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Mindfulness Meeting: The Traveling Brain

Attendance is free and open to everyone - located in the conference room in the lower level of the Edward Hospital ER building in PLAINFIELD, IL. Presented by Todd Fink.

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Travel to new places, especially abroad, changes you forever and can reshape the mind in many positive ways.

To immerse oneself in a new culture is like turning back the clock and recapturing the child-like magic of wonder where, once again, everything feels like the first time. Words and images along with sensations and experiences can be totally fresh. This can lead to spontaneous mindfulness as abstract thought about the past and future loses its allure when our routine and its spell is totally broken.

A recent study revealed that even the anticipation of such a trip makes a person happier. The moods of subjects waiting in line for an experience were much more elevated than those waiting in line for things.

New environments help the brain to grow and remain sharp. Evidence suggests that creativity and problem-solving skills are enhanced by a whopping 50% by foreign travel, because the brain adapts and forms new connections that lead to cognitive flexibility and integration of thought.

More importantly, cross cultural experiences foster a deeper sense of self. Venturing beyond our social comfort zones and engaging in a meaningful way with people of totally different backgrounds and perspectives allows for the shedding of limiting beliefs about who we really are.

These benefits are not only reserved for those who can afford extended stays in tropical and exotic places. We will also explore how to achieve it in our own communities - getting lost in different neighborhoods and, on occasion, excusing ourselves from the myth of urgency.

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” -Jack London