Live for now. Think about it. Now is all that exists. If all the stuffing comes out of your plaything, find another one. When someone won’t scratch behind your ears offer them your back.
I never procrastinate or make excuses why it’s too late to go for a walk or put off dinner until my favorite program is over.
If you had to cram seven years into one year you wouldn’t procrastinate either. When you tell yourself “I want to go fetch BUT I have to check text messages text first” . remember to go at life head-first, not “BUT . . . first”.
There are so many smells and so many blessings outside the window . . . take it all in wherever you’re headed (pun intended). You humans focus too much on the destination and forget to enjoy the journey.
BEFORE MAKING JUDGMENTS based on what others look like take a few sniffs and watch their behavior.
I can tell after 5 sniffs whether someone is trustworthy. You might need more than 5 since you aren’t as perceptive as I am.
I don’t speak a human language (I write it but don’t speak it) I can’t give you a thumbs up but I can give you a paw. Only if I can’t get your attention with a nudge I use my bark. My tail never lies . . . and you shouldn’t either.
*If you’re a constant worrier, you’re not alone. 40 million American adults live with anxiety disorders.
Chillies come in many shapes, colours, sizes and strengths, but one thing they have in common is the burning sensation they cause in your mouth, eyes and any other part of your body into which their juices come into contact.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Vermont looked at data from more than 16,000 Americans who had filled in food questionnaires over an average of 18.9 years.
During that time nearly 5,000 of them had died. What they found was that was that those who ate a lot of red hot chillies were 13% less likely to die during that period than those who did not.
As far back as 2007 scientists* measured how positive thoughts change brain serotonin levels which is another key neurotransmitter in happiness. Professional actors were used since they could keep up an intense emotional state. Using a PET scan researchers found that focusing on happy memories resulted in increased uptake of the serotonin building blocks. Focusing on sad memories resulted in lower uptake. This supports the since replicated conclusion that we, by choosing to focus on happy thoughts, can self-regulate our brain’s neurotransmitters and change our brain’s chemical balance to support happiness.
Dopamine is also crucial for happiness and relaxation, Researchers examined the changes in dopamine during meditation using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning on meditators. The dopamine increased significantly in an area called the basal ganglia during meditation. This is the first evidence that by focusing our thoughts, we can alter how the neurons in our brain fire, and increase dopamine release.
Before I was licensed I was the director of a Rape Trauma program and initially trained in what was called “Immersion Therapy” – Trauma survivors were suppose to tell and retell and retell their trauma experience until the trauma had “lost” it’s emotional impact. After only a few sessions, watching clients get worse, I knew there needed to be a better way so I studied alternate treatments that did not re-tramautize people.
This experience was invaluable to both me professionally and the people who came to see me during my psychotherapy career. I successfully treated people with all manners of traumatic experiences from being in airplane crashes to buried alive. Although I’m no longer in practice, trauma research still interests me.
“Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst asked more than 100 healthy adults to rate their emotional responses to a series of images, some depicting unsettling scenes. Twelve hours later, they rated the images again. The difference: Half of the subjects slept during the break; the other half did not.”
“Not only did sleep protect the memory, but it also protected the emotional reaction,” said Rebecca Spencer, a neuroscientist at UMass Amherst and co-author of the study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Study subjects who stayed awake for 12 hours had a weaker emotional response to the unsettling images the second time around, suggesting sleep serves to preserve and even amplify negative emotions. Their memories were also weaker than those of their well-rested counterparts, as they struggled to remember whether they had seen the images before.
Spencer said people often find it difficult to sleep after a traumatic event.
“This study suggests the biological response we have after trauma might actually be a healthy,“ she said. “Perhaps letting people go through a period of insomnia before feeding them sleeping meds is actually beneficial.”
While the findings may have implications for post traumatic stress disorder, Spencer emphasized that daily emotional ups and downs are not grounds for sleep deprivation.”
Although sleep gives the body some much-needed rest, the brain stays active. Spencer used polysomnography to monitor brain activity in some sleeping subjects.
“REM sleep in particular was associated with a change in how emotional you found something,” she said. “We think there are parts of the brain being activated during sleep that allow us to process those emotions more than during day.”
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College.
This was of personal interest to me given that the last several days I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. Seems my brain’s left inferior frontal gyrus was not gyrating. (jw)
P.S. Be patient while the video loads. If you don’t like what Tali says you will like how she looks (certainly not like a stereo-type neuroscientist).
In her own work, Sharot is interested in how our natural optimism actually shapes what we remember, and her interesting range of papers encompasses behavioral research (how likely we are to misremember major events) as well as medical findings — like searching for the places in the brain where optimism lives. Sharot is a faculty member of the Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences at University College London.”