In this present age of digital domination, our lives are becoming ruled by “screens” and “likes”. Just simply observing pedestrians and commuters staring at their devices, will remind you just how much our lives have changed in 10 years. Our brains are now, more than ever before, distracted by the allure of mobile phones, tablets and computers, as we seek more stimulation, more connections, more text messages. These behaviours drive neuroplasticity brain changes in unpredictable ways.
Distraction is shortening the human attention span and valued life skills, such as focused attention, are diminished. No longer is there time for reflection. These behaviours generate stress and the stress carried by our patients and clients is often palpable and has well recognised wide-ranging adverse biopsychosocial impacts. Stress is a major driver of chronic diseases.
Managing stress is the number 1 issue challenging those who have attended the Lewis Institute’s meditation-training courses over the years. We call the course More Than Meditation because our approach to meditation (of which there are many different types used for different purposes) is to distil what is most useful and immediate for people to be able to reduce stress.
In my work meditation is a prescribed “medicine”, a practice that can unleash a pharmacy of neuropeptides that is within all of us. It is an essential prescription.