011 — Default State of the Mind

default state of the mind

In this episode of the Bar Exam Mind podcast, I discuss some fascinating information about how your brain behaves when it is in its resting state.

By “resting state,” I mean whenever the brain is not focused on completing a specific task that requires most of its attention.

A resting state can occur when you are relaxing, but it can also occur when you are bored.

The basis of this podcast is a very interesting and compelling audio program I recently listened to called The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation, by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (You may know McGonigal as the best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct.)

Unfortunately, when our brains are at rest, we tend to engage in mental chatter.

Neuroscientists have identified 4 basic types of chatter:

  1. Commentary
  2. Time travel
  3. Self-referential processing
  4. Social cognition

This podcast explains what these 4 kinds of chatter are, and suggests ways to limit their influence on you so that you can reduce anxiety, worry, and mental suffering.

Click the arrow below to listen:

Right-click here to download the mp3 file.

RESOURCES:

McGonigal, The Neuroscience of Change

My review of The Willpower Instinct

Real Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg (contains a 28-day meditation course)

Post about how to eliminate digital distractions

Information about how to get a FREE audiobook of Bar Exam Mind

 

 

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