It’s time for bed but your brain won’t stop whirring. You’re heading into an important meeting and feel your mind spiraling. What do you do?
We often talk about the longer-term habits and behavior changes that help us live happier, healthier, and more purposeful lives. But sometimes you need in-the-moment strategies for an infusion of calm. We asked Thrive Global’s contributor community which short mental and physical tactics they swear by to quiet a racing mind. Which of these will you try?
You don't have to be religious to have spiritual experiences. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Ephrat Livni Scientists seek to quantify everything—even the ineffable. And so the human search for meaning recently took a physical turn as Columbia and Yale University researchers isolated the place in our brains that processes spiritual experiences.
In a new study, published in Cerebral Cortex (paywall) on May 29, neuroscientists explain how they generated “personally relevant” spiritual experiences in a diverse group of subjects and scanned their brains while these experiences were happening. The results indicate that there is a “neurobiological home” for spirituality. When we feel a sense of connection with something greater than the self—whether transcendence involves communion with God, nature, or humanity—a certain part of the brain appears to activate. The study suggests that there is universal, cognitive basis for spirituality, as opposed to a cultural grounding for such states. This new discovery, researchers say, could help improve mental health treatment down the line.
by Zat Rana Before dying at the age of 39, Blaise Pascal made huge contributions to both physics and mathematics, notably in fluids, geometry, and probability.
This work, however, would influence more than just the realm of the natural sciences. Many fields that we now classify under the heading of social science did, in fact, also grow out of the foundation he helped lay.
Interestingly enough, much of this was done in his teen years, with some of it coming in his twenties. As an adult, inspired by a religious experience, he actually started to move towards philosophy and theology.
Right before his death, he was hashing out fragments of private thoughts that would later be released as a collection by the name of Pensées.
While the book is mostly a mathematician’s case for choosing a life of faith and belief, the more curious thing about it is its clear and lucid ruminations on what it means to be human. It’s a blueprint of our psychology long before psychology was deemed a formal discipline.
There is enough thought-provoking material in it to quote, and it attacks human nature from a variety of different angles, but one of its most famous thoughts aptly sums up the core of his argument: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Working for a boss that supports you is vital to professional and company success
By Sarah Landrum Employers seek loyalty and dedication from their employees but sometimes fail to return their half of the equation, leaving millennial workers feeling left behind and unsupported. Professional relationships are built on trust and commitment, and working for a boss that supports you is vital to professional and company success.