Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 Pieces Of Timeless Spiritual Wisdom To Help You Get Through Hard Times

The wisest, most loving, and well rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

10 Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness Can Alter Our Physical Material World

Nikola Tesla said it best, “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think it terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Saturday, March 8, 2014

300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries

I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world.

On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I'm not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Informative Video on the Pineal Gland & Activating Your Third Eye

Informative video on the pineal gland and activating your Third Eye with Justin Verrengia.

Justin breaks down how to activate your pineal gland, which awakens your third eye and extra sensory super powers you never knew existed. In this new video Justin breaks down the GREATEST COVER-UP to ever exist in human history.

It's on your Pineal Gland, learn how to activate it, awakening your third eye and extra sensory super powers you never knew existed.

Knowledge is Power and applied knowledge is FREEDOM, share this video with everyone you can and help spread this conscious awareness with our fellow light brothers and sisters of this planet.

Credits: Higher Perspective

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Monday, February 24, 2014

10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday

Our brains are by far our most important organs. Here are 10 of the most surprising things our brains do and what we can learn from them:

10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday

1. Your brain does creative work better when you're tired.

Here's how it breaks down:

If you're a morning lark, say, you'll want to favor those morning hours when you're feeling fresher to get your most demanding, analytic work done. Using your brain to solve problems, answer questions and make decisions is best done when you're at your peak. For night owls, this is obviously a much later period in the day.

On the other hand, if you're trying to do creative work you'll actually have more luck when you're more tired and your brain isn't functioning as efficiently. This sounds crazy, but it actually makes sense when you look at the reasoning behind it. It's one of the reasons that great ideas often happen in the shower after a long day of work.

If you're tired, your brain is not as good at filtering out distractions and focusing on a particular task. It's also a lot less efficient at remembering connections between ideas or concepts. These are both good things when it comes to creative work, since this kind of work requires us to make new connections, be open to new ideas and think in new ways. So a tired, fuzzy brain is much more use to us when working on creative projects.

This Scientific American article explains how distractions can actually be a good thing for creative thinking:
Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight.
2. Stress can change the size of your brain (and make it smaller).

I bet you didn't know that stress is actually the most common cause of changes in brain function. I was surprised to find this out when I looked into how stress affects our brains.

I also found some research that showed signs of brain size decreasing due to stress.

One study used baby monkeys to test the effects of stress on development and long-term mental health. Half the monkeys were cared for by their peers for six months, while the other half remained with their mothers. Afterwards, the monkeys were returned to typical social groups for several months before the researchers scanned their brains.

In the monkeys who had been removed from their mothers and cared for by their peers, areas of their brains related to stress were still enlarged, even after being in normal social conditions for several months.

3. It is literally impossible for our brains to multitask.

Multitasking is something we've long been encouraged to practice, but it turns out multitasking is actually impossible. When we think we're multitasking, we're actually context switching. That is, we're quickly switching back and forth between different tasks rather than doing them at the same time.

The book Brain Rules explains how detrimental multitasking can be:
Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things.
The problem with multitasking is that we're splitting our brain's resources. We're giving less attention to each task, and probably performing worse on all of them:
When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task.
When our brains handle a single task, the prefrontal cortex plays a big part. Here's how it helps us achieve a goal or complete a task:
The anterior part of this brain region forms the goal or intention — for example, “I want that cookie” — and the posterior prefrontal cortex talks to the rest of the brain so that your hand reaches toward the cookie jar and your mind knows whether you have the cookie.
A study in Paris found that when a second task was required, the brains of the study volunteers split up, with each hemisphere working alone on a task. The brain was overloaded by the second task and couldn't perform at its full capacity, because it needed to split its resources.

4. Naps improve your brain's day-to-day performance.

We're pretty clear on how important sleep is for our brains, but what about naps? It turns out that these short bursts of sleep are actually really useful.

Here are a couple of ways that napping can benefit the brain:

Improved Memory

In one study, participants memorized illustrated cards to test their memory strength. After memorizing a set of cards, they had a 40-minute break wherein one group napped and the other stayed awake. After the break both groups were tested on their memory of the cards, and the group who had napped performed better:
Much to the surprise of the researchers, the sleep group performed significantly better, retaining on average 85 percent of the patterns, compared to 60 percent for those who had remained awake.
Apparently, napping actually helps our brain solidify memories:
Research indicates that when a memory is first recorded in the brain — in the hippocampus, to be specific — it's still “fragile” and easily forgotten, especially if the brain is asked to memorize more things. Napping, it seems, pushes memories to the neocortex, the brain's “more permanent storage,” preventing them from being “overwritten.”

What Happens in the Brain During a Nap

Some recent research has found that the right side of the brain is far more active during a nap than the left side, which stays fairly quiet while we're asleep. Despite the fact that 95 percent of the population is right-handed, with the left side of their brains being the most dominant, the right side is consistently the more active hemisphere during sleep.

The study's author, Andrei Medvedev, speculated that the right side of the brain handles “housekeeping” duties while we're asleep.

So while the left side of your brain takes some time off to relax, the right side is clearing out your temporary storage areas, pushing information into long-term storage and solidifying your memories from the day.

5. Your vision trumps all other senses.

Despite being one of our five main senses, vision seems to take precedence over the others:
Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65 percent.
Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time.
In fact, vision is so powerful that the best wine tasters in the world have been known to describe a dyed white wine as a red.

Not only is it surprising that we rely on our vision so much, but it actually isn't even that good! Take this fact, for instance:
Our brain is doing all this guessing because it doesn't know where things are. In a three-dimensional world, the light actually falls on our retina in a two-dimensional fashion. So our brain approximates viewable image.
Let's look at this image. It shows you how much of your brain is dedicated just to vision and how it affects other parts of the brain. It's a truly staggering amount, compared to any other areas:

10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday

6. Introversion and extroversion come from different wiring in the brain.

I just recently realized that introversion and extroversion are not actually related to how outgoing or shy we are but to how our brains recharge.

Here's how the brains of introverts and extroverts differ:

Research has actually found that there is a difference in the brains of extroverted and introverted people in terms of how we process rewards and how our genetic makeup differs. Extroverts' brains respond more strongly when a gamble pays off. Part of this is simply genetic, but it's partly a difference in their dopamine systems as well.

An experiment that had people take gambles while in a brain scanner found the following:
When the gambles they took paid off, the more extroverted group showed a stronger response in two crucial brain regions: the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens.
The nucleus accumbens is part of the dopamine system, which affects how we learn and is generally known for motivating us to search for rewards. The difference in the dopamine system in the extrovert's brain tends to push them toward seeking out novelty, taking risks and enjoying unfamiliar or surprising situations more than others. The amygdala is responsible for processing emotional stimuli, which gives extroverts that rush of excitement when they try something highly stimulating that might overwhelm an introvert.

More research has actually shown that the difference comes from how introverts and extroverts process stimuli. That is, the stimulation coming into our brains is processed differently depending on your personality. For extroverts, the pathway is much shorter. It runs through an area where taste, touch, visual and auditory sensory processing take place. For introverts, stimuli run through a long, complicated pathway in areas of the brain associated with remembering, planning and solving problems.

7. We tend to like people who make mistakes more.

Apparently, making mistakes actually makes us more likeable, due to something called the pratfall effect.

Kevan Lee recently explained how this works on the Buffer blog:
Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who commit the occasional faux pas. Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility. Those of us with flaws win out every time. This theory was tested by psychologist Elliot Aronson. In his test, he asked participants to listen to recordings of people answering a quiz. Select recordings included the sound of the person knocking over a cup of coffee. When participants were asked to rate the quizzers on likability, the coffee-spill group came out on top.
So this is why we tend to dislike people who seem perfect! And now we know that making minor mistakes isn't the worst thing in the world; in fact, it can work in our favor.

8. Meditation can rewire your brain for the better.

Here's another one that really surprised me. I thought meditation was only good for improving focus and helping me stay calm throughout the day, but it actually has a whole bunch of great benefits.

Here are a few examples:

What happens without meditation is that there's a section of our brains that's sometimes called the “me center.” (It's technically the medial prefrontal cortex.) This is the part that processes information relating to ourselves and our experiences. Normally the neural pathways from the bodily sensation and fear centers of the brain to the “me center” are really strong. When you experience a scary or upsetting sensation, it triggers a strong reaction in your “me center,” making you feel scared and under attack.

Here is how anxiety and agitation decrease with just a 20-minute meditation session:

10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brain That You Can Do Everyday

When we meditate, especially when we are just getting started with meditation, we weaken this neural connection. This means that we don't react as strongly to sensations that might have once lit up our “me centers.” As we weaken this connection, we simultaneously strengthen the connection between what's known as our “assessment center” (the part of our brains known for reasoning) and our bodily sensation and fear centers. So when we experience scary or upsetting sensations, we can more easily look at them rationally. Here's a good example:
For example, when you experience pain, rather than becoming anxious and assuming it means something is wrong with you, you can watch the pain rise and fall without becoming ensnared in a story about what it might mean.
Better Memory

One of the things that meditation has been linked to is improving rapid memory recall. Catherine Kerr, a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center, found that people who practiced mindful meditation were able to adjust the brain wave that screens out distractions and increase their productivity more quickly that those who did not meditate. She said that this ability to ignore distractions could explain “their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.” This seems to be very similar to the power of being exposed to new situations, which will also dramatically improve our memory of things.

Meditation has also been linked to increasing compassion, decreasing stress, improving memory skills and even increasing the amount of gray matter in the brain.

9. Exercise can reorganize the brain and boost your willpower.

Sure, exercise is good for your body, but what about your brain? Well, apparently there's a link between xercise and mental alertness, in a similar way that happiness and exercise are related:
A lifetime of exercise can result in a sometimes astonishing elevation in cognitive performance, compared with those who are sedentary. Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in tests that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid-intelligence tasks.
Of course, exercise can also make us happier, as we've explored before:
If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That's why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising, and eventually happy.

At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. The main purpose of endorphis is this, writes researcher McGovern:
These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.
10. You can make your brain think time is going slowly by doing new things.

Ever wished you didn't find yourself saying, “Where does the time go!” every June when you realize the year is half-over? This is a neat trick that relates to how our brains perceive time. Once you know how it works, you can trick your brain into thinking time is moving more slowly.

Essentially, our brains take a whole bunch of information from our senses and organize it in a way that makes sense to us, before we ever perceive it. So what we think is our sense of time is actually just a whole bunch of information presented to us in a particular way, as determined by our brains:
When our brains receive new information, it doesn't necessarily come in the proper order. This information needs to be reorganized and presented to us in a form we understand. When familiar information is processed, this doesn't take much time at all. New information, however, is a bit slower and makes time feel elongated.
Even stranger, it isn't just a single area of the brain that controls our time perception; it's done by a whole bunch of brain areas unlike our common five senses, which can each be pinpointed to a single, specific area.

When we receive lots of new information, it takes our brains a while to process it all. The longer this processing takes, the longer that period of time feels.

When we're in life-threatening situations, for instance, “we remember the time as longer because we record more of the experience. Life-threatening experiences make us really pay attention, but we don’t gain superhuman powers of perception.”

Credits: Spirit Science and Metaphysics

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

8 Ways to Protect Yourself From Emotional Manipulation

Here are 8 ways to spot emotional manipulation and protect yourself from it:

1. There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator.
You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response – “It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment – but you see I didn't want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry.”

Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all – but since they've said the words you're pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!!

 8 Ways to Protect Yourself From Emotional Manipulation

Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played – don't capitulate! Do not care take – do not accept an apology that feels like bullshit. If it feels like bullshit – it probably is. Rule number one – if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver – it's added to their hit list and you'll be fed a steady diet of this shit.

2. An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper.
If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree – that is IF they didn't volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, “ok thanks” – they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn't seem like they want to do whatever – they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are.

This is a form of crazy making – which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two – If an emotional manipulator said YES – make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties – if they don’t want to do it – make them tell you it up front – or just put on the walk-man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.

3. Crazy making – saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it.
If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what's been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity – You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they'll call it white – and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality.

WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so “forgetful” these days that you want to record their words for posterity's sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you're toting a notebook to safeguard yourself – that ol' bullshit meter should be flashing steady by now!

4. Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers.
They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly – they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt.

Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn't want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people's battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is “I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own” – check out the response and note the bullshit meter once again.

5. Emotional manipulators fight dirty.
They don't deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They'll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off shit to undermine it.

Example: “Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I'll support you.” Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking – all the while “Sweetie” is sitting on their ass looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, “well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?” Cry, scream or choke 'em – only the last will have any long-term benefits and it'll probably wind your butt in jail.

6. If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor!
No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now – but only ten times worse. It's hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves.

If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish – or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don't bother – TRUST your gut and walk away!

7. Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them.
When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it – it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better – fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs – let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.

8. Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability.

They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior – it is always about what everyone else has “done to them”. One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the “hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me” variety.

Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.

Credits: More Great Minds

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