Memory

The Science of Weakening Trauma and Becoming More Positive

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

NOTE: This article is intended for educational purposes only. If you are struggling with trauma, we highly recommend that you seek the help of a licensed therapist.


A sense of positivity is essential for our wellbeing. Positivity enables us to have a well-connected brain. Conversely, negativity triggers neurotoxins that poison the brain. Unfortunately, life is often harsh and tragic. It is hard to maintain a positive mentality when we experience horrible things. So, to live our lives to the fullest, we need to develop a skill-set that helps us stay rooted in a positive mindset in the midst of the traumas we experience over the course of our lives.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

For many, feelings of anger, fear and sadness from past traumas seem insurmountable. Once their traumatic memories are triggered, they become overwhelmed with debilitating emotions.

Fortunately, there are powerful, research-backed techniques that regulate and dramatically weaken these crippling feelings. Many trauma therapists suggest that if you do something pleasurable when a painful memory comes up, the pleasure interrupts the pain, anger, and fear sparked in the brain. Theory of memory strongly suggests that painful memories get altered when they are recalled in a relaxed and pleasant way. The next time the memory gets recalled, some of that relaxation and pleasure gets embedded into the memory circuit. The result is that the person does not feel the full impact of the original trauma. The trauma becomes neurologically weakened.

On the other hand, if you talk about or dwell on the trauma without being extraordinarily relaxed, you end up traumatizing yourself more. You end up strengthening that trauma in your brain.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

An outstanding way to achieve a relaxed state is to yawn, stretch, and then stroke your hands, arms or face in an exquisitely mindful and enjoyable way. Sensory-awareness through self-touch is a proven technique to increase one's sense of groundedness. It helps the brain build a stronger self-image. Meanwhile, the pleasurable sensations weaken the effects of the traumatic memory.

When in a relaxed state, you can more safely allow yourself to visualize and recall a trauma. It is best to limit your visualization to one small piece at a time. You can allow yourself to feel the feelings, and let them float away. This way, you end up turning down the volume of negativity in your mind.

Concurrently, whenever anything positive comes to mind, spend a moment to deeply connect and savor those feelings. Turn up the volume on thoughts about your successes, your confidence, and your positive self-esteem. By deeply experiencing the good, you wire your brain for positivity.

The #Science of Weakening #Trauma and Becoming More #Positive

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. The content was derived from the Neuro Coach Pro Certification Program training created by Mark Robert Waldman.


Need to Memorize Something? Audio Recall is Not Your Best Asset

Need to #Memorize Something? Audio Recall is Not Your Best Asset #memory

A new study by researchers at Univeristy of Iowa suggests you are far better at recalling information from some of your senses than others. Namely, people are wired to be much better at recalling sights and tactile sensations than audio information.


According to the study's press release:

"Participants were exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, and tactile sensations. They were then asked to listen to pure tones through headphones, look at various shades of red squares, and feel low-intensity vibrations by gripping an aluminum bar. Each set of tones, squares, and vibrations was separated by time delays ranging from one to 32 seconds.

Although student's memory declined across the board, when time delays grew longer, the decline was much greater for sounds and began as early as four to eight seconds after being exposed to them.

In a second experiment, the researchers tested participants' memory using stimuli they might encounter on an everyday basis. Participants listened to audio of dogs barking, watched silent videos of a basketball game, and touched and held objects blocked from view, such as a coffee mug. The researchers found that between an hour and a week later, students were worse at remembering the sounds they had heard, but their memory for visual scenes and tactile objects was about the same."


Need to #Memorize Something? Audio Recall is Not Your Best Asset #memory

Our minds are wired to excel at visual and tactile memory, but not auditory memory. On a practical level, this is good to keep in mind when you are trying to commit something to memory, or help others do the same.

When you are teaching somebody, try reinforcing the concepts with a visual aid. If you want to remember something, try creating an image of it. You can do this on paper, or in your mind's eye.

Encoding information as symbolic visuals in your imagination is a common technique used by memory competition participants. Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein, describes how in his popular TED talk.

 

By understanding and navigating our minds' strengths and weaknesses, we are better equipped to fulfill our goals. When it comes to memory, most people can achieve seemingly superhuman feats by leveraging the extraordinary strengths of the human brain.


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. The content was derived from the Neuro Coach Pro Certification Program training created by Mark Robert Waldman.


Study

Achilles’ Ear? Inferior Human Short-Term and Recognition Memory in the Auditory Modality
Bigelow J, Poremba A (2014) Achilles’ Ear? Inferior Human Short-Term and Recognition Memory in the Auditory Modality. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89914. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089914

 

This is Your Brain on Enlightenment

#Enlightenment Changes Your #Brain

Any understanding of Enlightenment is hard-won, but worth it. Analysis of the phenomena yields powerful insights about our brains.

Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman describe two types of enlightenment in their book How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain. There are the small-e enlightenments and capital-E Enlightenments.

Small-e enlightenment experiences help us understand the world in a different way. Big-E Enlightenment experiences change everything about who you are and your sense of reality.

Big-E Enlightenment is especially noteworthy because it creates life-altering experiences and significant changes to the brain. 

Enlightenment experiences are intense. Whatever sensations go with it get dramatically intensified. This intensity is reflected in the brain's limbic system (which processes emotion) and the parietal lobe (which organizes sensory information to create a sense of time, space, and self). The heightened emotional processing sears the experience into memory. 

People who have experienced Enlightenment often report a sense of profound unity and oneness. Scientific analysis confirms that brain activity is driving this experience. When people feel this sense of oneness, the parietal lobe (which handles constructing a sense of self and how we spatially relate to the world) quiets down.

One of the most important aspects of Enlightenment is that it is permanent. It rearranges the way our brains work for the rest of our lives. 

A key area involved is the thalamus. It's located deep inside the brain and some believe it is the seat of our consciousness. The thalamus is profoundly changed by Enlightenment experiences. If the thalamus changes, it changes one's perceptions of reality - the way one thinks about it, senses it, and interacts with it.

This is Your #Brain on #Enlightenment

Enlightenment experiences happen to every type of person. They often appear to occur spontaneously. However, they can be purposefully induced through meditative practices, transcranial direct stimulation, pharmacological substances like LSD, and other methods. These methods are regarded by some as inauthentic. However, Newburg suggests they can be seen as correctives to aid the brain to perceive reality in a clearer way - like putting on glasses to correct vision. 


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