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Personal growth: Why it’s hard for us to focus on “The Now” November 3, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Living in the Now.
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Many self-improvement programs emphasize that for better equanimity and peace of mind, we should focus on the present moment; but it’s not easy.

Turns out that the brain of the human species is strongly wired for imagining and planning for the future.

It would be very difficult to build a personal program and plan for self-actualization if we were focused primarily on the present.

An article in the New York Times states, “What best distinguishes our species is an ability that scientists are just beginning to appreciate: We contemplate the future.”

This intellectual and creative faculty, has enabled us to build civilizations and create smooth running, self-sustaining societies.

On the downside, however, this ability to look ahead is also the source of most of our anxiety and depression, the article states.

Scientists call this ability to think ahead “prospection.”

And prospection is strongly linked to the brain’s memory function.

“[The] link between memory and prospection has emerged in research showing that people with damage to the brain’s medial temporal lobe lose memories of past experiences as well as the ability to construct rich and detailed simulations of the future,” the article reports.

It’s an intriguing article which you may want to read in its entirety.

Here’s a link to it:

 

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