Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mindfulness: Week 3 – The amazing three-minute breathing space

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John Alex Murphy, The Province: Week 3 has been a breakthrough week for me. When I started my eight-week mindfulness meditation course, I suspected that it would eventually help alleviate my chronic pain. However, I did not expect that help would come as soon as this, and in such a ...

Do Rituals Help Us to Savor Food?

Rituals are an integral part of many kinds of meals. We clink our glasses with cheer before a drink, bow our heads with grace before a meal, and sing hearty renditions of “Happy Birthday” before cutting the cake. Why? A new study in Psychological Science suggests a simple answer: Rituals make ...

Why I’ve Gone On A ‘Media Diet’

I’ve been feeling quite miserable lately for no apparent reason. Not depressed – or even desperately unhappy – just a little lacking in enthusiasm for life and feeling ‘stuck’ and ‘trapped’ in some indefinable way. I knew that this state of mind, like all others, would eventually pass. Nevertheless, I ...

Want to Satisfy Your Partner? Give them Some Gratitude

Research has shown that expressing gratitude can improve our health and happiness, as well as our relationships. But what good is gratitude to someone on the receiving end of a “thank you”? “If gratitude is actually good for relationships, we should be able to see its effects on the other side ...

How Positive Emotions Improve Our Health

We all know that physical health depends on a good diet and exercise. But recent research suggests that it also comes from a regular dose of positive emotions. Now a new study goes one step further, not only showing that positive emotions improve health but identifying precisely how they have this ...

When Empathy Hurts, Compassion Can Heal

Empathy can be painful. Or so suggests a growing body of neuroscientific research. When we witness suffering and distress in others, our natural tendency to empathize can bring us vicarious pain. Is there a better way of approaching distress in other people? A recent study, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, suggests ...

Are Positive Emotions Good for Your Heart?

Having a bad attitude can kill you. That’s the upshot of a large body of scientific research which suggests that negative emotions are connected to developing cardiovascular disease. But can positive emotions actually extend your life? The answer is yes, according to a new study published in the American Journal of ...

The Mayu Bench: A review

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Some months ago I was sent a Mayu Bench to try out and review, but somehow the review slipped off of my schedule. Of the two benches pictured, mine is the tall one on the left. It’s a solid and stable meditation seat, and may be particularly suitable for ...