Nowadays, we often hear words like “consciousness” and “awareness.” With the emergence of neuroscience research on consciousness, we can begin to understand the biological basis of conscious experiences. With new technology, we can measure our state of consciousness, using heart rate variability (HRV) monitors and biofeedback tracking devices like Muse brain-sensing headband. There is even a new open-access journal called “Neuroscience of Consciousness.” Google search on the term “consciousness” produces 114 million results, and “awareness” yields 300 million links. But do we really know what consciousness is? Do we know what affects our state of consciousness and how we can improve it?
What is consciousness?
According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, consciousness is “the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world”. Being aware, in turn, is defined as “having knowledge or perception of a situation or a fact”. Therefore, we are conscious when our mind has knowledge or perception of itself and the world. We experience different quality of conscious awareness when being awake, daydreaming, being hypnotized, meditating, being under influence of mind-altering substances, or dreaming. Understanding various expressions of consciousness has been a focus of psychology since its onset. William James, who is often referred to as the father of American psychology, defined psychology as “the description and explanation of states of consciousness” (James). Continue reading Mind Map of How to Raise Your Consciousness