Monday, January 30, 2006

Anger: Should We Control it? Part II

Scientific American Mind ,Vol.16, No.4,2005,"Control Your Anger", by Iris Maus

Anger: Should We Control it? Part II

As Maus puts it, the ideas of anger or angst develop in such a way that "There is nothing either good or bad , but thinking makes it so." Shakespeare's Hamlet. A Buddhist monk in Tibet will sit many hours a day trying to rid themselves of all negative emotions and think positively.

Dr. Richardson Davidson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison worked with the Dalai Lama to study the possible effects of meditation on people. The team was comprised of monks, psychologists and neuroscientists. The brain waves of the monks were measured during  meditation with an electroencephalogram and compared to a beginning mediator during meditation. The monks showed a very high level of gamma waves; they ranged from 25  to 42 hertz and apparently they showed up during times of increased awareness in meditation.The gamma wave levels were greater than had ever been reported in scientific journals. The high level of activity was in the frontal lobes , which are involved in the intellectual interpretation of emotions.Davidson thought that this activity showed that the monks could master their emotions. He interviewed some monks later and asked them if their extensive meditations had helped them to feel less fear, angst and anger than other people did. They said that yes they thought they did feel these emotions less than others after having meditated.

What do you think about this research?According to you could meditation help people who are not Buddhist control their anger and sadness? Why or why not?





sunnyside46 said...

anger is a horrible feeling. It is like acid which eats its way through the vessel it is stored in as well as the object it is poured upon.Meditation helps, I think.

sugar1337 said...

I do think anger is a necessary evil at times though for it is a defense mechanism of sorts, alerting us that something is wrong.  However, controlling what one does and says while angry is important.

sazzylilsmartazz said...