Broaden & Build
BL Fredrickson is a psychology researcher who specializes on positive emotions and how they compound over time, also known as the “broaden and build” theory. She suggests that when people meditate daily, and experience positive emotions, they are more able to affect positive changes in their life purpose, social support systems, and overall health. Positive emotions come from a mind-training practice of loving-kindness meditation.
This may seem like a fancy way to explain an intuition or piece of conventional wisdom: almost everyone knows finding ways to relax and feel love towards yourself are good for you (hence the $11 billion self-help industry). But how does someone make the first step towards a personal change? We have the inspiration, but things can get so busy and shifting out of the routine seems far-fetched.
Behavioral Change Takes Commitment and Hard Work
Technology is pragmatic and systematic, and is almost always on-time, which makes it a reliable tool for consistent cues. People may assume there are drawbacks and bombardment from a smart phone.
Instead, make an intention of using technology as a tool that will enhance our everyday experience and create a lifestyle regimen to restore wholeness in ourselves.
A Health-Supporting Video Game
Hope Lab was founded in the 1980s when a research assistant wondered if a video game that allowed the player to virtually but actively blasted cancer cells could improve their health. It’s called Re-Mission and the player travels through the channels and systems of a body and actually blasts away cancer cells. Bonus points!
This activates the reward-related areas of the brain (nucleus accumbens), which is associated with a boost of emotions that help the players adhere to the prescribed chemotherapy.
“Enhancement of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens acts not only as a pleasure-inducing neurochemical signal but also as a strong reinforcer for motivated behaviors,” states neuropharmacologist Allison Feduccia.
By playing the game, the brain’s positive motivation circuits are stimulated, and may actually increase the resilience to the array of medication cancer patients take.
Self-realization Can Bring Self-healing.
How else can humans exchange through the membrane of technology to purify ourselves?
A start-up in Menlo Park named Inward has created the “Mindfulness Daily” smartphone app. In it, they’ve created a 10-day crash course on the basic techniques of mindfulness. The push notifications invite you to observe your breath, body, and mind throughout the day. They’ve expanded the experience to kindness practices, a message that invites you to bring the following:
- kindness to yourself
- kindness to a loved one
- kindness to a stranger
- kindness to someone you’re angry with
Nathanael Wolfe, co-founder, states “It’s important for beginners to start with the basics of clearing out the mind and softening, but our relationship with kindness, our ability to hold it, share it, and see through it, is so fundamental. It impacts everything”.
There can be a fear paired with rapid changes in technology. But there can also be a wholesome foundation that can bring about an extraordinary vitality in your life. Technology can potentially connect you to happiness and health, and we are at the dawn of this new day for human experiences.