Good news! Coloring is a dang good de-stressing tool for adults. Time to get some colored pencils and get to work!
Psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala says that the benefits of coloring lie between focusing our attention on fine motor movements and on the logic of color-matching. So while it’s a great distraction from stressors, it’s also a novel and challenging physical and mental activity — like meditation, but brighter. Jüng was using coloring as a therapeutic activity a hundred years ago. Keep reading »
Oh thank goodness, someone finally says that mindfulness practice isn’t for everyone. Neuroscientist Catherine Kerr studies the effects of mindfulness practice on the brain, and is a practitioner herself, but denies that it is the emotional and scientific wonderdrug it’s been made out to be.
Kerr was an author on a 2005 paper that claimed, tentatively, that mindfulness meditation — basically, focusing one’s attention on the feelings, sensations and emotions in the present moment — increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex, which many news outlets jumped on as proof that meditation is absolutely an effective treatment for stress and depression for everyone. Kerr is much more reserved: There’s evidence that meditation is beneficial to brain function, but not enough to paint it in the unfalteringly positive light that some have done. Keep reading »
Yogis, rejoice! O’Hare International Airport in Chicago now has a yoga room! The room is open from 6 am – 10 pm, and according to aviation commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, it serves as an “oasis for passengers.” O’Hare is one of the nation’s busiest airports, so an oasis is exactly what its visitors probably need! Chicago’s other major airport, Midway, is also set to open a yoga room in the near future as well. Keep reading »
For the month of February, Kate is taking part in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge. Kate already shared her feelings on week one and week two of the program. Here’s her thoughts going into week three.
An annoying thing happened this week with my meditation. There’s no good way to put it: I simply didn’t do it. I don’t have a good excuse—it’s not like I was insanely busy or had some big, traumatic thing happen. Just for some reason, every day when 6 p.m.—my anointed after work mediation time—rolled by, I needed to be somewhere. “I’ll meditate tomorrow,” I’d think. Wash, rinse, repeat. Keep reading »
For the month of February, Kate is taking part in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge. Last week, Kate shared her feelings on starting the program. Here’s week two.
On Sunday, before the Super Bowl, I found myself in the grocery store, waiting on an epic line to buy a carton of eggs I’d forgotten to get when I was there earlier in the day. I opened my wallet and, of course, it was empty—not a single dollar in there. I took out my credit card. “Fifteen dollar minimum,” the cashier said.
As I parsed what to do, I heard the guy behind me start to huff. Keep reading »
I am the opposite of new-agey. I have only gone to a psychic once, in New Orleans, and tuned out immediately when it was obvious that homegirl had no idea what she was talking about. I have never been very interested in horoscopes, mostly because the attributes ascribed to my sign, Taurus—stubborn, down-to-earth, bullheaded—never seemed particularly embraceable. And neither Madonna‘s biceps nor all my friends who adore it have been able to convince me to try yoga—mostly because my parents are devotees (in fact, my dad quit his job as a stockbroker to teach yoga) and whatever your parents do just isn’t cool. So when Sharon Salzberg, a friend of a friend and a meditation teacher for more than 30 years, asked me to be part of the 28-day meditation challenge outlined in her new book, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, for the month of February, I wanted to run. Like, fast. Keep reading »