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C18 Habits

A black box, as used here, focuses on what we know of its inputs and outputs (or transfer characteristics), usually due to inadequate knowledge of its internal workings.

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Contents:
Coping …..
Mindful Attitudes …..
Competence
…..
Using …..
Emotions & Moods …..
Control of Moods …..
Mood Triggers …..
Act as If …..
Goals v Process

more …..
Addiction …..
Asserting …..
Language …..
Brain functions …..
Autonomic …..
Relationships …..
Emotions Moods Conditioning

Mental Health
Our Limited awareness
Sub-conscious resources
Our complex of needs and desires
Range of Senses
Means of learning, retaining and applying
Autonomic system check
Contents of Supporting information

William James (1842-1910) was a leading philosopher and psychologist at the turn of the 19th Century. Together with Charles Peirce, James founded Pragmatism — this philosophy believes that the essence of an idea is in its practical outcomes.

ccc Coping — routine habits

Human Nature is an expression of inherent habits – our basic Needs, etc.

Further developed Habits/Competences are essential and they have to be learned.

Developing a complex of general competences is essential for day to day living, Other competences can be developed to support individual aspirations and social roles.

Each habit is re-inforced through use and may even be lost if neglected. This has been described as “Use It or Lose It”.

Human nature is such that we also acquire bad habits — these can be tenacious and they should be addressed .

We need to deal with daily events either by:

  • Responding with patience & composure (and associated habits/attitudes
  • Reacting with frustration & resentment!

For the implications in daily life (and on our psyches) consider the following commonplace narratives called “Just another day!” from Hardwiring Happiness — by Rick Hanson.

He uses driving as a useful example, presumably as it could involve “real” risk.

With composure (highlighting the Parasympathetic mode of our Autonomic nervous system)

After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed lightly thinking ahead about some of the people you will see and the things you will do.

You hit traffic on the way to work, but you don’t fight it; you just listen to the radio and don’t let the other drivers bother you.

You may not be excited about your job, but today you’re focusing on the sense of accomplishment you feel as you complete each task.

On the way home, your partner calls and asks you to stop at the shops – it’s not your favourite thing to do after work, but you remind yourself it’s just fifteen extra minutes.

In the evening, you look forward to a TV show and you enjoy watching it.

Now, let’s look at the same day, but imagine reacting to it in a different way.

With anger (related to Sympathetic mode of our Autonomic nervous system)

After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed pessimistically anticipating the day ahead and thinking about how boring it will be.

Today, the traffic really gets under your skin, and when a car causes you to brake sharply, you get angry and honk your horn.

You’re still rankled by the incident when you arrive at work, and to make matters worse, you have an unbelievable number of tedious tasks to get through.

By the time you’re driving home, you feel drained and don’t want to do a single extra thing.

You remember that you have to stop at the shops. You feel put upon but don’t say anything.

Then you spend much of the evening quietly seething that you do all the work around the house. Your favourite show is on, but it’s hard to enjoy watching it, you feel so tired and irritated.

The second scenario indicate that we can get stuck in the sympathetic nervous system ( ref), leaving us unhappy and unfulfilled — and in a mental state more likely to cause an accident!

For some people the anger may come from a bad mood, for other people habitual bad attitudes.

The first set of experiences, with a healthy outcome is what is called the “Mindful” approach. The basic attitudes are as follows:

nnn1 ccc The Attitudes of Mindful Approach

In order to do the right things we need Achievement Habits, such as Self-Reliance, Self-Respect and an 0pen Mind

Self-reliance — As you meet each issue you have to decide how best to deal with it — and use whatever assets and guidance you truly need. Keep believing in your own ability — learn from any mistakes — develop your intuition through applying yourself with confidence.

Also — practice asserting yourself

Self-respect — Frequently undermined by bullies, inadequate bosses and other Bs.

However, underlying those gross impositions may be your own notion that you, yourself need to be a virtuous person — and this makes you vulnerable. Human nature with all its Needs — cravings, naughty thoughts, grievances, desires, cannot be reduced to being nice — get real!

Self-esteem is about living with these “faults” and still being “reasonably nice”.

Mindfulness considers that you should cultivate love for yourself – as you are – without (too much) self-blame or criticism.

Open mind: Try sometimes to see things as new and fresh – as if for the first time – and with a sense of curiosity. A favourite Mindfulness example – The next time you see somebody you know – ask yourself if you are just seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about this person! Simple example — get perceptive!

ccc Enabling habits

Patience, Acceptance, Letting-Go, and Composure

Acceptance is a willingness to accept matters as they are here and now. We often waste a lot of energy denying and resisting what is already so! Acceptance does not mean that you should stop trying to improve – to give up on your desire to change and grow – or tolerate injustice. You have to accept yourself as you are before you can really change – Do you want to change?)

Letting-Go: We have to be aware of – and let go our negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings – apply yourself to this task (negative?) – You have to decide! Alternatively, we can allow ourselves to feel the negative feelings, identify them & then decide.

Judgement. We should avoid being judgemental when Angry, in a Casual way, or as a Bad Habit, etc. as these give rise to angry reactions.

Patience and the realisation that xxx such as developing a competence xxx


ccc Competence

For more demanding learning, the stages in achieving a skill can follow this sort of pattern:
o Unconscious incompetence: <em>I don’t really know what I want – Will this do what I want – Will I ever understand? </em>
o Conscious incompetence: <em>I’m getting a vague understanding! – This is what I want to do ….. If I’m diligent, I can afford to make little mistakes – I’ll backup as I go. </em>
o Conscious competence: <em>Why didn’t I see this before. </em>
o Unconscious competence: <em>I hardly notice how easy it is – I’m actually getting better at other things!</em>


ccc Using

Basic Rules: Ref

Wise-people-have-rules-for-themselves! ref

Your quality of life improves when you set clear standards for how you live.

We can’t depend on time, but we can depend on intentions. We can create, own and protect intentions. Intentions aren’t bound by time, or anything else outside our control

But if you are a thoughtful person, you may conclude that no single ethical theory can be stretched to cover every moral con­tingency. The only alternative, then, is to suppose that different ethical systems work better in different situations. This approach is called meta-ethical relativism.

Meta-ethical relativism is not the same as ethical relativism, which supposes, subjectively, that anybody’s ethics are as valid as anybody else’s and, accordingly, that anything at all is permissible in a given situation. Ethical relativism says that Robin Hood is correct to believe that he is doing right, while the sheriff of Nottingham is also correct to believe that Robin Hood is doing wrong. If you have a problem viewing the very same action as both right and wrong, then you are not an ethical relativist.

But is there an objective perspective that provides a wiser and more trustworthy moral compass? That’s where meta-ethical relativism comes in to help us discover which ethical system among those mentioned above – and the unmentioned, and the variations on each – does three vital jobs. First, it must resonate with your moral intuitions. Second, it must mesh with your background experience of ethics. Third, it must help remedy the problem itself. There are no easy answers here, and there’s an art (as well as an effort) required to answer the question “Which ethical system do you think is best in your case – and why?” Now we’re going to look at three illustrative cases to show you how it’s done.

1. Respect those you disagree with — But!

o Seek to re-express your opponent’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly.
o List any points of agreement.
o Mention anything you have learned from your opponent.
o Only then are you allowing yourself to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

2. Employ Occam’s Razor: The idea is straightforward: don’t concoct a complicated, extravagant theory if you’ve got a simpler one.

3. Don’t Waste Your Time on Rubbish: This is Sturgeon’s law and it is often expressed as over 90% of proffered information is untrustworthy.

ccc Emotions & Mood

+ & – emotions

“Negative emotions require more detailed thinking, more subtle distinctions,” says Schrauf. “So they require more names.”

The right hemisphere (RH) appears to be predominantly involved in the perception, experience, and expression of negative emotion (e.g., disgust, fear, sadness), whereas the left hemisphere (LH) appears to be predominantly involved in the perception, experience, and expression of positive emotion (e.g., happiness). If the majority of our negative emotions arise initially and predominantly from the RH, which has no or little capability for language (expression or comprehension), then those negative feelings cannot be put into words until they cross over to the LH. doubtful

Anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise

Emotions and the longer term Moods were categorized by Buddhism as described below All but the last “Awakening” have opposing facets.

These Ten Worlds are actually ten different states of mind, which you experience simultaneously. They’re all present together, like so many ingredients in a stew. But at any given moment, depending on what you’re thinking or doing, or on what’s going on around you, you’ll experience one of these states on a priority basis. It will leap to the forefront of your consciousness, and overshadow the others, but only for a while. One state changes to another, many times per day (and also when you’re sleeping). What are these states? Their names are hell, hunger, instinct, anger, tranquillity, rapture, learning, and reali­zation, helping, and awakening. What characterizes them? First I’ll summarize each state, and afterward revisit Barry’s case showing how they interchange in practice.

Hell (fear, disgust): Whenever something terrible or even disagreeable happens, you get upset or distraught. It is manifest in depression, anxiety, . It’s the worst state to inhabit, beyond reason and passion alike. But, it is said that this mood has given rise to a sort of creativity.

Craving (hunger): This refers to obsession, addiction, . However the desire to do things is an important driving force for most people – but is a sore loss during depression. Motivation is a complex aspect of this mood

Instincts (Needs): These are given to you by your bodily nature, and are natural, but can become excessive – See the section on Needs.

Anger: people seem constantly enraged; others cranky. Others are argumentative or hypercritical, arrogant or sadistic. Anger can provide motivation to deal with unfairness, etc.

Tranquillity: This is a peaceful state in which your mind is un-perturbed, and a relief from anxiety, etc. – achievable through meditation or self-hypnosis.

Rapture (Joy): This is a state of sudden happiness, or even ecstasy. It is the most joyous mood, but for that very reason it does not last. Can be induced by exciting events or artificially by alcohol or drugs.

Learning: In this state you are exercising your cognitive skills, flexing your intellectual muscles. Whatever you’re up to, your thinking mind is engaged and in high gear

Realisation: Realisation means discovery, creativity, invention, and connection. It is related to a craving for attainment and occurs during the development of competence. Quite often what you are seeking can occur while you are having a break, or during sleep or sleepless episodes.

Helping: The helping state of mind applies to good parenting, teaching, doctoring and nursing, etc.

ccc Act As If

Fake_it_till_you_make_it

Often called `the father of psychology’, William James taught us the `Act as if ‘ principle.

He said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

He also said, “If you want a quality, `Act as if ‘ you already have it.”

Shakespeare — As You Like It:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,3
And one man in his time plays many parts.”

You’re in a testy mood, but when the phone rings you feign cheer while talking to a friend. Strangely, after hanging up, you no longer feel so grumpy. Such is the value of social occasions—they impel us to behave as if we were happy, which in fact helps free us from our unhappiness. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199207/the-secrets-happiness

For most of the time our social obligations (Current Rules of Society) mean that we have to conceal or curtail our doggy impulses — we are obliged to act our way through life.

This acting imposes stresses, for some more than others, and often causes mental health issues. Alcohol, etc. have been used to release inhibitions in socially acceptable (almost) way.

We have to see concepts such as self-esteem in the context of our “acting life” and, as with many others, the concept of self-esteem needs to be better understood.

Abraham Maslow, attributed with first defining Needs, suggested that “people need both esteem from other people as well as inner self-respect. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and achieve self-actualisation.

Our everyday experience tells us that our emotions cause us to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes us smile, and feeling sad makes us frown. Case closed, mystery solved. However, James became convinced that this commonsense view was incomplete and proposed a radical new theory – that the relationship between emotion and behaviour was a two-way street, and that behaviour can cause emotion

Subsequent research has indicated that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

This proposed the self-perception view of emotion that behaviours cause feelings.

Subsequent research has shown that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

Our everyday experience tells us that our emotions cause us to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes us smile, and feeling sad makes us frown. Case closed, mystery solved. However, James became convinced that this commonsense view was incomplete and proposed a radical new theory.

James hypothesised that the relationship between emotion and behaviour was a two-way street, and that behaviour can cause emotion

For 10 quick and effective exercises that use the As If principle to transform how you think and behave. – see How to change

ccc Mood Control

Here are 10 quick and effective exercises that use the As If principle to transform how you think and behave.
positive thinking

HAPPINESS: Smile

This is the granddaddy of them all. As Laird’s study demonstrated, smile and you will feel happier. To get the most out of this exercise, make the smile as wide as possible, extend your eyebrow muscles slightly upward, and hold the resulting expression for about 20 seconds.

WILLPOWER: Tense up

As Hung’s experiments show, tensing your muscles boosts your willpower. Next time you feel the need to avoid that cigarette or cream cake, make a fist, contract your biceps, press your thumb and first finger together, or grip a pen in your hand.

DIETING: Use your non-dominant hand

When you eat with your non-dominant hand you are acting as if you are carrying out an unusual behaviour. Because of that you place more attention on your action, do not simply consume food without thinking about it, and so eat less.

PROCRASTINATION: Make a start

To overcome procrastination, act as if you are interested in what it is that you have to do. Spend just a few minutes carrying out the first part of whatever it is you are avoiding, and suddenly you will feel a strong need to complete the task.

PERSISTENCE: Sit up straight and cross your arms

Ron Friedman from the University of Rochester led a study where volunteers were presented with tricky problems to see how long they persevered. Those who sat up straight and folded their arms struggled on for nearly twice as long as others. Make sure your computer monitor is slightly above your eye-line and, when the going gets tough, cross your arms.

CONFIDENCE: Power pose

To increase your self-esteem and confidence, adopt a power pose. If you are sitting down, lean back, look up and interlock your hands behind your head. If you are standing up, then place your feet flat on the floor, push your shoulders back and your chest forward.

NEGOTIATION: Use soft chairs

Hard furniture is associated with hard behaviour. In one study Joshua Ackerman at the MIT Sloan School of Management had participants sit on either soft or hard chairs and then negotiate over the price of a used car. Those in the hard chairs offered less and were more inflexible.

GUILT: Wash away your sins

If you are feeling guilty about something, try washing your hands or taking a shower. Chen-Bo Zhong from the University of Toronto discovered that people who carried out an immoral act and then cleaned their hands with an antiseptic wipe felt significantly less guilty than others.

PERSUASION: Nod

If people nod while they listen to a discussion they are more likely to agree with the points being made. When you want to encourage someone to agree with you, subtly nod your head as you chat with them. Research led by Gary Wells of Iowa State University shows that they will reciprocate the movement and find themselves strangely attracted to your way of thinking.

LOVE: Open up

Couples in love talk about the more intimate aspects of their lives. Research carried out by Robert Epstein, founder of the Cambridge Centre for Behavioural Studies, shows that the opposite is also true – more intimate chat makes people feel attracted to each other. If you are out on a date, get the other person to open up by asking what advice they would give to their 10-year-old self, or what one object they would save in a house fire.

It helps if you are interested or are motivated in some way. xxx


ccc Goals & Processgoal1

Goals are good for focusing on what you want to achieve.

However, goals assume that you can control things — our lives may be vastly harder than they need to be, but only because we grasp at more control than is actually available to us.

When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

You might think your goal will keep you motivated over the long-term, but that’s not always true. When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?

It’s better to decide on a process and enjoy monitoring progress — a good outcome will emerge.

 

what triggers a mood what triggers a habit xxx

The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior

Patience:

Non-striving:

aaa Addiction

The Science behind addiction and habit

Habit begins when we perform any action repeatedly in response to a cue, such as brushing our teeth as soon as we wake up. The action then becomes encoded in the brain as an automatic response to that cue.

Any behavior that repeatedly stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway can also form a habit. Of course, many everyday activities stimulate dopamine release: exercise, sex, eating tasty food, social engagement, to name just a few. When dopamine is released, we feel pleasure. Thus, the activity is rewarding and we want to do it again. When we use substances that give us a big bang of dopamine, the temptation to use it repeatedly is strong. Our clever brains quickly associate the behavioral pattern with the sense of pleasure.

Prefrontal executive decision-making occurs when we initially choose our behaviors—we voluntarily light up, get online, or pour the glass of alcohol. However, as we repeat the activity, the behavior gets encoded as a chunk, and the habit forms neurologically with powerful dopamine rewards. The behavior moves from voluntary to automatic, as prefrontal-cortex control is now eliminated and conscious choice is no longer part of the sequence.

With addictive substances or behaviors, the intensity of the reward and the cost of not having the reward move the user from habit to addiction. When people are addicted, we talk about the power of craving, which goes beyond merely wanting. Craving sets up powerful physical sensations, emotions, and a cognitive focus on obtaining the substance. The brain has grown accustomed to the presence of the substance, and without it, imbalances in brain function create withdrawal symptoms. Not acting on a habit to pour a drink might make a person feel as if something is missing—and, in fact, the chunk of behavior in response to the cue is indeed missing. But with addiction, the absence of the response to the cue—such as drinking to relieve stress—elicits intense craving.

Jolie didn’t consider herself an addict, but she did have a strong habit of drinking after her work day. Therefore, I discussed with her that once a person develops an addiction, they’ll probably need to avoid that substance or behavior. It was critical for her to see her drinking as serious and progressive—from habit to addiction. As long as she thought it was a “just a bad habit,” she wouldn’t consider drinking itself to be a problem. The power of the word alcoholic implied something more significant, and her fear of that word was going to help her be willing to talk honestly in therapy.

Although I suspected that Jolie was probably an alcoholic and that I hadn’t heard all the ways in which her drinking had presented problems in her life, we hadn’t yet come to an agreement about calling her use of alcohol an addiction. We did, however, agree that, to start, an important goal of hers would be to weaken the habit, the chunk of behavior that was pouring a glass of wine as soon as she got home from work. Weakening this habit would take time and require substituting drinking with a different behavior that would give her the same reward: relaxation of mind and body. Talking it over with me, Jolie thought that taking a hot bath seemed like a good way to release tension after work, but then she realized she’d probably just take the wine glass into the tub. To prevent that from happening, she decided to get some exercise every day immediately after work.

The release of physical tension at the gym helped Jolie quite a bit and gave her mental relief. Often when she’d get home from swimming or a spin class, she wouldn’t feel the tension that had driven her to drink. This was a positive step toward weakening her habit, but the cue of coming home still triggered the desire to drink. Now that she was aware of it, however, we agreed that if it persisted after a few weeks, she’d participate in a 12-step program so she’d have someone to call to help her past that trigger.

By seeing habit as part of addiction, Jolie was able to work out a treatment plan with me that wasn’t too overwhelming, pathologizing, or frightening for her to commit to. As she recognized her difficulty in moderating her drinking behavior, especially when under stress, Jolie agreed to accept AA as an addiction-recovery resource. She now understood that her drinking was encoded in her brain in a way that went beyond an ordinary habit pattern.

At this stage, neurobiology’s biggest contribution to addictions treatment isn’t so much a distinct clinical method, but a means of increasing motivation for change. By destigmatizing clients’ shame and self-blame, brain-based explanations get resistant clients to listen to treatment recommendations they might otherwise reject. For therapists, this leverage may be brain science’s most important contribution to our clinical toolbox.


aaa Developing Your Assertiveness

Some people are naturally more assertive than others. If your disposition tends more towards being either passive or aggressive, you need to work on the following skills.

Value yourself and your rights
• Understand that your rights, thoughts, feelings, needs and desires are just as important as everyone else’s.
• But remember they are not more important than anyone else’s, either.
• Recognise your rights and protect them.
• Believe you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
• Stop apologizing for everything.

Identify what you need or want, and seek for them to be satisfied
• Don’t wait for someone to recognise what you need (you might wait forever!)
• Understand that to perform to your full potential, your needs must be met.
• Find ways to get your needs met without sacrificing others’ needs in the process.

Acknowledge that people are responsible for their own behaviour
• Don’t make the mistake of accepting responsibility for how people react to your assertive statements (e.g. anger, resentment). You can only control yourself.
• As long as you are not violating someone else’s needs, then you have the right to say or do what you want.

Express negative thoughts and feelings in a healthy and positive manner
• Allow yourself to be angry, but always be respectful.
• Do say what’s on your mind, but do it in a way that protects the other person’s feelings.
• Control your emotions.
• Stand up for yourself and confront people who challenge you and/or your rights.

 

 

ccc PERSONALITY

https://www.truity.com/blog/one-personality-trait-won-donald-trump-presidency

The Big Five Personality Inventory

There are numerous ways to categorize personality, but for the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to focus on the Big Five framework. The Big Five theory describes personality based on where a person sits on the following dimensions:

  • Openness to experience: imaginative, curious, forward-thinking, receptive to new ideas
  • Conscientiousness: diligent, rule abiding, disciplined, organized
  • Extroversion: enthusiastic, action-oriented, sociable, reward-seeking
  • Agreeableness: compassionate, generous, cooperative, caring for others
  • Neuroticism: anxious, depressive or negative tendencies, emotionally reactive


Language allows us to substitute words for elements of experience. We can deal with things that have happened through language. We can make sense of the past and learn from it. We can also make plans for the future. We can span space and time. We can integrate our history.


ccc New-brain-old-brain-mindfulness-compassion

Ref156 new-brain-old-brain-mindfulness 156

OLD BRAIN – responsible for human drives and shared with many other animals
1. Motives (Safety, Food, Sex, Relationship Seeking, Caring, Status)
2. Emotions- guide us to our motivations/goals and respond if we are succeeding or threatened directs our Attention (what we notice and jumps out at us), Thoughts, Actions and Behaviours
3. Behaviours, which direct Whether we approach or avoid situations (Fight/ Flight) or even if we shut down

NEW BRAIN – responsible for
• Imagination, Creativity
• Planning
• Integration (fitting new and old pieces of information together in a way that makes sense to us to create a cohesive whole)
• Rumination (when we get stuck analyzing, and thinking about things, trying to “figure it out”)


To start

ccc Autonomic System

Ref154 autonomic-nervous-system-in-emotion

The visceral system of the Peripheral Nervous System is known as the Autonomic Nervous System. The sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) nerves connecting the surface of the body with the central nervous system constitute the peripheral nervous system. In other words, rest of the nervous system, other than the brain Autonomic Nervous system.

The nerve fibers of the Autonomic Nervous System are connected with the function of blood vessels, endocrine glands, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, in and bladders etc. The Autonomic Nervous System is controlled by the old brain, and is not under the functional control of the cortex. The synapse of system is situated outside of both the spinal column and central nervous system.

Physiologists have discovered two divisions of the autonomic nervous system, i.e., sympathetic division and parasympathetic division. These two divisions never function together. Either of the two functions at a time.

The Sympathetic Division

Structure:

The spinal nerves emerge from the middle portions of the spinal cord. These spinal nerves emerging on both the sides of the spinal cord run a series of ganglia. Ganglia are the nerve centers present in both the sides of the spinal cord. These nerve fibers run up and down the body synapse with the effect or neurons that go into muscles, glands, skin, and viscera. These fibers coming from thoracolumbar segments of the spinal column finally reach organs from the head to toes – all parts of the body. This part of the autonomic system is called sympathetic nervous division because they make the visceral organs function in ‘sympathy’ during emergency conditions of serious effort or exercise, states of fear and anger.

Functions

The sympathetic division acts in three major events, such as during
(a) excitement, emotion of fear, anger and elation,
(b) violent exercise and bodily activities and
(c) extreme cold when the life is endangered.

Owing to the function of the sympathetic division during emotion such as anger and rage, medulla of the adrenal gland pours excess amount of its “adrenaline” secretion to the blood stream. This secretion in the blood stream is associated with strong emotional experiences. This leads to release of stored sugar from the liver into the blood.

There are chemical changes in the blood as a result of which the blood clots easily and quickly. Blood pressure increases, pulse beats become rapid and vigorous. The passages of the lungs enlarge and more air is admitted due to heavy breathing. The pupils of the eyes are dilated and thus more light enters into the eyes. Heavy sweating occurs throughout the body. Palms and hands are full with sweating. The temperature of the skin sometimes rises and at times falls several degrees.

The adrenal medulla also secretes another hormone called “noradrenaline” which constricts the blood vessels at the surface of skin. Bloods are chanalised from stomach and sex organs to the motor organs, such as, muscles of and arms. The digestive functions come to stop. There is cessation of digestive juices due to inhibitive function of the sympathetic division. The blood from these is diverted to the muscles.

Hairs stand on their roots. The adrenaline secreted from adrenal glands expedites the actions and reinforces emergency-facing processes. There is evidence that the thyroids and pituitary glands also secrete hormones during emotion. During joy, the stomach maximum visceral changes, where as in fear and anger, the adrenal functions vigorously. During sorrow, the gall bladder becomes most active. These glandular responses in emotion are adaptive in nature, which means individual becomes able to cope physically with emergency situation.

The visceral activities as well as the neural activities are involving emotion.

Almost the total nervous system is involved in emotional response. Electrical responses are also closely associated with the visceral and the activities during emotion. The electrical responses, such as galvanic responses and brain potentials undergo changes during emotion. The autonomic activities energizing sweat glands lead to perspiration, which produces changes in the electrical properties of the skin. The tissues –of the skin generate electromotive force and the electrical resistance of the skin is changed.

The Parasympathetic Division

Structure:
From the two end segments of the spinal cord, i.e., from the upper and the lower segments, the nerves of the parasympathetic division emerge on both the sides. The upper division of the spinal column is called cranial part and the lower segment is called the sacral part. These nerves then pass the rough series of ganglia and reach the visceral organs structures having synapses outside the central nervous system.

Thus, parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is situated from the above and below the sympathetic division. This division is thus know “cranio-sacral division’ of the autonomic nervous system. Parasympathetic nerves like the sympathetic division reach almost all the organs of the body from head to toes. When sympathetic division is active, the parasympathetic division takes rest and vice-versa. Whether a particular division accelerates or inhabits a particular organ or system depends on the welfare of the organism at that moment depending on the situation.

Functions:
Parasympathetic division is involved in the ordinary vital ions of life. The parasympathetic division maintains the ordinary processes of life. Protection of the eyes from the bright light is the work of this division. The constrictions of the pupils of the eyes are done by this division for protection purpose. It adjusts the lens of the eye for new vision.

The construction of food, its digestion and the excretion are done by parasympathetic on. During sexual union more blood supply to the sex organs are made is division. It meets the physiological demands of the body to maintain. It stores up energy in abundance for future use by the sympathetic division during emergency.

But owing to prolonged emotion, if both the divisions of the Autonomic nervous system become overactive that may lead to organic pathology, parasympathetic over activity may lead to peptic ulcer, backache, and headache etc. The sympathetic over activity may lead to psychosomatic diseases, such as asthma, tuberculosis, migraine etc. for which psychosomatic medicines are prescribed by the physicians.


To Start
ccc Relationships

135 The Chemistry of Relationships: Emotions, the Brain, and the Experience of Love 135

Background

In essence, psychological and sociological theories and interventions surrounding bonding, attachment, and emotions are now supported by the science of the brain and the understanding of the body’s biochemical processes.

Neuroscientists have mapped many regions of the brain using a variety of brain imaging processes that allow them to identify the associated biological functions. Practitioners who help couples and individuals enhance, strengthen, or restore their relationships may want to integrate the physiology of emotions, the brain, and the experience of love into their work. This Brief outlines some of the history and recent findings that help explain the “chemistry” of intimate relationships and provides a discussion of the possible implications and considerations for marriage/relationship educators.

Research and Trends

Brain imaging, which began in the 1970s, provided the opportunity for scientists to explore the uncharted territory of human emotional functioning. The recent creation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has provided a technological leap.

The section below highlights some of the key issues and findings in neuroscience and how they relate to emotion, bonding, attachment, and romantic love.

Emotions and the Brain

Emotions are an essential part of human functioning and intimate relationships — a vital force for love, bonding, intimacy, and sexual desire in romantic relationships.

Furthermore, emotions motivate prosocial, empathic, and moral behaviors and play a role in an individual’s sense of self.

Researchers have identified the “basic” emotions that are cross-culturally identifiable: anger, sadness, fear, excitement, enjoyment, surprise, and disgust (Eckman), and have come to some agreement that these emotions occur on a continuum of intensity.

Neuroanatomists are mapping the regions of the brain and have identified the brain structures involved in accessing and processing emotional experiences within the limbic system. This system acts as the central processing unit of emotions. One particular area of this system, the amygdala, is recognized as the center for emotion.

Another structure, the hippocampus, is considered the center for emotional memory.

Studies of these areas of the brain have focused on the brain’s responses during two emotional extremes: calm and heightened states. For example, studies of long-term Buddhists who meditate have revealed important new findings about regions of the brain that provide keys to controlling emotion and mood.

Emotional reactivity and intense expressions of negative emotions are detrimental to the healthy development of relationships.

Emotions such as anger, hostility, and contempt have long been identified as central to the breakdown of human relationships.

Emotional functioning is crucial for personal and relationship success in life.

The field of neurobiology has taken this one step further to illustrate that the brain is physically impacted by personal relationships over time.

Emotional attunement (being responsive to another person’s emotional needs) has been identified as a significant component to promoting attachment.

Compassion and empathy have also been identified as key relationship skills. These findings help guide understanding of how human beings function emotionally in health and disease—and in relationships.

Researchers are beginning to identify more interventions that can help increase the likelihood of improvements in moods, relationships, and personal functioning.

Positive psychology is an emerging field that focuses on the study of positive emotions, individual traits, relationships, and institutions has identified four steps in improving emotional life that encompass all of the concepts discussed above to include:
(a) consciousness of emotional experience
(b) choosing constructive behaviors to express emotions
(c) developing sensitivity to the feelings of others and
(d) responding considerately to the feelings of others.

The studies of emotion have also led to various mind-body approaches to healing trauma, which are interventions based on the notion that new emotional experience can actually create new brain processes or “neural pathways” (called neuroplasticity).

Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples incorporates attachment and emotion as core to its model. The goal of this work is to show that the brain is actually changing as a response to the bonding occurring during EFT.

The study of emotion and the study of the brain are intertwined; the next section highlights a few of the important areas of work going on throughout the world.

Attachment and the Bonds of Love.

Attachment theory emerged from the work of John Bowlby, a physician and psychoanalyst practicing in post-war London, England, during the 1940s.

This theory speaks to the innate human striving for emotional closeness and comfort and the distress created by separation and loss.

Harlow’s study (1958) underscored the essential nature of contact comfort for establishing social bonds. Bonding, which takes place through the experience of touch and physical closeness, is identified as the key to human well-being.

Researchers now believe that affectional experiences in childhood have a profound impact on adult love relationships and family patterns. Researchers concur that these early bonding and attachment experiences provide a rubric for understanding adult attachment styles and individual vulnerabilities. The working hypothesis is that a child’s attachment style forms a template for his or her adult relationship experiences.

While many love relationships begin with lust, sexual attraction, and romance, some of these relationships become a loving and stable pair bond.

As love relationships develop over time, bonding and attachment form based on a complex mix of psychological, emotional, physical, and social factors. Although sexual attraction and desire bring lovers together, similar social backgrounds and interests promote bonding and attachment. Studies exploring the chemistry of romantic love and compassionate love are further strengthening this knowledge base. Again, fMRIs have played a part in revealing the hidden biochemical processes that take place in the brain when people fall in love and as their relationships evolve.

Romantic love is an important part of many longterm marriages in which couples maintain sexual vitality. Falling in love is a complex neurochemical cocktail that includes norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and phenethylamine. This combination creates a powerful emotional experience that may be motivated by the human instinct for survival. Research shows that romantic love experiences are stored in the emotional center of the brain and are most likely fortified by oxytocin, which fosters bonding and attachment. oxytocin, a hormone referred to as the “cuddle chemical,” has created intense interest in attachment research and is helping to explain the power and place of human bonding. Additionally, oxytocin has also been shown to be instrumental in facilitating trust. The understanding of why human beings form pair bonds and the complexities of attachment experiences in children and adults is being explored through the neurochemistry of various hormones and their role in strengthening or weakening intimate relationships.

Love and Relationship Skills

Researchers are now exploring the question, “Can we really have it all in marriage?” Does romantic love fade as a distant memory or is it possible in long-term marriages?

Can couples maintain romantic love, friendship, sexual attraction, and commitment over a lifetime? Preliminary research indicates that loving and passionate relationships can grow in attraction.

Romantic love (minus the obsessiveness of lust) appears to be a real, lifelong experience for many. Couples who report high levels of passionate love in their relationship also report higher levels of personal satisfaction, more affection, high levels of trust and friendship, and lower levels of depression. Couples who experience hypoactive sexual desire are a great risk for breakup over time.

There may be a variety of ways that sexuality can be maintained throughout the marriage relationship. The passion, bonding and love that unite couples are only part of the couple relationship.

The field of psychology has also studied relationship dynamics and interpersonal communication between partners. Identifying factors that are protective versus destructive in relationships has contributed to psychosocial education and treatment for couples.

In the 1960s, programs known commonly as marriage education began with a variety of approaches, mostly emphasizing marital preparation and premarital counseling, along with married couple retreats to improve communication skills. Early programming in marriage/relationship education emphasized forming companionate marriages and teaching individuals and couples important knowledge and skills. These programs provided practical and useful methods, techniques, and tools for dealing with relationship issues.

Emotions, particularly anger, hostility, and contempt, were viewed as a causative factor in the breakdown of marriage and relationships.

However, there were few techniques for effectively managing the emotional hijacking brought on by the fight/flight response. Initial techniques primarily focused on cognitive approaches to conflict and problem solving. While sharing and processing emotional experience and expression were taught, the skills often remained at superficial levels of emotional expression. The importance of emotional expression and affect regulation, bonding, and attachment in intimate relationships was often underemphasized.

Implications

Currently, much is being learned about how the chemistry of romantic love and the chemistry of attachment foster a committed love relationship. Therefore, marriage/relationship educators may want to integrate practice and skill building that will help protect and nurture the emotional bond. Educators may want to prioritize resolving differences by teaching individuals and couples to identify emotions and express emotion constructively. Furthermore, practitioners may want to encourage activities that enhance emotional responsiveness and emotional attunement to promote bonding. For example, showing empathy in intimate relationships has received attention as an essential relationship skill and plays a crucial role in establishing emotional security and secure attachment. The physical bond plays a crucial role, too. Educators may want to express the importance of cuddling or doing other intimate activities (not necessarily sex, but sex is certainly included) that facilitate the stimulation of oxytocin and the other chemicals associated with bonding and attachment.

The ability to express emotions in constructive ways fosters and facilitates a sense of connection and secure attachment in relationships. Family life is the primary forum where people learn to express thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs. Emotional expression that is confused, unclear, or blaming leads to depression, aggression, and emotional distance in social relationships. Exploring patterns of relationship and emotional expression learned in an individual’s family of origin helps couples becoming more accepting of each other. These family patterns also underlay the internal working model of attachment that each person brings to the relationship. Helping couples understand, support, and connect with each other in compassionate and empathetic ways often reduces relationship distress.

Practitioners may want to integrate techniques with the goal of transforming anger into constructive problem solving (with basic steps for constructive expression, methods for dealing with destructive expressions of anger, and important processes for forgiveness within relationships). Although communication training teaches these skills from a behavioral model, programs may want to consider incorporating mind-body techniques to soothe and calm reactivity. The role of meditative practices as a method for managing emotional reactivity, stress, and certain illnesses is receiving greater attention.

Discussing physiological factors in class may provide new levels of hope for distressed couples. Understanding that working on their relationship may actually create new neural pathways that help couples better relate to one another can renew a couple’s energy and focus on healing their relationship.

Conclusion

There is a new era of practice influenced by the study of the brain and how it relates to emotions, bonding, and attachment. Greater attention to exercises and activities that strengthen the chemistry of love, connection, trust, friendship, and sexual desire are needed in the new generation of healthy marriage/relationship education programs. The focus on positive interventions that enhance the chemistry of love, attraction, and affection will help strengthen programs and services that are already helping many individuals and couples improve their lives and their relationships.

xxx

To Start
ccc Ref126 Emotions-moods-conditioning-and-the-brain 126 — By Malek Mneime, Ph.D.

Emotions such as fear and disgust may require a fast response xxx

Emotions are intense and short-lived responses, comprised of thoughts, physiological changes, and behaviors, to a tangible stimulus — whereas moods are chronic or long-lasting responses to potential stimuli (often with no identifiable stimulus).

From another perspective, moods can be considered emotions that have persisted for a disproportionate amount of time and no longer serve an adaptive function. This distinction has important implications for etiological theories of psychopathology and the treatment of psychopathology.

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At least since Darwin’s time, we’ve known that several basic emotions ( anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise). They are considered to be innately programmed.

Moods include anxiety and depression. For example, people born blind still smile even though they have never seen others smile. These basic and innate emotions also exist across cultures. It is believed by many that emotions serve adaptive functions. Emotions and moods can result in action — fear allows us to escape dangerous situations, whereas joy or happiness allows us to approach potentially rewarding situations — this is called “adaptive”.. Without these basic, adaptive qualities of emotions, the human race may have gone extinct long ago.

Moods can also be adaptive. Anxiety, which has been defined as a mood in which people fear a potentially dangerous situation in the future, has both positive and negative qualities. On the one hand, anxiety can motivate people to do things to resolve a potentially dangerous situation. For example, if one is anxious for days about an upcoming exam, the anxiety may motivate the person to study more.

Depression, also a mood, allows organisms to reserve energy and resources in situations in which activity is fruitless (e.g., famine).

If these moods persist when the potentially dangerous situation has been resolved, however, they have the potential to impair life functioning and decrease quality of life.

Maladaptive moods often persist when people repeatedly think of and believe the same negative scenarios will occur.

“I am going to fail this test, it will be awful and terrible. I will be a loser….I will always fail….I will never be good enough…I can’t stand this….I should not fail this test, but I am going to fail this test, it will be awful….I will fail this test…I will never succeed….I am not good enough….I am going to fail this test.” From a learning perspective, this negative, inner dialogue becomes associated with a subjective feeling (e.g., anxiety) and set of behaviors (e.g., avoidance) such that when a similar stressful situation arises in the future (which it almost always does), these thoughts are re-elicited and re-processed. This is what some psychologists refer to as “mood dependent memory.”

In assessing irrational beliefs, I sometimes ask people what they were thinking when they experienced a disturbed mood. Some people will say “my mind was blank,” or “I wasn’t thinking anything,” which is consistent with the aforementioned (though debated) definition of a mood. From a learning perspective, this makes sense. Over time, beliefs may become so strongly associated with specific triggers that they are elicited automatically and relatively unconsciously by the brain. Even though the beliefs may be inaccessible to consciousness, they affect us nonetheless (much like subliminal presentations) because of older pathways in the brain that have evolved to prepare us immediately for action.

The fields of psychophysiology and neuroscience can also shed some light on the “mind-blankness” phenomenon. Modern research has revealed intriguing findings pertaining to the differential roles of the cerebral hemispheres. For example,

the right hemisphere (RH) appears to be predominantly involved in the perception, experience, and expression of negative emotion (e.g., disgust, fear, sadness), whereas the left hemisphere (LH) appears to be predominantly involved in the perception, experience, and expression of positive emotion (e.g., happiness). If the majority of our negative emotions arise initially and predominantly from the RH, which has no or little capability for language (expression or comprehension), then those negative feelings cannot be put into words until they cross over to the LH. Indeed, it has been hypothesized that a condition known as alexithymia, in which individuals have difficulty identifying and describing emotions, is due primarily to deficiencies in the ability of emotion to cross over to the LH (i.e., deficiencies in the corpus callosum, which connects the hemispheres).

http://brainmadesimple.com/left-and-right-hemispheres.html nnn2

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Such findings and hypotheses suggest a potential biological reason for statements such as “my mind was blank” when experiencing a disturbed mood. Such responses suggest a strong attentional focus on the feeling itself, to the exclusion of conscious, language-based thoughts, while experiencing the mood. Although imperfect retrospective memory and conditioning may be reasons for such statements, it is also plausible that a RH attentional focus provides a potential biological reason for such statements; that is, the individual’s mind actually contained no language-based thoughts at the time because their attention was predominantly focused on the negative mood. Consistent with this hypothesis, numerous studies have found increased right-relative-to-left hemisphere activity or activation in people with anxiety and/or depressive disorders.

Because over-attention to negative feelings, most of which are derived preferentially from the RH, may maintain the greater right vs. left hemisphere activity (and therefore, the negative feeling), putting those feelings into words and involving one’s LH may shift the hemispheric balance and reduce the negative mood. Nowadays, I may still ask people what they were thinking as they felt disturbed emotionally, if only to confirm my hypothesis; however, I will often also ask which of the four types of irrational beliefs identified by Dr. Ellis would “fit/go with” or “apply to” the feeling or mood. Therefore, if you find yourself feeling emotionally disturbed, but have difficulty putting those feelings into words, it might help to ask yourself, “Am I catastrophizing, demanding, rating, or intolerant of frustration?” From there, rational statements can be devised to further counteract maladaptive moods or emotional disturbance

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Mar17
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The Human Psyche is vulnerable. Often when things go wrong our Human Nature allows matters to get worse. In technical jargon we are not inherently “failsafe!”. This is a cost of mankind’s cravings for adventure and understanding.

Mental Health
Our Limited awareness
Sub-conscious resources
Our complex of needs and desires
Range of Senses
Means of learning, retaining and applying — Habits
Contents of Supporting information

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Mental Health & its Enhancement

In a profound way each of us is on our own.

In a profound way we are each part of humanity.

We each compete and commune as we experience life. Our Human Body/Mind is the result of how humans evolved to deal with these opposite demands. The ways in which we respond and/or react has a major bearing on how we cope – See Red & Green Modes later.

A second major aspect is that we are akin to robots in that we need additional programming to cope with walking, talking, learning, etc. Evolution has provided us with the means by which a human grows, learns and develops. Our Apps include a wide range of the good habits/skills needed to relieve us of having to consciously work through routine daily activities.

But our ability to learn these and further life enhancing Apps also means that we can acquire bad Apps – damage-prone habits and antagonising attitudes. These may emerge in response to unfortunate experiences such as Toxic Stresses.

The Mind (whatever it is) is aware only of the current “stream of consciousness”. Note that we are able to learn to do things well, continue to sort of understand – then we make a big step forward and realise something new to us. This observation of the power of the sub-conscious to “think incisively” in parallel” with your conscious deliberations is crucial!

This ability to “Realise” indicates, albeit clandestine and uncertain, access to particular parts of what is hidden away in what Freud called the Sub-Conscious.

The Mind and its manifestations are complex. What is presented here focuses on what are considered to be dominant aspects of its functioning.

Thus we have to accept our limited awareness, our “Stream of Consciousness”. But we must also accept the importance of the Near and Sub-Consciousness; and the interaction between the Nervous System and the Hormone System.

We need to accept the basic need to learn how to cope, and reap the rewards that can be derived from focussed learning.

Above all, applying and extending our good habits, competences and attitudes.

However, without really understanding the complex processes of the Brain, We have learned to use some of its most important processes, as follows:
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1) Our Limited Awareness

Our Stream of Awareness is as if we use a periscope peering out from a submarine, blinkered, with limited horizons. For many people if this was all that we had then Depression would dominate.

The Attention Schema Theory (AST), suggests that consciousness arises as a solution to one of the most fundamental problems facing any nervous system: Too much information constantly flows in to be fully processed. The brain evolved increasingly sophisticated mechanisms for deeply processing a few select signals at the expense of others, and in the AST, consciousness is the ultimate result of that evolutionary sequence.
The Autonomic system relieves the Central Nervous System of essential actions — How Consciousness Evolved

Generally our awareness of day to day experiences is dominated by Reactions to real or imaginary matters or the realisation that measured responses are appropriate. How we respond is important for our mental health.

We often have to deal with experiences one by one as we perceive them.

The distinct responses are described in ” Just another day!” in Hardwiring Happiness. by Rick Hanson

The Red Mode

After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed pessimistically anticipating the day ahead and thinking about how boring it will be.

Today, the traffic really gets under your skin, and when a car causes you to brake sharply, you get angry and honk your horn.

You’re still rankled by the incident when you 001x work, and to make matters worse, you have an unbelievable number of tedious tasks to get through.

By the time you’re driving home, you feel drained and don’t want to do a single extra thing.

You remember that you have to stop at the shops. You feel put upon but don’t say anything.

Then you spend much of the evening quietly seething that you do all the work around the house. Your favourite show is on, but it’s hard to enjoy watching it, you feel so tired and irritated.
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2 The Green Mode

Now let’s look at the same day, but imagine approaching it in a different way.

After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed lightly thinking ahead about some of the people you will see and the things you will do.

You hit traffic on the way to work, but you don’t fight it; you just listen to the radio and don’t let the other drivers bother you.

You may not be excited about your job, but today you’re focusing on the sense of accomplishment you feel as you complete each task.

On the way home, your partner calls and asks you to stop at the shops – it’s not your favourite thing to do after work, but you remind yourself it’s just fifteen extra minutes.

In the evening, you look forward to a TV show and you enjoy watching it.

These Scenarios indicate that we can be dominated by the “Sympathetic” or the “Para-Sympathetic” aspects of our Autonomic Systems. Though regarded at involuntary it is obvious that the Sympathetic Reactions are triggered by the Senses or alarming Recollections.

The Nurture School of Human Development shows that an Insecure Person is prone to respond in the Red Mode to perceived “Threats”. Such a person has higher than normal Cortisol levels.

If you have developed ways of dealing with stresses through maintaining Composure and sound Attitudes, you are able to distinguish between Imagined and Real Threats and stay in the less stressful and much more fruitful Green Mode.

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2) The Sub-Conscious releases us from the claustrophobia of periscope awareness

We are able to learn to do things well, continue to sort of understand – then we make a big step forward and realise something new to us. This observation of the power of the sub-conscious to think incisively “in parallel” with your conscious deliberations is crucial!

(Einstein: “Creativity is the residue of time wasted”)

According to William James the renowned American Psychologist Awareness and the Sub-Conscious are as follows:

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The interchange between Awareness and Near Consciousness may be where we use our “Short Term Memory” capabilities.
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The main characteristic of Mental Illnesses such as Depression and Chronic Anxiety is that they tend to hold our Awareness – damming up the “Stream of Consciousness.

Worst still Human Nature encourages the Sub-Conscious to “Support” this condition by supplying more “Bad Feelings” to the Near Consciousness and the Consciousness.

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These cause stress responses producing a wide range of physiological reactions that prepare the body to deal with threat. These are “Red” Autonomic Reactions, more powerful than “Green” Responses, and they leave powerful impressions.

When these Toxic Stresses remain activated at high levels for significant periods of time, without supportive relationships to help calm them, Depression, GAD result. These stored distressing thoughts are in the Sub-Conscious and re-cycle back through your Near-Conscious when you are Depressed or Anxious.

For people with sound mental health there is a tendency to suppress the recollection of disturbing thoughts – see the “unreliable memory” links below.

However, there is a great deal of supportive evidence for the claim that the more traumatic an experience, the more likely one is to remember it. Novel visual images, which would frequently accompany traumas, stimulate the hippocampus and left inferior pre-frontal cortex and generally become part of long-term memory – see the “unreliable memory” links below.

Memory is the retention of, and ability to recall, information, personal experiences, and procedures (skills and habits). Much of it is Unreliable as:
The subjective nature of consciousness and remembering involves at least two important factors:
• Memories are constructions made in accordance with present needs, desires, influences, etc.
• Memories are often accompanied by feelings and emotions.

Further, our Personality traits, such as those aspects attributed to Attachment theory, impinge on thought processes:
• Becoming Aware, up to 6 months, with possible Personality Disorder
• How to Relate to others in first 3 years, possibly becoming “Insecure”
• Realising a Conscience (morality) – 3 to 6 yrs.

These must a major affect our impressions of the World

See also: Unreliable Memory 1, Unreliable Memory 2

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3) Our Complex of Needs and Desires

Abraham Maslow, in his “A Theory of Human Motivation”, identified a comprehensive Hierarchy of Needs as follows:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, and freedom from fear.
3. Social Needs – belongingness, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.
4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others.
5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

Clearly many are Complex Needs, and many also particularly apply to certain individuals and in certain circumstances.

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4) A Range of Senses

We are made Aware of the World through a range of Senses competing with our current Mood – Earlier we use to refer to our five senses – Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell & Touch. We now recognise a fuller list (21 items in a recent count): Thirst, Hunger, Ability to sense heat and cold, Pain, Balance, etc.

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5) A means of learning, retaining & practicingHabits, Skills, Health, Mindset, Mindfulness, William James’s “As If” principle and so on

This is the third major influence, and the one that needs the most diligence and practice. Here we use the other influences – the Sub-conscious and the Red/Green options.

Normally, this relentless urge to find interest and learn is due to a provision in our chromosomes of “Neural Plasticity“. The part of the brain that is active for a new or developing capability actually physically changes (Called Myelination). In doing so the speed and Connectivity of Brain Signals are greatly enhanced (If we stop using the skill, or habit, then after a while that part of the Brain reverts to its basic condition! ).

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Through observations, and trial and error, we are able to Learn competences, useful habits , etc. Each competence improves with practice and may be lost if neglected. This has been described as “Use It or Lose It”.

Unfortunately, we are as likely to learn Bad Habits

Developing a complex of general competences is truly essential for day to day living, Other competences can be developed to support individual aspirations.

The stages in achieving a skill can follow this sort of pattern:
o Unconscious incompetence: I don’t really know what I want – Will this do what I want – Will I ever understand?
o Conscious incompetence: I’m getting a vague understanding! – This is what I want to do ….. If I’m canny, I can afford to make little mistakes – I’ll backup as I go.
o Conscious competence: Why didn’t I see this before.
o Unconscious competence: I hardly notice how easy it is – I’m actually getting better at other things!

– see Mindset pp053, and positive-thinking, action not plans!

Of course, for real progress, we must be interested – see Maslow & Human Needs, Motivation Insight.

The Habit of using Intuition can only be developed through diligent and focussed application.

This “getting better at other things” applies to wide ranging achievement habits, such as Confidence, Self-Reliance, Self-Compassion and an Open Mind.

(Open mind: Try sometimes to see things as new and fresh – as if for the first time – and with a sense of curiosity. An example – The next time you see somebody you know – ask yourself if you are just seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about this person!)

(Non-judgmental: If you concede that you might (sometimes) overdo the labelling of thoughts, feelings, whatever, as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair – then you could consider the Beginners Mind Attitude. Wrong Thinking seems to cause Anxiety and Depression. You could also seek to improve your judgement by taking account for example of “wrong thinking” – as listed below. For instance you might have tended to Exaggerate the importance of insignificant events.)

Then there are enabling habits, such as promoted by Mindfulness: Patience, Acceptance, Letting-Go, and Composure

Acceptance is a willingness to accept matters as they are here and now. We often waste a lot of energy denying and resisting what is already so! Acceptance does not mean that you should stop trying to improve – to give up on your desire to change and grow – or tolerate injustice. You have to accept yourself as you are before you can really change – Do you want to change?

Letting-Go: We have to be aware of – and let go our negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings – apply yourself to this task (negative?) – You have to decide! Alternatively, we can allow ourselves to feel the negative feelings, identify them & then decide.
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Mindfulness also includes being Non-judgmental, and there are situations where this is applicable. However, in applying Attitudes/Habits of Acceptance, etc. we need to exercise sound Judgement. We should avoid being judgemental when Angry, in a Casual way, or as a Bad Habit, etc. as these give rise to “Red Reactions” .

We must practice the Mindfulness Attitude Habit of “Letting-Go” things that we can’t do anything about.

Finally, Self-Compassion. Mindfulness considers that you should cultivate love for yourself – as you are – without self-blame or criticism.

One hundred years ago, William James the famous American Psychologist, developed a theory of emotion. This proposed the self-perception view of emotion that behaviours cause feelings.

Subsequent research has shown that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

Our everyday experience tells us that our emotions cause us to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes us smile, and feeling sad makes us frown. Case closed, mystery solved. However, James became convinced that this commonsense view was incomplete and proposed a radical new theory.

James hypothesised that the relationship between emotion and behaviour was a two-way street, and that behaviour can cause emotion

For 10 quick and effective exercises that use the As If principle to transform how you think and behave. – see How to change

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Note:

Throughout sourcing of ideas, this Blog takes cognisance of the need to avoid both simplistic and possibly untrustworthy (Selling us something) Web-sites. Also to consider carefully those that depart from conventional views. For example, the following draws attention to the potential failings of trying to “Set Goals”.

Such an attempt could actually be counter-productive – see Not goals.

 

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Learning: In this state you are exercising your cognitive skills, flexing your intellectual muscles. Whatever you’re up to, your thinking mind is engaged and in high gear. It is claimed that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is much reduced if you keep your mind active!

Realisation: Realisation means insights & discovery – releasing creativity, invention, and connection. It is related to a craving for attainment and occurs during the development of competence. Quite often what you are seeking can occur while you are having a break, or during sleep or sleepless episodes.

In particular passive reading will not make you competent in acquiring skills and understanding.

To supporting info.
Force Yourself to Learn Without Guides or Help

When we’re learning a new skill it’s easy to rely on YouTube, tutorials, walkthroughs, and guides to help get the process Contentsed. That’s great for those beginning days, but if we keep doing that we won’t ever actually learn because we’re not solving problems on our own.
In order to learn, we need to fail – described later as productive failure!


How (and Why) to Intentionally Set Yourself Up for Failure

The old mantra is that you’re never supposed to set yourself up for failure. That’s true in most cases, but it’s not a black and white issue. Failure’s good for you, and it’s often the only way you learn. Putting yourself in a position to fail might sound weird, but it’s more beneficial than you think.

We know that learning from your mistakes is one of the best ways to learn, but the idea of actually setting yourself up for failure is a road few of us would feel willing to venture down. That said, it’s important to remember that the cost of failure is nothing, and if you set aside a “safe zone” where you’re not afraid to fail when learning new skills, you’ll be better for it in the long turn.

How to Identify and Learn from Your Mistakes

It’s never easy to admit you’ve made a mistake, but it’s a crucial step in learning … Why Setting Yourself for Failure Is a Good Thing!

While it might sound counter-intuitive, confusion is thought to be beneficial to learning. Researchers found that when you’re confused about conceptual topics, you tend to actually learn more effectively and bring that knowledge forward into new problems. The fact is, the more you struggle the more likely it is you’ll learn.

The idea here is to intentionally dive into what you’re interested in, even if you don’t know a lot about them. Yes, you’ll likely be confused reading about astrophysics (unless you’re an astrophysicist), or programming code. But you’ll eventually break through that “I’m hopeless” barrier with a better understanding of the material.

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Give Yourself Permission to Get it Wrong: It’s The Only Way to Learn

You’ve heard the refrain before: In order to master something, you have To supporting info. first, and we’ve heard a lot lately about already considered the benefits of experiencing and overcoming failure.

One way to get these benefits is to set things up so that you’re sure to fail—by tackling a difficult problem without any instruction or assistance.

Manu Kapur has reported (in the Journal of the Learning Sciences) that people who try solving math problems in this way don’t come up with the right answer – but they do generate a lot of ideas about the nature of the problems and about what potential solutions would look like, leading them to perform better on such problems in the future.

Kapur calls this “productive failure,” and you can implement it in your own learning by allowing yourself to struggle with a problem for a while before seeking help or information.

To supporting info.

Spread Out Learning Over Time

A review of studies in Psychological Science in the Public Interest found that spreading out your studying over time and quizzing yourself on material before each test are highly effective learning strategies.

Some strategies that students use a lot – such as re-reading and highlighting – seem to provide minimal benefits to their learning and performance.

Distributed practice is an old technique, but it actually works really well for the busy lives most of us lead. Instead of sitting down for hours on end to learn a skill, distributed practice is all about shorter, smaller sessions where you’re stimulating the link between the neurons more often throughout time.

Even 15 minutes a day to spend can be enough for many of us.

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Naps Improve Memory and Learning

A midday nap can help you retain information, as well as learn new skills:…

It also suggests that the brain uses a sleep state between light sleep and deep REM phases to pull a kind of soft reset on the brain’s memory recall powers, so a fear that you can’t let yourself sleep “too deeply” in a nap seems unfounded.

To supporting info.
Apply Your Skills Every Day

We’re big proponents of experiential learning here at Life-hacker, and that’s because it’s often the best way to learn the types of skills we talk about here. The more you can apply what you’re learning to your every day, the more it’ll stick in your head.

The reason is simple. When you’re learning by doing, you’re implementing everything that makes our memory work. When you’re able to connect what you’re learning with a real world task, that forms the bonds in your brain, and subsequently the skills you’re learning will stick around. This is especially true with learning a foreign language, where application is the key to learning quickly.

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A Better Way to Practice

While it may be true that there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going, there certainly are better ways to practice.

Just like memory, we learn best when we have context, and that applies to new skills as much as it does random facts in school.

That’s why something like the transfer of learning is helpful when you’re learning a new skill. This means you’re applying your new skills in your day to day life in a context that matters.

For example, if you’re learning about mathematics, make sure you find a way to work that into your daily life, even if it’s as simple as figuring out your energy use every day.

It’s simple, but it’s about forming connections in your brain that actually matter to you.

Everyone prefers to learn a little differently, so unfortunately you might need to experiment with different methods as you’re taking on a new skill. The above certainly doesn’t include everything, but it’s a Contentsing point to learning more effectively. You’re bound to hit plenty of barriers along the way, and sticking with it isn’t always easy, but the benefits are worth it: a bigger, smarter brain that can process things easily.

ccp135-performance-v-stressjpg0002
CCP135

From “This book will make you Calm” by Dr J Hibberd & J Usmar double

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Competence

The stages in achieving competence have been identified as:
The stages in achieving competence have been identified as:
o Unconscious incompetence: I don’t really know what I want – Will this do what I want – Will I ever understand?
o Conscious incompetence: I’m getting a vague understanding!- This is what I want to do ….. If I’m canny, I can afford to make little mistakes – I’ll backup as I go.
o Conscious competence: Why didn’t I see this before.
o Unconscious competence: I hardly notice how easy it is – I’m actually getting better at other things!

We have all experienced something like this – but practical guidance on how to improve learning skills is offered here.

The following elementary model is based on the practical points arising from a study of Brain Neurology.

It also refers to supporting information, as follows: The Stream of Consciousness – Our Moods – Focussed Memorising – Our Senses – Our Needs – the Tenets of Mindfulness and Competence.

A further stage considers Bad Habits.

The following model is based on a simple learning process , with the following stages

Topic ⇒ Data ⇒ Assess ⇒ Conclude

The Mindfulness Tenets that follow are basic common sense, but need to be interpreted in different ways to suit the particular “Topic”:

We each have differing abilities so the following should be amended to suit each individual.

A1 Learning is possible and rewarding
A2 You learn best when:
• The “topic” interests you
• You have a Context – sport, interview, …
A3 Have faith and do it the right way – Perfect Practice makes Perfect
A4 Do most Learning Without Guides or Help –
• In particular passive reading will not make you competent in acquiring skills
A5 Be Enterprising – Learn from any Mistakes
A6 Master Your “Body Clocks”:
• Naps Improve Memory and Learning
• Time of day effects
A7 Apply Your Skills Every Day –

Adapt to suit yourself and Apply the Basic Mindfulness Attitudes, as follow:
B1 Composure
B2 Open mind
B3 Sound judgment
B4 Non-striving – pace yourself
B5 Acceptance
B6 Letting-Go
B7 Self-Compassion
B8 Self-reliance – also called Trust –

Simple Practice Here

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Assertiveness

Developing Your Assertiveness

((What is meant by Needs and Rights of-course depends on on the situation you are, or are about to be, in!. For any actual discussion or confrontation Preparation and Rehearsal may be appropriate.)

Some people are naturally more assertive than others. If your disposition tends more towards being either passive or aggressive, you need to work on the following skills.

Value yourself and your rights
• Understand that your rights, thoughts, feelings, needs and desires are just as important as everyone else’s.
• But remember they are not more important than anyone else’s, either.
• Recognise your rights and protect them.
• Believe you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
• Stop apologizing for everything.

Identify what you need or want, and seek for them to be satisfied
• Don’t wait for someone to recognise what you need (you might wait forever!)
• Understand that to perform to your full potential, your needs must be met.
• Find ways to get your needs met without sacrificing others’ needs in the process.

Acknowledge that people are responsible for their own behaviour
• Don’t make the mistake of accepting responsibility for how people react to your assertive statements (e.g. anger, resentment). You can only control yourself.
• As long as you are not violating someone else’s needs, then you have the right to say or do what you want.

Express negative thoughts and feelings in a healthy and positive manner
• Allow yourself to be angry, but always be respectful.
• Do say what’s on your mind, but do it in a way that protects the other person’s feelings.
• Control your emotions.
• Stand up for yourself and confront people who challenge you and/or your rights.

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Receive criticism and compliments positively
• Accept compliments graciously.
• Allow yourself to make mistakes and ask for help.
• Accept feedback positively – be prepared to say you don’t agree but do not get defensive or angry.

Learn to say “No” when you need to
• Know your limits and what will cause you to feel taken advantage of.
• Know that you can’t do everything or please everyone and learn to be OK with that.
• Go with what is right for you.
• Suggest an alternative for a win-win solution.

Read more on Assertiveness

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Commercial Hypnotherapy – A comment

From: Neil Armstrong Spectator Supplement, October 2016

Dr Peter Naish, president of the British Society of Clinical & Academic Hypnotherapy believes that 10% of people are highly responsive, 10% not responsive.

Alan Redman, a Psychologist who uses Hypnotherapy has noted that “A lot of the skill of a therapist lies in trying to establish clear and powerful motivations” as a necessary basis for effective hypnotherapy.

The lack of industry regulation is of concern – 4 weeks training is cited as a typical qualification for “re-programming the brain”.

The conclusion: If you are the right sort of person – with the right sort of motivation – to deal with the right sort of issue – and you choose the right sort of therapist — hypnotherapy might work for you!

But, do not believe the Hypno-hype.

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Self-Hypnosis – Source

Time Required: Five to Thirty Minutes

Here’s How:
1. Find a quiet place, free of distractions, and block off some uninterrupted time.
2. Get into a comfortable position. Many people like to recline, but others simply fall asleep if they get this comfortable, and prefer to sit in a cosy chair or in a cross-legged position. Experiment, and see what works for you.
3. Decide on a goal for your session, and put it into a positive statement for later use. For example, if you’d like to help yourself become less messy, decide on the positive phrase, “I’m becoming organised and efficient”(or something similar) rather than the negative statement, I’m becoming less messy. Since the subconscious mind doesn’t always register negatives, your mind might focus on the word messy, reinforcing that idea, rather on the goal of organised.
4. Contents breathing deeply, expanding your abdomen on the inhale instead of raising your shoulders. Imagine that you are breathing in calmness and breathing out all the stress from your day. Feel the oxygen spread from your chest through your arms and legs and to your fingers and toes.

Pick an environment that’s relaxing to you, and imagine going further and further into it. Imagine that you are walking down a long corridor, or deep into the woods, for example, leaving your current surroundings far behind. You may not get a feeling of Wow, I’m in an altered state now, but if you keep focusing on this visualisation, you should get there. It’s more like the state you get into while daydreaming or deep in concentration than what you may be expecting.

When you are completely relaxed and feeling far from your regular life, begin repeating the positive phrase you chose for this session. You may choose to visualise the words, focus on their sound in your head, or visualise the end result.

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Tips:
1. Some people find that soft, mundane background music or sounds help. Others find it distracting. Experiment, and see what works best for you.
2. If you don’t feel any huge changes the first couple of times, keep at it. Self-hypnosis works in subtle ways. You may be surprised.
3. If you can’t think of a positive way to frame your desired result, like if you want to quit something, for example, use a phrase for something that replaces the undesirable habit.
4. If you find it hard to relax and focus, you may want to record your voice directing you into a deep state of relaxation and repeating the desired suggestions of phrases.

To supporting info.
Exercise:Source

Exercise is a reasonably good antidepressant, nearly as effective as SSRI antidepressants. It can be an effective treatment in itself. It can help people who only partially improve on SSRI medications to get a better response, and it can prevent the return of depression.
The full package of exercise that has been used in most studies is 3 to 5 times per week, for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, and at a fairly high level of intensity, from 50 to 85% of maximal heart rate (220 minus your age in years). Most studies have looked at aerobic exercise (like running or bicycling), but resistance exercise (like weight lifting) may be effective as well. There is some evidence that exercising 45-60 minutes at a time is better than shorter exercise periods.
Like other treatments, it can take 4 to 6 weeks To supporting info. working and can achieve maximal effect by around 10 weeks. Plus, it can be difficult to motivate oneself To supporting info. an exercise program, not to mention to continue it over many weeks and months.
Some research suggests that people get more benefit from exercise in natural environments than indoors. So, go for a run in the woods rather than in a windowless gym. And: morning light itself has been shown to have significant antidepressant effects!

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Brain Stimulation:

The discovery of Neuro-Plasticity seems to offer even more – recovery from Anxiety, Depression, etc – and even benefits for Stroke Victims. Brain stimulation such as offered by the following Site may play a part. This is not enough in itself but should be helpful, especially To supporting info. with.

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Sleeping Disorder:

Sleep Tips
• Block out seven to nine hours for a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
• Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine.
• Never watch TV, use the computer, or pay bills before going to bed.
• Avoid coffee, chocolate, caffeinated soda, or nicotine in the evening.
• Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.
• Use your bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only.
• Keep worry and stress outside the bedroom.
• Exercise regularly, but not too close to your bedtime.
• Get into bed only when you are tired.
• Avoid looking at the clock
• Try not to take naps.
• Talk to your doctor, if necessary.

To reduce anxiety and stress:
• Meditate. Focus on your breath — breathe in and out slowly and deeply — and visualize a serene environment such as a deserted beach or grassy hill.
• Exercise. Regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health. It provides an outlet for frustrations and releases mood-enhancing endorphins. Yoga can be particularly effective at reducing anxiety and stress.
• Prioritize your to-do list. Spend your time and energy on the tasks that are truly important, and break up large projects into smaller, more easily managed tasks. Delegate when you can.
• Play music. Soft, calming music can lower your blood pressure and relax your mind and body.
• Get an adequate amount of sleep. Sleeping recharges your brain and improves your focus, concentration, and mood.
• Direct stress and anxiety elsewhere. Lend a hand to a relative or neighbour, or volunteer in your community. Helping others will take your mind off of your own anxiety and fears.

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Tips for finding Motivation when depressed

There’s a method used in Alcoholics Anonymous that works for some, and that’s acting as if something were already true.

Use positive thoughts about yourself to create new neural pathways. Over time, the old, bad, unused pathways wither, die and fall off, much like the branches on an old tree.

The same premise applies to self-talk in the mirror.

Socialisation is important. Make a standing appointment to have a friend or family member pick you up to go out. This way you’re held accountable to someone else. If there are no friends or family members available, don’t use that as an excuse. Going to the bookstore and people-watching in the coffee-shop is preferable to sitting home alone. Who knows? You may make a new friend. That is certainly motivating.

Give yourself credit for progress made, even if it seems tiny. Set small goals.

By the same token, don’t set yourself up to fail by telling yourself you’re going to do something you know you can’t do. Because, when you do fail, your motivation to move forward stops. Try doing only one thing at a time, a little bit at a time. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there – each success makes it easier to stay motivated for the next step in your journey to feeling good about yourself

….. Read more on Motivation and Depression289 src289

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Motivation:

Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behaviour. It represents the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs.

Motivation Overview Motivation Overview

Overview – scientific Scientific overview motivation

Brief – refers to Maslow Refers to Maslow

Good summary Motivation good summary

Motivational – Motivator

Not goals – not goals

What Is Motivation and How to Strengthen It Motivational – Motivator
By Remez Sasson

Motivation becomes strong, when you have a vision, a clear mental image of what you want to achieve, and also a strong desire to manifest it. In such a situation, motivation awakens inner strength and power, and pushes you forward, toward making your vision a reality.

What can you do to strengthen your motivation?

Set a goal. If you have a major goal, it would be a good idea if you split it into several minor goals, each small goal leading to your major goal.

Hammer into your mind that whatever you Contents you have to finish. Develop the habit of going to the finish line.

Socialize with achievers and people with similar interests or goals, since motivation and positive attitude are contagious. Associate with motivated people, who share your interests.

Never procrastinate anything. Procrastination leads to laziness, and laziness leads to lack of motivation.
Persistence, patience and not giving up, despite failure and difficulties, keep the flame of motivation burning.
Read about the subjects of your interest. This will keep your enthusiasm and ambition alive.

Look at photos of things you want to get, achieve or do. This will strengthen your desire and make your subconscious mind work with you.
Visualize your goals as achieved, adding a feeling of happiness and joy.

Remember, if a certain goal is really important, going through the above steps will strengthen your motivation, and keep you going forward.

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Reasons for Lack of Motivation and Enthusiasm:

• Lack of faith in one’s abilities.
• Fear of failure, due to failure in the past.
• Fear of what others might say.
• The habit of procrastination.
• Laziness.
• Being too stressed or nervous.
• Absence of enough stimuli or incentives.

The above mentioned reasons stifle motivation and enthusiasm, and are only excuses for not acting. However, you learn to overcome and disregard them, by becoming aware of them, acknowledging them, and understanding that you can change the programming of your mind.

Sometimes, there are short bursts of motivation or enthusiasm. You Contents acting enthusiastically, but lose interest and motivation after a while, because you find it hard to sustain motivation or enthusiasm.

Not goals – not goals

Setting a specific and actionable goals – there is a much better way to do things.

It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?

3 reasons why you should focus on systems instead of goals.

1. Goals reduce your current happiness – When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress – focus on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?

Goals are about the short-term result. Systems are about the long-term process. In the end, process always wins.

3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over.

But every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way.

Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments – so Build feedback loops.

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

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Age Stages – From “Periods of Development of Values” by Sociologist Morris Massey

The Imprint Period

Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents.

The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems.
The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here.

The Modelling Period

Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also others. Rather than blind acceptance of their values, we are trying them on like a suit of clothes, to see how they feel.
At this age we may be much impressed with religion or our teachers.

The Socialisation Period

Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us.

Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with the values of our peer groups.

In the pre-moral state, we have no real values (we are thus ‘amoral’). Young children are premoral. So also are psychopaths. Our basic nature tells us to be Machiavellian, doing whatever it takes to achieve our goals, even if it means hurting other people.

Most people have conventional values, as learned from their parents, teachers and peers. These basically say ‘here are the rules to live in reasonable harmony with other people.’

The bottom line of this state is that we will follow them just so long as we think we need to. We will break our values occasionally, and especially if our needs are threatened or we are pretty sure we can get away with breaking values with nobody else knowing about it – freedom!

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MATURITY from Cohen, G. “The Mature Mind” Basic Books

As we get older we actually get better at thinking.

The rule of the mind is the same as with the body: use it or lose it. If you keep your mind active then it will reward you by staying active and increasing in capability.

Cohen identifies five activities to sustain power, clarity and subtlety of mind:
• Exercise mentally
• Exercise physically
• Pick challenging leisure activities
• Achieve mastery
• Establish strong social networks

Cohen describes ‘developmental intelligence’ in terms of three forms of thinking that actually improve with age:
• Relativistic thinking, where understanding is based on a synthesized combination of disparate views. Absolute truth is abandoned in favor of more realistic relative truths.
• Dualist thinking, where contradictions in opposing views are uncovered and opposites are held in mind at the same time without judgment. In this way, opposing views can both be accepted as valid.
• Systematic thinking allows the person to see the forest as well as the trees, helicoptering up to understand the bigger picture. The thinker is thus not trapped in personal and petty issues.

Further Age stages

To put all this into a developmental context, Cohen extends and deepens the common final ‘old age’ stage into four phases:
• Re-evaluation, from mid-thirties to mid-sixties, where we realize our mortality and reconsider our lives.
• Liberation, from mid-fifties to mid-seventies, where the question is ‘If not now, when?’ as people experiment with new ways.
• Summing up, from late sixties through eighties, where people seek to share, give something back and complete unfinished business.
• Encore, from late seventies onwards, where major life themes are re-stated and re-affirmed.

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Major Types of Hormones:
o For women, estrogen is the main sex hormone. It causes puberty, prepares the body and uterus for pregnancy, and regulates the menstrual cycle. During menopause, estrogen level changes cause many of the uncomfortable symptoms women experience.
o Progesterone is similar to estrogen but is not considered the main sex hormone. Like estrogen, it assists with the menstrual cycle and plays a role in pregnancy.
o Cortisol has been called the “stress hormone” because of the way it assists the body in responding to stress. This is just one of several functions of this important hormone.
o Melatonin levels change throughout the day, increasing after dark to trigger the responses that cause sleep.
o Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. It causes puberty, increases bone density, triggers facial hair growth, and causes muscle mass growth and strength.

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Organs

Hormones also regulate the Kidneys and the Liver.

The kidneys are paired organs, which have the production of urine as their primary function. They are part of the urinary system, but have several secondary functions concerned with homeostatic functions. These include the regulation of electrolytes, acid-base balance, and blood pressure.

The liver removes excess amino acids from the blood, converting them to urea, which is excreted by the kidneys. The liver also synthesizes vitamins, produces bile and blood-clotting factors, and removes damaged red cells and toxins such as alcohol from the blood.

Diseases of the endocrine system are common, including conditions such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, and obesity.


Hormones and cancer

Some cancer cells can produce hormones that circulate in the body and cause symptoms. For example, some types of lung cancer cells produce hormones that may cause pins and needles, numbness in the fingers or toes, muscle weakness and dizziness.

Some cancer treatments called hormone therapies can change the amount of hormones the body produces. They usually lower the levels of particular hormones. They may do this by blocking the action of hormones. Or the treatment may reduce the amount of the hormone that the body makes. These treatments can reduce the chance of a cancer coming back after other treatments or it may stop or slow the growth of a cancer for some time –

Read More:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/body-systems-and-cancer/the-hormone-system-and-cancer

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The Circulatory System comprises the heart and blood vessels – arteries, veins, and capillaries. The heart propels the circulation of the blood to transfer oxygen, fuel, nutrients, waste products, immune cells, and signalling molecules (i.e. hormones) – Source

It is made up of three independent systems that work together: the heart (cardiovascular); lungs (pulmonary); and arteries, veins, coronary and portal vessels (systemic),

It is subject to a number of familiar diseases:

One of the most common diseases of the circulatory system is arteriosclerosis, in which the fatty deposits in the arteries causes the walls to stiffen and thicken the walls. According to the Mayo Clinic, the causes are a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other material in the artery walls. This can restrict blood flow or in severe cases stop it all together, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

Stroke involves blockage of the blood vessels to the brain and is another major condition of the circulatory system – Risk factors include smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol.

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Pain

Stroke Pain is unusual in that it is not necessarily associated with bodily damage. It is more akin to the phantom sensations following amputation. It is not treatable by pain killer medication.

Source 1 2 3 4 5

Another circulatory disease, hypertension — commonly called high blood pressure — causes the heart to work harder and can lead to such complications as a heart attack, a stroke, or kidney failure, the NLM noted.

An aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta is damaged and starts to bulge or eventually tear, which can cause severe internal bleeding. This weakness can be present at birth or the result of atherosclerosis, obesity, high blood pressure or a combination of these conditions, according to Weinberg.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) typically involves areas of narrowing or blockage within an artery. In addition, chronic venous insufficiency (also known as CVI) involves areas reflux (or backward flow) within the superficial veins of the lower extremities.

PAD is diagnosed with non-invasive testing including ultrasound, CT scan, and/or MRI. Ultrasound is the least expensive of these methods, but also gives the least amount of detail, as CT and MRI show a much higher degree of anatomic detail when identifying areas of narrowing/blockage within an artery. CVI is diagnosed with ultrasound as the venous reflux can be measured accurately by ultrasound, which ultimately guides treatment.

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Fertility

There are reports of a reduction in male fertility due to a reduction in the numbers and mobility of sperm.

It has to be noted that the testicles are supposed to dangle below the groin so as to have a lower temperature than the body. The use of designer underwear prevents this separation.

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The Digestive SystemA Source

Also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the digestive system begins at the mouth, includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (also known as the colon) and rectum, and ends at the anus.

Digestion begins with the mouth. Even the smell of food can generate saliva, which is secreted by the salivary glands in the mouth, contains an enzyme, salivary amylase, which breaks down starch. Teeth, which are part of the skeletal system, play a key role in digestion.

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Bacteria

The Immune System provides a mechanism for the body to distinguish its own cells and tissues from alien cells and substances and to neutralize or destroy the latter. http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/immune/immune-system.
It is designed to defend you against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to invade your body. To understand the power of the immune system, all that you have to do is look at what happens to anything once it dies. That sounds gross, but it does show you something very important about your immune system.

When something dies, its immune system (along with everything else) shuts down. In a matter of hours, the body is invaded by all sorts of bacteria, microbes, parasites… None of these things are able to get in when your immune system is working, but the moment your immune system stops the door is wide open. Once you die it only takes a few weeks for these organisms to completely dismantle your body and carry it away, until all that’s left is a skeleton. Obviously your immune system is doing something amazing to keep all of that dismantling from happening when you are alive.

WWW1 or 2 what does mean !!!
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Attitudes & Learning

We have Needs & Aspirations
1. Biological and Physiological – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep
2. Safety– protection from the elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, and freedom from fear
3. Social – belongingness, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships
4. Self Esteem – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others
5. Aspirational – realising personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences
These Needs vary in intensity from person to person and their circumstances.

The Needs rely on our range of Senses. Earlier we use to refer to our five Senses – Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell & Touch. We now recognise a fuller list (21 items in a recent count): Thirst, Hunger, Ability to sense heat and cold, Pain, Balance, etc.

Our Needs and Senses provide the information for:
• Our Central Nervous System (Cognitive)
• Our Autonomic Nervous System (Housekeeping, emergency system — Plus!).
• Our Endocrine (Hormonal) System (Supporting the ANS)

The Central Nervous System (CNS)

The CNS provides:
• Memory — With Encoding, Storage, Recall
• Voluntary Assessment & Action – using Working Memory
• Ability to learn habits and competences
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Attentiveness
Attentiveness

Metacognition

Language

Attention is the behavioural and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information.

It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form of one out of what seem several simultaneous objects or trains of thought. Concentration of consciousness is of its essence. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of limited processing resources

Sensory MemoryWhat is Memory?

Sensory memory is the earliest stage of memory. During this stage, sensory information from the environment is stored for a very brief period of time, generally for no longer than a half-second for visual information and 3 or 4 seconds for auditory information. We attend to only certain aspects of this sensory memory, allowing some of this information to pass into the next stage – short-term memory.

Working memory stores information for immediate use or manipulation which is aided through hooking onto previously archived items already present in the long-term memory of an individual.
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Encoding allows the perceived item of use or interest to be converted into a construct that can be stored within the brain and recalled later from short term or long term memory — Encoding Memory

Encoding is a biological event that begins with perception. All perceived and striking sensations travel to the brain’s thalamus where all these sensations are combined into one single experience. The hippocampus is responsible for analyzing these inputs and ultimately deciding if they will be committed to long-term memory; these various threads of information are stored in various parts of the brain. However, the exact way in which these pieces are identified and recalled later remains unknown.
Visual, acoustic, and semantic encodings are the most intensively used. Other encodings are also used.
Visual LLL

Acoustic encoding is the encoding of auditory impulses. When we hear any word, we do so by hearing to individual sounds, one at a time. Hence the memory of the beginning of a new word is stored in our echoic memory until the whole sound has been perceived and recognized as a word.

Semantic encoding is the processing and encoding of sensory input that has particular meaning or can be applied to a context.

Emotional memory

Causes of emotion Emotions 1

Cause of emotions

Cognition & Emotion
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Each of these separate sensations travelled to the part of your brain called the hippocampus (librarian), which integrated these perceptions as they were occurring into one single experience.

Memory encoding

Memory Encoding

Encoding allows the perceived item of use or interest to be converted into a construct that can be stored within the brain and recalled later from short-term or long-term memory. Working memory stores information for immediate use or manipulation which is aided through hooking onto previously archived items already present in the long-term memory of an individual.

Potentiation

Encoding is a biological event that begins with perception. All perceived and striking sensations travel to the brain’s thalamus where all these sensations are combined into one single experience. The hippocampus is responsible for analyzing these inputs and ultimately deciding if they will be committed to long-term memory; these various threads of information are stored in various parts of the brain. However, the exact way in which these pieces are identified and recalled later remains unknown.

Memory Encoding

Visual, acoustic, and semantic encodings are the most intensively used. Other encodings are also used.

Visual encoding is the process of encoding images and visual sensory information. Visual sensory information is temporarily stored within our iconic memory (Short term Visual Memory) and working memory before being encoded into permanent long-term storage. The amygdala is a complex structure that has an important role in visual encoding. It accepts visual input in addition to input from other systems and encodes the positive or negative values of conditioned stimuli.
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Acoustic encoding
Acoustic encoding is the encoding of auditory impulses. When we hear any word, we do so by hearing to individual sounds, one at a time. Hence the memory of the beginning of a new word is stored in our echoic memory until the whole sound has been perceived and recognized as a word.
Other senses

Tactile encoding is the processing and encoding of how something feels, normally through touch. Odours and tastes may also lead to encode.
Semantic encoding

Semantic encoding is the processing and encoding of sensory input that has particular meaning or can be applied to a context.
Long-term Potentiation.

Encoding is a biological event that begins with perception. All perceived and striking sensations travel to the brain’s hippocampus where all these sensations are combined into one single experience.

The hippocampus is responsible for analyzing these inputs and ultimately deciding if they will be committed to long-term memory; these various threads of information are stored in various parts of the brain.
However, the exact way in which these pieces are identified and recalled later remains unknown.

Encoding is achieved using a combination of chemicals and electricity. Neurotransmitters are released when an electrical pulse crosses the synapse which serves as a connection from nerve cells to other cells. The dendrites receive these impulses with their feathery extensions. A phenomenon called Long-Term Potentiation allows a synapse to increase strength with increasing numbers of transmitted signals between the two neurons. These cells also organise themselves into groups specializing in different kinds of information processing. Thus, with new experiences the brain creates more connections and may ‘rewire’. The brain organizes and reorganizes itself in response to one’s experiences, creating new memories prompted by experience, education, or training. Therefore the use of a brain reflects how it is organised. This ability to re-organize is especially important if ever a part of the brain becomes damaged. Scientists are unsure of whether the stimuli of what we do not recall are filtered out at the sensory phase or if they are filtered out after the brain examines their significance.
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Mapping activity

Positron emission tomography (PET) demonstrates a consistent functional anatomical blueprint of hippocampal activation during episodic encoding and retrival. Activation in the hippocampal region associated with episodic memory encoding has been shown to occur in the rostral portion of the region whereas activation associated with episodic memory retrieval occurs in the caudal portions.[10] This is referred to as the Hippocampal Encoding/Retrieval model or HIPER model.

One study used PET to measure cerebral blood flow during encoding and recognition of faces in both young and older participants. Young people displayed increased cerebral blood flow in the right hippocampus and the left prefrontal and temporal cortices during encoding and in the right prefrontal and parietal cortex during recognition.[11] Elderly people showed no significant activation in areas activated in young people during encoding, however they did show right prefrontal activation during recognition.[11] Thus it may be concluded that as we grow old, failing memories may be the consequence of a failure to adequately encode stimuli as demonstrated in the lack of cortical and hippocampal activation during the encoding process.

Recent findings in studies focusing on patients with post traumatic stress disorder demonstrate that amino acid transmitters, glutamate and GABA, are intimately implicated in the process of factual memory registration, and suggest that amine neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and serotonin, are involved in encoding emotional memory.

Molecular perspective
The process of encoding is not yet well understood, however key advances have shed light on the nature of these mechanisms. Encoding begins with any novel situation, as the brain will interact and draw conclusions from the results of this interaction. These learning experiences have been known to trigger a cascade of molecular events leading to the formation of memories. These changes include the modification of neural synapses, modification of proteins, creation of new synapses, activation of gene expression and new protein synthesis. However, encoding can occur on different levels. The first step is short-term memory formation, followed by the conversion to a long-term memory, and then a long-term memory consolidation process.
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Synaptic plasticity

Synaptic plasticity is the ability of the brain to strengthen, weaken, destroy and create neural synapses and is the basis for learning. These molecular distinctions will identify and indicate the strength of each neural connection. The effect of a learning experience depends on the content of such an experience. Reactions that are favoured will be reinforced and those that are deemed unfavourable will be weakened. This shows that the synaptic modifications that occur can operate either way, in order to be able to make changes over time depending on the current situation of the organism. In the short term, synaptic changes may include the strengthening or weakening of a connection by modifying the pre-existing proteins leading to a modification in synapse connection strength. In the long term, entirely new connections may form or the number of synapses at a connection may be increased, or reduced.

The encoding process
A significant short-term biochemical change is the covalent modification of pre-existing proteins in order to modify synaptic connections that are already active. This allows data to be conveyed in the short term, without consolidating anything for permanent storage. From here a memory or an association may be chosen to become a long-term memory, or forgotten as the synaptic connections eventually weaken. The switch from short to long-term is the same concerning both implicit memory and explicit memory. This process is regulated by a number of inhibitory constraints, primarily the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation.[14] Finally, long term changes occur that allow consolidation of the target memory. These changes include new protein synthesis, the formation of new synaptic connections and finally the activation of gene expression in accordance with the new neural configuration.[15] The encoding process has been found to be partially mediated by serotonergic interneurons, specifically in regard to sensitization as blocking these interneurons prevented sensitization entirely. However, the ultimate consequences of these discoveries have yet to be identified. Furthermore, the learning process has been known to recruit a variety of modulatory transmitters in order to create and consolidate memories. These transmitters cause the nucleus to initiate processes required for neuronal growth and long term memory, mark specific synapses for the capture of long-term processes, regulate local protein synthesis and even appear to mediate attentional processes required for the formation and recall of memories.

Encoding and genetics
Human memory, including the process of encoding, is known to be a heritable trait that is controlled by more than one gene. In fact, twin studies suggest that genetic differences are responsible for as much as 50% of the variance seen in memory tasks.[13] Proteins identified in animal studies have been linked directly to a molecular cascade of reactions leading to memory formation, and a sizeable number of these proteins are encoded by genes that are expressed in humans as well. In fact, variations within these genes appear to be associated with memory capacity and have been identified in recent human genetic studies.[13] Peter D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician who advocates the Blood type diet, believes an individual’s blood type is related to their ability to encode information for prolonged periods of time. Those with Blood Type B are more susceptible to memory loss.

Complementary processes
The idea that the brain is separated into two complementary processing networks (task positive and task negative) has recently become an area of increasing interest.

The task positive network deals with externally oriented processing whereas the task negative network deals with internally oriented processing. Research indicates that these networks are not exclusive and some tasks overlap in their activation. A study done in 2009 shows encoding success and novelty detection activity within the task-positive network have significant overlap and have thus been concluded to reflect common association of externally-oriented processing.[17] It also demonstrates how encoding failure and retrieval success share significant overlap within the task negative network indicating common association of internally oriented processing.[17] Finally, a low level of overlap between encoding success and retrieval success activity and between encoding failure and novelty detection activity respectively indicate opposing modes or processing.[17] In sum task positive and task negative networks can have common associations during the performance of different tasks.
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Depth of processing
Different levels of processing influence how well information is remembered. These levels of processing can be illustrated by maintenance and elaborate rehearsal.

Maintenance and elaborative rehearsal
Maintenance rehearsal is a shallow form of processing information which involves focusing on an object without thought to its meaning or its association with other objects.

For example the repetition of a series of numbers is a form of maintenance rehearsal. In contrast, elaborative or relational rehearsal is a deep form of processing information and involves thought of the object’s meaning as well as making connections between the object, past experiences and the other objects of focus. Using the example of numbers, one might associate them with dates that are personally significant such as your parents’ birthdays (past experiences) or perhaps you might see a pattern in the numbers that helps you to remember them.[18]
File:US penny 2003.jpg

Due to the deeper level of processing that occurs with elaborative rehearsal it is more effective than maintenance rehearsal in creating new memories.[18] This has been demonstrated in people’s lack of knowledge of the details in everyday objects. For example, in one study where Americans were asked about the orientation of the face on their country’s penny few recalled this with any degree of certainty. Despite the fact that it is a detail that is often seen, it is not remembered as there is no need to because the color discriminates the penny from other coins.[19] The ineffectiveness of maintenance rehearsal, simply being repeatedly exposed to an item, in creating memories has also been found in people’s lack of memory for the layout of the digits 0-9 on calculators and telephones.[20]

Maintenance rehearsal has been demonstrated to be important in learning but its effects can only be demonstrated using indirect methods such as lexical decision tasks,[21] and word stem completion[22] which are used to assess implicit learning. In general, however previous learning by maintenance rehearsal is not apparent when memory is being tested directly or explicitly with questions like “ Is this the word you were shown earlier?”

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Intention to learn

Studies have shown that the intention to learn has no direct effect on memory encoding. Instead, memory encoding is dependent on how deeply each item is encoded, which could be affected by intention to learn, but not exclusively. That is, intention to learn can lead to more effective learning strategies, and consequently, better memory encoding, but if you learn something incidentally (i.e. without intention to learn) but still process and learn the information effectively, it will get encoded just as well as something learnt with intention.[23]

The effects of elaborative rehearsal or deep processing can be attributed to the number of connections made while encoding that increase the number of pathways available for retrieval.[24]

Optimal encoding

Organization can be seen as the key to better memory. As demonstrated in the above section on levels of processing the connections that are made between the to-be-remembered item, other to-be-remembered items, previous experiences and context generate retrieval paths for the to-be-remembered item. These connections impose organization on the to-be-remembered item, making it more memorable.[25]

Mnemonics

For simple material such as lists of words Mnemonics are the best strategy.[citation needed] Mnemonic Strategies are an example of how finding organization within a set of items helps these items to be remembered. In the absence of any apparent organization within a group organization can be imposed with the same memory enhancing results. An example of a mnemonic strategy that imposes organization is the peg-word system which associates the to- be-remembered items with a list of easily remembered items. Another example of a mnemonic device commonly used is the first letter of every word system or acronyms. When learning the colours in a rainbow most students learn the first letter of every colour and impose their own meaning by associating it with a name such as Roy. G. Biv which stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. In this way mnemonic devices not only help the encoding of specific items but also their sequence. For more complex concepts, understanding is the key to remembering. In a study done by Wiseman and Neisser in 1974 they presented participants with picture (the picture was of a Dalmatian in the style of pointillism making it difficult to see the image).[26] They found that memory for the picture was better if the participants understood what was depicted.
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Chunking
Another way understanding may aid memory is by reducing the amount that has to be remembered via chunking. Chunking is the process of organizing objects into meaningful wholes.

These wholes are then remembered as a unit rather than separate objects. Words are an example of chunking, where instead of simply perceiving letters we perceive and remember their meaningful wholes: words. The use of chunking increases the number of items we are able to remember by creating meaningful “packets” in which many related items are stored as one.

State-dependent learning
For optimal encoding, connections are not only formed between the items themselves and past experiences, but also between the internal state or mood of the encoder and the situation they are in. The connections that are formed between the encoders internal state or the situation and the items to be remembered are State-dependent. In a 1975 study by Godden and Baddeley the effects of State-dependent learning were shown. They asked deep sea divers to learn various materials while either under water or on the side of the pool. They found that those who were tested in the same condition that they had learned the information in were better able to recall that information, i.e. those who learned the material under water did better when tested on that material under water than when tested on land. Context had become associated with the material they were trying to recall and therefore was serving as a retrieval cue.[27] Results similar to these have also been found when certain smells are present at encoding.[28]

However, although the external environment is important at the time of encoding in creating multiple pathways for retrieval, other studies have shown that simply creating the same internal state that you had at the time of encoding is sufficient to serve as a retrieval cue.[29] Therefore putting yourself in the same mindset that you were in at the time of encoding will help recall in the same way that being in the same situation helps recall. This effect called context reinstatement was demonstrated by Fisher and Craik 1977 when they matched retrieval cues with the way information was memorized.[30]

Encoding specificity .
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The context of learning shapes how information is encoded.[31] For instance, Kanizsa in 1979 showed a picture that could be interpreted as either a white vase on a black background or 2 faces facing each other on a white background.[32] The participants were primed to see the vase. Later they were shown the picture again but this time they were primed to see the black faces on the white background. Although this was the same picture as they had seen before, when asked if they had seen this picture before, they said no. The reason for this was that they had been primed to see the vase the first time the picture was presented, and it was therefore unrecognizable the second time as two faces. This demonstrates that the stimulus is understood within the context it is learned in as well the general rule that what really constitutes good learning are tests that test what has been learned in the same way that it was learned.[32] Therefore, to truly be efficient at remembering information, one must consider the demands that future recall will place on this information and study in a way that will match those demands.

Computational Models of Memory Encoding .
Computational models of memory encoding have been developed in order to better understand and simulate the mostly expected, yet sometimes wildly unpredictable, behaviors of human memory. Different models have been developed for different memory tasks, which include item recognition, cued recall, free recall, and sequence memory, in an attempt to accurately explain experimentally observed behaviors.

Item Recognition
In item recognition, one is asked whether or not a given probe item has been seen before. It is important to note that the recognition of an item can include context. That is, one can be asked whether an item has been seen in a study list. So even though one may have seen the word “apple” sometime during their life, if it was not on the study list, it should not be recalled.

Item recognition can be modeled using Multiple trace theory and the attribute-similarity model.[33] In brief, every item that one sees can be represented as a vector of the item’s attributes, which is extended by a vector representing the context at the time of encoding, and is stored in a memory matrix of all items ever seen. When a probe item is presented, the sum of the similarities to each item in the matrix (which is inversely proportional to the sum of the distances between the probe vector and each item in the memory matrix) is computed. If the similarity is above a threshold value, one would respond, “Yes, I recognize that item.” Given that context continually drifts by nature of a random walk, more recently seen items, which each share a similar context vector to the context vector at the time of the recognition task, are more likely to be recognized than items seen longer ago.
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Cued Recall.

In cued recall, one is asked to recall the item that was paired with a given probe item. For example, one can be given a list of name-face pairs, and later be asked to recall the associated name given a face.

Cued recall can be explained by extending the attribute-similarity model used for item recognition. Because in cued recall, a wrong response can be given for a probe item, the model has to be extended accordingly to account for that. This can be achieved by adding noise to the item vectors when they are stored in the memory matrix. Furthermore, cued recall can be modeled in a probabilistic manner such that for every item stored in the memory matrix, the more similar it is to the probe item, the more likely it is to be recalled. Because the items in the memory matrix contain noise in their values, this model can account for incorrect recalls, such as mistakenly calling a person by the wrong name.

Free Recall
In free recall, one is allowed to recall items that were learnt in any order. For example, you could be asked to name as many countries in Europe as you can. Free recall can be modeled using SAM (Search of Associative Memory) which is based on the dual-store model, first proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968.[34] SAM consists of two main components: short-term store (STS) and long-term store (LTS). In brief, when an item is seen, it is pushed into STS where it resides with other items also in STS, until it displaced and put into LTS. The longer the an item has been in STS, the more likely it is to be displaced by a new item. When items co-reside in STS, the links between those items are strengthened. Furthermore, SAM assumes that items in STS are always available for immediate recall.

SAM explains both primacy and recency effects. Probabilistically, items at the beginning of the list are more likely to remain in STS, and thus have more opportunities to strengthen their links to other items. As a result, items at the beginning of the list are made more likely to be recalled in a free-recall task (primacy effect). Because of the assumption that items in STS are always available for immediate recall, given that there were no significant distractors between learning and recall, items at the end of the list can be recalled excellently (recency effect).

Incidentally, the idea of STS and LTS was motivated by the architecture of computers, which contain short-term and long-term storage.
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Sequence Memory
Sequence memory is responsible for how we remember lists of things, in which ordering matters. For example, telephone numbers are a ordered list of one digit numbers. There are currently two main computational memory models that can be applied to sequence encoding: associative chaining and positional coding.

Associative chaining theory states that every item in a list is linked to its forward and backward neighbors, with forward links being stronger than backward links, and links to closer neighbors being stronger than links to farther neighbors. For example, associative chaining predicts the tendencies of transposition errors, which occur most often with items in nearby positions. An example of a transposition error would be recalling the sequence “apple, orange, banana” instead of “apple, banana, orange.”

Positional coding theory suggests that every item in a list is associated to its position in the list. For example, if the list is “apple, banana, orange, mango” apple will be associated to list position 1, banana to 2, orange to 3, and mango to 4. Furthermore, each item is also, albeit more weakly, associated to its index +/- 1, even more weakly to +/- 2, and so forth. So banana is associated not only to its actual index 2, but also to 1, 3, and 4, with varying degrees of strength. For example, positional coding can be used to explain the effects of recency and primacy. Because items at the beginning and end of a list have fewer close neighbors compared to items in the middle of the list, they have less competition for correct recall.

Although the models of associative chaining and positional coding are able to explain a great amount of behaviour seen for sequence memory, they are far from perfect. For example, neither chaining nor positional coding is able to properly illustrate the details of the Ranschburg effect, which reports that sequences of items that contain repeated items are harder to reproduce than sequences of unrepeated items. Associative chaining predicts that recall of lists containing repeated items is impaired because recall of any repeated item would cue not only its true successor but also the successors of all other instances of the item. However, experimental data have shown that spaced repetition of items resulted in impaired recall of the second occurrence of the repeated item.[35] Furthermore, it had no measurable effect on the recall of the items that followed the repeated items, contradicting the prediction of associative chaining. Positional coding predicts that repeated items will have no effect on recall, since the positions for each item in the list act as independent cues for the items, including the repeated items. That is, there is no difference between the similarity between any two items and repeated items. This, again, is not consistent with the data.
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Because no comprehensive model has been defined for sequence memory to this day, it makes for an interesting area of research


CCP123


Short Term Memory
— See: Short term memory

Short-term memory (or “primary” or “active memory”) is the capacity for holding, but not manipulating, a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time. The duration of short-term memory (when rehearsal or active maintenance is prevented) is believed to be in the order of seconds

Short-term memory should be distinguished from working memory, which refers to structures and processes used for temporarily storing and manipulating information

Working memory, a core executive function, is a cognitive system with a limited capacity that is responsible for the transient holding, processing, and manipulation of information. Working memory is important for reasoning and the guidance of decision making and behaviour. Working memory is often used synonymously with short-term memory, but neuropsychologists consider the two forms of memory distinct: working memory allows for the manipulation of stored information, while short-term memory only refers to the short-term storage of information. Working memory is a theoretical concept central to cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and neuroscience.

What is Memory
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Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain, and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

In order to form new memories, information must be changed into a usable form, which occurs through the process known as encoding. Once information has been successfully encoded, it must be stored in memory for later use. Much of this stored memory lies outside of our awareness most of the time, except when we actually need to use it. The retrieval process allows us to bring stored memories into conscious awareness.
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The Stage Model of Memory
While several different models of memory have been proposed, the stage model of memory is often used to explain the basic structure and function of memory. Initially proposed in 1968 by Atkinson and Shiffrin, this theory outlines three separate stages of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

Sensory Memory
Sensory memory is the earliest stage of memory. During this stage, sensory information from the environment is stored for a very brief period of time, generally for no longer than a half-second for visual information and 3 or 4 seconds for auditory information. We attend to only certain aspects of this sensory memory, allowing some of this information to pass into the next stage – short-term memory.

Short-Term Memory
Short-term memory, also known as active memory, is the information we are currently aware of or thinking about. In Freudian psychology, this memory would be referred to as the conscious mind. Paying attention to sensory memories generates the information in short-term memory. Most of the information stored in active memory will be kept for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue to the next stage – long-term memory.

Long-Term Memory
Long-term memory refers to the continuing storage of information. In Freudian psychology, long-term memory would be called the preconscious andunconscious. This information is largely outside of our awareness, but can be called into working memory to be used when needed. Some of this information is fairly easy to recall, while other memories are much more difficult to access.

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The Organization of Memory
The ability to access and retrieve information from long-term memory allows us to actually use these memories to make decisions, interact with others, and solve problems. But how is information organized in memory? The specific way information is organized in long-term memory is not well understood, but researchers do know that these memories are arranged in groups.

Clustering is used to organize related information into groups. Information that is categorized becomes easier to remember and recall. For example, consider the following group of words:
Desk, apple, bookshelf, red, plum, table, green, pineapple, purple, chair, peach, yellow
Spend a few seconds reading them, then look away and try to recall and list these words. How did you group the words when you listed them? Most people will list using three different categories: color, furniture, and fruit.

One way of thinking about memory organization is known as the semantic network model. This model suggests that certain triggers activate associated memories. A memory of a specific place might activate memories about related things that have occurred in that location. For example, thinking about a particular campus building might trigger memories of attending classes, studying, and socializing with peers.

Human body

Moods & Emotions

moods and emotions psychology

Moods and Emotions

Pragmatism

Moods
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The names of the Moods and Emotions are Hell, Hunger, Instinct, Anger, Tranquillity, Rapture, Learning, and Realisation, Helping, and Awakening.

Each one, other than “Awakening”, can have positive or negative aspects. This is a common feature in many models/conceptions – the best known of these being the Yin,Yang of Chinese Philosophy. Yin and Yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces.
Hell: Whenever something terrible or even disagreeable happens, you get upset or distraught. It is manifest in depression, anxiety, fear and other dis-ease. It’s the worst state to inhabit, beyond reason and passion alike. This mood has given rise to a sort of creativity.
Craving: This refers to craving, obsession, addiction. However the desire to do things is an important driving force for most people – and is a sore loss during depression. Motivation is a complex aspect of this mood (and other moods).

Instincts: These are given to you by your bodily nature, and are natural, but can become excessive – See the section on Needs.
Anger: people seem constantly enraged; others cranky. Others are argumentative or hypercritical, arrogant or sadistic. Anger can provide motivation to deal with unfairness, etc.

Tranquillity: This is a peaceful state in which your mind is un-perturbed, and a relief from anxiety, etc. – achievable through meditation or self-hypnosis.

Rapture: This is a state of sudden happiness, or even ecstasy. It is the most joyous mood, but for that very reason it does not last. Can be induced by exciting events or artificially by alcohol or drugs.

Learning: In this state you are exercising your cognitive skills, flexing your intellectual muscles. Whatever you’re up to, your thinking mind is engaged and in high gear

Realisation: Realisation means discovery, creativity, invention, and connection. It is related to a craving for attainment and occurs during the development of competence. Quite often what you are seeking can occur while you are having a break, or during sleep or sleepless episodes.
Helping: The helping state of mind applies to good parenting, teaching, doctoring and nursing, etc.#
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Comment: There is a real risk of Learning, Realising and Helping in the wrong Way!

The goal is to cultivate only the beneficial aspects of all your possible states of mind.

Mindfulness
The following Attitudes have been adopted by the Mindfulness project – With Patience & Trust
 Self-Compassion
 Open mind
 Non-judgmental
 Non-striving
 Acceptance
 Letting-Go
 Composure
 Self-reliance – also called Trust

Connections between above

Brain Interactions

Finding connections

Neuroscience has long focused on the brain in terms of components: the visual cortex processes what we see, Broca’s area is the center for language, and so on. As our understanding of the brain has improved, however, it has become clear that a more accurate model depends on how these modules are wired together in circuits. A technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) gives us a tool to probe the nature of those connections.
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A recent study suggests, for instance, that the more a person seeks out new experiences and relies on social approval, the stronger his or her wiring is among brain areas involved in reward, emotion and decision making.

Cognitive neuroscientist Michael Cohen and his colleagues at the University of Bonn in Germany asked 20 adults how often they sought out new experiences and relied on social approval. Then they used DTI to look at the subjects’ white matter, which connects disparate regions of the brain.

Cognition and high-level processing happen in gray matter, found mostly in the outer layer of the brain and made up of the main cell bodies of neurons. White matter, on the other hand, is made up of the long, spindly “arms” of neurons, called axons, along which electrical signals travel. (This interior part of the brain looks white because the axons are sheathed in myelin, a white insulating protein that helps signals travel more quickly.)

Cohen’s team found that the more the subjects sought new experiences, the stronger their connections were from the hippocampus and amygdala, brain regions involved in decision making and emotion, to the ventral and mesial striatum, areas that process information related to emotion and reward.

The scientists also found that the subjects who were most dependent on social approval had stronger than normal connections between the striatum and the prefrontal cortex, a brain area involved in higher-order decision making.

But what exactly do these connections of varying strengths mean? DTI, which maps white matter tracts by measuring water flow along them, is not yet easy to interpret: no one knows how exactly the strength or abundance of white matter connections correlates to the quality of neuronal communication. But studies using the technique have already uncovered white matter’s important role in health. Malfunctioning or damaged white matter can lead to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, and a study published last year suggested that paedophiles have less white matter connecting the brain regions involved in sexual arousal.
“Never before has it been possible to link cognition and behaviour to the brain’s intrinsic wiring,” says Cohen, who now splits his time between the University of Amsterdam and the University of Arizona. “A better understanding of the brain’s communication network will lead to a better understanding of how the brain supports cognitive, emotional and social functions and, perhaps more important, why disconnections between parts of the brain might contribute to pathologies such as schizophrenia, autism and drug abuse.”
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Parts of the Brain

The forebrain is the frontal portion of the human brain, and also happens to be its largest part. Most of it is made up of cerebrum, which works in coordination with the cerebellum to control all the voluntary actions of our body.

The forebrain is the most important part of the brain for this class. It contains the newest structures in our brain (those that evolved most recently). We are going to break the forebrain down into three parts:

Thalamus:
The thalamus is the operator/switchboard of our brain. Any sensory information that comes into out bodies (sight, hearing, touch and taste) go to our Thalamus first and the Thalamus sends the information to the right parts of our brain to get processed (except for smell).

Limbic System:
The Limbic System is sometimes called the emotional control center of our brain because it contains structures that help us feel our most raw emotions. The Limbic System itself is made up of several structures for which you have to know three of them:

1. Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is the size of a frozen pea (I don’t know why a said frozen, it could be a thawed or fresh pea as well) but may the the most important structure in our brain. It is involved in controlling the following activities: thirst, hunger, body temperature, sexual arousal and the endocrine system.

2. Hippocampus: The hippocampus is involved in memory processing. Our memories are not stored in the hippocampus, but it does help put the memories in the right places all around our brain. Think of the hippocampus as you school librarian (in our school he likes to be known as the medial specialist). Your librarian does not store the information of all the books in the library in their head, but can tell you where to find that information.

3. Amygdala: The amygdala handles some memory processing, but for the most part handles basic emotions like anger and jealousy.
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Right brain functions include visual and spatial skills, memory storage in auditory and visual modalities, imagery, etc. Left brain functions, on the other hand, include sequential analysis, memory storage in particular order, logical interpretations, and so on.

The cerebral cortex is divided into several regions called ‘lobes’, each of which is assigned specific tasks.

The frontal lobe, for instance, deals with planning and execution of our actions, and assesses their consequences.

Similarly, the parietal lobe helps us with perception of stimuli and spatial information processing, occipital lobe deals with visual processing, and temporal lobe is associated with memories, language, speech, visual recognition, auditory processing, etc.

The midbrain, relays auditory and visual information — is a portion of the central nervous system associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep/wake, arousal (alertness), and temperature regulation.[2]

Midbrain
Located in the middle of our brain, the midbrain does a whole lot of things, but for the purposes of the AP Psychology test, lets narrow it down to the two biggies:

1. The midbrain helps coordinate sensory information with simple movements. What does that mean? Sensory information is anything you feel using one of your five basic senses. Just reading this text now, you are using your midbrain to keep your eyes and head moving.
2. The only structure you have to know in the midbrain is called the Reticular Formation. The Reticular Formation control arousal. Not sexual arousal, but actual “wake me up” arousal”. If you were in a deep sleep and I stimulated your Reticular Formation you would instantly wake up and not be tired at all. If I lesioned (cut out) your Reticular Formation, you would fall into a coma in which you would never wake.

The hindbrain is the region of the brain formed by the pons, medulla oblongata (also known as just the medulla), and the cerebellum. Together, these three structures govern our autonomic, or ‘automated’ body systems, controlling everything from our heart, breathing, and sleep patterns to our bladder function, sense of equilibrium, and fine motor control.
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Basically, the hindbrain controls all the things that you want to automatically work without having to think about them.
From an evolutionary perspective, the hindbrain is the oldest part of our brain and is located deep within our head and on top of our spinal cord. Because this was our first and most basic brain (way back before we were cave people) it controls most of our most basic functions. There are three structures you should know in the hindbrain.

Medulla Oblongata:
The medulla helps control our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. It is located directing above our spinal cord and if you get hurt in the Medulla you should just pack it in.

Pons:
The Pons is located just above the medulla and it helps coordinate the hindbrain with the midbrain and forebrain. It is also involved in facial expressions.

Cerebellum:
The Cerebellum is located at the bottom rear or our brain and looks like a little version of our whole brain (like mini me). The Cerebellum helps us coordinate our balance and fine muscle movements. If you are playing Duck Hunt on the original

Functions

Intelligence — Reasoning: Frontal & Parietal Lobes
Reading, Language — Parietal
Memory — Frontal
Personality — Frontal

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Central Nervous System (CNS)

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Human Nervous System

Central nervous system function

movement, sensation, thinking, memory, and speech.

At times though, the spinal cord can initiate some actions on its own — without involving the brain.

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behaviour and perceptions

The hypothalamus, for instance, links our nervous system to endocrine system, which controls the metabolic activity of our body. It also controls our body temperature, emotions, and even thirst and hunger.
hippocampus, which consolidates long-term and short-term memory, and thalamus, which receives and processes sensory information and movement-related information.

Working memory

The midbrain, relays auditory and visual information.

The hindbrain, made up of cerebellum, pons, and medulla oblongata, which is in charge of some of the most important functions of our body, including respiration and heartbeat.
The cerebellum or little brain controls the coordination of our movement.

Pons and medulla oblongata are the parts of the brainstem, which connect the brain to spinal cord to complete the central nervous system.

The spinal cord, and the central nervous system neurons located within, are primarily assigned the task of transmitting messages back and forth between the brain and peripheral nerves. At the same time, it is also equipped with neural circuits that help it control certain reflexes and central pattern generators (CPGs).

Even though the brain and spinal cord usually work together to control various functions of the body, reflex movements (an involuntary movement resulting from a sensory stimulus) can occur through spinal cord pathways, without the brain getting involved. In case of spinal reflex, the spinal cord acts as the central area — bypassing the brain — where the information is processed and necessary steps are initiated.
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Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The ANS coordinates and manages a complex, highly differentiated network of nerves, organs, and biological sensors that is distributed throughout the human body.

The ANS consists of motor neurones that are responsible for carrying impulses to the effectors rather than the skeletal muscles. It transmits information to and from internal organs to sustain life processes.

This system meditates involuntary control and responses in the functioning of the body systems which happen automatically. Other important functions relating to Emotions are described later.

The autonomic nervous system controls processes such as heart rate and digestion. The part of the body that controls the autonomic nervous system is a structure in the brain called the hypothalamus.

Our autonomic nervous system is working every minute of every day of our lives
The ANS has two divisions:

o The Sympathetic division
o The Parasympathetic division

The Sympathetic division whose main function is to prepare the body for stressful or emergency situations – for fight or flight. Thus, the sympathetic division increases heart rate and the force of heart contractions and widens (dilates) the airways to make breathing easier. It causes the body to release stored energy. Muscular strength is increased. This division also causes palms to sweat, pupils to dilate, and hair to stand on end. It slows body processes that are less important in emergencies, such as digestion and urination.
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The Parasympathetic division whose main function is to maintain normal body functions during ordinary situations. Generally, the parasympathetic division conserves and restores. It slows the heart rate and decreases blood pressure. It stimulates the digestive tract to process food and eliminate wastes. Energy from the processed food is used to restore and build tissues.

The sympathetic nervous system generally increases bodily activity where as parasympathetic nervous system maintains or decreases bodily activities. Both these nervous systems have opposite effects on the functioning of the body but balance out – called Homeostasis.

In some cases we are able to control some of these processes ourselves as we can hold our breath or we can raise our heart rate by exercising
Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions are involved in sexual activity, as are the parts of the nervous system that control voluntary actions and transmit sensation from the skin.

The various organ systems and organs involved work together to constantly maintain a stable internal environment. The proper functioning of the body requires all systems to work together and in proper condition. Many diseases can affect the various organs and organ systems of the body.

Homeostatic imbalance occurs when homeostasis within the body cannot be maintained and can lead to death. It is therefore essential to take care of the body and maintain it so as to keep all systems in good working condition.

The ANS activity is also now viewed as a major component of the emotion response in many recent theories of emotion — See Autonomic nervous system activity in emotion: A review

The ANS plays a critical role in determining the quality of our lives in both the short and long terms. In the short term, the ANS constantly monitors conditions and makes adjustments that enable us to deal with a host of internal and external demands.

In the long term, the ANS assumes major responsibility for tracking and controlling a wide range of functions that determine our health, illness, vigour, and thriving, and that ultimately determine whether we survive or perish — See The Autonomic Nervous System and Emotion
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Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system controls vital functions like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other things beyond our conscious control.

Fight or flight

Autonomic Health

As more people become willing to change their thought patterns and lifestyles, they will experience a state of contentment and bliss that comes with having a balanced autonomic system.

Role of ANS

Autonomic Comment

Autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity is viewed as a major component of the emotion response in many recent theories of emotion.

ANS

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B0124755704001761

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Autonomic systems and emotions

Autonomic Nervous System

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xxx Following under “Function”

The Autonomic Nervous System — ANS — coordinates and manages a complex, highly differentiated network of nerves, organs, and biological sensors that is distributed throughout the human body. Importantly, the ANS plays a critical role in determining the quality of our lives in both the short and long terms. In the short term, the ANS constantly monitors conditions and makes adjustments that enable us to deal with a host of internal and external demands. In the long term, the ANS assumes major responsibility for tracking and controlling a wide range of functions that determine our health, illness, vigour, and thriving, and that ultimately determine whether we survive or perish.

In many evolutionary/functionalist theories, emotions organize the activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and
other physiological systems.

Two kinds of patterned activity are discussed: (a) coherence (i.e., emotions organize and coordinate activity within the ANS, and between the ANS and other response systems such as facial expression and subjective experience), and (b) specificity (i.e., emotions activate different patterns of ANS response for different emotions). For each kind of patterning, significant methodological obstacles are considered that need to be overcome before empirical studies can adequately test theories

Emotions & Nervous System

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Emotions & Learning

Autonomic

In 1956, he outlined a three-stage progression of responses to stress termed the General Adaptation Syndrome: Alarm, Resistance and Exhaustion.
Stage of Alarm. When a stressor is first encountered, the initial series of responses depends upon the autonomic nervous system, the immune system and other defences to cope with the emotional, behavioural and physiological aspects of the stressor.

Stage of Resistance. Involves maintenance of this reaction to the stressor, which includes reparative processes such as fever regulation, tissue repair, control of inflammation, etc.

Stage of Exhaustion. The defences fail, metabolic reserve

Conclusion:
“Feedback from the autonomic nervous system plays an important role in determining whether or not an emotion will be experienced; environmental cues interact with this feedback to determine the nature of the emotional response.”

Nervous System
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Neurobiology of Happiness

Emotions
• The body’s built in assessment system
– Inextricably linked with memory and cognitive appraisal of stimuli
– Includes both our “online” experience and the resulting body responses
• The 5 ‘basic’ emotions and their functional correlates – This is only one theory. We’re using it for convenience • Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust

Emotions

Although dozens of studies have examined the autonomic nervous system (ANS) aspects of negative emotions, less is known about ANS responding in positive emotion.

In failing to examine the depth and complexity of positive emotions, we lose a great opportunity to understand the depth and complexity of our own nature.

Positive Emotions

Sympathetic nervous system and pain

Autonomic Nervous System and drugs

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autonomic nervous system and antidepressants

Anxiety
Anxiety could play a more important role than depression in the development of hypertension. Altered autonomic control of the heart could be one of the pathophysiological links between hypertension and psychological factors.

Stress

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Depression and anxiety, Pre Menstural Syndrome, social phobia, anxiety, aggression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, violence, gambling, overeating, excess sex, drug abuse, have all been partly linked to low levels of neurotransmitters among other factors. Some people believe that those who participate in these risky behaviours do so because they want to and while this may be partly correct, the reason they are doing this is because it makes them feel better by boosting mood enhancing neurotransmitters which they may be low in, such as serotonin. It has been found that when, for example, an alcoholic’s serotonin is boosted they loose the desire to drink in excess. This is how antidepressant drugs like Prozac work – they increase levels of serotonin which boosts mood and resolves depression.

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http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/07420528.2013.833935
Bright Light Therapy

Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a common characteristic of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and panic disorder
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1. 38. DEPRESSION • Depressed patients are twice as likely as nondepressed patients to have a major cardiac event within 12 months of the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (Carney et al, 1988) and they are significantly more likely to die in the years following the diagnosis (Barefoot et al, 1996)
2. 39. ANXIETY DISORDER
3. 40. • The ANS of some patients with anxiety disorder, especially those with panic disorder, exhibits increased sympathetic tone, adapt slowly to repeated stimuli and respond excessively to moderate stimuli. • Affected patients may have poorly regulated NA system with occasional bursts of activity. • Patients with anxiety disorders, have elevated CSF or urinary levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), a NA metabolite • In patients with panic disorder, blunted ACTH responses to CRF has been reported in some studies

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/biology/drugs-affecting-the-central-nervous-system-biology-essay.php

http://www.anaesthetist.com/anaes/patient/ans/Findex.htm

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William James, the great American Philosopher, identified ten different states (moods) of the mind (Similar to Buddhist ideas). They’re all present together, but at any given moment you’ll experience one of these states on a priority basis.

Freud asserted that our feelings, motives and decisions, Cognitive, Emotional and Social, are powerfully influenced by our past experiences, stored in the pre-conscious and instincts from the unconscious.

Freud’s structure of the personality, the Psyche, is the Id, Ego and Superego. The Id is regarded as entirely unconscious whilst the ego and superego have conscious, preconscious, and unconscious aspects. Freud also regarded the mind to be like an iceberg, where the greatest part is hidden beneath the water or unconscious.

The names of the Moods are Hell, Hunger, Instinct, Anger, Tranquillity, Rapture, Learning, and Realisation, Helping, and Awakening.
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Each one can have positive or negative aspects. This is a common feature in many models/conceptions – the best known of these being the Yin-Yang of Chinese Philosophy. Yin and Yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces.

Despair: Whenever something terrible or even disagreeable happens, you get upset or distraught. It can be manifest in depression, anxiety, fear and other dis-ease. It’s the worst state to inhabit, beyond reason and passion alike. This mood has given rise to a sort of creativity.
Craving: This refers to craving, obsession, addiction. However the desire to do things is an important driving force for most people – and is a sore loss during depression. Motivation is a complex aspect of this mood (and other moods).

Instincts: These are given to you by your bodily nature, and are natural, but can become excessive – See the section on Needs.
Anger: people seem constantly enraged; others cranky. Others are argumentative or hypercritical, arrogant or sadistic. Anger can provide motivation to deal with unfairness, etc.

Tranquillity: This is a peaceful state in which your mind is un-perturbed, and a relief from anxiety, etc. — achievable through meditation or self-hypnosis.

Rapture: This is a state of sudden happiness, or even ecstasy. It is the most joyous mood, but for that very reason it does not last. Can be induced by exciting events or artificially by alcohol or drugs.

Learning: In this state you are exercising your cognitive skills, flexing your intellectual muscles. Whatever you’re up to, your thinking mind is engaged and in high gear

Realisation: Realisation means discovery, creativity, invention, and connection. It is related to a craving for attainment and occurs during the development of competence. Quite often what you are seeking can occur while you are having a break, or during sleep or sleepless episodes.
Helping: The helping state of mind applies to good parenting, teaching, doctoring and nursing, etc.

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These Control systems change throughout a lifetime.

Our early development is rapid and genetically configured.

The influences of the child’s living environment are disputed, but here the belief is that Nurture is basically of crucial importance.
We also need to acknowledge that life’s hazards and difficulties are unavoidable. So, we need to learn to cope, adapt, be assertive, etc.

After the amazing learning of the early years we proceed to improve our capabilities in language, to invent, to act, perform gymnastics, learn useful habits, and so on – at much higher levels than the early accomplishments. (Habit learning is virtually essential, as it relieves us of having to consciously work through routine daily activities).

Later in life changes require more effort, but at much higher levels of capability.

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Usually we are engaged with one of two activities:
• Dealing with on-going experiences
• Focussing on a task – learning or doing

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The above developments prove that we have the ability to learn and improve, and we observe this as the infant learns to walk, accept social skills, etc.
The brain physically alters as we learn – affecting a basic control element of the nervous system, as shown here:

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The process is known as Neural Plasticity, and in achieving a particular significant change it generally affects many Neurons and their links (called Synapses).
After the amazing learning of the early years we proceed to improve our capabilities in language, to invent, to act, perform gymnastics, learn useful habits, and so on – at much higher levels than the early accomplishments (Also, unfortunately, we are as likely to learn Bad Habits).

So, through observations, and trial and error (and help), we are able to Learn competences, useful habits, etc. Each competence improves with practice and may be lost if neglected.

Developing a complex of general competences is essential for day to day living, Other competences can be developed to support individual aspirations.

1) On-going Experiences
For an on-going experience we are aware through our “stream of Consciousness”, but there are major inputs through the reaction of our sub-conscious Autonomic System. This system is always alert to changes, such as a potential jeopardy requiring a reaction. The reaction might be fight or flight, or a lesser reaction such as resentment. The underlying problem is that we may react in a way that makes things worse, because our “state of Anxiety”, or a habitual “bad” attitude, or whatever.

This is where the adoption and diligent practice (i.e. habitual) of sound attitudes helps to maintain a healthy composure.
So attitudes such as Self-Reliance, Self-Compassion, Confidence and keeping an Open Mind are invaluable. These have been applied in different ways by advocates of “Mindfulness”, such as:

Open Mind: Try sometimes to see things as new and fresh – as if for the first time – and with a sense of curiosity. An example – The next time you see somebody you know – ask yourself if you are just seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about this person!

Non-Judgmental: If you concede that you might (sometimes) overdo the labelling of thoughts, feelings, whatever, as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair – then you could consider the Beginners Mind Attitude. Wrong Thinking seems to cause Anxiety and Depression. You could also seek to improve your judgement by taking account for example of “wrong thinking” – as listed below. For instance you might have tended to Exaggerate the importance of insignificant events.

Then there are enabling habits: Patience, Acceptance, Letting-Go, and Composure

Acceptance is a willingness to accept matters as they are here and now. We often waste a lot of energy denying and resisting what is already so! Acceptance does not mean that you should stop trying to improve – to give up on your desire to change and grow – or tolerate injustice. You have to accept yourself as you are before you can really change – Do you want to change?

Letting-Go: We have to be aware of – and let go our negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings – apply yourself to this task (negative?) – You have to decide! Alternatively, we can allow ourselves to feel the negative feelings, identify them & then decide.)

Composure: A controlled response to a stress relies on the ability to detach from emotions. Contents with the belief that occasional stresses and negative emotional states are inevitable – Depression, anxiety, fear, jealousy, hatred, anger, and other painful emotions are natural and human so you can expect them sooner or later.

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From “This book will make you Calm” by Dr J Hibberd & J Usmar

There are situations where being Non-judgmental is applicable. However, in applying Attitudes/Habits of Acceptance, etc. we need to exercise sound Judgement. We should avoid being judgemental when Angry, in a Casual way, or as a Bad Habit, etc.

You must cultivate love for yourself – as you are – without self-blame or criticism.
One hundred years ago, William James the famous American Psychologist, developed a theory of emotion. This proposed the self-perception view of emotion that behaviours cause feelings.

Subsequent research has shown that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

2) Learning Competences & Habits

Throughout sourcing of ideas, this Blog takes cognisance of the need to avoid both simplistic and possibly untrustworthy (Such as trying to sell us something) Web-sites. Also to consider carefully those that depart from conventional views. For example, the following draws attention to the potential failings of trying to “Set Goals”.
Such an attempt could actually be counter-productive – see Not goals.

of using Intuition can only be developed through diligent and focussed application.

References:

http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Encoding_(memory)
Visual, acoustic, and semantic encodings are the most intensively used. Other encodings are also used.
Visual encoding
Visual encoding is the process of encoding images and visual sensory information. Visual sensory information is temporarily stored within our iconic memory (Short term Visual Memory) and working memory before being encoded into permanent long-term storage. The amygdala is a complex structure that has an important role in visual encoding. It accepts visual input in addition to input from other systems and encodes the positive or negative values of conditioned stimuli.

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Effects of stress therapy
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Hunger hormones

Obesity & hormones

Neural Communication

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Unreliable Memory 1

REFERENCES:

Mindfulness, NLP and Neuro-Plasticity

Boredom References: 1

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Mindfulness References: 1

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Loneliness References: 1

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Unemployment References: 1

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Child Development References: 1

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Some Mind references:
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Cause of depression 292 src 292

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Cause of depression 292

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ANS Check

Tiredness