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Brain chemicals, depression and mental health

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Just One Thing: Feel Whole. We’re pleased to bring you another installment of Rick Hanson’s Just One Thing (JOT) newsletter, which each week offers a simple practice designed to bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind and heart. When I look back on mistakes I’ve made—like dumping my anger on someone, making assumptions in haste, partying too much, losing my nerve, being afraid to speak from my heart—in all cases a part of me had taken over. You know what I mean. The parts of us that have a partial view, are driven by one aim, clamp down on other parts, really want to have a particular experience or to eat/drink/smoke a particular molecule, yammer away critically, or hold onto resentments toward others.

The mega part—the big boss—is of course the inner executive, the decision-maker, and driver (some call it the ego) centered in neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex, behind your forehead. You feel at home in yourself. Here we go. At home in wholeness. Why Do We Feel Awe? - Awe: For Altruism and Health? By now you’re probably mulling over some of your New Year’s resolutions – do five planks a day, eat more quinoa, keep better track of expenses.

Let me add one more to your list: seek more daily awe. Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world. Early in human history, awe was reserved for feelings toward divine beings – e.g., gods humans invoked in the village ritual houses that sprang up some 10,000 years ago, the spirits Greek families felt guarded over their fates, and encounters with the divine at the center of the world’s great spiritual traditions. In 1757, a revolution in our understanding of awe began thanks to Irish philosopher Edmund Burke. Today in our Berkeley lab when we study people’s narratives of awe, we find evidence of awe in the quotidian. A new science is now asking “Why awe?” Near to Berkeley’s Museum of Paleontology is a stand of eucalyptus trees, the tallest in North America.

Have something to say? Healing the Body with Mindfulness of Breathing. This excerpt from a talk by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to use mindfulness of breathing to bring loving-kindness to our dear bodies. The physical effect of this can be truly remarkable. As Thây says, “You should really love your body. You should really take care of your body. Mindful breathing, with rest, can do miracles. “ The First Exercise of Mindful Breathing My dear friends, yesterday I spoke about the first exercise proposed by the Buddha concerning mindful breathing: “Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in; breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out.”

We should always start with our physical bodies, because our physical bodies also needs peace, harmony and rest. We should realize a true rest. Animals in the forest, every time they are wounded, know how to rest. Deep relaxation here is one of the methods of resting. The Second Exercise of Mindful Breathing Do not try to prolong the breath; just allow it to be the way it is, naturally. Like this: CBT, Mindfulness, and Thinking. Mind & Life Institute — Building a scientific understanding of the mind to reduce suffering and promote well-being. How to Increase Dopamine Naturally | Be Brain Fit.

Stress-Anxiety-Depression.pdf. BulletinArt9. Understanding hormones helps us decipher the relationship between type and gender. [“Gender” is cultural while “sex” is biological.] We often associate hormones with adolescence, midlife and monthly cycles. However, the greatest influence on sex* is in the womb as the brain and body of the fetal boy or girl is developing. There are over eighty known hormones. Almost all affect personality.

At least seven vary greatly with gender. Testosterone Men produce ten times more testosterone than women, so even low testosterone men have more than any woman. A sense of separateness aggression and risk-taking sex drive (but not touch affection) and sexual fantasy anxiety or energy leading to poor concentration assertiveness and self-confidence visual-spatial ability and interest in moving things violent, criminal, or psychotic behavior In men, testosterone rises and falls in response to winning or losing one’s place in the social order, such as losing a game or gaining a promotion. Zen Life Anxiety-Crushing Ingredients. Psychotherapy Brown Bag: Attentional training in social anxiety disorder: A novel computer-based treatment approach.

By Michael D. Anestis, M.S. I came across a study this morning with startlingly impressive findings. What's more, the article was published in the most prestigious clinical psychology journal (Journal of Abnormal Psychology) and was written by several of my current colleagues at Florida State University and an FSU alum, and yet I did not know about it until just hours ago. This goes to show just how difficult it is to keep up with all of the research transpiring in this field, even when it takes place in the same building as my own office.

In this particular study, Brad Schmidt, Tony Richey, Julie Buckner, and Kiara Timpano (2009) investigated the potential utility of a computer-based intervention for social anxiety disorder (SAD) that aims to adjust the degree to which individuals with SAD attend to threat cues (e.g., facial expressions that might indicate others are evaluating them negatively). The difference between the two conditions was based on the placement of the probe. Sleeping Tricks - Effective Techniques For Falling Asleep. 23 Surprisingly Effective Treatments for Depression (One Year Later) For the live-updated, interactive version of this infographic, click here. A year ago, we published one of our most popular findings – 6 surprisingly effective treatments for depression.

I went ahead and repeated the analysis today, and now we have 23 treatments in the “surprisingly effective” category for depression. This chart is based on 4,956 people with depression who participated in CureTogether surveys, compared to 944 people last year. The top treatments are still exercise, sleep, and talking to others – they are popular and effective ways to feel better when you’re depressed. But here are 23 things you may not have tried that thousands of others say worked well for them: 1. Another new thing on this chart: alcohol was added as a treatment, and was rated to make depression worse instead of better. To navigate the graph above: Where did this data come from? This is part of our regular series of research findings.

Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness. Making sense of cognitive behaviour therapy. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that combines cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. It focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes (your cognitive processes) – and how this impacts on the way you behave and deal with emotional problems.

It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel. CBT tends to be short, taking six weeks to six months. You will usually attend a session once a week, each session lasting either 50 minutes or an hour.

Together with the therapist you will explore what your problems are and develop a plan for tackling them. CBT may focus on what is going on in the present rather than the past. CBT and negative thoughts CBT theory suggests that it isn't events themselves that upset you, but the meanings you give to them. How does negative thinking start? SBaGen -- Binaural Beat Brain Wave Experimenter's Lab. Intro | Mailing lists | Downloads | FAQ | TODO Intro Welcome to the world of Binaural Beats!

The theory behind binaural beats is that if you apply slightly different frequency sine waves to each ear, a beating affect is created in the brain itself, due to the brain's internal wiring. If, in the presence of these tones, you relax and let your mind go, your mind will naturally synchronize with the beat frequency. Here is a table from Calleman on how brain-wave frequencies relate to Earth layer boundary resonant frequencies: It is also possible to produce mixtures of brain waves of different frequencies by mixing binaural tones, and in this way, with practice and experimentation, it is reportedly possible to achieve rather unusual states, such as out-of-body stuff, and more. I should add that I have only read about the more advanced and unusual uses (OOBEs and so on). Downloads Available to download are: Full documentation, plus a ChangeLog, FAQ and TODO list. Additional information: Community.

Brain Wave Entrainment and Hypnosis. During hypnosis the brain shows a characteristic sequence of brain wave activity. This can now be artificially reproduced through the use of audio tones; a process known as brain wave entrainment. If you are in a particular state, for example, very anxious, then you will produce a unique 'signature' of brainwaves. This applies equally to other states, such as learning and the focused concentration of competitive sport.

These are states that can take a long time and a lot of physical effort to attain. It is an appealing idea that all that hard work and application could be bypassed and the perfect mental state produced through rapid artificial means. This page is going to show you how this is done. Firstly, we are going to review the different and the states that are generally associated with them. Secondly, we will look at that have been observed in people while undergoing hypnosis. Fourthly we will look at brain wave entrainment specifically with regard to . Types of Brain Waves ~200Hz 40Hz. Meditation May Protect Your Brain. For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering. Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work.

They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention — an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise. A team of Emory University scientists reported in early September that experienced Zen meditators were much better than control subjects at dropping extraneous thoughts and returning to the breath. The same researchers reported last year that longtime meditators don’t lose gray matter in their brains with age the way most people do, suggesting that meditation may have a neuro-protective effect. Where does all this lead? How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. SEX ADDS YEARS TO YOUR LIFE ... The Flashing Images above are designed to provide a "Mental Image" of what takes place when your brain's Pleasure Pathway is stimulated by activities associated with feeling good.

Science now believes positive stimulation of your built in reward system can add many quality years to your life. Few activities stimulate our pleasure pathway more than Sexual Intercourse........... Science has concluded our Pleasure Pathway plays a much greater role in our lives than just the survival of the species. It is now believed this Reward System has to be sufficiently stimulated as often as daily, if we are to feel, function and perform to our maximum potential.

Regular sexual activity is so beneficial to our health it is amazing how seldom it is discussed within this context. The intimacy and bonding you receive from remaining sexually active are more vital to your long term health than most people think. A Little Meditation Goes a Long Way. I consider myself something of a prospective meditator—meaning that a serious meditation practice is always something I’m about to start… next week. So for years, I’ve been making a mental note of new studies showing that meditation can literally change our brain structure in ways that might boost concentration, memory, and positive emotions. Jacob Wackerhausen The results seem enticing enough to make anyone drop into the full lotus position—until you read the fine print: Much of this research involves people who have meditated for thousands of hours over many years; some of it zeroes in on Olympic-level meditators who have clocked 10,000 hours or more. Pretty daunting. Well, a new study offers some hope—and makes the benefits of meditation seem within reach even for a novice like me.

The researchers tracked 16 people who were participating in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, the training program developed more than 30 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn.