Mindful Relationships

How Emotional Technology Can Enhance Your Life in the Future

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your Life in the #Future

Our pace of technological advancement is changing our lives exponentially. It's exciting to think about what is around the corner. We are set to travel vast distances in minutes. Space tourism is becoming a thing. Some scientists believe we may live past 1000 years old. Artificial intelligence is rapidly improving to spot patterns in overwhelming amounts of data. Yet, how technology can enhance our interior and empathic lives is often overlooked. According to Alain de Botton, future emotional technologies will profoundly enhance our lives. 

In this School of Life video, Alain explains three particular technologies he believes will be among the most impactful:

I: The Mood Reader
"One of the major sources of conflict and grief between people, especially in relationships, stems from how bad we are at explaining the contents of our minds to other people... When we are on the receiving end of inaccurately communicated feelings, we tend to make bad guesses about what might be going on in the other person. We get overly alarmed. We come up with jumpy, ungenerous stories... The Mood Reader will be able to give people close to us (whom we elect) beautifully expressed executive summaries of what we’re really feeling at a given point; laid out in ways that are accurate generous and imaginative - like something a great novelist would come up with. Currently, too often, a person in a couple will say in despair, after a long sulk or argument, 'how did you expect me to be a mind reader?' Technology will spare us the cumulative years of sulks and arguments by allowing us to be, for a time, just that."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

II: The Spouse Finder
"The Spouse Finder of 2050 will be an expert finding you a match. Partly because everyone on the planet will be registered with it, but just as importantly, because it will have such an acute understanding of our deepest needs and emotional vulnerabilities... The spouse finder will have a picture of our long-term development in its memory... The spouse finder will know us and others so well it'll have the authority to convince us when we do hit tricky patches with a partner it's found us, but for all its faults our relationship really is the best available for us. It'll give us the confidence to believe that the trickiness of our couple emerges not so much from the other person as from the inherent difficulty of being with anyone."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

III: Socrates
"Named after the world's greatest early philosopher, Socrates, who famously said that the first philosophical priority is to know yourself. Socrates will be a piece of wearable emotional technology that will make up for our failures of self-knowledge in real time. We imagine it as a kind of wearable life coach, with the total understanding of our mental health, who we are, and what we need to thrive emotionally. At key moments, Socrates will be on hand to temper our excesses and correct our emotional blind spots. It will know when we're getting to an angry outburst and counselors wisely before it's too late. It will sense mounting panic and be on hand immediately with the most soothing insights humanity has ever had. It will ween us away from unhelpful desires and compulsions towards more fruitful and enriching pursuits. It will know when we need an extra challenge. It will ensure that we can at all times be the best version of ourselves."

How Emotional #Technology Can Enhance Your #Life in the #Future

Alain concludes: 
"The promise of technology has always been that it will make life more convenient and less painful, but to date we haven't managed to focus on technological efforts on the biggest sources of discontent, which aren’t to do with the size of our phones or the speed of our planes, but with our emotional lives and the turmoil caused in them by our self-ignorance, cognitive frailty and in our blindness. That is the astonishing promise of the upcoming age of emotional technology."

The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.

How to Transcend and Hack Politics with Insights from Brain Science

How to #Transcend and Hack #Politics with Insights from #Brain #Science

Many recent studies show strong correlations between people's brain characteristics and politics. In fact, one study showed researchers could predict with 72% accuracy whether people were conservative or liberal based on their brain structures alone. Analysis of brain activity has been used to predict whether a person is Democrat or Republican with 83% accuracy.

Characteristics of The Liberal Brain

Greater Activity Processing New, Surprising, or Contradictory Information
Liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. This area processes new information and the impact of it on their choices.

Stronger Connectivity Linked to Empathy and Social Skills
Liberals tend to exhibit greater activity in the left insula - which is associated with social and self-awareness.

Resulting Personality Traits: Openness to the new. Values empathy more highly.

How to #Transcend and Hack #Politics with Insights from #Brain #Science

Characteristics of The Conservative Brain

Higher Sensitivity to Threats
Conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala, and it fires more rapidly than for liberals. This is a deep brain structure that works with fear-based emotion and triggers the flight or fight response. A study found that when conservatives hear a shocking noise, they exhibit more instinctual, fear-based reactions.

More Sensitive to Disgust
Complementary to the larger right amygdala, conservatives have more grey matter in the left insula - which is associated with feelings of disgust. One study showed a striking correlation between one's predisposition for disgust and a conservative ideology.

Resulting Personality Traits: Values stability and loyalty. Dislikes change.

All this said, having a liberal or conservative orientation is not always clear cut. There is a full spectrum of ideologies - and some are tidier than others. Yet, by understanding what is going on in the brain, we can gain a clearer understanding of what processes inform political stances. All information comes in through the brain, and each brain is paying attention to and ignoring different things.

Via TED Ed

The Morality of LIberals and Conservatives

Different brain structures contribute to different moral priorities.

Moral Foundation Theory identifies six cross-cultural pillars of human moral reasoning:

  1. Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm.
  2. Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating.
  3. Liberty: the loathing of tyranny; opposite of oppression.
  4. Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal.
  5. Authority or respect: obeying tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion.
  6. Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation.

After analyzing tens of thousands of survey responses, Jonathan Haidt found that conservatives tend to more equally value the pillars than liberals. Liberals do not tend to value loyalty, authority, and sanctity as much as conservatives do.

You can contribute to this ongoing study at YourMorals.org

Liberals are less likely to value authority and loyalty because they are often barriers to care, liberty and fairness. Conservatives are more likely to be in touch with the fragility of order and are more motivated to preserve it. Both of these orientations evolved because they have each been key to our survival.

How to #Transcend and Hack #Politics with Insights from #Brain #Science

Persuading Minds

Strategies for Persuading a Liberal

  • Provide novel new information that is science-based and/or factual
  • Do not appeal to doctrine or tradition
  • Try to speak to their point of view at an empathetic level

Strategies for Persuading a Conservative

  • Speak to values such as loyalty, stability and order
  • Speak within the context of any religious belief they may hold
  • Soothe any anxiety about change at an empathetic level
A lot of the problems we have to solve are problems that requires us to change other people. And if you want to change other people... first understand who we are. Understand our moral psychology. Understand that we all think we’re right…

Just try to see it as a struggle playing out in which everybody does think they’re right. Everybody at least has some reason. Even if you disagree with them, everybody has some reasons for what they’re doing. Step out. If you do that, that’s the essential move to cultivate more humility - to get yourself out of his self-righteousness which is the normal human condition.
— Jonathan Haidt
How to #Transcend and Hack #Politics with Insights from #Brain #Science

Tools for Discovering Your Brain's Political Disposition

Your brain can dramatically change over time, and so may your politics.
Here're some tools to give you a deeper insight into who you are now.

Chartsme.com Quiz
27 strange non-political scenarios will appear. Respond honestly and independently and it will predict your political ideology.

TIME Labs Prediction of Politics Quiz
Based on research by Sam Gosling. See how your preferences in dogs, Internet browsers, and 10 other items predict your partisan leanings.

Learn about your own morality, ethics, and/or values, while also contributing to scientific research.

The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren, Founder of MindFullyAlive.

18 Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with Jealousy

19 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.

The mammalian brain is primed for jealousy.
It is a staple of human interaction.
Any infringement on one's territory (land, family, lover, money, etc.) will stimulate a flight/fight/freeze reaction.
Unfortunately, unmanaged jealousy often leads to disaster for relationships.  

The mammailian #brain is primed for #jealousy


Bring mindfulness into your communication. Invite everyone involved to have a dialogue grounded in "Compassionate Communication." Share your deepest relationship values. Speak briefly and warmly. Listen deeply and ask everyone else to do the same. Share your vulnerability as you remain grounded in your deepest values. Wonderful things happen in a mindful conversation with anyone.

Research shows that the combination of a relaxed demeanor, gentle eye contact, a half-smile, slow speech, and a warm tone of voice builds trust and increases comprehension in the listener’s brain. Yet, even the slightest verbal or nonverbal expression of anger, irritability, or frustration can generate interpersonal conflict, releasing within a few seconds a cascade of stress neurochemicals in both the speaker’s and listener’s brain. Expressing negative emotions interrupts frontal lobe processes governing social awareness, collaboration, and executive decision-making.

Gentle eye contact, a half-smile, slow speech, and a warm tone of voice builds #trust

Here are the 12 Strategies of Compassionate Communication, documented in Words Can Change Your Brain. The first 6 steps are carried out before engaging in an important dialogue. The second 6 steps are applied throughout the conversation. When you speak, limit yourself to one or two sentences, and speak for 20 seconds or less. Why? Because we can only consciously hold four “chunks” of information in working memory for 10-20 seconds. During the training exercises, after each person speaks, they pause, relax, and listen deeply, paying close attention to the speaker’s facial expressions and tone of voice.

The Strategies

  1. Relax
  2. Stay Present
  3. Cultivate Inner Silence
  4. Increase Positivity
  5. Reflect on Your Deepest Values
  6. Access a Pleasant Memory
  7. Observe Nonverbal Cues
  8. Express Appreciation
  9. Speak Slowly
  10. Speak Warmly
  11. Speak Briefly
  12. Listen Deeply
18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

Preparation Strategies

1) Relax: Consciously relax your body (stretch, yawn, and breathe deeply for at least 30 seconds).

2) Stay Present - Intently focus on the present moment, being aware of your body sensations, feelings, and thoughts.

3) Cultivate Inner Silence - Take a few moments to clear your mind of distracting thoughts and feelings.

4) Increase Positivity - Envision a positive dialogue and outcome. Suspend negative thoughts, worries, and doubts.

5) Reflect on Your Deepest Values - Ask yourself these three questions: “What is my deepest personal value?” “What is my deepest relational value?” and “What is my deepest communication value as it pertains to this specific conversation?” When possible, share these values with your partner or colleague.

6) Access a Pleasant Memory - Think about someone you deeply love or an experience that brought you a deep sense of pleasure and satisfaction. Notice how this image or memory evokes a gentle half-smile and softens the muscles around your eyes and forehead. Maintain this expression throughout the conversation, coming back to it if you feel any degree of frustration, anxiety, or irritability.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

During the Dialogue

7) Observe Nonverbal Cues - Walk slowly into the meeting room and pay close attention to the nonverbal cues: facial expression, tone of voice, hand gestures, etc.

8) Express Appreciation - Open the conversation on a positive note, with a compliment or comment of appreciation.

9) Speak Slowly - Speak at about 2/3 of your normal rate. Average speech rate is 150 words/minute.

10) Speak Warmly - Research shows that when applied in healthcare situations, healing rates double.

11) Speak Briefly - Speak for 20 seconds or less, then relax and bring yourself back into the present moment.

12) Listen Deeply - Carefully observe the speaker’s facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. Listen non-defensively, without judgment, to the other person without interrupting. Avoid any negative language or facial expression, especially if you feel provoked by the other person’s words.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

When Dealing with Difficult Problems and Emotional Issues

1) Set up an appointment with an agreement to discuss the problem with kindness and warmth.

2) Agree to call for a time out (5 minutes to 2 days) when either person feels an increase in tension.

3) When intense conflicts break out, limit each person’s speaking to one brief sentence (about 10 seconds). This strategy often resolves problems quickly.

4) Don’t assume you know what the speaker meant; instead, ask for clarification. Research shows that each person gives a different meaning or value to nearly every spoken concept.

5) Monitor your “Positivity Ratio.” Fredrickson’s, Losada’s, and Gottman’s research found that when 5-7 positive expressions are generated for each negative comment, feeling, or thought a person has, relational satisfaction is enhanced and business productivity is increased.

6) Learn to read micro-expressions: Study Paul Ekman’s book Emotions Revealed.

18 #Science-backed Ways to Hack Interacting with #Jealousy

Check out Mark Waldman's free 6 Days to Enlightenment email series for information on how you can access enlightened states often and easily.