A natural phenomena in the circadian rhythm, napping can dramatically increase learning ability and memory, raise awareness, and much more, studies show.
Via Peter Mellow
Counselling and Psychology
Curated by Julianna Bonola
Topics of Interest
Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention:
* Eating with the intention of caring for yourself.
* Eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body .
As you can see, mindful eating is much more than “eating slowly, without distraction.” While that’s certainly an important part of it, [...] mindful eating encompasses the entire process of eating:
* Awareness of your physical and emotional cues
* Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating
* Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating
* Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment
* Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety
* Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave
This broad application makes mindful eating a powerful tool for developing a healthier, happier relationship with food.
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For all those dieters, here is something that really can help. Eat what you love and love what you eat.
"...The sensing of fake vs. genuine facial expressions, movement from sound shadowing and distance of a sound source are examples of a phenomenon called “implicit learning.” Although we normally must pay attention to events for them to be stored away in memoriesthat we can later consciously recall, it is possible to unconsciously tap into memories formed by associations to which we do not pay explicit attention. For example, normally we see as well as hear the source of a sound. But after experiencing many pairings of visual information (which conveys extremely precise information about location) with acoustic information (which carries much less precise information), our brains implicitly learn that the spectral content (frequency or pitch) of sounds coming from above our heads is different than the spectral make-up of sounds coming from below our heads. In the same way, by noting that sound levels in one ear decrease when someone walks by us, our brain unconsciously learns that sound shadows correlate with someone (or something) moving past us. And we can tell a fake smile from a real one by unconsciously remembering the contexts around which we have seen people smile in the past. “Smile for the camera” often produces fake smiles; spontaneous reactions to jokes elicit the real ones.
But not all unconscious awareness is learned. Localization of sounds left-to-right is hardwired into our brains with innate circuits that analyze time and intensity difference of sounds heard in the two ears—sounds on our left, for instance, arrive earlier in the left ear than in the right, and are also louder in the left ear. Responses to chemical signals in body odor are also probably wired into us at birth.
It’s useful to be aware that we are aware of things—both learned and innate—even though we aren't aware of why we are aware, because such awareness can decrease harmful self-doubts.
Serving as a volunteer psychotherapist for seven years at a free clinic in Southern California, I noticed that clients commonly developed low self-esteem, in part because they mistrusted—and therefore devalued—their own perceptions and intuitions. When asked why they doubted themselves, many clients would say something like "I have no good reason to believe x, y or z,” because they couldn’t consciously tap into experiences (or sometimes innate perceptions) that gave rise to their feelings..."
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You do have a sixth sense. The bottom line is that there are scientifically valid reasons to trust your feelings, perceptions, and intuitions, even when you can’t sense how you sense them.
"...Epigenetics refers to the meta-level of genetic regulation. Under the influence of external factors, epigenetic mechanisms regulate which genes are turned on and off. This helps our fixed genetic material to be more flexible. At the biochemical micro level, epigenetic regulators are responsible for how closely packed individual genomic regions are and therefore how accessible or not they are. This works by small adhered or detached chemical groups. The resulting marking of the genome is read by specialised enzymes that then cause the switching on or off of the genes.
As reasonable as this appears, one consequence is that we will have to say goodbye to a long-established dogma: the idea that genes are immutable in the creation of a living being. And, looking back through the history of science: was Lamarck right, after all? The 19th-century French biologist had claimed that organisms acquired traits to pass on to future generations . It is precisely this mechanism that epigeneticists are on the trail of today. Laboratory experiments with mice have demonstrated that a particular, targeted encoding of individual genes results in the changes being passed on to the offspring. Epigenetic changes, however, are so-called soft changes, as they can be undone. And that is medicine’s great hope – to be able to intervene in the control mechanism from the outside in order to be able to work against, for example, senile dementia.
A study often mentioned in this context is based on the analysis of data collected in the Netherlands over the years of hunger in 1944-45, during which the population there suffered particularly difficult conditions. The children born at this time were not only smaller, but, as adults, had an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular problems and neuropsychiatric disorders. In turn, their offspring were again smaller than average – despite food being in ready supply and living conditions having greatly improved.
The Göttingen neurologist André Fischer explains it like this: “One possible cause is an altered DNA methylation of the insulin-like growth factor 2. Investigations by my own working group showed that IGF2 is important for cognitive functions and plays a key role in anxiety disorders.” In February this year, Scientific American finally reported on a study that deals with the descendants of Holocaust survivors: “Their latest results reveal that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust have different stress hormone profiles than their peers, perhaps predisposing them to anxiety disorders.“..."
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The latest and greatest find in the search for how traits are passed down from generation to generation. Read on ...
Rebuilding trust in a marriage may be difficult but not impossible. Here are some tips to help you through the process.
When trust is lost - is the relationship over? Often, rebuilding trust in a relationship leads to a more honest and authentic relationship longer term. It is hard but can be very rewarding. Here are a few tips when starting to learn to trust again.
Strength/resistance training for those aged 50 and older has many health benefitsBob O'Connor for the Wall Street Journal The antidote for issues that attack those aged 50 and older -- joint stiffness, sore backs, sleep troubles -- may very well...
I have to agree with this one folks. I'm in that age bracket myself, and if I don;t walk between 3 - 4 times a week, I struggle to work the long hours I currently work. Besides, that early morning in the cool of the day (read freezing in Winter), invigorates and refreshes. I haven't done any weights recently due to a shoulder issue, and I can tell I'm not as flexible as I was doing the weight training. So..... from one old gal to all you younger people, love yourselves enough to keep the exercise going. As you age YOU will feel the benefits.
The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.
If you thought sexual identity and orientation where simply a matter of being born with either a penis or a vagina, think again, New research is showing that being male or female as defined by genitalia is untenable by conventional definitions. Rather, biologists are finding there is a much wider spectrum for sexuality that society and state will need to debate in order to clearly draw a defining line between male and female moving forward.
Postpartum depression manifests itself with anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue and/or lack of interest. The depressive disorder takes place following the birth of a baby. It is treatable through prescribed medications, therapy and time.
Thank God that PND is now a recognisable and treatable condition. So many 'older' mums had to deal with this devastating condition while being told ' you just have to get over it and on with it'. Talking to someone supportive does help.
When my mother died, I knew nothing about grief. Truthfully, I knew nothing about life either. Like most, I entered grief with nothing more than a handful of assumptions and a few preconceived notions. Despite being a bit of a navel gazer, I was unwilling to slow down and evaluate what I was experiencing; I had ...
This is a lovely way to look back on what is one of life's most profound and hurtful experiences, that may help others as they move through the loss of a significant person in their lives. i have used a somewhat similar approach therapeutically with clients who are stressed or burnt out. I ask them to talk to their older wiser self for an opinion. Works wonderfully and effects changes that are sometimes most unexpected.
A mindfulness-based therapy could provide a "new choice for millions of people" with recurrent depression, a study in the Lancet says.
Being mindful of the thoughts that trigger a lowering of mood, can help those who have suffered from clinical depression. When used in conjunction with anti depression medications, mindfulness can assist patients to better engage with their own mental health.
For many older adults, the thought of stepping into a yoga class swarming with yogis more flexible than Gumby might provoke anxiety. But the practice itself may be just the antidote the over-60 set needs, suggests a recent review of studies about relaxation exercises. Those who did yoga and other calming activities saw greater reductions in their anxiety and depression than people who didn’t.
"...So what’s the value of getting people to express what they’re actually feeling, rather than keeping things relentlessly light and bland? The answer is that naming our emotions tends to diffuse their charge and lessen the burden they create. The psychologist Dan Siegel refers to this practice as “name it to tame it.”
It’s also true that we can’t change what we don’t notice. Denying or avoiding feelings doesn’t make them go away, nor does it lessen their impact on us, even if it’s unconscious. Noticing and naming emotions gives us the chance to take a step back and make choices about what to do with them.
Emotions are just a form of energy, forever seeking expression. Paradoxically, sharing what we’re feeling in simple terms helps us to better contain and manage even the most difficult emotions. By naming them out loud, we are effectively taking responsibility for them, making it less likely that they will spill out at the expense of others over the course of a day...."
According to the well known psychologist Dan Siegel, naming our emotions tends to diffuse their charge and lessen the burden they create. Soooooo “name it to tame it.”
Unlike treating people for low self-esteem which may lead to a newly constructed narcissist – self-compassion does not lead to blaming others in order to feel good about oneself.
People with low self-esteem are more likely stay in unhappy relationships, suggests new research from the University of Waterloo. Sufferers of low self-est ...
“We may think that staying quiet, in a ‘forgive and forget’ kind of way, is constructive,, but when we have a serious issue in a relationship, failing to address those issues directly can actually be more destructive.” Don't let low self esteem lead to relationship breakups. We have to be real and honest with our partners, or we risk loosing the lot - the partner and whatever self esteem we do have.
Researchers have found that low self-esteem and materialism are not just a correlation, but also a causal relationship where low self esteem increases materialism, and materialism can also create low self-esteem.
This puts a whole new spin on the term 'retail therapy". So why do we look to the material world for comfort,, when it's our emotional world that needs to be comforted? Perhaps if our self esteem 'bank account balances' were more healthy, our financial status as individuals and as a nation, would be too!
What can parents can do to help girls build confidence? Start with basing confidence on what they can do, not what they look like. Here are 13 ways to nurture your daughter's self-esteem and a healthy body image.
Good news for parents of adolescent girls with self confidence issues. Read on....
After treatment ends, many cancer survivors are left with sexual changes that, when left unaddressed, can become long-term problems.
Often not spoken about, sexual concerns from survivors of cancer, or their partners can be alleviated if discussed with oncologists. More often however, people will research and read internet articles which may be misleading. If this applies to you or your partner, check in with your treating oncologist who will give you more accurate and up to date information based on the latest research in the field. You don't have to suffer in silence.
Children's social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media, according to a UCLA psychology study.
If ever there was an argument for NOT using technology, then this is it folks. Scary really when you think that these kids are the next lot of world leaders in the making.
As a life coach, I focus on the zillions of ways fear keeps people stuck. I am not talking about fear of the dark, fear of nuclear war or fear of falling. These are indeed a few of the life-preserving fears that we do well to heed. Here is another on...
We all have had an experience where we are frozen in fear. Here's a nice little 'Letter to self" I think everyone should read. Go on, have a read, and let me know what you think.
How to stop beating yourself up. Do you feel like you fail every day? As hard as you work, do you seem to get nowhere? Is it common for almost everything to go wrong? You may be fighting to keep your head above water, but all you hear is criticism from others. Can you relate to this? If so, you are in a danger zone. Read on for some powerful insights.
You actually do deserve better. Leave other people's negativity to them. You don't have to wear it because someone you know is having a bad day. Choose NOT to let them rob you of your joy. You deserve better.
"...If you grew up with narcissistic parents, never fear, the legacy can end with you! Your parents’ mistakes can be rocket fuel for your own development.
First, you have to grieve the loss of the parent you never had. Really grieve the fact that you didn’t get the parent you needed, the one who put you and your needs first. Part of that requires releasing the fantasy that your narcissistic parent can change and eventually give you what you need. They can evolve and grow, but they may never evolve enough to meet your deepest needs. Therefore, managing expectations is key, particularly when you see glimpses of the healthy parent you wish you had had, but in fact those glimpses are often not sustainable. Accept that your parent was limited—and could not give you unconditional love or even deep empathy because she could not get past herself to truly see you. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, the anger and the sadness. Emotion has the word motion in it; allow your emotions to move through you. You might not have lost your parent to death, but you lost what could have been—you lost an opportunity to be truly mothered—and that is really a profound loss. Accepting this, rather than denying it, is the first step in opening your heart to healing.
You are going to need to discover boundaries—where you begin and your parents end—to free your authentic self. When you choose who you want to be, rather than who your parents wanted you to be, you break free from their narcissistic grip. Tolerate their discomfort, even if they make a lot of noise. You are not misbehaving, rebelling, or rejecting them. You are being you, the real you—maybe for the first time. This is the first part of breaking the cycle. Next, you don’t want to repeat/generalize the relationship that you had with your narcissistic parent to your coworkers, partner, or friends. Realize where you are meeting the needs of other narcissists in your life, real or imagined. Sometimes children of narcissists assume that every person they’re close to will need the same kind of hyper-attention and appeasement that their parent did—and unconsciously begin doing mental backbends to please others. At times you may be tapping into the expectations of a narcissistic boss or partner, and reflexively playing that familiar role. At other times you may be making erroneous assumptions about what someone important to you really needs—perhaps they don’t want you to mirror their opinions or they don’t need you to sugarcoat your real feelings or soften constructive criticism. Breathe, pause, give yourself some psychic space and then test it. Try just being frank, try not to rush in and take care of their feelings. If being different from your loved one feels uncomfortable—or if you feel you’re risking love with that stance—just notice it. Watch how much stronger your bond is than what you secretly imagined it to be. This is the gift of evolving past the scene of the original crime—your own childhood. Surviving childhood meant taking care of the narcissist and swallowing your feelings. But now as an adult you can begin to surround yourself with people that you feel safe and at home with—like soul mate girlfriends—who know and love the real you, and this can be deeply transformative.
Children of narcissistic parents often wonder if they are really loveable. You are! Start loving and caring for yourself in ways that you wished your mom or dad had loved and cared for you. Start paying attention to what really matters to you; what makes you feel alive and moments when you feel authentically you. Maybe you will need help mothering yourself. Maybe that means getting re-parented by a therapist, or maybe the healing comes from an emotionally reparative romantic partnership. Maybe you have a friend’s mother who is nurturing to you, or a mentor who celebrates the real you. All of these people can become part of your collective parent. No one person is ever capable of meeting all of your needs so start building your collective parenting community. And once you have learned to mother yourself, you will be able to mother your child..."
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Individuation is the process of becoming the person you want to be, and not the person others want you to be. This article demonstrates how our folks can cause life long problems for many not strong enough to trust themselves to become the adults they want to be.
Employee Assistance Programs are there for a reason. If your workplace offers EAP counselling, avail your self. It can keep you more sane around the workplace.
Most are aware that regular exercise, a healthy diet, and appropriate medical care are key factors toward living a long life. Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity...
Staying connected socially can have significant effects on longevity.... Have a read...
Health problems associated with job-related anxiety account for more deaths each year than Alzheimer's disease or diabetes.
In today's workplace, stress is a huge contributor to those 'mental health' days that are becoming more the norm. But did you know that workplace stress/anxiety can have other devastating effects such as Alzheimer's disease or diabetes?
What’s cold, icy, really uncomfortable, and sometimes makes you sad? Gosh darn winter, that’s what. You can spare me your affinity for skiing, fresh fallen snow and curling up by a warm fire because I will swiftly counter with wet socks, slush, and lack of sunlight. Sure winter has its moments, but for some its ...
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a well documented phenomenon, but when it occurs while grieving, things can get tough. Read on for some tips on how to cope during this sad, cold process.
Before the vaccine, we thought measles was a 'mild' illness. This is because vaccines drive down the number of people getting the disease while increasing our awareness of the risks.
Given recent moves to penalize parents who do not have their children vacinated, I thought this article most timely. Have a read.