‘The Secret’ might actually work: neuroscientist
The best-selling 2006 phenomenon, “The Secret,” told the world that you can visualize your dream life through gratitude and the “law of attraction.”
Now, 13 years later, it’s still selling (in the top 500 books on Amazon), despite some aspects — like visualizing a necklace that will magically appear on your neck — being far from reality.
But what if some of those manifesting secrets are actually backed up by science?
That’s the premise behind the new book, “The Source” (HarperOne; out now) by Dr. Tara Swart, a neuroscientist, psychiatrist and MIT lecturer who teaches these same brain-training techniques in private practice to her clients — CEOs, athletes and politicians — around the world.
“I had this idea that if neuroscience could explain spiritual practice, then it could bring everything together for people, like it did for me personally,” Swart tells The Post. “I’ve always been interested in New Age thinking.”
“The Source” offers real-life, practical tips to encourage your brain to focus on the things you really want, from switching up the way you sleep (Swart prefers snoozing on the left side because research suggests it boosts brain performance) to creating “action boards” — physical or digital vision boards made with images and words that represent your goals.
Looking at a vision board daily will help highlight your desires in your mind, Swart explains. Since we are all bombarded with information constantly, “the brain has to filter out things that aren’t relevant,” she says. She thinks vision boarding helps the brain decide and recognize life priorities.
“If you look at the board daily and visualize these things coming true, it raises them to a higher priority in your brain and bypasses the filtering system,” Swart says.
Her book also suggests simple life changes that she believes can make a big impact in your daily life.
“All of the evidence says the brain has the ability to grow new neurons at any age, and it can change when you’re exposed to new things,” Swart says.
Simple things like talking to a stranger on the train or speaking to a new person at the market can help your brain create new neurons, which can help improve your memory and thinking skills.
“Walk a different road to work, read a different kind of book,” she says. “If you love non-fiction, read a novel or listen to a podcast instead. It makes the brain more flexible.”
Doing new things also slows down time — or, at least, how your mind perceives time.
“If you keep doing the same things it feels like the years speed up relatively quickly,” she says. “If you never change anything in your adult life, that is a major crisis.”
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