There are better ways to combat the Default Mode Network than a social media feed:
- Meditation: Mindfulness and other types of meditation create a focused state of mind that can mute or lower DMN.
- Chanting: repetitive phrases or mantras quiet the mind. Chanting can create a meditative state, even in non-meditators.
- Yoga: concentrating on the physical movement and breathing can quell the DMN. A daily practice of yoga can change our mind as well as our body.
- Candle flame: Staring at campfires has an effect on humans and may have been the beginning of meditation. Flickering light reacts with our brains in such a way as to calm us.
- Rhythmic breathing exercises lead to calm and meditative introspection.
Choose your medicine. :-)
I have observed that regularity is more important than duration – meditating or doing yoga every day, even if one is doing only ten minutes at a time, seems to accomplish more than doing an hour once a week. While there is clearly a benefit to an hour long duration, because it creates more depth, if it only happens occasionally it would have less of an impact. I just now did a quick search about this thought and found this:
So what is the optimal amount? Well, science is still working that equation out. Many of the recent findings seem to be pointing at frequency rather than duration. So for example, 10 minutes a day, every day of the week, is likely to be far more beneficial than 70 minutes on one day of the week.
It would have been nice fo find a few links to the science, but perhaps I’ll dive a little deeper into this some other day.
I find that positive DMN comments can be just as bad as negative ones. Here is an example:
If I play something awful during a performance a snarky comment from my DMN will not improve my playing. It will further disrupt the flow of the music. If, on the other hand, I play something very cool and beautiful and allow my DMN to praise me, the same thing happens: a disruption of the flow of music. As a result the next phrases I play might be awful BECAUSE I allowed the DMN to comment on the beauty of the preceding notes. In other words allowing the DMN to comment on a work in progress may result in a disruption of the flow, regardless of whether the comment is negative or positive.
I am sure athletes observe the same disruptive effect.