Science of the Spirit
Feeling authentic in a relationship comes from being able to be your best self, not your actual self
British Psychological Study
Wed, 08 Mar 2017 12:27 UTC
Is the real you how you actually think and behave, for instance? Or, taking a more dynamic perspective, is it fairer to say that the true you is the person you aspire to be: what psychologists call your "ideal self"?
Mon, 06 Mar 2017 15:42 UTC
The study, published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined feelings of social isolation among more than 1,787 US adults between the ages of 19 and 32.
The researchers defined social isolation as the lack of a sense of belonging, true engagement with others, and fulfilling relationships.
Mon, 06 Mar 2017 15:35 UTC
All our perspectives help us define our truths. Within this perspective, what is true works for the situation at hand and it is what allows us to assess all our experiences. When we realize that all truths are true, we no longer have a need to be right. So what happens when we consider the perspective of others?
"People expected that they could infer another's emotions by watching him or her, when in fact they were more accurate when they were actually in the same situation as the other person. And this bias persisted even after our participants gained firsthand experience with both strategies," explain study authors Haotian Zhou (Shanghai Tech University) and Nicholas Epley (University of Chicago).
To explore out how we go about understanding others' minds, Zhou, Epley, and co-author Elizabeth Majka (Elmhurst College) decided to focus on two potential mechanisms: theorization and simulation. When we theorize about someone's experience, we observe their actions and make inferences based on our observations. When we simulate someone's experience, we use our own experience of the same situation as a guide.
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 14:02 UTC
Happiness is simply not the appropriate response to many situations in life, says Brinkmann, whose Danish bestseller Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze is published in English by international publisher Polity this month. Even worse, faking it can leave us emotionally stunted.
"I believe our thoughts and emotions should mirror the world. When something bad happens, we should be allowed to have negative thoughts and feelings about it because that's how we understand the world," he says.
"Life is wonderful from time to time, but it's also tragic. People die in our lives, we lose them, if we have only been accustomed to being allowed to have positive thoughts, then these realities can strike us even more intensely when they happen—and they will happen."
Comment: Happiness: Enough Already
The drawbacks of constant, extreme happiness should not be surprising, since negative emotions evolved for a reason. Fear tips us off to the presence of danger, for instance. Sadness, too, seems to be part of our biological inheritance: apes, dogs and elephants all display something that looks like sadness, perhaps because it signals to others a need for help. One hint that too much euphoria can be detrimental comes from studies finding that among people with late-stage illnesses, those with the greatest sense of well-being were more likely to die in any given period of time than the mildly content were. Being "up" all the time can cause you to play down very real threats.
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 18:11 UTC
I first encountered Dr. Pennebaker's work when I was working on the Self Authoring Suite (www.selfauthoring.com), an online writing program which has helped thousands of college students stay in school and get better grades. He conducted the original work on "expressive writing," starting in the 1980's, showing that people's health and productivity improved when they wrote about traumatic experiences or uncertainty -- particularly if they constructed causal accounts or plans. He has also investigated the psychological significance of patterns of word use (particularly about everyone's favorites, pronouns). We talk about all of this, and much more.
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 17:09 UTC
Dr. Doidge speaks first in this 3-part series (this video).
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:45 UTC
Stephanie was a 60-year-old wife, mother and grandmother. She loved life. Wine tastings, gardening, spending time with her family — this didn't stop when she was diagnosed. When she had learned that the cancer had spread to the other lung and brain, she took a deep breath and went back into the ring to fight. She signed up for more chemotherapy. If she worked hard, she thought, she could beat it.
Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00 UTC
This perspective is scientifically validated by new research from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago Illinois, which discovered how the various rhythmic patterns of breath profoundly impact memory recall and the emotional body, specifically the fear response.
The brain creates electrical impulses which link physical functions to emotional reactions, and the electrical activity of the brain is deeply affected by our breathing patterns. The outcome of this balance is determined by whether or not we are inhaling or exhaling, as well as if we are breathing through the nose or the mouth, as each variable creates a different electrical response within the brain.
Comment: The points covered in the above article - and many more - are discussed at length in the following presentation of
Éiriú Eolas- The revolutionary breathing and meditation program. Watch it and give it a good try over several weeks.
You'll be very happy you did!
Thu, 02 Mar 2017 17:18 UTC
The principles of neuroplasticity may underlie the positive effects of music therapy in treating a diversity of diseases.
A man with Parkinson's disease sitting in a crowded restaurant has to use the rest room, but he cannot get there. His feet are frozen; he cannot move. The more he tries, the more stressed he becomes. People are beginning to stare at him and wonder what is wrong. Then he remembers the song "You Are My Sunshine," which his music therapist taught him to use in situations like this. He starts humming the tune. In time with the music, he steps forward—one foot and then the other—and begins walking to the beat in his head. Still humming, he makes it to the rest room, avoiding a potentially embarrassing situation.
Freezing of gait is a common occurrence for many people with Parkinson's disease. Such struggles can limit social experience and lead to seclusion and depression. Unfortunately, available pharmacological and surgical treatments for Parkinson's do a poor job of quelling this and many other symptoms. But where conventional medicine has failed, music therapy can sometimes provide relief.
Music therapy is the use of music by a credentialed professional as an intervention to improve, restore, or maintain a non-music-related behavior in a patient or client. As a music therapist, I have worked with many people with Parkinson's disease and have seen how music can provide an external cue for patients to walk in time to, allowing them to overcome freezing. I have also used group singing to help patients with Parkinson's improve their respiratory control and swallowing. Impaired swallowing can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is a leading cause of death among this patient population.
Comment: The brain is actually a supple, malleable organ, as ready to unlearn as it is to learn, capable of resetting and repairing its internal communications. Far more than once dreamed possible, the brain can—if not always cure—heal itself.
- 16 tips for increasing neuroplasticity in the brain, and why it's important
- Neuroplasticity - Rewiring the Brain
- Different notes for different folks: How music makes the brain happy
- The magic of music is a balm for the body and soul