Lisa Miller is a clinical psychologist, researcher, and now professor who studies and teaches about spirituality in clinical psychology. She teaches at Columbia University and has collaborated with the US Pentagon, universities, schools and other private businesses.
She believes that spirituality will make our brains become more robust and resilient. Follow along to learn about the neuroscience of spirituality in Lisa Miller: Top 5 Lessons We Can Learn from Her!
1. Spirituality Will Protect Against Depression
In a study done by Miller, when a mother and child had high spirituality the child was 80% protected against depression. Also spirituality was the strongest protective factor against depression. This sparked Miller’s interest and began her journey into the world of spirituality.
She defines spirituality as our ability to see a deeper realm of life and the ability to share that deeper realm with others. She discovered that spirituality does not only help depression but addiction too. Not enough people are studying and understanding this and she wants to change that and help educate to make the world a better place.
2. Depression and Spirituality are Two sides of the Same Coin
People with a history of depression in the family and who have experienced bad, life-changing events have a different brain structure than other people. The outer surface of the right cortex is thinner. That right cortex is what is responsible for our perception of the world and of ourselves.
This means that depression stops us from really seeing and understanding the world around us. Miller found that a spiritual brain actually has a thicker cortex. This also means that the people who are more prone to depression are more prone to changing and living more spiritually.
We conclude that spirituality comes from moments of sadness and struggles and a spiritual awakening can help so much. A spiritual brain will become a happier brain.
3. Deactivate Your Achieving Mind and Activate Your Awakened Mind
A spiritual experience will deactivate your achieving mind and activate your awakened mind. She ran a study and realized that stress activates the achieving mind. That is the control of our lives, “How can I get what I want in life?”
But, on the other hand spirituality activates different parts; the frontotemporal, parietal and ventral attention network. These are associated with love, a feeling of belonging and where we see the world speak to us.
One feels less like themselves and more one with the greater unity, which is the awakened mind. This makes us more open to new ideas and new experiences. This also connects us with others and makes us feel less alone. Over time we want to transition from the achieving mind to the awakened mind.
4. We Are So Much More Than What We Have Done or Not Done
Spirituality helps us all come together as one. It shows us that we are not only so much more than what we have done or not done, but that we are also so much more than what we have or don’t have. There is a soul in every single one of us and we share a deep common heart no matter what we do in life, how much money we have, or where we live.
Spirituality shows the deep, common human heart in everyone, and the beauty of the world and makes everyone feel equal and unique in their own way and takes away all the superficial parts of us. The more we embrace this, the more connected we will feel with others.
5. Spirituality Can Protect You
According to Lisa Miller spirituality is the antidote to the suicide epidemic and has been proven to help stop depression. Everyone was born with the ability to use spirituality, it’s up to us now to choose if we want to or not.
Being spiritual will set us up for lifelong wellness and make our world a better place. It will help put an end to anxiety and depression and help us live longer, more fulfilling lives. To learn more about the neuroscience behind spirituality and how to become more spiritual read Lisa Miller’s book: The Awakened Brain: The Psychology of Spirituality and Our Search for Meaning.
Which of Lisa Miller’s tips above do you connect with most? Do you feel we are on the verge of a spiritual revolution to finally eclipse all the preventable issues, tissues and illnesses we’re still struggling with? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!
Find out how a simple, 10-minute per day breathing technique can massively impact your life for the better in the book: Breath Magic!