Insights from Neuroscience to Help You in 2016

Over the past three years working with a number of PhDs in Neuroscience I have really come to believe in their scientific work related to the brain and I consider more broadly the historical wisdom traditions relating to the mind.  These insights have broadened my perspective in these areas and impacted my work in both mediation and negotiation areas.  As a result I have made improvements in both mediation and negotiation areas with very good results. 

I have a passion to learn and to share what I have learned.  That is one of the reasons for posting to this blog.  I have also been sharing what I have learned via webinars and in person presentation in various public and select forums.  It was my pleasure to discuss the applications of neuroscience  when discussing r negotiations at  the Harvard Club in Boston last month. 

Now the Greater Good from the University of California at Berkeley has brought together what they deem to be the top ten insights from 2015 related to mindfulness.  I wanted to share these with you too.  When you click on the link this will lead you to all ten insights and provide you with additional links for greater detail.  Here are the top ten insights in an abbreviated form.

Experiencing awe makes us, well, awesome.

 “The researchers found that people who experience high levels of positive emotions in general had significantly lower levels in their bodies of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins associated with type-2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, and other health problems.”

Enjoy the posts on Facebook and other sights where you can experience awe on a daily basis.  I have several friends that post awesome posts daily.   Make your day and experience awe every day.

Check out the general commentary and the two scientific studies.

Cynicism can hurt your pocketbook

“In other words, if you’re a cynic among people who would be happy to offer help and support, you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot—a good reason to put a little faith in humanity.”

We can bridge political divides by appealing to the other side’s moral values

“In a study published this month in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer hypothesize that political advocates make arguments grounded in their own morality, not the values of those they want to persuade—which the researchers memorably describe as a “moral empathy gap.” They also wondered if arguments appealing to the moral values of those targeted for persuasion will be more effective.”

Check out what their six studies found.

Inequality—not wealth—is the enemy of generosity

“Some of Greater Good’s most popular and provocative articles over the past few years have reported on new research suggesting that people of higher socioeconomic status are less generous, less compassionate, and less empathic than others.

But this year, a new study offered a significant twist: The earlier research, it seems, may have told only part of an important and timely story.”

“When the gap between rich and poor is low, the rich might actually be more generous.”

Pursuing happiness makes you unhappy—but only if you live in an individualistic culture.

“The upshot? Try to focus less intensely on your desire to be happy and just concentrate on building social relationships—hang out with friends and family, seek out social opportunities when possible, and develop practices like compassion and gratitude, which can make you feel more connected to others.”

Older Americans are becoming less happy.

“We’re seeing a rise in individualism and a weakening of social ties that may be primarily harmful to adults. Many adults over 30 have moved through a stage of independence and exploration and now crave connection, but may have difficulty finding fulfilling relationships and communities.”

Think about this in terms of groups that may you belong to or you may join to have more fulfilling relationships.

Good peer relationships are essential to adolescent wellness.

“Social isolation hurts humans of all ages, but a new wave of studies published this year shows just how sensitive teens are to their social environment.”

Happiness is contagious—via our sense of smell.

“This research sheds light on a subtle yet everyday way in which happiness can be communicated. It suggests that, by surrounding ourselves with happier people (and their scents), we could bring more positive emotion into our lives. And by becoming happier ourselves, we could be boosting the happiness of our friends and family without even realizing it.”

Teaching kids social-emotional skills has profound health and safety benefits.

“Teaching social and emotional skills, like kindness and empathy, is sometimes dismissed as a luxury for schools that’s not nearly as practical or important as teaching math and reading.

But a study published in November in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that those social-emotional skills are a key to doing well in school and avoiding some major problems later in life. In fact, the study even suggests that neglecting these skills could pose a threat to public health and safety.”

 

Look for opportunities where you can help make a difference in the lives of children.  My experience with family, friends, church and neighbors has reinforced these findings. 

 

I found these to be of particular interest and I hope you found some golden nuggets as well. Happy New Year.  Make 2016 one of improving the Greater Good.

 

 

 

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]