Michelle1963 (michelle1963) wrote,

"The Zen of Living" Revisited Scientifcally

My dear clone, ehowton, frequently posts on the inter-related subjects of thought, attitude, and perspective.  His basic premise is that one's feelings of happiness can be improved by changing the way a person thinks ~ recognizing a negative idea (or thought process), analyzing the idea from different perspectives, and replacing the negative interpretation with a more positive one.

He addresses this extensively in his most recent post, The Zen of Living.  Within this post, he references an earlier post, Minutia which demonstrates the practical application with an example from his own life.

For those of us who already utilize these techniques, we need no further proof that they work.  But for those who think ehowton may just be talking out of his ass, you may want to reconsider that opinion.  Today, as I was surfing the Internet, reading the latest science news, I came across a recent medical study conducted in the U.K. that shows that he is absolutely correct.

Professor Edward Watkins of the University of Exeter said: "This is the first demonstration that just targeting thinking
can be an effective means of tackling depression.

The study taught a specific thinking skill that the researchers called "Concrete Thinking" (CNT).  The results were rather significant:

CNT significantly reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, on average reducing symptoms from severe depression to mild depression during the first two months and maintaining this effect over the following three and six months. On average, those individuals who simply continued with their usual treatment remained severely depressed.

The researchers tackled just one detrimental thinking habit in their study.  Imagine what would happen if these same individuals could be taught to completely overhaul their negative thought patterns as recommended by ehowton?  Could mostly happy, mostly well-adjusted people be the result?

Tags: philosophy, science
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