How Not to be a Slave to Your Brain: Mindfulness for Mental Health | BEST OF 2015

How Not to be a Slave to Your Brain: Mindfulness for Mental Health | BEST OF 2015


One of the classic definitions of mindfulness
is that it helps us not cling to what is pleasant and not condemn what is unpleasant. An example
would be if you’re driving in New York City and someone cuts you off; that’s unpleasant
and one would instinctively have an angry response. But that’s happening all the time
and if you have an angry response too often then you become a nightmare yourself. So what
mindfulness is teaching is that the stimulus, which is someone cutting you off, is different,
it’s distinct from your emotional reaction to that thing. So someone could cut you off,
you could feel the anger but you don’t have to act on the anger. So instead of being driven
by your reactions there’s a little bit of room where you can choose to be a different
kind of person. So mindfulness basically helps us tolerate the aspects of the external world
and the internal world that otherwise are hard to face. There are basically two kinds of meditation,
one, which is a concentration practice, you focus your attention on a neutral sensation
like the feeling of the breath coming in and out of the nostrils or like the repetition
of a sound or what’s called a mantra. And every time the mind wanders, whenever you
notice that it’s wondered , that might be five minutes, ten minutes later when you’re
lost in thought, but at a certain point you realize oh wait I’m not watching the breath
anymore, then you bring your mind back to the breath. That’s called a concentration
or a one pointed practice. And that’s the beginning level of mindfulness. When you really
start practicing mindfulness, instead of bringing the mind back every time to a central object,
you let the attention go wherever the mind goes. So instead of paying attention just
to the breath or the mantra you pay attention to sounds, you pay attention thoughts, you
pay attention to the feeling, you pay attention to memories, you pay attention to worries,
to anxieties, to anger, to joy, you pay attention to whatever passes through your mind moment
to moment. And then what you start to see is that oh everything is changing all the
time and you learn to pay attention more to process than to content. It’s really only in the past 50/60 years that
the medical establishment has been exposed at all to what mindfulness is. And for 20/30
of those years it was like just a new age thing. It was on the periphery. And only through
the work of a couple of people like John Kabat-Zinn has mindfulness come into the medical establishment.
There are a lot of studies that are being done now that are showing the benefit of mindfulness
for all kinds of conditions. And some old colleagues of mine have done some very good
work showing that the steady practice of mindfulness light up areas of the brain that have to do
with modulating emotional reactivity. So I think there’s beginning evidence that the
brain is plastic, more plastic than we initially thought and that what you feed into the brain
actually changes the architecture of the brain so that it’s possible to promote, to develop
the areas of the brain that are there for kindness, you know, for altruistic feeling
and for the regulation difficult emotions.

83 thoughts on “How Not to be a Slave to Your Brain: Mindfulness for Mental Health | BEST OF 2015

  1. i meditate and practice mindfulness everyday
    now everybody thinks i'm an asshole when people talk to me 
    because i never seem to give a shit

  2. The title "Learn how not to be a slave of your brain" is a nonsense.

    What agent is there, independent of that organ, to be slave to it?

    The title implies a metaphysics that does not pertain.

  3. But rather be a slave of materialism pathetic group pressure be a naive first world insecure victim. Whoever posts these videos is one clearly. Only channel that posts this weak ppl bullshit.

  4. Brain training does not translate from one activity to another.
    Using mindfulness will only help you get better at mindfulness with no effects on any other part of your life aside from placebo.

  5. This might as well be woo. I was hoping this would be something to help with thought altering disorders that aren't responsive to treatment. I get the underlying concepts he might be referring to but his speech sounds like something straight out of Buddhism. It also feels at home with the nonsense "mmmkay and how does that make you feel" therapists.

    Combined with a few other recent video choices I have seen…I can safely say I don't give Big Think the benefit out the doubt any more.

  6. This is how I've lived my life for years. I'm 19 and thought this was just how everyone did things. Well, from what I've seen online I can tell a lot of people definitely do get entirely driven by their reactions to emotions they get in different situations.

  7. I'd always considered Mindfulness to be bullshit, but hearing this guy describe it has changed my mind because it turns out I've been doing it for years already. Perhaps it's time to do some more reading on the subject.

  8. But if you don't shout at the idiot who made the mistake, That person will not learn and will continue to make that same mistake.

  9. If driving in New York and having someone cut you off is your idea of unpleasant, then that says a lot about what a load of crap this is.

  10. Some of these videos are really great, and some of them are downright awful. This is one of the awful ones.

  11. This ought to read 'How Not to be a Slave to THE Brain's Unwanted Reactions' rather than 'How Not to be a Slave to YOUR Brain'. You ARE 'your' brain & your brain is YOU! Even if you watched this & came to the conclusion 'YeaH I ought to try this mindfulness business' it's still the brain you call 'I' choosing to do it isn't it! What else? Our kidneys? Our 'soul'? What the hell is our soul? Our soul is about as real as a hole.

  12. The way this guy speaks, and moves, and his body expression in general make me want to smack him across the face. But, I am practicing being mindful, and thus will not act on my anger.

  13. mindfulness is not western medicine. stop spreading your western 'sick' propaganda. From thousands of years India taught meditation to entire world. Not any western DHs.

  14. This has been my philosophy since I was a 13, after experiencing some traumatic things in my family. I always made it a point to never be a slave to "human nature", and allow my emotions and reactions to control me. Instead it's the other way around. I also have been meditating since I was 13.

  15. I really really believe that letting your mind wander is okay..I understand that being more mindful is by controlling your mind to not wander..but a great question to ask is "Why are we stopping our mind from wandering?" If it's because we are always wandering, then is it bad or good? I get a lot of my thinking, my ideas, my answers, my inspirations and passions from letting my mind wander. And I believe I am still mindful in that way. But it is still super awesome to do what he was talking about.

  16. Believe it or not, all the techniques mentioned in this video were invented by Lord Buddha in 600 B.C

  17. Anyone remember who Nathaniel Branden was? There is no need to confuse mindfulness with references to undefined altruism.

  18. So here is what we gonna do guys we gonna take stoic philosophy mix it up with some Eastern meditation techniques rebrand it, give it some cool name like "mindfulness" and start selling it to people as a Western new age therapy 🐈😑

  19. Why do people who get into meditation feel the need to speak in like soft soothing tones and conduct themselves in this airy manner? A lot of people in India meditate (and I'm sure in other places too) but none of them feel the need to define their entire personality by their practice.

  20. Acting differently than how you feel? So i'm supposed to act all nice when i'm pissed off? Sounds A LOT like passive aggression.

  21. very nice video and   what I observed is all those basic technique are followed in vipassana meditation which was taught by Buddha.

  22. We are sick and tired of being slaves to our own minds. We have been it for so long, and most people dont even know it. Now we can know how to make our minds our friends instead of enemies. The book im gonna recommend to you are the key to end all unneccesary suffering, its the most important thing i`ve ever read. Google Truth Contest and read The Present. It has the potential to change, not only you, but humanity as a whole if enough people reads it.

  23. The fist 30 seconds as I watch this:
    My bowl of cinnamon toast crunch is empty
    I swirl the sugar around in the milk,
    Time to go get another.

  24. What he is describing is called "Vippassana Meditation" tougth by the Budha, you can find info here on youtube and there are meditation courses all over the world and its free basically.

  25. I really despise that Western Medicine has re-branded meditation that has been practiced in India and across Asia for thousands of years into a supposedly new concept titled 'mindfulness'. What crock!

  26. one can meditat to the with- uncondicional love for all beings, one can meditat to the black- uncondicional love for gods scripturs and one can meditat to the red unconditional love fro stalins adcivments . burn a church save a school.

  27. This guy is talking about the Indian meditation practiced for over thousands of years for all the things he said and many more positive things. Yoga has many forms of breathing exercises through which many people, even in this age, have stopped getting some of the common diseases like fever, cold, etc. The way he talks makes me wanna smack him. Don't judge me. In this age of constant cravings, most people don't meditate any longer in India and I'm one of them though I know its very beneficial for self growth.

  28. i never understood the fascination with detachment from emotions. why are people afraid to feel the human existence?

  29. I learned TM in the 80s and was taught to let go. Don't pay attention to anything. Be natural. JLennon sang 'nothing's going to change my world'. Meaning, let nothingness cleanse your mind. Maybe the hardest part of learning meditation is realizing it's effortless. There is no doing.

  30. Our brain is a machine and we instinctually are hardwired to Never let go of what is unplesant because our brain believes from our experience and genetic pre markers that we are in danger leading to our survival response. Therefore, Although mindfulness works as a front line type treatment for feeling that are not particularly strong, but for feeling so powerful one is unable to control them therefore we must change our beliefs about the situation through proof and experience.

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