Ep. 151: Sara W. Lazar, PhD - Meditation on the Brain: Neuroscience of Toning Down and Tuning Out 
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Description
What is common between a middle school teacher during the pandemic, a three-generation family living together with a terminally-ill child, and an employee who just lost their job? They all are stretched to the max and stressed to the limit. These individuals and the rest of America is stressed! Studies shows that when asked, close to 80% of doctor visits for health problems are associated with stress; however, as little as 3% of doctors actually talk to patients about methods and approaches to reducing stress. Research in neuroscience is showing that by learning and practicing eastern mindfulness practices not only can change emotional experiences around stress, but also casts measurable changes in the neurochemistry and structures in the brain. On this episode, Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, Sara Lazar, Ph.D., discusses the impact of skillfully developed non-reactivity states on the brain. Exploration such as “If I’m not my mind, then who am I?” is at the heart of contemplative sciences and investing in training the mind to stay open to present experiences and enter a non-judging state while caring deeply for one's self and others can have a profound impact on promoting Executive Function. About Sara W. Lazar, PhD Sara W. Lazar, PhD is an Associate Researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. The focus of her research is to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. She has been practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation since 1994. Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and WebMD. More information can be found at https://scholar.harvard.edu/sara_lazar About Host, Sucheta Kamath Sucheta Kamath, is an award-winning speech-language pathologist, a TEDx speaker, a celebrated community leader, and the founder and CEO of ExQ®. As an EdTech entrepreneur, Sucheta has designed ExQ's personalized digital learning curriculum/tool that empowers middle and high school students to develop self-awareness and strategic thinking skills through the mastery of Executive Function and social-emotional competence. Support the show (https://mailchi.mp/7c848462e96f/full-prefrontal-sign-up)
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