Michelle Chalfant | The Adult Chair | 334 – The Brain, Meditation, Sleep and Muse with Ariel Garten
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334 – The Brain, Meditation, Sleep and Muse with Ariel Garten

You guys know I’m a huge believer in meditation for its emotional and spiritual benefits. It’s one of the greatest tools I’ve found for personal growth and living a more peaceful life.


But it turns out that meditation also has a major impact on the brain, from our fear response to how well we sleep at night. In this show, we take a deeper look at meditation through the lens of neuroscience alongside neuroscientist and brain expert Ariel Garten.


In this fascinating show with a fascinating guest, Ariel talks about what meditation is (and what it’s not), the benefits of meditation and how it positively affects the brain – backed by tons of research and data. And in case the studies she cites aren’t enough, she actually invented a smart headband called Muse that monitors brain activity and gives you biofeedback to help you calm your busy mind, sleep better and measure the real benefits of a meditation practice! How cool is that?!


This episode will give you the scoop on all the science behind fear, how our brains get wired for anxiety, how the brain contributes to sleep and the power to choose thoughts that heal our brain instead of hurting it.


Listen to discover:


  • What meditation is and what it does for the brain
  • How to get started with a meditation practice
  • The benefits of meditation (with data to prove it)
  • The amygdala, the fight or flight response and how it connects to meditation
  • What happens to the brain during sleep + the two mechanisms that govern sleep
  • The 5 essentials of a good night’s sleep
  • The neuroscience of anxiety 


I absolutely love when science helps back up and explain ancient wisdom, and there’s no arguing with the info Ariel shares. We NEED to be meditating as humans! 


If you don’t currently meditate, start small (even 5 or 10 minutes a day has major brain-boosting benefits) and consider using tools like Muse to help you build a habit. I promise you won’t regret it! 


“Meditation is not a weird or woo woo thing. Meditation is a practice or a training that leads to healthy and positive mind states.” – Ariel Garten


“Meditation is a practice. It’s not something we can ever master.” – Michelle Chalfant


“Meditation is about learning to observe your thinking and then be able to make a different choice.” – Ariel Garten


“Our amygdala is really there to save us from the bad things in the world, but it goes way overboard.” – Ariel Garten


“Just eight weeks of meditation led to actual change in the brain.” –  Ariel Garten


“The trick with anxiety is just to realize it’s just a broken alarm.” – Ariel Garten


“In meditation, you have the thoughts that come. You rise up above them. You notice that you’re having thoughts and you don’t get sucked in.” – Ariel Garten


“We forget how powerful we are, that we can actually choose our thoughts.” – Michelle Chalfant


“We fall victim to our thoughts all the time.” – Michelle Chalfant


“One of the things that may be happening in somebody who has a hyper-reactive emotional state is that they’ve spent a long time engaging with that emotional state.” – Ariel Garten


“The thoughts in your mind and the emotions in your body don’t need to trap you into yourself and into a small way of living your life.” – Ariel Garten







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