If you are not holding the hormone oxytocin in the highest regard now, you will after listening to this episode’s guest, Sue Carter, PhD, as she explains how this remarkable hormone may hold the key to much of what makes us who we are. In particular, Dr. Carter describes the myriad ways that oxytocin allows humans to feel safe enough in the world and with each other to engage in the many types of bonding/sharing behaviors that have allowed us to create the world in which we live.
Meditation Made Easier: The New Science of Wellness, Compassion and Mindfulness
Have you wanted to meditate but can’t seem to commit to sitting quietly and trying to concentrate for 20 or 30 minutes a day? Or have you tried to meditate, but find that the standard mindfulness practices of focusing on the breath or on bodily sensations produce little more than a desire to fidget with boredom or drift off into daydreams? If you identify with these or other challenges, this podcast will provide exciting alternatives. If you have mastered meditation, you will still find plenty here to inspire you to optimize your contemplative practice.
Richard Davidson, PhD, is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and the Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds. Long before he was the world’s leading meditation researcher, Dr. Davidson was internationally recognized for his work exploring the relationship of brain function with emotional well-being and depression. This commitment to science has inspired him to continue exploring ways that meditation can be made more effective and attractive for wider and wider groups of people.
In this podcast, Dr. Davidson describes exciting findings from a recent study of a free, widely available app-based wellness intervention developed by Healthy Minds Innovations. Dr. Davidson and colleagues found that even 5 minutes a day practicing a series of meditation-inspired wellness practices produced striking improvements in participant well-being. Even better, most of these practices can be done in the midst of daily life, while driving, walking, washing dishes…..We draw pragmatic lessons from these findings before concluding the podcast with a discussion of ways that compassion can supercharge our ability to meditate.