How Jewish Spirituality Outsmarts the Anxious, Stressed Brain

Reconnect with a Sense of Awe

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What the rabbis and teachers recommended then (and it remains true today) was that people should outsmart their worried, dissatisfied brain by reconnecting frequently with a sense of awe and appreciation for the many gifts and wonders that their anxious mind tended to forget or overlook. To avoid being bogged down in fears, insecurities, and feelings of sluggishness, the spiritual teachers came up with daily blessings that people could say when they faced difficulties or felt uncertain about the future. These scholars (who had stressful lives of their own) designed a series of specific, short phrases to overcome the heaviness and moodiness of the human brain and allow the soul and inner energies to rise to higher levels each time the words were said.

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