Monthly Archives: December 2012

Psychopaths and mindfulness

An excerpt from The Wisdom of Psychopaths”
BEGIN:
“I think the problem is that people spend so much time worrying about what might happen, what might go wrong, that they completely lose sight of the present. They completely overlook the fact that, actually, right now, everything’s perfectly fine.

“So the trick, whenever possible, I propose, is to stop your brain from running on ahead of you.”

Leslie’s pragmatic endorsement of the principles and practices of what might otherwise be described as mindfulness is typical of the psychopath. A psychopath’s rapacious proclivity to live in the moment, to “give tomorrow the slip and take today on a joyride” (as Larry, rather whimsically, puts it), is well documented—and at times can be stupendously beneficial. In fact, anchoring your thoughts unswervingly in the present is a discipline that psychopathy and spiritual enlightenment have in common. Clinical psychologist Mark Williams of the University of Oxford, for example, incorporates this principle of centering in his mindfulness-based cognitive-behavior therapy program for sufferers of anxiety and depression. END

This is an incredible depiction of mindfulness and the benefits that it can bring. For people to whom this doesn’t come as easily, remember the neuro-plasticity axiom that neurons that fire together, wire together. Which means that practice anything in the brain and makes doing it the next time easier. It just takes persistence.

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“How changes in mental habits create resilience”

“How changes in mental habits create resilience” is the new subtitle of this months Scientific American Mind. And I couldn’t be more happy. The three times a day that I list ten little things that I’m happy for that have happened since the last time I did the exercise have had a greater effect on my daily self than most other things I’ve experimented. And that science is beginning to recognize positive psychology and neuro-plasticity’s effects to this degree is fantastico.

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