Interview
Meditation
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Using our emotional and thoughts system in a positive way

From Andrew Newberg

What you want is the ability to have those emotions but the ability to utilize them in a positive way and to try to keep them focused into something that becomes more constructive for both you as well as for the world around you.

Video Interview Transcript

When we think about our emotional system, how our brain operates there's a little bit of a balance that's going on all the time. So we have the emotional centers of our brain, our limbic system. We have our frontal lobes which help to kind of regulate them. We have something called the anterior cingulate which is in the middle. It's kind of the fulcrum that balances them. And so you know when you get angry at somebody your emotional centers go up and your thought centers go down and you stop thinking you know and then you start reacting.
On the other hand with the notion of discipline or meditation or prayer practice, well, as your frontal lobe starts to go up your emotional responses start to go down a little bit. And so what you want is the ability to have those emotions but the ability to utilize them in a positive way and to try to keep them focused into something that becomes more constructive for both you as well as for the world around you. But there's always that kind of battle going on and the more you know you feed that one side that more positive side the more those neural connections grow, the stronger your frontal lobe becomes the weaker those very powerful negative emotions become. And you wind up in a different kind of mindset, a more peaceful kind of mindset.

Discussion starter questions
  • How do you see the interaction of your emotions and your thoughts systems?
  • ...

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Director's note

Andrew Newberg explains how our brain function when we start reacting. An interesting short interview showing how we can balance our emotions and our thought system.

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