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If you're in a location where it seems like that isn't possible--because it feels like you can't take action, make a decision, and so on--just allow these words to be read, and see what your brain makes of them. Yes, Fundamental Wellbeing is awesome. Yes, the peace that arrives with it is a pressing internal priority. But, don't forget to take others into account so you can lead a well-balanced life as well, and be as much of a blessing to those you touch with it as possible. Epilogue: The Future Of Fundamental Wellbeing Until now, there haven't been that many paths into Fundamental Wellbeing. For some, it just happens. Something clicks in their brain, rewiring happens, and presto! For others, it happens from the depths of depression. Still others actively pursue it with meditation and similar methods. Blue is our most popular colour, and water has long been associated with healing and relaxing qualities. According to marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, spending any amount of time near, in, on or under water' increases our wellbeing and happiness. <a href=';action=redirectexit;url='>Living</a> close to water, whether the sea, a river or lake, or a village pond, is associated with higher levels of physical activity (around 30 minutes more exercise per week), lower stress and a reduced risk of psychological distress. <a href=''>If</a> you have a green or blue space nearby it's easier to find the time for that extra outdoor exercise, which is also more appealing. <a href=''>You'll</a> have more opportunities to enjoy picnics with your partner, family or friends, or to stretch your legs with a walk, hike or cycle ride, with the bonus of better air quality. <a href=''>The</a> outcome? <a href=''>A</a> greater ability to cope with life's challenges and a lower mortality rate. <a href=''>No</a> wonder real estate with blue or green views commands premium prices. <a href=''>Initiatives</a> such as the UK's Blue Health 2020 Project, which explores the best ways city dwellers can take advantage of blue space to improve wellbeing, can help us all counteract the high levels of stress and overwhelm of modern life. <br /><br /><a href=''>How</a> can we feel better if we aren't tending to the root of our being? <a href=''>Your</a> breath is among the most powerful tools you have at your disposal when it comes to your ability to influence your mental-emotional state. <a href=''>Give</a> it ten minutes a day for several days before trying to gauge if it's working. <a href=''>Call</a> a friend. <a href=''>Cue</a> the Golden Girls theme song. <a href=''>Getting</a> your thoughts out of your head and into the world by saying them out loud (or even texting them) and having them received activates regions of your brain associated with emotional regulation and problem-solving. <a href=''>Don't</a> feel like you have any friends or people you want to talk to? <a href=''>In</a> the absence of someone you already know who gets you, they can be a surprisingly good substitute. <a href=''>Random</a> Acts of Non-Cliche Kindness. <a href=''>I</a> say this without a shred of judgment or blame: a big part of depression is focusing on oneself. <a href=''>All</a> of these paths are relatively organic, meaning they most likely involve natural tendencies that already reside in the brain. <a href=''>Certain</a> forms of Buddhism, for example, guide people down very precise methodological paths that they expect will lead to Fundamental Wellbeing for at least some of them. <a href=''>Essentially,</a> they seem to have found methods that work with natural processes in the brain that lead to this or that location on the continuum. <a href=''>While</a> that's great, the downside has been the unreliability of these systems. <a href=''>They</a> work for some, but certainly not for most. <a href=''>People's</a> brains are highly variable. <a href=''>For</a> many years now, the project focused on traditional, psychological, and alternative paths to Fundamental Wellbeing, including technological ones. <a href=''>These</a> days, we expect certain things. <a href=''>One</a> of these is for life to be made easier by science and technology. <a href=''>Most</a> people feel too busy to sit and meditate for a meaningful amount of time each day, much less keep it up for years. <br /><br /><a href=''>Whether</a> you love watching the waves crashing on the beach in a storm, or swimming in or walking along the river, a watery environment engages all your senses. <a href=''>The</a> feel of the sand between your toes, the smell of salt and seaweed, the sound of water over rocks, a blue vista or a gentle river current triggers a positive cascade of biochemical responses. <a href=''>Nichols</a> suggests even taking a shower can have a calming effect on our mind, washing away stress and anxieties. <a href=''>Perhaps</a> that's why we come up with some of our best insights in the shower and find soaking in a hot tub so relaxing. <a href=''>It</a> allows us to disconnect from our worries and reconnect with what's important. <a href=' '>Anyone</a> for an onsen? <a href=''>Over</a> recent years float tanks have become increasingly popular, promoted as a way to detoxify from the stresses of life, creating deep relaxation by inducing a daydreamy state of more theta brain waves. <a href=''>While</a> I've yet to sample the delight of lying naked in a dark tank, people I know who've tried it say it made them feel great. <a href=''>Swimming</a> can also feel meditative, whether you're following that black line in the pool or stroking your way between two groynes off the beach. <a href=''>One</a> colleague shared how whenever she's faced with a particularly challenging problem, she goes for a swim to clear her mind and find the solution she seeks more easily. <a href=''>Our</a> thoughts dwell on what's wrong with us, how awful it all feels to us, and how our problems can't be solved. <a href=''>You</a> can disrupt that cycle by considering others. <a href=''>Lovingkindness</a> meditation, for example, focuses on offering thoughts of well-being to others and has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety and increase feelings of amusement and life purpose. <a href=''>Volunteer</a> gigs found on websites like idealist. <a href=''>What</a> feels like the most impossible thing is often exactly what we need. <a href=''>This</a> is true of exercise and depression. <a href=''>Just</a> focus on getting dressed for exercise, whatever that might be. <a href=''>Getting</a> to a class of some sort is ideal. <a href=''>I</a> also love Coach Kozak's HASfit videos on YouTube because they're short and really positive. <a href=''>If</a> you can't move your legs, there are cardio videos online that are done sitting down with just arm movements, and likewise there are videos with just leg movements. <br /><br /><a href=''>Even</a> if meditation systems work extremely well, this fact alone is a huge limiter on the impact Fundamental Wellbeing can make today. <a href=''>This</a> is the age of pills and push buttons, and one of these is most likely going to be needed for large numbers of people to experience Fundamental Wellbeing, decide if it is right for them, and ease their integration into it. <a href=''>As</a> a technologist and neuroscientist, for me this means focusing on finding a button people can press. <a href=''>To</a> date, the project has worked its way through every practical brain feedback and stimulation technology, hoping to find a match. <a href=''>The</a> problem is that research up to this point has revealed that most of the regions related to Fundamental Wellbeing in the brain are very deep, and this makes them hard to reach with existing technology. <a href=''>There</a> is one promising technology that is being explored, transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS). <a href=''>This</a> is just a fancy term for a device that uses sound to modulate the brain noninvasively through the skull. <a href=''>It's</a> the first technology that can reach deeply in and mostly just effect the areas that need to be targeted. <a href=''>As</a> this article goes to press, it's expensive and there are only a handful of people in the world you'd want to entrust your brain to who know how to use it. <a href=''>Fortunately,</a> many of them work or collaborate with us, and it is showing great promise. <a href=''>This</a> works by taking our focus away from our dominant left hemisphere, which is trying to nail down a logical, analytical solution, and activating the brain's default-mode network to gain access to more insightful and creative ideas. <a href=''>Why</a> not try it and see if it works for you? <a href=''>Spending</a> time in a blue or green space is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. <a href=''>It</a> makes you happier, boosts cognition and increases longevity <a href=''>Stanford</a> researcher Gregory Bratman has shown how taking a 90-minute walk in nature rather than an urban environment helps to reduce rumination -- the mental activity where you get caught up in endless worrying -- by decreasing activity in the part of the brain associated with this type of thinking, the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which can lead to an increased risk of depression. <a href=''>He</a> also showed that strolling through a green environment has a more positive effect in boosting attention and happiness than walking for the same length of time in an area of heavy traffic. <a href=''>Data</a> from the Nurses' Health Study, a series of prospective studies examining the epidemiology and long-term effects of nutrition, hormones, environment and work-life balance, showed how women living in greener areas had a 12 per cent lower mortality rate compared with those with less exposure to green space. <a href=''>Another,</a> small study of 20 people with diagnosed clinical depression, showed how getting out for a walk in the park also provided cognitive benefits, boosting working memory and attention. <a href=''>Growing</a> up in a green area has been shown to boost curiosity and engagement in children, skills that will surely benefit them as they grow up. <a href=''>It</a> restores attention <br /><br /><a href=''>If</a> you can move your body at all, you can get your heart rate up, sweat a little, and raise your serotonin level. <a href=''>Of</a> course, you should check in with a doctor first and follow their recommendations. <a href=''>Without</a> a clear why, we can't string together a coherent narrative, and our nervous systems cannot rest. <a href=''>Our</a> defensive parts are then left with a giant, gaping uncertainty that's endlessly frustrating to a brain whose job it is to make sense and meaning of things. <a href=''>In</a> such situations, the brain tends to replay scenarios over and over again, constantly scanning for clues that'll help us fill in the blanks, trying to find the meaning of it all. <a href=''>When</a> we can settle on a why it allows us to name and put more language to our experience, to identify how we and others are impacted. <a href=''>This,</a> in turn, activates the left side of our prefrontal cortex, our brain's executive command center. <a href=''>Research</a> has shown that the left prefrontal cortex is associated with what's called our approaching systems--which can help us get curious about a situation and creative in our approach to resolving it. <a href=''>A</a> right-hemisphere-dominant prefrontal cortex response is associated with our more defensive avoidance systems, which can prompt us to shut down, self-medicate, and run away. <a href=' '>We</a> also know that trauma is stored in a nonlinear, noncoherent system called implicit memory, which accounts for the ways in which difficult memories (sometimes including entire childhoods) so often have holes and missing pieces to them. <a href=''>This</a> type of technology opens up an interesting new vista for Fundamental Wellbeing. <a href=''>Unlike</a> everything else, FUS is not anatural' method. It uses sound waves from outside your head to directly modulate activity in the brain. It's very likely that it will break the mold when it comes to Fundamental Wellbeing. It may even make much of what you're reading in this article obsolete. The ability to activate or reduce activity in regions of the brain that are associated with Fundamental Wellbeing has already been shown using neurofeedback, mostly in research-grade functional magnetic resonance imaging scanners. This can involve something as simple as a research participant lying in the scanner, looking at a bar on a screen and trying to make it go up or down. That bar is linked via software to an area of the brain using complex real-time neuroimaging. When the bar goes down, for example, it can be because it has been programmed to show that activity in a certain area of the brain is decreasing. It's a way for people to directly train regions of the brain that are relevant to Fundamental Wellbeing.