Philosopher in Meditation

Resilience May Come from Listening to Your Body

Some fascinating brain research just published in Biological Psychology provides evidence for the supposition that resilience to stress may result from how well you listen to your body. Lori Haase and colleagues studied individuals with different degrees of resilience to stress. They evaluated brain function during and after a stressful situation.

Through functional MRIs, they found that people with high resilience were more attentive to signals of how their body was reacting to a stressful situation. The stress was created by a mask that briefly interfered with breathing. Greater awareness of the body’s stress response was associated with greater ability to moderate it and recover from it. Said senior author Martin Paulus:

This study says that resilience is largely about body awareness and not rational thinking. Even smart people, if they don’t listen to their body, might not bounce back as quickly.

Stress responses can play an important role in the development of obesity. So this research has potential significance for understanding obesity in some individuals and it may even provide insight into strategies for managing related stressors. Understanding resilience is a key to understanding why stress becomes so toxic to some people and not others. Mindfulness is enjoying tremendous popularity and it’s possible that this research may lead to further work that can inform the application of such techniques.

But for now, what we have are some intriguing clues.

Click here to read more in the New York Times and here to read the study.

Philosopher in Meditation, painting by Rembrandt / WikiArt

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January 16, 2016

One Response to “Resilience May Come from Listening to Your Body”

  1. January 16, 2016 at 12:08 pm, Allen Browne said:

    Very interesting.