems more efficiently.

Corpus Callosum strengthens during meditation, allowing the two hemispheres of your brain to communicate and solve problems more efficiently.

  • FACT: Right hemisphere of the brain thinks cyclically (it happened once it will happen again) instead of in a linear fashion (thinking of past, present, future) like the left hemisphere of the brain.

  • TAKEAWAY: This is why its so important for people with anxiety, substance abuse, and depression to move away from right brained thinking because it feels like it will never end. Once the corpus collosum is strengthened and the left rational brain comes online then they can correctly place things in an order of events and see that it has a beginning, middle, and end of it is addressed.

Day 16 Meditation: Yoga Asanas

In the beginning I was pretty suspicious of yoga, everyone seemed a bit too blissed out and trying to fit in with those tight pants and toned bodies stressed me out. However, I found out when I actually had the courage to collect some evidence myself that yoga is for everybody not just the people you “think” its for. In fact, yoga was initially started for children in India who didn’t have the needed focus to jump right into meditation, so yoga was created to give them a “meditation in motion” feeling and help for overall well being and decision making. In fact the poses in yoga are called “Asanas” which means “seat” in Hindi. A seat for what you might ask.. well a “seat” for your consciousness. Something that allows the silent witnessing presence in your brain ultimately makes all of your decisions a place to sit down and rest. Thereby allowing your consciousness to respond to threats and decisions instead of react and hoping on the closest train of thought.

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  • FACT: Yoga is a great way to practice balancing your sympathetic nervous system (gas pedal) and your parasympathetic nervous system (brake pedal).

  • TAKEAWAY: Because in yoga you complete a pose and then release it, yoga is essentially practicing what your goal for everyday life should be. Essentially, stress enters your body and you get worked up an then you have to find a way to release that stress in some fashion. Yoga is then a great role model for how to live your life.

Day 16 Meditation: Today’s meditation task is to take 11 minutes out of your day and follow the beginner yoga video below. Stretchy pants and comfortable clothing are helpful but definitely not essential. Give it a try you might actually like it. If you liked this one there are hundreds of different yoga youtude videos.

 
Yoga is not about touching your toes. Its about what you learn on the way down
— Jigar Gor

Day 16 Movement Task: Stretching

The largest organ in your body is your skin and so therefore is the number one way that toxins leave your body. However, for your lymph nodes (which help with immune response) to be fully activated movement has to occur. Stretching in your day is therefore a great way to activate this response and help toxins escape through your ski

  • FACT: When you initiate movement your GABA neurotransmitters (relaxation) can be increased between 27-80%.

  • TAKEAWAY: Movement (even stretching) is the best way to decompress from your day. GABA is the same neurotransmitter that alcohol attaches to, so if you want the benefits without the hangover, movement is the way to go.

Day 16 Movement Task: Find three times in your day to slip in some subtle stretching. This doesn’t mean lay out a mat and make a fool of yourself. This just means when you find a few stray seconds throw in some back stretches or give your legs a little bit of love. Any stretch will do even a nice neck roll here and there.


Day 16 Bonus Material:

#1) Ted talk: The habits of happiness

Check out this Ted Talk by Matthieu Ricard examining the habits that make for a happy person. His insightful reminders will and authentic nature will help you from day 1.

#2) The Buddhist Philosophy

Check out this short video about the origins of buddhism and why this ancient philosophy is still kicking around today

#3) How Yoga Changes Your Brain

This very short video is a great introduction to the numerous ways yoga helps improve your brain functioning.