Human Nature

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Humans are mammals — ever alert to danger, vulnerable due our complex physiology, require nutrition and elimination of waste, have the need to procreate. 

We have an underlying necessity to be motivated — and this is basis of our emotional responses. We are curious, we have a compulsion to understand. — though we differ a lot in many aspects of our personalities. However in the absence of “motivating interests” many of us turn to alcohol or opiates.

We are the most numerous of the mammals due to control of our environments and its products, and our ability to cooperate and specialise.

Despite our complex physiology our basic Needs are met by apparently elementary operating systems — based on Safety, Attachment and Satisfaction, but with lots of choices.

Our uniquely human aspirations can transcend our basic Needs. However, Humans have not generally been adept at aspects of nurturing, educating and encouraging the development of our next generation.

The Therapist, David A Yeats, noted “Without an awareness of how humans unfold developmentally, we are more inclined to live passively, not consciously, not deliberately, and to feel a greater sense of being a Victim of Life , rather than a creator of what we believe in, value, or desire for our lives. rather than a creator of what we believe in, value, or desire for our lives” — ref 396

As with our complex physiology our operating systems are vulnerable to “toxins” — stress, malnutrition, germs, genetic disorders, etc. These give rise to a mix of mental and physical ailments.

We are unpredictable — intelligent, vulgar, cultured, tribal, imaginative, greedy, kind, aggressive, ……..!

Contents:
Overview
Humanity Genes
The Senses, Needs
The Mind As-if, Imagination, focus (add)
Brain & Nervous Systems
Emotions
Cognition
Cognition & Emotion
MindfulnessCompetences
LanguageHumour
Entertainment
Dealing with Needs
Development & Nurture
Gender
Tribalism Sectarianism
Other Problems?

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Overview:

How an individual deals with different situations, at any given juncture, depends on a complex of experience, temperament, ……. whatever.

Humans have evolved to develop language, education, music, science, technology, trade — yielding civilised productive communities with talented specialists. These are dynamic activities, ever-changing and competitive — read more ref809

The narrative of how this individual got to this juncture and got to their current personality will have depended on many situations and factors, but humans are aspiring and we also seek rewarding experiences — we take chances.

Our basic natures are the result of how humans evolved.

The Human Psyche is vulnerable. Often when things go wrong our Human Nature allows matters to get worse. In technical jargon we are not inherently “failsafe!”. This is a cost of mankind’s cravings for adventure and understanding.

The human offspring, because of its complexity, is slow to develop to basic self-sufficiency.

Growing and maintaining mobility, etc, requires regular nutrients, and waste disposal.

Meeting the basic needs for sustenance, shelter, safety, has enabled the development of social groupings.

We live in a technological world; superstitions still linger; greed-based errors cause hardships — so we have to cope with continuing challenges — but even as our basic nature changes through evolution we are much the same humans as we were many generations ago.

Our environment, with its climates, flora and fauna, is a provider but also a source of hazards and threats (Illness, rapists, insecurity, boredom, etc).

We Humans are driven by our Needs and our Reward System. Unfortunately our Reward System can malfunction, leading, for some of us, to one or more Addictions.

Our individual Genetic Program can also be defective from birth and vulnerable to later distortion — Gender complications are a current concern — yet to find a satisfactory resolution.

We are Aware of the World and other humans through our Conscious Mind — our Dub-Conscious Mind — and our Senses. This Awareness is limited as the incoming info. and its details are overwhelming. Risks to our well-being remain a possibility and our Nervous System functions by focusing first on our Safety — and if needed a quick response.

A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions do:– to appraise and summarize an experience — and inform your actions. But if an emotion is triggered, just how much should you pay attention to your visceral response and the thoughts it creates? As we experience life in our particular historic circumstances we should learn “Emotional Intelligence”. Unfortunately our learning capabilities — which can provide us with competences, talents and useful habits — can also lead us to learning prejudices, intolerance and other bad habits — ref108

Emotions are not particularly sophisticated or precise, but their speed and utility make up for what they lack in sophistication and precision. Emotions, when they are not disordered, provide information about your circumstances in a simple, quick way that does not involve a lot of cognition. So they attempt to tell you if a situation is optimal or not aligned with your goal, and how you might approach it.

Just as the Reward System can go wrong, our Emotional Responses can be upset following a traumatic experience. The responses can then become hypersensitive and react to stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.

The two most powerful functions of the developing Conscious Mind are:–
1. The ability to imagine that which is not real — success in sport, winning the lottery — lots!
2. The ability to direct your focus — Thinking hard, enjoying a pleasant event, getting bored, being Mindful, etc
Read More — ref738f:

Buddhist Philosophers imagined a “stream of consciousness” as the model of a link from sonscious to the sub-conscious — In is intuitively appealing. The names of the Moods and Emotions in the stream are Hell, Hunger, Instinct, Anger, Tranquility, Rapture, Learning, and Realization, and Helping.

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Humanity

Humans have adapted to living in different climates, to regimes, to travel — and to becoming adept at making and using tools and weapons, developing a system of communication through symbols and sounds, and developing social, political and economic system — but also to perpetrating dreadful cruel behaviour.

We need to accept our Human Nature — as it has evolved — and acknowledge that all aspects of human nature have a function — Fear, Anger, jealousy, greed, cruelty, disruptive tribalism, etc

Can we avoid the evil aspects of Humanity?

The Psychologist Oliver James visualized an ideal/Mature Human Adult as follows:

If you are this type it is relatively easy for you to become emotionally close to others. You are comfortable depending upon others and being depended upon by them, and don’t worry greatly about being alone or having others not accept us.

Adult romantic partners tend to be secure. When set a problem to solve with their partner, secure men are positive and supportive, trying to help rather than acting as a competitor or getting annoyed. Secure women are likely to seek emotional support from their man and to be happy to receive embraces or other physical expressions of affection and encouragement.

Secure couples have the least negative relationships of any combination of patterns – less critical, less conflict-ridden, more warm and friendly. The most common causes of rancour, like the man not spending enough time with the woman or disputes over the division of domestic labour, are less likely to be a problem. Followed over time, their relationships last longer and, if they include marriage, are less likely to end in divorce.

Such a person would be the beneficiary of sound genes, thoughtful nurture, a safe environment freedom from mental and physical ailments and addictions, etc. — even if wholly desirable it would take generations to change humanity.

We have a limited lifespan — we reproduce — and thus we can evolve.

Each generation has to grow from a zygote — the single cell resulting from the fertilization of the female egg cell by the male sperm cell. The basic program for our development is in our individual DNA. However, we have to learn to walk, talk, and so on, and in particular adapt to our social environment.


CCP209

The study of Epigenetics now indicates that the genetic instructions are altered by our experiences

From — ref 505
Epigenetics is providing explanations of how our diets, our exposure to toxins, our stress levels at work – even one-off traumatic events – might be subtly altering the genetic legacy we pass on to our children. It has opened up new avenues into explaining and curing illnesses that genes alone can’t explain, ranging from autism to cancer.
Read More — ref 505

Also see — ref 697

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The Senses & The Needs

The Senses
Our Nervous System is aware of our Environment and our Body through a range of SensesRef79 competing with our current Mood.

Earlier we use to refer to our five Senses – Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell & Touch. We now recognise a fuller list (21 items in a recent count): Thirst, Hunger, Ability to sense heat and cold, Pain, Balance, etc.

As we experience life, our Semses, Needs, and our complex of Memories (Conscious and U-nconscious) contend for Our Attention.

Our Senses evolved to provide data for our complex Nervous Systems — partly “Conscious” through our Central Nervous System and partly through our Autonomic Nervous System, in order:–
• To deal with some safety issues and to provide appropriate reflex responses — there is a fast response system.
• To deal with the multi-tasking of running a complex organism — an automatic, mainly sub-consvcious system
• To deal with extracting “meaning” of what is being sensed, and decide what to retain in memory –
• To balance this data with the complex of information and competences from previous experiences, and current attitudes —
Read More at Early learning is rapid though elementary.

The Needs

In order to cope and prosper, we employ a range of genetically programmed elementary Needs.

The range and intensity of our individual Needs are modified by our Experiences and Aspirations.  Our particular package of Needs (including aspirations and self-esteem) is a large part of our personality — – but our Needs change with time and our circumstances.

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, and freedom from fear.
3. Social Needs – belongingness, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.
4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others.
5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
— Clearly many are Complex Needs, and many also particularly apply to certain individuals and in certain circumstances.

Your particular package of Needs are a large part of personality – but your Needs change with time and your circumstances.

Our control systems are based on our Central Nervous System, our Autonomous Nervous System and our Endocrine (Hormonal) System

The Autonomous Nervous System detects, generally through one or more specific Senses, when there is a Need. If, for example, it was to deal with the need to eat, and we do so, then we become aware of pleasurable feelings — the “reward” system!. When the need fulfilled the “inhibiting” system takes over, and we should feel satisfied.

Meeting the basic needs for sustenance, shelter, safety, has enabled the development of social groupings.

So, we survive and commune, but we also compete; and our brains have evolved for these purposes.

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Awareness, the Mind — • As-If — • — Imagination

Two distinct ways of studying the Mind are:–
• By means of Biology, Neurology, etc
• Through seeking to help people through mental health problems and Self-Improvement practices — .Cognitive Behaviour Therapy — NLP — etc.

Starting with the Scientific contribution:–

The Mind of a human being comes into existence and slowly becomes more Aware as they experience — develop — and learn!.

Our Awareness is a combination of our Consciousness — what we see and hear, our feelings and moods — and — the Unconscious — our store of what we inherit — and our personal experience — emotions, habits, competences, opinions, prejudices and beliefs.

The consciousness debates have provoked more mudslinging and fury than most in modern philosophy, perhaps because of how baffling the problem is:– opposing combatants tend not merely to disagree, but to find each other’s positions manifestly preposterous — Ref522a Mystery of the Consciousness

Gustav Jung introduced his (Human) Collective Unconscious — ref748

This Collective Unconscious is described as that part of the mind — containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware — with aspects common to Mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain.

The two most powerful functions of the developing Conscious Mind has are — ref738f:
1. The ability to imagine that which is not real — success in sport, winning the lottery — lots!
2. The ability to direct your focus — Thinking hard, enjoying a pleasant event, getting bored, etc.

So, we imagine our awareness through our senses can be supplemented by “data” from our sub/un-conscious mind — a useful “model” or “construct”.

“I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein — ref793 science-of-imagination

Buddhist Philosophers imagined a “stream of consciousness” as the model of a link from sonsciousness to the sub-coscious — In is intuitively appealing. The names of the Moods and Emotions in the stream are Hell, Hunger, Instinct, Anger, Tranquillity, Rapture, Learning, and Realisation, and Helping.

They’re all present together, like so many ingredients in a stew. But at any given moment, depending on what you’re thinking or doing, or on what’s going on around you, you’ll experience one of these states on a priority basis (an intersting aside is that each element can have positive or negative aspects. This is a common feature in many models/conceptions – the best known of these being the Yin,Yang of Chinese Philosophy. Yin and Yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces).

We now know a lot about the biology and neurology of the “Mind”, but much remains to be understood, particularly for the interested lay-person. There is, for example, no agreement on the “Emotional Brain” — the Limbic System. However this should not deter us from a “functional model” that ignores brain structure and related models.

We have more understanding of that part of the brain and nervous system with respect to how the Autonomics System and its two modes of operation, which takes care of many of the bodily functions, both for “normal” responses and “demanding and threat” responses.

Therapist & Self-Help

A distinctive aspect of the self-help practitioners is their confidence in their beliefs!

The NLP beliefs have been expressed as follows:–

From — ref795 understanding your mind conscious and unconscious processing/

The challenge is that thinking and its derivative talking — conscious mind — is such a small part of the intelligence of the whole mind that therapies that are restricted solely to conscious mind analysis are not successful — The conscious mind has limited processing capabilities, compared to the unconscious mind..

A lot of psychological approaches have been built upon an alleged superiority of Conscious thinking, with therapists using methods to get the clients to think and talk their way out of a problem.

The conscious mind is dominated by the logic of natural language partitions represented in the narrative of a linguistic description.

George A Miller’s paper ‘The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two’ is often cited in NLP as a reference point for research into the limitations of our capacity for Conscious Awareness.

Miller suggests conscious processing is limited to just seven plus or minus two bits of information. We refer to the Conscious Mind as the representation of the immediate map you have conscious access to.

Your Conscious Mind expresses itself through your internal running commentary on the events you experience in any one moment.
Your Conscious Mind is the part of your mind that you are using to read and process these words.

As you look at this page you are saying the words in your mind, and as you derive meaning from the text, you establish how the meaning relates to you.

Your conscious mind is linear, sequential, and logical and likes everything to make sense. You may have heard the expression in NLP “he has an over-active Conscious Mind”.

This means the person seeks to logically understand everything (a real paradox), wants a label and explanation for his experience, finds it difficult to be in the moment or go with the flow, does not switch off from internal dialogue, and is often less aware of sensory experience.

Your Unconscious has amazing processing capabilities compared with the conscious mind. Research shows the Unconscious Mind absorbs millions of bits of sensory information through the nervous system in any one second. (very contentious — “deals with” is more plausible) ………..

Your Unconscious Mind expresses itself through feelings, habits, and sensations in your body i.e. pain, light-headedness, muscle tension. So-called emotions such as happiness, sadness etc are the conscious mind labels assigned to unconscious processes such as electrical chemical reactions in the nervous system.

The emotion is felt in the body as sensations; we nominalise the experience in the body and talk about emotions — often losing touch with the true feeling.

Example of harnessing the unconscious communication for change — unconscious communication through pain sensation

Read details at ref795 — understanding your mind conscious and unconscious processing/

It involves a “Conversation with the Unconscious” as follows:
“Unconscious, for a yes response will you please increase the sensations in my lower back.”
I experienced a sharp increase in the pain. I thanked my unconscious for the signal and sensations returned to the level before I asked the question …..

It concludes —
The so-called problems in life are only there because the communication between the conscious and unconscious part of mind has not been effective!

Remember the conscious and unconscious mind do not exist inside your mind, the labels are given to package different process that occur in the nervous system.

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As-if — Pretending

This proposed the self-perception view of emotion that behaviours cause feelings.

Subsequent research has shown that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

Our everyday experience tells us that our emotions cause us to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes us smile, and feeling sad makes us frown. Case closed, mystery solved. However, James became convinced that this commonsense view was incomplete and proposed a radical new theory.

James hypothesised that the relationship between emotion and behaviour was a two-way street, and that behaviour can cause emotion

For 10 quick and effective exercises that use the As If principle to transform how you think and behave. – see How to change

“Act the Part, action not plans!

It helps if you are interested or are motivated in some way.

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Imagination

From — ref793 cience-of-imagination

“I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

Imagination draws on our experiences and knowledge of the world around us and combines them with the complete unknown to make something new.

Both neurologists and psychologists agree that play in early childhood is necessary for children to develop at a normal rate and to reach their full potential.

Read More — ref793

From — ref792 Function of Imagination and its emergence

A child’s imagination typically emerges between two and five years of age. Closely linked with expressive language, these two skills often take-off together. Imagination is a marker of cognitive growth at certain age stages — it can serve many important functions. Imaginary play is a way for children to solidify their understanding of the world around them and set events to memory.

Depending on how you define the imagination, you can either see it as disappearing or waning during childhood or you can see it the way the author does, as persisting throughout life.”

Read More — ref792 Function of Imagination and its emergence

From — ref794 ways-to-increase-imagination-creativity

Imagination is an integral part of the human mind that covers both the creative and learning spheres. Increasing one’s imagination creates possibilities. It is considered to be the creative faculty of the mind that helps a person in process oriented activities, such as thinking, memorizing, remembering, or opinion forming. A rich imagination can enable a person to pursue and accomplish many great things. There are various ways to enrich one’s imagination how one can enrich imagination.

Open your mind to unexplored paths. Creativity is often tagged together with originality. To come up with new ideas may be challenging and even oftentimes daunting, as unexplored paths may pose unexpected threats. It is also an avenue where one can find genuine ideas that can result to a successful endeavor.

• Read more. Creativity and imagination is sparked by learning. One’s willingness to learn new things gauges one’s ability to accept and adapt to change. It improves one’s adaptability to imaginative reasoning and creative thinking.

• Tell stories. People love to listen to stories and each person has a story to tell. Practice imaginative and creative thinking by telling as many stories as you can. Let it be descriptive. Let it allow you and your listener to visualize what is being told. Visualization is an important part of increasing imagination. Visualization is often perceived as one’s ability to create a clear and vivid picture in the mind. Yet this concept entails various senses as well. Visualization also involves one’s sense of touch, smell, taste, and other senses. Visualization enables you to imagine the story being told or the object being described. The more imaginative and creative the mind becomes, the more elaborate one’s visualizations can be.

• Be curious. Learning new things sparks creativity and increases imagination. A part of learning new things is being curious. Children tend to be more imaginative because of their curious nature. Our inherent nature to seek answers or to learn new things does not disappear over age. Feed curiosity by learning and experiencing new things and notice how your imagination improves. Feed your curiosity by asking questions and build your ideas with the help of insight from others.

Open your mind to unexplored paths. Creativity is often tagged together with originality. To come up with new ideas may be challenging and even oftentimes daunting, as unexplored paths may pose unexpected threats. It is also an avenue where one can find genuine ideas that can result to a successful endeavor.

• Read more. Creativity and imagination is sparked by learning. One’s willingness to learn new things gauges one’s ability to accept and adapt to change. It improves one’s adaptability to imaginative reasoning and creative thinking.

• Tell stories. People love to listen to stories and each person has a story to tell. Practice imaginative and creative thinking by telling as many stories as you can. Let it be descriptive. Let it allow you and your listener to visualize what is being told. Visualization is an important part of increasing imagination. Visualization is often perceived as one’s ability to create a clear and vivid picture in the mind. Yet this concept entails various senses as well. Visualization also involves one’s sense of touch, smell, taste, and other senses. Visualization enables you to imagine the story being told or the object being described. The more imaginative and creative the mind becomes, the more elaborate one’s visualizations can be.

• Open your mind to unexplored paths.
• Read more.
• Tell stories.
• Be curious.
• Don’t be afraid to try something new.
• Expand your interests.
• Develop your talents.
• Spend time with creative people.
• Look at things differently.
• Condition your mind to relax through meditation techniques.

Read More — 794 ref794

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Brain & Nervous Systems

The following systems control all the normal functioning of a human organism:–
• The Nervous System — a Central nervous system (CNS) and a Peripheral one (PNS)
• The Endocrine (Hormone) System
• The Enteric System deals with our Digestive needs.

These systems:
• Sense your external and internal surroundings
• Communicate information between your brain and spinal cord and other tissues
• Coordinate voluntary movements
• Coordinate and regulate involuntary functions like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, including cranial and central nerves. The brain is the centre of the nervous system. The spinal cord and nerves are the connections, like the switches/gates and wires in a computer.

From — ref156 new-brain-old-brain-mindfulness

OLD BRAIN – responsible for human drives and shared with many other animals
1. Motives (Safety, Food, Sex, Relationship Seeking, Caring, Status)
2. Emotions- guide us to our motivations/goals and respond if we are succeeding or threatened directs our Attention (what we notice and jumps out at us), Thoughts, Actions and Behaviours
3. Behaviours, which direct Whether we approach or avoid situations (Fight/ Flight) or even if we shut down

NEW BRAIN – responsible for
• Imagination, Creativity
• Planning
• Integration (fitting new and old pieces of information together in a way that makes sense to us to create a cohesive whole)
• Rumination (when we get stuck analyzing, and thinking about things, trying to “figure it out”)

Old Brain and New Brain do not always act in harmony. Sometimes Strong emotional content can be activated by Old brain which can unduly bias the new brain, creating a loop where because we are activated (ie. feeling threatened) we notice and think of things that keep us activated which makes us continue to feel threatened.

It is also important to remember that because we are a social species, emotional threats are experienced as intensely as physical ones!

The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is subdivided into:
o Sensory-somatic system — providing awareness and movement
o Autonomic system – that involuntary parts of the body, including the muscles of the heart, the digestive system, and the glands.

The Parasympathetic mode of the Autonomic system is a homeostatic “housekeeping” system. Much of its resources may be transferred to the Sympathetic mode when required

The Sympathetic mode of the Autonomic system is designed for fight-or-flight reactions in an emergency. Activation of the sympathetic system is usually general as a single neutron triggers all activating neurons.

The Autonomous Nervous System detects when there is a Need , generally through one or more specific Senses.  If, for example, it was to deal with the need to eat, and we do so, then we become aware of pleasurable feelings — the “reward” system!.  When the need fulfilled the “inhibiting” system takes over, and we should feel satisfied.

Central connections from the Limbic system (forebrain, hypothalamus, and brain stem) regulate the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems.

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of cranial and spinal nerves that connect the CNS to other portions of the body, along with sensory receptors and ganglia — ref753

Nerves carry signals to and from different areas of the nervous system as well as between the nervous system and other tissues and organs – thus exerting point-to-point control through nerves, similar to sending messages by conventional telephone. Nervous control is electrical in nature and fast.

Nerves are divided into 4 classes:
o Cranial nerves connect your sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, mouth) to your brain
o Central nerves connect areas within the brain and spinal cord
o Peripheral nerves connect the spinal cord with your limbs
o Autonomic nerves connect the brain and spinal cord with your organs (heart, stomach, intestines, blood vessels, etc.)


CCP212 — ref 692

Transmission of Nerve Signals – there are two distinct types of connections: chemical and electrical. a href=”https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-neuron-2794890″ target=”_blank”>ref755 Neurons and Their Role in the Nervous System

A neuron is a nerve cell that is the basic building block of the nervous system. Neurons are specialized nerve cells that are responsible for communicating information in both chemical and electrical forms. There are many different types of neurons in the body, and they’re classed by the direction in which they send information. Neurons release chemicals known as neurotransmitters for dispatch to the other neurons.

• Sensory neurons carry information from the sensory receptor cells throughout the body to the brain — are in the dorsal root ganglion of the spinal cord
• Motor neurons transmit information from the brain to the muscles of the body — in the gray matter.
• Interneurons are responsible for communicating information between different neurons in the body — are limited to a single brain area — ref756


CP124a

Different neurotransmitters tend to act as:
• Excitatory – such as Acetylcholine, Glutamate, Aspartate, Noradrenaline, Histamine) or
• Inhibitory – such as GABA, Glycine, Seratonin), while some (e.g. Dopamine) may be either.

If a neuron responds to a stimulus, its axon sends an all-or-nothing electrical signal called an action potential down to its axonal terminal. Action potentials are the way the brain receives, processes, and conveys information.

Actually all the functions of the body depend on these neurotransmitters like heart beats when it receives signals from the brain.


CP125
The Limbic system plays a key role as the emotional regulator and as an essential part of this it processes incoming data;

From — ref768 Dealing with Incoming Data — Reticular Formation information processing

The reticular activating system (RAS) is the portal through which nearly all information enters the brain. (Smells are the exception; they go directly into your brain’s emotional area.)

The primary action of the RAS is to prevent information overload by acting as a preliminary, coarse sieve, a filter that serves to avoid overburdening the brain with extraneous data.

The RAS filters the incoming information and affects what you pay attention to — how aroused you are — and what is not going to get access to your brain — in doing so it also helps mediate transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high attention.

The RAS responds to:
• Anything that threatens your survival
• Information that you need immediately — For instance, if you’re looking for a computer file that you’re sure you placed on your desk, your RAS alerts your brain to search for the name of the file or focus on one word in the filename to help you find it.
• Novelty. You notice anything new and different.

The RAS is composed of several neuronal circuits connecting the Brain-stem to the Cortex.

These pathways originate in the upper Brain-stem reticular core and project through synaptic relays to the Cerebral Cortex.

The neuronal circuits of the RAS are modulated by complex interactions between a few main neurotransmitters.

The RAS balances synergistic and competitive actions in order to regulate Thalamo-Cortical activity and the corresponding behavioural state.

There is increased regional blood flow (presumably indicating an increased measure of neuronal activity) in the Mid-brain during tasks requiring increased alertness and attention.

This information is then input to the Thalamus (which processes all information coming in to the CNS, except that derived from smell).

Once classified by the Thalamus, this information is immediately dispatched to two generic places:
• The sensory regions of the, Cerebral Cortex, where it will be processed further, and, possibly, eventually stored elsewhere following delayed, conscious perception; and
• The limbic System to effect instantaneous responses to potential threats.

All sensory inputs to the Neo-cortex are relayed through the thalamus, except for the olfactory.

In the limbic system -– Amygdala and Hippocampus — the second level of information-processing — sensory inputs are fine-tuned through the process of “stimulus-coding”.

The coding “tags” the information to give it temporal/sequential significance for subsequent filing away in memory, and for recall (the Somesthetic Cortex will use this information later — This is region in the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex in which lie the terminations of the axons of general sensory conduction pathway).

More importantly, however, the Limbic system evaluates the data that the Thalamus has classified, to determine its potential threat to the safety of the organism.

For the latter purpose, the data travels in series pathways, first through the Amygdala, and second through the Hippocampus.

If the Amygdala senses “threat,” real or imagined, it issues forth a distress message, an “SOS” error signal, that mobilizes control systems into action; it also truncates any further processing by the Hippocampus.

These distress signals are in the form of outgoing motor compound action potentials. Motor signals trigger the release from target organs and tissues of corresponding Neurotransmitters and hormones that elicit a “fight-or-flight” response.

Only when the Amygdala sounds an “all clear” does information track next through the Hippocampus, for additional stimulus-coding and processing en route to the “higher” centers in the Cerebral Cortex.

There are three important things to remember:–
• The road to higher cerebral centers travels first through the older paleoencephalon and, within the latter, first through the Amygdala of the Limbic system.
• As long as the Amygdala is in “alert” perceived-threat mode, all roads lead to “fire stations, rescue squads, emergency services, and hospitals.” Indeed, when active, the amygdala actually inhibits the activity of the hippocampus (but not the other way around), causing it to start to self-destruct (degenerate) if the amygdala-driven alert mode of information-processing persists for extended periods of time.
• As long as the Amygdala is in alert mode, all roads through the Hippocampus to “universities, libraries, Institutions of Higher Learning,” and cognitive cerebral centers are completely blocked. It is an exercise in futility to try to reason with anybody in a perpetual alert state. Instead, one must emote with a person in this state, which is why music is so effective as a driving function that “kicks” the system out of its perpetual fight-or-flight mode.

If the Amygdala signifies that all is well, information filtered by the RAS, classified by the Thalamus, and evaluated and prioritized by the Limbic system passes on through the Hippocampus to the cognitive regions of the cerebral cortex.

Here, the final stop in the hierarchy of information-processing channels may be storage in tertiary memory, because the body always reserves the option to discard unwanted information at any step along the processing pathways.

Once the information is in final memory, however, it is there forever, barring physical damage to the brain in the region where that data is stored.

To further the effectiveness of all physiological function, the body also operates according to two guiding principles.

First, it attempts to economize on energy expenditure. The more scientists learn about the physiology of the human body, the clearer it becomes that this organism operates according to a minimum-energy principle, an optimization scheme. All metabolic processes, mechanical outputs, feed-back/ feed-forward control mechanisms, and so on, take the path of least resistance in an attempt to optimize performance and at least minimize the rate of loss of usable energy.

Second, the body attempts to economize on the utilization of space for the storage and handling of raw materials and/or information. This it does in basically three ways, it:–
• It stores ingredients, not products. (Convergence Zones for Language)
• It draws upon fractal principles to create complicated geometric shapes and configurations that fit neatly into tight quarters, yet maximize their functional capacity
• It discards any and all information for which it has no perceived need. Unlike many, the human body is not a pack rat.

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Emotions

Emotions rule our daily lives. We make decisions based on whether we are happy, angry, sad, bored, or frustrated. We choose activities and hobbies based on the emotions they incite.

Emotions, Feelings, Moods vary in terms of Intensity and Duration.

Feelings are private to the person.

Emotion is distinguished from “mood” based on the period of time that they are present; a mood lasts longer than an emotion.

Interchangeably used with emotion, “affect” is the experience of emotion, and is associated with how the emotion is expressed (as seen on facial expressions or hand gestures).

Basic emotions possess motivational properties of their own. For example, happiness motivates a person to achieve better performance.

They result:
• From the Senses — from the Outside or the Body, or
• From the Sub-Conscious.
• A combination

If a “threat” is encountered then an immediate Instinctive Response may be required — But early on any Response/Emotion may be modified by our Emotional Intelligence capabilities — this may include perceiving an emotion in one or more other individuals

Whether triggered from without or within, emotions produce major changes all through the body. most notably in muscle-tone, energy level, tone of voice, and facial expressions. They signal organs and muscle groups, accelerate or decelerate cardiovascular rates, and mute or exaggerate messages of pain, deprivation, and pleasure — vary considerably in intensity and duration

CCP220, ref788

From — ref788 Emotions and Energy
What we think of as emotion is the experience of energy moving through the body. This is generally felt as sensations of contraction such as tension or expansion such as calm. The Latin derivative for the word emotion, ‘emotere’, literally means energy in motion.

Understanding that emotions are energy implies that they are fluid, moving resources meant to be felt and released versus suppressed and ignored. The latter is the true culprit of low emotional intelligence and stress burnout.

The emotional brain is considered to have executive power in the brain. It influences all decision making, thought processes, memories, and present experiences. Your ability to understand, deal with, and effectively use your emotional energy is vital to your happiness levels.

The sensations you feel in your body hold the key to unlocking limiting patterns, transforming stress, and generating lasting happiness. Your body gives a constant stream of reliable information about your experience in the form of sensation. It’s a library of who you are at the deepest level, including all that has happened to you and all that you dream about. Understanding your body sensations will transform your life.

Sensory and emotional information is recorded into memory first; thoughts and perceptions, second. This distinction provides clues for increasing emotional intelligence while pointing out the limitations of purely thought-based approaches.

Read More — ref788 Emotions and Energy

From — ref 653 Function of Emotions and Awareness

We scarcely experience the world apart from our emotional response to it.

Emotions are more physiological than psychological

Any significant disruption of familiar sensory patterns triggers a biological response, commonly called emotion.

This enables us to respond immediately to indications of danger.

Whether triggered from without or within, emotions produce major changes all through the body. most notably in muscle-tone, energy level, tone of voice, and facial expressions. They signal organs and muscle groups, accelerate or decelerate cardiovascular rates, and mute or exaggerate messages of pain, deprivation, and pleasure.

In general, only changes in the body or environment that produce emotion are noticed.
Components of Emotion:
• Arousal (energy)
• Motivation
• Feelings

People around you will be focused on the situation and their own emotional responses to it.

They are unlikely to give the same meaning to the feelings you’re trying to explore or express.
Read More — ref 653

From — Key elements of emotions (ref365)
Emotions rule our daily lives. We make decisions based on whether we are happy, angry, sad, bored, or frustrated. We choose activities and hobbies based on the emotions they incite.

There are three key elements:–
• Subjective experience
• Physiological response
• Behavioral response.

Subjective experience — While we have broad labels for emotions such as “angry,” “sad,” or “happy,” your own experience of these emotions may be much more multi-dimensional, hence subjective.

Physiological Response — Many of the physiological responses you experience during an emotion, such as sweaty palms or a racing heartbeat, are regulated by the Sympathetic Nervous System

Behavioural response — Many expressions are universal, such as a smile to indicate happiness or a frown to indicate sadness. Socio-cultural norms also play a role in how we express and interpret emotions.
Read More — Key elements of emotions (ref365)

From —ref530 Body and Emotionsemot
Our emotional system in the brain sends signals to the body so we can deal with our situation:

CCP167 Self-reported body maps reveal areas in the body where certain sensations may increase (warm colors) or decrease (cool colors) for a given emotion — caution — self-reporting may be misleading!
Read More — ref530

CCP220

See also The Emotional Brain — (ref 140)

Emotions as they are experienced can be broken into three categories:

  • primary emotions,
  • secondary emotions, and
  • background emotions.

Primary emotions are experienced as a byproduct of a stimulus-response chain of events — these emotional responses have, to some degree, been hardwired in our brains over the course of evolution. Fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and joy are the “chairs of the board” of primary emotions.

Secondary and background emotions are the product of an internal feedback loop.

While the emotions involved in primary emotional reactions can also play a part in secondary and even as background emotions, nonprimary emotions are more likely to be some dues-paying subsidiary of a primary emotion — For instance, fear as a secondary emotion might feel more like anxiety, stress, or shyness; secondary emotions related to joy might be experienced as ecstasy, pleasure, or amusement.

Depression can be caused by a thought pattern called rumination and it can result from focussed thought, In the depressed state these ruminations are compromised by wrong and negative interpretations. As no natural reward transpires then no relief seems attainable.

The above reference on “What is Depression”, notes the following, including the loneliness aspect — Many other symptoms of depression make sense in light of the idea that analysis must be uninterrupted.

The desire for social isolation, for instance, helps the depressed person avoid situations that would require thinking about other things.

Similarly, the inability to derive pleasure from sex or other activities prevents the depressed person from engaging in activities that could distract him or her from the problem. Even the loss of appetite often seen in depression could be viewed as promoting analysis because chewing and other oral activity interferes with the brain’s ability to process information.

Boredom is a signal that you need to try something different

From — ref741b Purpose of Emotions
Emotions are what makes us tick:
• Emotions Can Motivate Us to Take Action
• Emotions Help Us Survive, Thrive, and Avoid Danger
• Emotions Can Help Us Make Decisions — Intuition?
• Emotions Allow Other People to Understand Us
• Emotions Allow Us to Understand Others — gestures and expressions

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence: traits and skills that promote positive social behavior, recognizing emotions, and the capacity to use the information in productive and useful ways
From — ref759 Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence — is the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

It has three skills, though we can learn them, practice them, and then use them:
• Emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions;
• The ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking
• Problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions — which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and cheering up or calming down other people.

What are Emotions? —
From — ref125 .Eemotions, moods, Sentiments and Personality Traits
• Moods are affective states that last longer than emotions, usually for hours or days.
• Sentiments are directed at something
• Emotional traits are personality characteristics — Learned Attitudes

An Emotion is a reward or punishment for a specific motivated behaviour.

Emotion is different from “feelings” because feelings subjectively represent emotions, which means that feelings are only private to the person.

Also, emotion is distinguished from “mood” based on the period of time that they are present; a mood lasts longer than an emotion.

Interchangeably used with emotion, “affect” is the experience of emotion, and is associated with how the emotion is expressed (as seen on facial expressions or hand gestures).

Basic emotions to possess motivational properties of their own. For example, happiness motivates a person to achieve better performance.

Any significant disruption of familiar sensory patterns triggers a biological response, commonly called emotion.

in how we think and behave. The emotions we feel each day can compel us to take action and influence the decisions we make about our lives, both large and small.

The Limbic System, described by some as the “Emotional Brain”” is also the path for more than a trillion bits of information about the world that bombard our senses at any given moment. This enables a prompt response to any perceived threat

The Limbic system plays a key role in the regulation of emotions – and it also processes memory.

These two states, emotions and memories, interconnect to form emotional memory, which produces the child’s responses to situations, experiences and learning.

These two states, emotions and memories, interconnect to form emotional memory, which produces the child’s responses to situations, experiences and learning.

When not functioning properly due to injury or impairment, the limbic system becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.

They have enormous power to enhance, distort, or totally disrupt other mental processes. For instance, intense interest can make thoughts and ideas flow profusely, while shame makes it all but impossible to concentrate.

This is particularly the case when the link between the Limbic System and the Mindful part of the brain is damaged due to Trauma

Our emotions can be short-lived, such as a flash of annoyance at a co-worker, or long-lasting, such as enduring sadness over the loss of a relationship. But why exactly do we experience emotions? What role do they serve?
REf741b
• Emotions Can Motivate Us to Take Action
• Emotions Help Us Survive, Thrive, and Avoid Danger
• Emotions Can Help Us Make Decisions
• Emotions Allow Other People to Understand Us
• Emotions Allow Us to Understand Others

Help Us Make Decisions! — Even in situations where we believe our decisions are guided purely by logic and rationality, emotions play a key role. Emotional intelligence, or our ability to understand and manage emotions, has been shown to play an important role in decision-making.

But, it’s not always critical, and much more suchible

ref757 The function of emotions

A similar pattern disruption process monitors bodily functions. Changes in states like pain, pleasure, hunger, thirst, body temperature, and respiratory rate trigger emotions.

Whether triggered from without or within, emotions produce major changes all through the body, most notably in muscle-tone, energy level, tone of voice, and facial expressions.

They signal organs and muscle groups, accelerate or decelerate cardiovascular rates, and mute or exaggerate messages of pain, deprivation, and pleasure.

They have enormous power to enhance, distort, or totally disrupt other mental processes. For instance, intense interest can make thoughts and ideas flow profusely, while shame makes it all but impossible to concentrate.

The Components of Emotion are:
• Arousal
• Motivation
• Feelings

Arousal

Abnormally high levels produce over-stimulation, obsessions, compulsions, insomnia, or mania.

Periods of low arousal permit relaxation, letting go, or numbing out. Abnormally low levels of arousal create depression, muted emotions, or hypersomnia.

Read More — ref 653 Emotions and Awareness

Motivation

If the change stimulating the emotion seems promising, the usual response is interest or enjoyment, which motivate various approach behaviors to “sense more, learn more, get more.”

If the change seems dangerous, anger, fear, or disgust emerges with motivation to attack (devalue) or avoid.

Motivation is the most important component of emotions. We cannot understand ourselves or other people without understanding motivation.

We almost always fail to act in our best interests when we ignore motivation.

Types of Motivation:
• Those that foster growth and empowerment.
• Those that have survival importance but are scarcely helpful in negotiating the complexities of most modern problems

(Some of the examples given require a sensible re-definition of conventional understanding)

Feelings

The subjective experience of emotions—what they feel like—dominates our conceptions about them.

Trying to understand or change emotions through focus on how they feel is like trying to understand and change intestinal gas through focus on discomfort.

From — ref741a The Function of emotions (and data selection) at end

Emotions play an important role in how we think and behave. The emotions we feel each day can compel us to take action and influence the decisions we make about our lives, both large and small.

In order to truly understand emotions, it is important to understand the three critical components of an emotion:
• A subjective component (how we experience the emotion),
• A physiological component (how our bodies react to the emotion),
• An expressive component (how we behave in response to the emotion).

These different elements can play a role in the function and purpose of our emotional responses.

Our emotions can be short-lived, such as a flash of annoyance at a co-worker, or long-lasting, such as enduring sadness over the loss of a relationship. But why exactly do we experience emotions? What role do they serve?

• Emotions Can Motivate Us to Take Action
• Emotions Help Us Survive, Thrive, and Avoid Danger
• Emotions Can Help Us Make Decisions
• Emotions Allow Other People to Understand Us
• Emotions Allow Us to Understand Others

Help Us Make Decisions! — Even in situations where we believe our decisions are guided purely by logic and rationality, emotions play a key role. Emotional intelligence, or our ability to understand and manage emotions, has been shown to play an important role in decision-making.

Read More — ref741a Function of emotions (and data selection)

From — ref741c What are Emotions Structure and Function of Emotions

This paper attempts to coin a stipulative definition of “emotions” to determine their functions. In this sense, “emotion” is a complex phenomenon consisting of an accurate (reliable) determination of the state of affairs in relation to the state of the subject and specific “points of adaptation”.

Apart from the cognitive aspect, this phenomenon also includes behavior, physiological changes and expressions (facial expression, voice, posture), feelings, and “execution” of emotions in the nervous system. Emotions fulfill informative, calibrating, identifying, existential, and motivating functions. Emotions capture the world as either positive or negative, important or unimportant, and are used to determine and assign weightings (to set up a kind of hierarchy). They emerge automatically (involuntarily), are difficult (or hardly possible) to control and are (to some extent) influenced by culture.

Conclusion Taking into account the general considerations outlined above, a stipulative definition of “emotion” can be coined. I understand the term “emotion” as a complex phenomenon accurately (reliably) describing the (anticipated) state of affairs, which is reliable in terms of the state of the subject and specific “points of adaptation” (standards).

“Emotion” is functional, it emerges automatically (involuntarily), it is difficult (or hardly possible) to control and is (to some extent) influenced by culture. Emotions go hand in hand with perceptive, intellectual, and memory processes; the beneficiaries of emotions are the subjects of emotions and, to put it metaphorically, the replicators when considering the final element of maintaining stability in nature.

Emotions also perform existential, identifying, calibrating, and motivating functions. Emotions capture the world as either positive or negative, important or unimportant, and are used to determine and assign weightings (prioritize). They are a kind of gestalt from the cognitive perspective (at the level of conscious feelings), actions (behavior), physiological changes, expression, and the executor (the nervous system).

Read More — ref741c What are Emotions Structure and Function of Emotions

From — ref741b Purpose of Emotions

Read More — ref741b Purpose of Emotions

Ref 360 motivation-and-emotion (ref360)

Motivation is the “arousal, direction and persistence of a person’s behaviour”.

Most theorists who proposed their own explanation of motivation believe that any learned behaviour cannot be executed unless it is energized. Thus, motivation is important in performing all kinds of behaviour. Also, this means that any changes in motivation reflect on an individual’s behaviour.

What is Emotion?

Emotion is different from “feelings” because feelings subjectively represent emotions, which means that feelings are only private to the person.

Also, emotion is distinguished from “mood” based on the period of time that they are present; a mood lasts longer than an emotion.

Interchangeably used with emotion, “affect” is the experience of emotion, and is associated with how the emotion is expressed (as seen on facial expressions or hand gestures).

Basic emotions to possess motivational properties of their own. For example, happiness motivates a person to achieve better performance.

Emotions is a reward or punishment for a specific motivated behaviour.


CCP184

Ref 361 Ref361 Psychology of motivation

The Limbic system plays a key role in the regulation of emotions – and it also processes memory..

These two states, emotions and memories, interconnect to form emotional memory, which produces the child’s responses to situations, experiences and learning.

These two states, emotions and memories, interconnect to form emotional memory, which produces the child’s responses to situations, experiences and learning.

When not functioning properly due to injury or impairment, the limbic system becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.

A number of factors can significantly impair Limbic System function Psychological and/or Emotional Trauma.

Central connections from the Limbic system (forebrain, hypothalamus, and brain stem) regulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

When not functioning properly due to injury or impairment, the limbic system becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.


Figure 212

Role Of the Autonomic Nervous System in Emotion

ref154 ANS and emotion

The nerve fibers of the Autonomic Nervous System are connected with the function of blood vessels, endocrine glands, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, in and bladders etc.

The Autonomic Nervous System is controlled by the old brain, and is not under the functional control of the cortex. The synapse of this system is situated outside of both the spinal column and central nervous system.

The Sympathetic Division — called Sympathetic because they make the visceral organs function in ‘sympathy’ during emergency conditions of serious effort or exercise, states of fear and anger.

The Sympathetic division acts in three major events, such as during
(a) excitement, emotion of fear, anger and elation,
(b) violent exercise and bodily activities and
(c) extreme cold when the life is endangered.

During emotion such as anger and rage, medulla of the adrenal gland pours excess amount of its “adrenaline” secretion to the blood stream. This secretion in the blood stream is associated with strong emotional experiences. This leads to release of stored sugar from the liver into the blood.

There are chemical changes in the blood cause physical changes throughout.

The adrenal medulla also secretes another hormone called “noradrenaline” which constricts the blood vessels at the surface …..Bloods are diverted from stomach and sex organs to the motor organs, such as, muscles of and arms. The digestive functions come to stopes.

These glandular responses in emotion are adaptive in nature, which means individual becomes able to cope physically with emergency situation.

The visceral activities as well as the neural activities manifest as emotions.

The Parasympathetic Division — deals with the calmer periods of life.

It maintains the ordinary processes of life. Protection of the eyes from the bright light is the work of this division. The constrictions of the pupils of the eyes are done by this division for protection purpose. It adjusts the lens of the eye for new vision.

It meets the physiological demands of the body to maintain basic functions. It stores up energy in abundance for future use by the sympathetic division during emergency.

But owing to prolonged emotion, if both the divisions of the Autonomic nervous system become overactive that may lead to organic pathology.

Over-Activities

Parasympathetic over activity may lead to peptic ulcer, backache, and headache etc.

Sympathetic over activity may lead to psychosomatic diseases, such as asthma, tuberculosis, migraine etc.

The adrenal medulla also secretes another hormone called “noradrenaline” which constricts the blood vessels at the surface …..Bloods are diverted from stomach and sex organs to the motor organs, such as, muscles of and arms. The digestive functions come to stopes.

These glandular responses in emotion are adaptive in nature, which means individual becomes able to cope physically with emergency situation.

The visceral activities as well as the neural activities manifest as emotions.

The Parasympathetic Division — deals with the calmer periods of life.

It maintains the ordinary processes of life. Protection of the eyes from the bright light is the work of this division. The constrictions of the pupils of the eyes are done by this division for protection purpose. It adjusts the lens of the eye for new vision.

It meets the physiological demands of the body to maintain basic functions. It stores up energy in abundance for future use by the sympathetic division during emergency.

But owing to prolonged emotion, if both the divisions of the Autonomic nervous system become overactive that may lead to organic pathology.

Over-Activities

Parasympathetic over activity may lead to peptic ulcer, backache, and headache etc.

Sympathetic over activity may lead to psychosomatic diseases, such as asthma, tuberculosis, migraine etc.

References:
Ref 653 — Emotionsare more physiological than psychological.
Ref741a — The Function of emotions (and data selection)
ref741b — Purpose of Emotions
Ref360 — Motivation and emotion
Ref361 — Psychology of motivation

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Cognition

We learn to walk, talk, and so on. as we develop physically and mentally —

CCP 112

Although learning is rapid and remarkable it does lack depth and sophistication – This indicates an inate App for each ability which updates and enhances with increases in capability. LLL1

This early learning is about becoming more competent through practice and application. Playing with toys is an essential part of learning co-ordination of senses and motor movements — providing new challenges as appropriate.

For more demanding learning, the stages in achieving a skill can follow this sort of pattern:
• Unconscious incompetence: I don’t really know what I want – Will this do what I want – Will I ever understand?
• Conscious incompetence: I’m getting a vague understanding! – This is what I want to do ….. If I’m diligent, I can afford to make little mistakes – I’ll backup as I go.
• Conscious competence: Why didn’t I see this before.
• Unconscious competence: I hardly notice how easy it is – I’m actually getting better at other things!

We continue to learn as we need additional learning/programming/practice to cope with demands and our aspirations. Our Apps cover a wide range of the good habits (skills, attitudes, and dealing with inherent needs) and many are employed to relieve us of having to think our way through routine daily activities

A Habit is generally beneficial — The person with the habit can choose to stop using it, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction — ref808 habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them

Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.

“In fact, the brain starts working less and less,” says Duhigg. “The brain can almost completely shut down. … And this is a real advantage, because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else.”

A habit may eventually develop into an addiction — with an addiction you are not in control of your choices.

An Addiction is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

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Cognition & EmotionsMindfulnessCompetencesLanguageHumourEntertainment

From — Ref 516 Cognition and Emotions

Cognition refers to processes such as memory, attention, language, problem solving, and planning.

Many cognitive processes are thought to involve sophisticated functions unique to primates.

They often involve so-called controlled processes, such as when the pursuit of a goal (e.g., maintaining information in Consciousness) needs to be protected from interference (e.g., a distracting stimulus).

A prototypical example of a neural correlate of a cognitive process is the sustained firing of cells in prefrontal cortex to maintain information in Consciousness for brief periods of time.

Whereas there is relative agreement about what constitutes cognition, the same cannot be said about emotions:–
• Some investigators use definitions that incorporate the concepts of drive and motivation: — emotions are states elicited by rewards and punishers.
• Others favour the view that emotions are involved in the conscious (or unconscious) evaluation of events (e.g., fear, anger),
• Others on an extended set of emotions, including moral ones (e.g., pride, envy).
• Strong evidence also links emotions to the body.

It is also important to consider the role of the ascending systems.

Of importance in the present context, the basal forebrain receives both Cortical and Amygdala inputs

In summary, the picture that emerges from anatomical connectivity data suggests a remarkable potential for integration of information.

Brain structures linked to emotion are often subcortical, such as the Amygdala (Limbic System), They are also believed to operate fast and in an automatic fashion, such that certain trigger expressions.

Anatomical basis for cognitive-emotional interactions

Advances in our understanding of brain connectivity suggest that a given brain region is only a few synapses away from every other brain region.

Prefrontal areas are among those most distant from the sensory periphery, suggesting that they receive highly-processed and integrated sensory information — is thought to be a key anatomical feature of this region and presumably confers the primate brain with a greater degree of flexibility.

Highly processed information would also be able to support more abstract processing that is required for cognition.

Interestingly, the Amygdala , a region often linked to emotional processing, appears to be equally removed from the sensory periphery — Overall, it appears that the Amygdala is very well situated to integrate and distribute information

CCP219

It is also instructive to consider the connectivity of the hypothalamus as it has been long recognized for its importance in emotional behaviours

In particular, via its descending connections that innervate brain-stem motor systems, this structure is thought to play a key role in the implementation of goal-directed behaviors.

Hypothalamic signals also can be conveyed to the cortex, mostly by way of the Thalamus.

Critically, prefrontal Cortical territories project directly to the Hypothalamus. Thus, the hypothalamus appears to be organized in such a way that it can generate both:
• Relatively reflexive behaviours, and
• Behaviours that are voluntarily triggered by inputs from the cerebral Cortex.

Overall, this structure appears to be connected with all levels of the nervous system, including the Neo-cortex, enabling important Hypothalamic regulatory signals to have widespread effects on the brain.

Emotion and cognition conjointly and equally contribute to the control of thought and behaviour.

While these statements were offered as a summary of specific findings concerning working memory performance following mood induction, they may aptly characterize a vast array of real-world situations.

In other words, whereas many behaviours may be reasonably well characterized in terms of cognitive/emotional interactions such that emotion and cognition are partly separable, in many situations, true integration of emotion and cognition may also take place .

Read More — Ref516 Cognition and Emotions

The first set of experiences, with a healthy outcome is what is called the “Mindful” approach. The basic attitudes are as follows:

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The Attitudes of Mindful Approach

Mindfulness advocates a focused approach — specifically to focus on the present. In order to do so we should underplay emotions — and maintain Composure and Patience

In order to do the right things we need Achievement Habits, such as Self-Reliance, Self-Respect and an 0pen Mind.

Self-reliance — also called Trust or confidence. It is far better to trust in your intuition and your own authority, even if you make some “mistakes” along the way, than always to look outside yourself for guidance – Next time you will be even better.

As you meet each issue you have to decide how best to deal with it — and use whatever assets and guidance you truly need. Keep believing in your own ability — learn from any mistakes — develop your intuition through applying yourself with confidence

Also — practice asserting yourself — assertion does not mean domineer, but to ensure that you are heard at the appropriate time.

Self-respect — Frequently undermined by bullies, inadequate bosses, bigots and other Bs — and all the worse if you are sensitive, responsive, isolated, etc. It is the way some people behave — any “victim” will bolster their ego.

Don’t let them get at you and dismiss (let-go) past malevolent impositions!

However, underlying those gross impositions may be your own notion that you, yourself need to be a virtuous person — and this makes you vulnerable. Human nature with all its Needs — cravings, naughty thoughts, grievances, desires, cannot be reduced to being nice — get real!

Self-esteem is about living with these “faults” and still being “reasonably nice”.

Mindfulness considers that you should cultivate love for yourself – as you are – without (too much) self-blame or criticism.

Open mind: Try sometimes to see things as new and fresh – as if for the first time – and with a sense of curiosity. A favourite Mindfulness example – The next time you see somebody you know – ask yourself if you are just seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about this person! Simple example — get perceptive

Enabling Habits

Patience, Acceptance, Letting-Go, and Composure

Acceptance is a willingness to accept matters as they are here and now. We often waste a lot of energy denying and resisting what is already so! Acceptance does not mean that you should stop trying to improve – to give up on your desire to change and grow – or tolerate injustice. You have to accept yourself as you are before you can really change – Do you want to change?)

Letting-Go: We have to be aware of – and let go our negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings – apply yourself to this task (negative?) – You have to decide! Alternatively, we can allow ourselves to feel the negative feelings, identify them & then decide.

Judgement. We should avoid being judgemental when Angry, in a Casual way, or as a Bad Habit, etc. as these give rise to angry reactions.

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ccc Competence

For more demanding learning, the stages in achieving a skill can follow this sort of pattern:
o Unconscious incompetence: I don’t really know what I want – Will this do what I want – Will I ever understand?
o Conscious incompetence: I’m getting a vague understanding! – This is what I want to do ….. If I’m diligent, I can afford to make little mistakes – I’ll backup as I go.
o Conscious competence: Why didn’t I see this before.
o Unconscious competence: <em>I hardly notice how easy it is – I’m actually getting better at other things

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Basic Rules: — Your quality of life improves when you set clear standards for how you live.

From — 812 ref812 Getting better at being humanG

We can’t depend on time, but we can depend on intentions. We can create, own and protect intentions. Intentions aren’t bound by time, or anything else outside our control

But if you are a thoughtful person, you may conclude that no single ethical theory can be stretched to cover every moral con­tingency. The only alternative, then, is to suppose that different ethical systems work better in different situations. This approach is called meta-ethical relativism.

Meta-ethical relativism is not the same as ethical relativism, which supposes, subjectively, that anybody’s ethics are as valid as anybody else’s and, accordingly, that anything at all is permissible in a given situation. Ethical relativism says that Robin Hood is correct to believe that he is doing right, while the sheriff of Nottingham is also correct to believe that Robin Hood is doing wrong. If you have a problem viewing the very same action as both right and wrong, then you are not an ethical relativist.

But is there an objective perspective that provides a wiser and more trustworthy moral compass? That’s where meta-ethical relativism comes in to help us discover which ethical system among those mentioned above – and the unmentioned, and the variations on each – does three vital jobs. First, it must resonate with your moral intuitions. Second, it must mesh with your background experience of ethics. Third, it must help remedy the problem itself. There are no easy answers here, and there’s an art (as well as an effort) required to answer the question “Which ethical system do you think is best in your case – and why?” Now we’re going to look at three illustrative cases to show you how it’s done.

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Language

773 ref773 Brain & Language — Penn Arts & Sciences
Understanding of how the brain creates and understands language remains relatively crude.

Very little of what we know about mental processing of speech and language can be translated with confidence into talk about the brain.

At the same time, very little of what we know about the neurology of language can now be expressed coherently in terms of what we know about mental processing of language. For example, one of the most striking facts about the neurology of speech and language is lateralization: the fact that the one of the two cerebral hemispheres, usually the left one, plays a dominant role in many aspects of language-related brain function.

However, we learn about this only by probing brain function directly — looking at the symptoms of stroke or head trauma, injecting an anesthetic into the right or left internal carotic artery, imaging cerebral blood flow during the performance of certain language-related tasks, etc. There is nothing obvious in the behavioral or cognitive exploration of linguistic activity that connects to its cerebral lateralization (though we’ll see later that there are some interestly non-obvious ideas about this!)

The relation between mind and brain in general is a active “frontier” area of science, in which the potential for progress is very great. The neural correlates of linguistic activity, and the linguistic meaning of neural activity, are especially interesting topics. R

eports of current research in this area are often presented at Penn, for example in the meetings of the IRCS/CCN Brain and Language group.

An excellent and detailed survey for a lay audience of what sorts of processing go on where in the brain, with some speculation about how and why, can be found in ref774

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Humour and Human Nature

From — ref811 Humour and Neurologgy

Observations such as these in the healthy and damaged brain should encourage neurologists to enquire more systematically about their patients’ humour sensibilities and

Also, for cognitive scientists to develop frameworks that can reconcile lesion and functional neuro-imaging work.

It is clear that humour, as an aspect of brain function, is multi-dimensional and highly distributed.

Admittedly no single cognitive model is ever likely to subsume the double entendres of Benny Hill, the acerbic social commentary of Peter Cook or Woody Allen, the sparkling wordplay of Wilde and Moliere, the whimsical meanderings of Peanuts.

Nevertheless, humour may present a useful model for studying certain complex behavioural functions of high clinical relevance: these include the resolution of ambiguity and incongruity, mentalising and the exercise of empathy and the putative ‘lexicon’ of jokes (particularly slapstick scenarios) that may be laid down in early childhood


CCP223 Human Nature — ref809

Immanuel Kant realized that what causes laughter is “the sudden transformation of a tense expectation into nothing.”

Herbert Spencer, the 19th-century English philosopher, took up the idea and attempted to formulate it in physiological terms: “Emotions and sensations tend to generate bodily movements. . . . When consciousness is unawares transferred from great things to small,” the “liberated nerve force” will expend itself along channels of least resistance—the bodily movements of laughter.

Freud incorporated Spencer’s theory of humour into his own, with special emphasis on the release of repressed emotions in laughing; he also attempted to explain why the excess energy should be worked off in that particular way:

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Entertainment
Entertainment and Human Nature

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Dealing with Needs

We experience life as our Senses, our Needs, and our complex of Memories (Conscious and Unconscious) contend for Our Attention.

The brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body.
It is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses.

CCP222

The brain is made up of many specialized areas that work together:
• The cortex is the outermost layer of brain cells. Thinking and voluntary movements begin in the cortex.
• The brain stem is between the spinal cord and the rest of the brain. Basic functions like breathing and sleep are controlled here.
• The basal ganglia are a cluster of structures in the center of the brain. The basal ganglia coordinate messages between multiple other brain areas.
• The cerebellum is at the base and the back of the brain. The cerebellum is responsible for coordination and balance.

The brain is also divided into several lobes:
• The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function.
• The parietal lobes manage sensation, handwriting, and body position.
• The temporal lobes are involved with memory and hearing.
• The occipital lobes contain the brain’s visual processing system.
The brain is surrounded by a layer of tissue called the meninges. The skull (cranium) helps protect the brain from injury.

The Harvard Medical School describes us as having “a dog-brain with a human cortex stuck on top” — and that “not a second goes by that our animal brain isn’t seeking to influence our options”.

The “dog-brain” can respond much faster than the “thinking brain” — its reaction is influenced by circumstances and experiences — typically — if a “flight-or-flight” situation is perceived, our Nature uses the fast reactions of the motivational/emotional “dog-brain” “.

A basic model of the Brain, with the “dog-brain” renamed as the “old brain” provides a glimpse of the complexity of its functions:

CCP170 Old Brain- New Brain

Our old-brain looks after the normal functioning of the body, but when required to deal with emergencies, sexual activity, etc. — we use our Autonomic Nervous System to temporarily diverts resources, and deals with the associated emotions — and generating the required motivations — ref798 Sympathetic Mode

We scarcely experience the world apart from our emotional response to it.

Emotions are more physiological than psychological — Any significant disruption of familiar sensory patterns triggers a biological response, commonly called emotion.

This enables us to respond immediately to indications of danger.

Whether triggered from without or within, emotions produce major changes all through the body. most notably in muscle-tone, energy level, tone of voice, and facial expressions. They signal organs and muscle groups, accelerate or decelerate cardiovascular rates, and mute or exaggerate messages of pain, deprivation, and pleasure.

In general, only changes in the body or environment that produce emotion are noticed.

Components of Emotion
• Arousal (energy)
• Motivation
• Feelings

Whether triggered from without or within, emotions produce major changes all through the body, most notably in muscle-tone, energy level, tone of voice, and facial expressions.

They signal organs and muscle groups, accelerate or decelerate cardiovascular rates, and mute or exaggerate messages of pain, deprivation, and pleasure.

They have enormous power to enhance, distort, or totally disrupt other mental processes. For instance, intense interest can make thoughts and ideas flow profusely, while shame makes it all but impossible to concentrate.

The Buddhist version of the “Stream of Consciousness gives a concise version of the dog-brain influences:

The names of the Moods and Emotions in the stream are Hell, Hunger, Instinct, Anger, Tranquillity, Rapture, Learning, and Realisation, and Helping.

Where Hell is as follows:

CCP46

Emotional responses and the Stream of Consciousness appear may be supressed due to Depression,GAD,Addiction, etc.

Abraham Maslow, an American Psychologist, proposed a Hieararchy of Human Needs —

In Abraham Maslow’s model, the level of Need moves upwards as soon as the previous level of need is satisfied. In this model, physiological needs precede psychological needs.

CCP210 — ref58

Maslow called the bottom four levels of the pyramid ‘deficiency needs’ because a person does not feel anything if they are met, but becomes anxious if they are not.

Thus, physiological needs such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are potential deficiency needs — as are safety needs — social needs such as friendship — sexual intimacy, and ego needs such as self-esteem and recognition — They vary considerably in source, intensity and duration — such as Domestic Abuse, Infection, Chronic Stress, etc.

In contrast, Maslow called the fifth level of the pyramid a ‘growth need’ because it enables a person to ‘self-actualize’ or reach his fullest potential as a human being.

Once a person has met his deficiency needs, he can turn his attention to self-actualization; however, only a small minority of people are able to self-actualize because self-actualization requires uncommon qualities such as honesty, independence, awareness, bjectivity, creativity, and originality.

Clearly many are Complex Needs (Aspirations?, and many also particularly apply to certain individuals and in certain circumstances.

In another model, the Lifetrack, experience, physiological and psychological needs can co-exist; a hierarchy is not rigid nor necessarily representative of human experience (Maslow does not seem to claim this!). .

ref797 The Lifetrack Positive Health Model

Dr Yukio Ishizuka is a Harvard trained Japanese psychiatrist, Instead of focusing on disease and illness, he observed that despite the unique symptoms and backgrounds of his patients, the elements that determined their well-being or distress were strikingly predictable.

This lead to a hypothesis that there may be certain psychological spheres which — when fulfilled — built successful psychological health, and when unfulfilled or repeated neglected caused stress symptoms and made one vulnerable to disease.
In this model there are three basic psychological needs or spheres that determined psychological health — :
• The search for self — (Aspiration?)
• The need for intimacy — (Attachment?)
• The quest for achievement — (Satisfaction?)

CCP221 R797

xxx transfer to satisfaction
From — ref791 emotions-energy-create-transform-us and reward system

If human beings are capable of accumulating numerous positive emotions, they will acquire more competent basic tools for dealing with difficult times.

Emotions are the score that orchestrates our daily lives Sometimes the music is happy, lively, and intense, but after a while, it envelops us in its melody, sad and full of disenchantment

According to work published by social psychologist Barbara Fredrickson in the “Review of General Psychology” (2008), positive emotions, in addition to giving us immediate satisfaction, act as learning mechanisms.

In other words, we would speak of the following relationship:– more satisfactory emotions, means better personal resources for dealing with times of crisis.

Emotions are capable of transforming our reality — Something that we must keep in mind is that an emotion is not just an inner state; it is a combination of various powerful elements:–

• Cognitions, that is, the way we process everything that surrounds us, what we see, feel, and experience. Everything acquires an inner meaning for us.
• Our feelings and the way we react. To understand this, we will give you a simple example: you are in love with someone and you do not dare tell them. In the end, it is too late and that person disappears from your life, taking with them the chance to at least try.

The main neurotransmitters that act as creators of our emotions are:

• Dopamine is related to pleasure and reward experiences in our learning process. In other words, when we do something good, we are gratified by the excretion of dopamine and we receive a pleasant sensation.
• Serotonin, in turn, is a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. So then, it is important to know that an imbalance of serotonin levels can increase anger, anxiety, depression, and the sense of panic.
• An adequate level of Norepinephrine keeps stress and anxiety under control.

Read More — ref791

A third model — a condensed version of Maslow’s — was proposed by Rick Hanson in his book “Hardwiring Happiness”

He observed::– We have 3 core Needs or Operating Systems:–
• Safety ——— Avoiding Harms
• Connection —– Attaching/relating to others
• Satisfaction — Using Rewards

These operating systems are defined by their function and not their evolved anatomy

Each operating system has its own set of capabilities, and they can be running at the same time.

Each has two modes of responding to circumstances:
• The Responsive Mode — Controlled, Mindful
• The Reactive Mode — Alert, Stressed. Emotional — Insecure people, and those affected by trauma are more prone to this mode

These are much influenced by our experiences, from early nurture, family life, fortune, etc.

Avoiding harm

Our Autonomic Nervous system responds promptly to perceived dangers. For more specific Needs by switching to functions of its Sympathetic Mode — ref798 Sympathetic Mode

Whilst the Sympathetic mode is in use, the Parasympathetic mode cannot deal with its responsibility for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed” activities that occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation.

Prolonged use of the Sympathetic mode, due to Chronic Anxiety, etc. is damaging to the Human psyche and bodily health

The Human Brain also seems to have a negativity bias, — Always anxious about possible problems/risks, tending to simulate:–
• Velcro for negative experiences
• Teflon for positive ones

The use of Emotional Intelligence — the result of experience and learning from the dire results of over-reacting to situations, learning to apply an extended Mindfulness, etc. should lead to less stressful outcomes.

Attaching/relating to others

Need for relationships, connections attachments

According to the Attachment theory, approximately 50% of economically “comfortable” people in Western Society enjoy good relationships with others, 20% tend to avoid relationships with others, another 10% tend to cling to relationships, the remaining 20% swing between clinging and avoiding — however it should noted that we all probably experience Avoiding and Clinging in some relationships.– Percentages are for low social risk communities
In adulthood four types of Attachments/Relationships become apparent:

From — ref778 Need for relationships connection attachment

The “belongingness hypothesis” states that people have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.

Here is an overview of the evidence for this hypothesis, point by point:–

Forming social bonds — People readily form relationships with others without being paid or forced to do so, and do so even under adverse circumstances. For example, infants and children will form attachments to others even though they have little or no knowledge of their social world and are incapable of calculating benefits or costs to these relationships.

Not breaking bonds –- People are eager to have close relationships and are reluctant to break them once formed, even when the relationship is marked by distress, conflict, or even abuse. People often avoid permanent separation (breakups, divorce, death), even when the costs of staying in the relationship are greater than leaving.

Cognition –- When we feel close to others, our thoughts change such that a cognitive “merging” effect occurs; people begin to include aspects of their relationship partner in their own self-concept. The boundaries between individual partners break down in relationships, and people think of their own fate as being intertwined with the fate of others.

Emotional highs and lows –- No matter how you slice it, relationships carry immense emotional weight. People feel a great deal of positive emotion (e.g., joy, bliss, love), especially during the early stages of relationships. People also feel lots of negative emotions and distress (e.g., anxiety, anger, jealousy) when things aren’t going well.

Consequences of deprivation –- When people lack meaningful close relationships with others, they suffer. Specifically, married individuals are healthier, less stressed out, and are expected to live longer than single individuals (not to stigmatize singles here). Close relationships boost people’s immune systems.

Partial deprivation –- Even within highly satisfying relationships, being separated from a loved one (or having restricted interactions) produces distress and sadness. When couples are separated (through things like work-related distance, military duty, or even prison) they report more loneliness.

Satiation and substitution –- There is such a thing as too many close relationships. People strongly prefer to have (and are only capable of having) a few very close friendships and a larger number of casual friendships. In this case, quality is more important than quantity.

Relationships take time, effort, energy, and resources, so it makes sense that any individual person would experience a “satiation point” after their belongingness needs are fulfilled. In addition, when a bond is broken, people will readily pursue another in its place. This is not to say that one person is as good as the next, but people are resilient and in the aftermath of a painful loss or separation, new relationships are formed.

Innateness, universality, and evolutionary perspectives – People throughout the world are born with the ability and motivation to form close relationships, and this universal tendency is adaptive. Children who form close emotional attachments to their parents are less likely to wander off, get picked off by a predator, or fall victim to some other natural danger. Thus, relationships protect us from harm when we are young and vulnerable

Read More — ref778 Need for relationships connection attachment

And: — ref779 Why We Are Wired to Connect

Satisfaction

However, the dominant on-going Need seems to be for Satisfaction (Reward)

Emotions is a reward or punishment for a specific motivated behaviour.

Read More — motivation-and-emotion (ref360)

The School at Medicine at Mt Sinai explains that we have “reward pathways” — (ref 291).
The most important reward pathway in brain is a dopamine system.

Under normal conditions, the pathway controls an individual’s responses to natural rewards, such as food, sex, and social interactions, and is therefore an important determinant of motivation and incentive drive.

Reward cycles in neurology

CCP187 Reward Cycle Eating

From — ref806 The neurobiology of pleasure, reward processes, addiction and their health implications

Conclusions Pleasure can serve health, but is also capable of promoting addiction and other dangerous outcomes or behaviors.

It is a complex neurobiological phenomenon, relying on reward circuitry activity and limbic processes. These CNS processes can involve dopaminergic signaling. Moreover, opioid peptides and endogenous morphinergic mechanisms play a role as well.

Natural rewarding or pleasurable activities are necessary for survival and appetitive motivation, usually governing beneficial biological behaviors like eating, sex and reproduction.

Thus, pleasure is much needed.

However, artificial stimulants (e.g., addictive drugs) or ‘too much’ of a pleasurable activity may not be as beneficial, since flexibility and natural control of behaviors may be deteriorated.

Clearly, addiction includes a loss of control over normal behaviors and appetitive motivational goals. Addictive drugs, in addition, are capable of directly and strongly acting on reward pathways, thereby influencing motivation physiology.

Moderate pleasurable experiences, nonetheless, are able to enhance biological flexibility, complexity and health protection. Thus, pleasure can be a resistance resource, or it may serve salutogenesis and prevention.

Natural rewards are regularly mediated by sensory organ stimulation, thereby exhibiting a potential association with complementary medical approaches. The existence of subjective CNS phenomena like feelings of pleasure, joy and happiness may emphasize the significance of naturally occurring health processes and general self-care capabilities.

Trust and belief may be part of this self-healing potential. Further, the placebo response physiologically resembles pleasure phenomena, since both involve the brain’s reward and motivation circuitry stimulation and subjective feelings of wellbeing.

Pleasure facilitates limbic thrust of belief and trust into the body’s equation for restoring or maintaining health. Thereby, pleasure promotes a healthy state of dynamic balance.

In humans, cognition and belief are vital for reward and pleasure experiences.

Social contacts, in addition, provide pleasure, hence survival.

These functions of pleasurable experiences may even stimulate personal growth and development. Furthermore, they can serve to induce healthy behavioral changes and lifestyle modifications, including stress reduction or stress management programs.

807 ref807 Reward+cycles+in+neurology
808 ref808 habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them added to Cognition Section

CCP182

The reward system associated with the evolutionary need for reproduction is complex and has major roles in human societies.

Reward 177 287-295 347 585 780-2 791

Boredom 276 Reward 782 347 287

CCP85 Corridors of Power

Read More — From ref779 Why We Are Wired to Connect

From — ref791 emotions-energy-create-transform-us and reward system

If human beings are capable of accumulating numerous positive emotions, they will acquire more competent basic tools for dealing with difficult times.

Emotions are the score that orchestrates our daily lives Sometimes the music is happy, lively, and intense, but after a while, it envelops us in its melody, sad and full of disenchantment

According to work published by social psychologist Barbara Fredrickson in the “Review of General Psychology” (2008), positive emotions, in addition to giving us immediate satisfaction, act as learning mechanisms.

In other words, we would speak of the following relationship:– more satisfactory emotions, means better personal resources for dealing with times of crisis.

Emotions are capable of transforming our realit — Something that we must keep in mind is that an emotion is not just an inner state; it is a combination of various powerful elements:–

• Cognitions, that is, the way we process everything that surrounds us, what we see, feel, and experience. Everything acquires an inner meaning for us.
• Our feelings and the way we react. To understand this, we will give you a simple example: you are in love with someone and you do not dare tell them. In the end, it is too late and that person disappears from your life, taking with them the chance to at least try.

The main neurotransmitters that act as creators of our emotions are:

• Dopamine is related to pleasure and reward experiences in our learning process. In other words, when we do something good, we are gratified by the excretion of dopamine and we receive a pleasant sensation.
• Serotonin, in turn, is a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. So then, it is important to know that an imbalance of serotonin levels can increase anger, anxiety, depression, and the sense of panic.
• An adequate level of Norepinephrine keeps stress and anxiety under control.

Read More — ref791

Relationships

From — ref135 The Chemistry of Relationships: Emotions, the Brain, and the Experience of Love

Background

In essence, psychological and sociological theories and interventions surrounding bonding, attachment, and emotions are now supported by the science of the brain and the understanding of the body’s biochemical processes. Neuroscientists have mapped many regions of the brain using a variety of brain imaging processes that allow them to identify the associated biological functions. Practitioners who help couples and individuals enhance, strengthen, or restore their relationships may want to integrate the physiology of emotions, the brain, and the experience of love into their work. This Brief outlines some of the history and recent findings that help explain the “chemistry” of intimate relationships and provides a discussion of the possible implications and considerations for marriage/relationship educators.

Research and Trends

Brain imaging, which began in the 1970s, provided the opportunity for scientists to explore the uncharted territory of human emotional functioning. The recent creation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has provided a technological leap.

The section below highlights some of the key issues and findings in neuroscience and how they relate to emotion, bonding, attachment, and romantic love.

Emotions and the Brain

Emotions are an essential part of human functioning and intimate relationships — a vital force for love, bonding, intimacy, and sexual desire in romantic relationships.

Furthermore, emotions motivate prosocial, empathic, and moral behaviors and play a role in an individual’s sense of self.

Researchers have identified the “basic” emotions that are cross-culturally identifiable: anger, sadness, fear, excitement, enjoyment, surprise, and disgust (Eckman), and have come to some agreement that these emotions occur on a continuum of intensity.

Neuroanatomists are mapping the regions of the brain and have identified the brain structures involved in accessing and processing emotional experiences within the limbic system. This system acts as the central processing unit of emotions. One particular area of this system, the amygdala, is recognized as the center for emotion.

Another structure, the hippocampus, is considered the center for emotional memory. S

Studies of these areas of the brain have focused on the brain’s responses during two emotional extremes: calm and heightened states. For example, studies of long-term Buddhists who meditate have revealed important new findings about regions of the brain that provide keys to controlling emotion and mood.

Emotional reactivity and intense expressions of negative emotions are detrimental to the healthy development of relationships.

Emotions such as anger, hostility, and contempt have long been identified as central to the breakdown of human relationships.

Emotional functioning is crucial for personal and relationship success in life.

The field of neurobiology has taken this one step further to illustrate that the brain is physically impacted by personal relationships over time.

Emotional attunement (being responsive to another person’s emotional needs) has been identified as a significant component to promoting attachment.

Compassion and empathy have also been identified as key relationship skills. These findings help guide understanding of how human beings function emotionally in health and disease—and in relationships.

Researchers are beginning to identify more interventions that can help increase the likelihood of improvements in moods, relationships, and personal functioning.

Positive psychology is an emerging field that focuses on the study of positive emotions, individual traits, relationships, and institutions has identified four steps in improving emotional life that encompass all of the concepts discussed above to include:
(a) consciousness of emotional experience
(b) choosing constructive behaviors to express emotions
(c) developing sensitivity to the feelings of others and
(d) responding considerately to the feelings of others.

The studies of emotion have also led to various mind-body approaches to healing trauma, which are interventions based on the notion that new emotional experience can actually create new brain processes or “neural pathways” (called neuroplasticity).

Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples incorporates attachment and emotion as core to its model. The goal of this work is to show that the brain is actually changing as a response to the bonding occurring during EFT.

The study of emotion and the study of the brain are intertwined; the next section highlights a few of the important areas of work going on throughout the world.

Attachment and the Bonds of Love.

Attachment theory emerged from the work of John Bowlby, a physician and psychoanalyst practicing in post-war London, England, during the 1940s.

This theory speaks to the innate human striving for emotional closeness and comfort and the distress created by separation and loss.

Harlow’s study (1958) underscored the essential nature of contact comfort for establishing social bonds. Bonding, which takes place through the experience of touch and physical closeness, is identified as the key to human well-being.

Researchers now believe that affectional experiences in childhood have a profound impact on adult love relationships and family patterns. Researchers concur that these early bonding and attachment experiences provide a rubric for understanding adult attachment styles and individual vulnerabilities. The working hypothesis is that a child’s attachment style forms a template for his or her adult relationship experiences.

While many love relationships begin with lust, sexual attraction, and romance, some of these relationships become a loving and stable pair bond.

As love relationships develop over time, bonding and attachment form based on a complex mix of psychological, emotional, physical, and social factors.

Although sexual attraction and desire bring lovers together, similar social backgrounds and interests promote bonding and attachment. Studies exploring the chemistry of romantic love and compassionate love are further strengthening this knowledge base. Again, fMRIs have played a part in revealing the hidden biochemical processes that take place in the brain when people fall in love and as their relationships evolve.

Romantic love is an important part of many long-term marriages in which couples maintain sexual vitality. Falling in love is a complex neurochemical cocktail that includes norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and phenethylamine. This combination creates a powerful emotional experience that may be motivated by the human instinct for survival.

Research shows that romantic love experiences are stored in the emotional center of the brain and are most likely fortified by oxytocin, which fosters bonding and attachment. oxytocin, a hormone referred to as the “cuddle chemical,” has created intense interest in attachment research and is helping to explain the power and place of human bonding. Additionally, oxytocin has also been shown to be instrumental in facilitating trust.

The understanding of why human beings form pair bonds and the complexities of attachment experiences in children and adults is being explored through the neurochemistry of various hormones and their role in strengthening or weakening intimate relationships.

Love and Relationship Skills

Researchers are now exploring the question, “Can we really have it all in marriage?” Does romantic love fade as a distant memory or is it possible in long-term marriages?

Can couples maintain romantic love, friendship, sexual attraction, and commitment over a lifetime? Preliminary research indicates that loving and passionate relationships can grow in attraction.

Romantic love (minus the obsessiveness of lust) appears to be a real, lifelong experience for many. Couples who report high levels of passionate love in their relationship also report higher levels of personal satisfaction, more affection, high levels of trust and friendship, and lower levels of depression. Couples who experience hypoactive sexual desire are a great risk for breakup over time.

There may be a variety of ways that sexuality can be maintained throughout the marriage relationship. The passion, bonding and love that unite couples are only part of the couple relationship.

The field of psychology has also studied relationship dynamics and interpersonal communication between partners. Identifying factors that are protective versus destructive in relationships has contributed to psychosocial education and treatment for couples.

In the 1960s, programs known commonly as marriage education began with a variety of approaches, mostly emphasizing marital preparation and premarital counseling, along with married couple retreats to improve communication skills. Early programming in marriage/relationship education emphasized forming companionate marriages and teaching individuals and couples important knowledge and skills. These programs provided practical and useful methods, techniques, and tools for dealing with relationship issues.

Emotions, particularly anger, hostility, and contempt, were viewed as a causative factor in the breakdown of marriage and relationships.

However, there were few techniques for effectively managing the emotional hijacking brought on by the fight/flight response. Initial techniques primarily focused on cognitive approaches to conflict and problem solving. While sharing and processing emotional experience and expression were taught, the skills often remained at superficial levels of emotional expression. The importance of emotional expression and affect regulation, bonding, and attachment in intimate relationships was often underemphasized.

Implications

Currently, much is being learned about how the chemistry of romantic love and the chemistry of attachment foster a committed love relationship. Therefore, marriage/relationship educators may want to integrate practice and skill building that will help protect and nurture the emotional bond. Educators may want to prioritize resolving differences by teaching individuals and couples to identify emotions and express emotion constructively. Furthermore, practitioners may want to encourage activities that enhance emotional responsiveness and emotional attunement to promote bonding. For example, showing empathy in intimate relationships has received attention as an essential relationship skill and plays a crucial role in establishing emotional security and secure attachment.

The physical bond plays a crucial role, too. Educators may want to express the importance of cuddling or doing other intimate activities (not necessarily sex, but sex is certainly included) that facilitate the stimulation of oxytocin and the other chemicals associated with bonding and attachment.

The ability to express emotions in constructive ways fosters and facilitates a sense of connection and secure attachment in relationships. Family life is the primary forum where people learn to express thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs. Emotional expression that is confused, unclear, or blaming leads to depression, aggression, and emotional distance in social relationships.

Exploring patterns of relationship and emotional expression learned in an individual’s family of origin helps couples becoming more accepting of each other. These family patterns also underlay the internal working model of attachment that each person brings to the relationship. Helping couples understand, support, and connect with each other in compassionate and empathetic ways often reduces relationship distress.

Practitioners may want to integrate techniques with the goal of transforming anger into constructive problem solving (with basic steps for constructive expression, methods for dealing with destructive expressions of anger, and important processes for forgiveness within relationships). Although communication training teaches these skills from a behavioral model, programs may want to consider incorporating mind-body techniques to soothe and calm reactivity. The role of meditative practices as a method for managing emotional reactivity, stress, and certain illnesses is receiving greater attention.

Discussing physiological factors in class may provide new levels of hope for distressed couples. Understanding that working on their relationship may actually create new neural pathways that help couples better relate to one another can renew a couple’s energy and focus on healing their relationship.

Conclusion

There is a new era of practice influenced by the study of the brain and how it relates to emotions, bonding, and attachment. Greater attention to exercises and activities that strengthen the chemistry of love, connection, trust, friendship, and sexual desire are needed in the new generation of healthy marriage/relationship education programs.

The focus on positive interventions that enhance the chemistry of love, attraction, and affection will help strengthen programs and services that are already helping many individuals and couples improve their lives and their relationships.

xxx
The enteric nervous system (ENS) is now usually referred to as separate from the autonomic nervous system since it has its own independent reflex activity

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Development — an outline

Each baby is totally dependent on care, and arrives into unique close and extended social conditions, subject to on-going changes. We inherit Genes, but we also inherit our Social Environ, Our Mother/Carer, Siblings, etc.

We have to learn to walk, talk, and so on, and in particular adapt to our social environment — early development is rapid but basic.

The Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott claims that the emotional empathy of an “Ordinary, Devoted Good-Enough mother” is as critical to the infant’s well-being as food is to his physical health – without this empathy the child tends to develop with a Personality Disorder

Freud was intrigued by the closeness of the sexual parts to the waste outlets and how it seemed to affect the child.

John William Money, a psychologist and sexologist, devised a model for sexual behaviour called a Love-Map. He had noted that an interest in gender differences becomes apparent at around 5 to 6 years – “I’ll show you mine if ….”.

Nurture has been shown to be crucial and pre-school in particular there are generally siblings to interact and/or cope with. Friendships may be started

The stimulus and trauma of schooling, and the possibility of bullying, new friendships and enmities.

Adolescence is next and a notable fact is that there is a major discarding of Nerve Cells at this stage – as if accepting that the major brain development is complete.

Maturity in most societies seems mainly to involve a departure from the parent’s home and eventually setting up your own family. Making a living and creating a lifestyle are dominant.

We continue to learn as we need additional learning/programming/practice to cope with demands and our aspirations. Our Apps cover a wide range of the good habits (skills, attitudes, and dealing with inherent needs) and many are employed to relieve us of having to think our way through routine daily activities

Oliver James in his book “They Fxxx you up” — reported on the effects of inadequate parenting, which can be perpetuated from Generation to Generation

The human genetic program provides sensitive periods for specific learning that will allow the child and adolescent to develop the various aspects of their unique personality and adapt to the current social environment. It may be that differences for each child in the duration and intensity of these genetic phases are crucial. The patterns of brain electro-chemistry created then are later brought to bear in choosing friends, lovers and professions, and in constantly re-creating the patterns of the past.

James described the creation of these patterns as “skill scripts” which we follow as if our lives were in an elaborate theatrical play without a plot.

As described by James, this is the period when the following developments take place:
Self Awareness 0-6 months
Attachments/Relationships 0-3 years
Conscience 3-6 years

Inappropriate early Nurture can lead to:–
• Personality Disorder — ref486
• Insecure Attachment (Relationship) to others — ref xxx
• Punitive or Weak Conscience (benign)

personality first

In general parental care is critical, especially during the first six years. During this period the Mother normally has the main responsibility for nurturing the child (If the mother is not available as a specific Carer as the best equivalent is recommended).

Even so, the baby may be at risk from their carer/mother, now often isolated from the extended family, and under pressure to meet the “demands” of our market economies.

The fundamental problem (following that trauma of the birth) is the total dependence of the baby, twenty-four hours a day, resulting in an equally total loss of autonomy in the mother. Many mothers do not have someone else there to help them out when the grinding relentlessness of meeting the infant’s needs becomes too much. Post-natal depress may result.

The early weeks are a very delicate period in the mother’s life. She is emotionally fragile, vulnerable, yet the need to fit into the infant’s patterns feels like permanent jet-lag, with her sleep patterns going haywire. Worst of all, she has to expect the unexpected as regards the baby’s patterns.

The absence of family support means that the Mother is now more likely to be subject to more physical and mental stresses, and these have repercussions for the Child.

However, the over-attentive mother may pamper the baby to its detriment.

The Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott found that the emotional empathy of an “Ordinary, Devoted Good-Enough mother ” is as critical to the infant’s well-being as food is to his physical health — Ref 602

A Case Study on Attachment based therapy was conducted b Van Den Boom) on 100 mothers with disturbed babies — Ref 414

When the babies were a few months old, fifty of the mothers received counselling sessions to increase their responsiveness and sensitivity to their disturbed babies. Up to this point these mothers tended to have become discouraged by their baby’s behaviour.

Van Den Boom taught techniques for soothing the baby, encouraged play and helped the mothers to connect emotionally.

Meanwhile the other fifty mothers and their irritable babies had received no help at all (That’s Science for you!).

From — ref750 Personality & Violent Crime
Persons committing murder and other forms of violent crime are likely to exhibit a personality disorder (PD) of one type or another. Essentially any personality disorder can be associated with violent crime, with the possible exception of avoidant Personality Disorder.

With a focus on murder, clinical examples drawn from the crime literature and from the author’s personal interviews refl ect 14 varieties of personality disorder. Animal torture before adulthood is an important predictor of future violent (including sadistic) crime. Whereas many antisocial persons are eventually capable of rehabilitation, this is rarely the case with psychopathic or sadistic persons.
Read More — ref750 Personality & Violent Crime

From — ref749 attachment-theory-of-personality-disorder
An influential way of thinking about personality disorders stems from attachment theory. This theory is credited to John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Like object relations theory, attachment theory proposes that people develop internal representations of relationships through their interactions with early caregivers. These internal representations, or working models of relationships, then go on to influence:
1) Personality development,
2) Social interaction tendencies,
3) Expectations of the world and of other people and,
4) Strategies for regulating emotions.

50% of Individuals, even in “comfortable” western societies have insecure attachments.

An insecure attachment does not in itself constitute a personality disorder

However, when combined with other biological and environmental risk factors such as abuse, they may contribute to the development of a personality disorder.
Read More — a href=”https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/attachment-theory-of-personality-disorder/” target=”_blank”>ref749 attachment-theory-of-personality-disorder

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Gender

Gender and Sexual Issues may also result from an non-empathetic up-bringing, both in early nurture and adolescence — Read More LLL

In the past public attitudes were greatly influenced by “Societal Norms”, often religous, but directed at morality.

Take Gender and Sexual Orientation — are two distinct aspects of our identity.

From — ref752 disorders of sex development — Intersex
Disorders of sex development (DSDs) are a group of rare conditions where the reproductive organs and genitals don’t develop as expected.

If you have a DSD, you’ll have a mix of male and female sexual characteristics (Five forms of DSD are described, and there is a list of support groups)

Advice for parents of older children

Sometimes a DSD may be diagnosed if an older child doesn’t develop normally in puberty. For example, your child may not start the normal puberty changes, or may start puberty but not get periods.

Speak to your GP if you have any concerns about your child’s development at puberty. They can refer your child to a specialist, usually a consultant in paediatric endocrinology or an adolescent gynaecologist.

A team of different healthcare professionals will work with you to understand your child’s condition, and offer you and your child support and advice.
Read More — ref752

Gender is personal (how we see ourselves), while sexual orientation is interpersonal (who we are physically, emotionally and/or romantically attracted to)

There is currently a widespread belief that a unified ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ personality turns out not to describe many people — It describes stereotypes to which we constantly compare ourselves and each other, but more people are ‘gender non-conforming’ than we generally realize.” — Read More at Gender Issue LLL

The influences on Nurture and later life are generally complex and indistinct and the traits, although recognisable, are blurred.

How we respond to circumstances may arise from on-going awareness or from attitude, mood or temperament

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Tribalism — Sectarianism –

769 ref769 Tribalism makes-risky-times-more-dangerous
770 ref770 Sectarianism in different countries
771 ref771 Tribalism in politics
772 ref772

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Other Problems?

Two states — emotions and memories — interconnect to form emotional memory, which produces the child’s responses to situations, experiences and learning. A number of factors can significantly impair Limbic System function Psychological and/or Emotional Trauma.

When not functioning properly due to injury or impairment, the limbic system becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that it would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body.


Figure 191

In addition the longer term emotions/Moods are habit-like and they can dominate our characters, in the extreme as Depression, GAD, etc.

MedicalNewsToday Website looks at “Habit & Addiction” (ref 204) as follows:

A habit may eventually develop into an addiction (A bad habit) — Many of us can use substances or become engaged in activities without any significant problems. Some people, however, may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction.

Chronic anxiety and severe depression also start as habits — evolutionary functions. Read more at: — (ref271 — The purpose of anxiety;

And — ref 273 — The evolution of Depression

And from the Open Access Library (OALib) ref277 — the Function of Boredom

So anxiety, a basic alertness, can be triggered by lots of experiences and false perceptions, and if these cause chronic stress then anxiety can be our habitual response.

CCP46

The most effective psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) — (ref 296) is based on the following cognitive model — “the way that individuals perceive a situation is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself”.#

Addiction can start of as social anxiety.- relieved by drinking alcohol.

A problematic example — Alcohol intake raises the levels of a neurotransmitter (Norepinephrine) thus providing enjoyment, but also impulsivity — explaining why we lose our inhibitions whilst drinking. However another neurotransmitter system, GABA receptors become effective when alcohol concentrations reached 0.33 mL/L (The legal limit for driving is 0.08 mL/L), and these should warn against further drinking, as the feeling of enjoyment is removed. However, with many people this corrective process is ineffective, as discussed later.

For what happens to your Brain through use of Alcohol — see (ref 112)

Alcohol, according to conventional wisdom, is a depressant. Yet, that doesn’t fully explain alcohol’s effects. People often drink to liven up a party, not mellow it out. A few drinks can spark energy, elation and excitement; it gives you a buzz.

Alcoholic have a Tolerance for alcohol — (ref 18)

As blood alcohol content (BAC) is increased, we get elation, excitement and extroversion, with simultaneous decreases in fatigue, restlessness, depression and tension – what a reward!.

Elevated levels of a neurotransmitter, Norepinephrine, increase impulsivity, which helps explain why we lose our inhibitions whilst drinking.

If drinking continues then a different neurotransmitter becomes active — by means of the GABA (delta) receptors (target cells in CCP160)…


CCP160

GABA activity kicks in when alcohol concentrations get to around 0.33 mL/L. – – The legal limit for driving is around 0.05 to 0.08 mL/L .

Concentrations over 0.3 ml/L can be enough to cause someone to vomit and/or pass out.

With rising BAC the cognitive functions are reduced and our “Dog Brain” has taken over.

It is still unclear what the delta receptor does, but because GABA is the primary inhibitory neuron in the brain, it can affect virtually every system — depression returns and it seems that the reward system can then encourage even more booze.

PET brain scans show that regions of the brain, responsible for decision making and rational thought, have decreased activity and this explains why alcohol causes us to act impulsively, and aggressively.

The reduced activity in other parts of the brain indicates why walking is erratic and why drinkers can “black out”.

When drinking is suspended a descending BAC corresponds to an increase in fatigue, confusion, and depression — the only relief/reward is to start drinking again.

The most important reward pathway in brain is the mesolimbic dopamine system — (ref 291)

This pathway (VTA) is a key detector of a rewarding stimulus. Under normal conditions, the circuit controls an individual’s responses to natural rewards, such as food, sex, and social interactions, and is therefore an important determinant of motivation and incentive drive.

In simplistic terms, activation of the pathway tells the individual to repeat what it just did to get that reward. It also tells the memory centers in the brain to pay particular attention to all features of that rewarding experience, so it can be repeated in the future.

The VTA-NAc pathway is part of a series of parallel, integrated circuits, which involve several other key brain regions.

The VTA is the site of dopaminergic neurons, which tell the organism whether an environmental stimulus (natural reward, drug of abuse, stress) is rewarding or aversive.

The NAc, also called ventral striatum, is a principle target of VTA dopamine neurons. This region mediates the rewarding effects of natural rewards and drugs of abuse.

The amygdala is particularly important for conditioned forms of learning. It helps an organism establish associations between environmental cues and whether or not that particular experience was rewarding or aversive, for example, remembering what accompanied finding food or fleeing a predator. It also interacts with the VTA-NAc pathway to determine the rewarding or aversive value of an environmental stimulus (natural reward, drug of abuse, stress).

Many of us can use substances or become engaged in activities without any significant problems. Some people, however, may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction.

Addiction to substances or activities can sometimes lead to serious problems at home, work, school and socially.

The Science behind “addiction and habit” is considered in (ref 267), as follows:

“By seeing habit as part of addiction, Jolie was able to work out a treatment plan with me that wasn’t too overwhelming, pathologizing, or frightening for her to commit to. As she recognized her difficulty in moderating her drinking behaviour, especially when under stress, Jolie agreed to accept AA as an addiction-recovery resource. She now understood that her drinking was encoded in her brain in a way that went beyond an ordinary habit pattern.

At this stage, neurobiology’s biggest contribution to addictions treatment isn’t so much a distinct clinical method, but a means of increasing motivation for change. By destigmatizing clients’ shame and self-blame, brain-based explanations get resistant clients to listen to treatment recommendations they might otherwise reject. For therapists, this leverage may be brain science’s most important contribution to our clinical toolbox.”

Anxiety also can be a bad habit, but alternative simple habits can defeat anxiety — see (ref 263).

The Director of the National Institute of Anxiety and Stress, a teacher and learning expert, and a former anxiety sufferer presents his remedies in (ref 264 — Five mental habits that steal years from your life

Published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that chronic stress increases your chance of death five-fold. Beyond that, stress tends to spoil life along the way. So, we all owe it to ourselves to get it under control.

Best Practices/Habits of Mind is from the DBQ Project that was founded in 2000 to support teachers and students in learning to read smart, think straight, and write more clearly — (ref 268)

Three steps to habit change is by James Clear who is an author, photographer, and weightlifter. He studies successful people across a wide range of disciplines — entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and more — to uncover the habits and routines that make these people the best at what they do — (ref 215.

Acting — Covering up

For most of the time our social obligations mean that we have to conceal or curtail our doggy impulses — we are obliged to act our way through life.

This acting imposes stresses, for some more than others, and often causes mental health issues. Alcohol, etc. have been used to release inhibitions in socially acceptable (almost) way.

We have to see concepts such as self-esteem in the context of our “acting life” and, as with many others, the concept of self-esteem needs to be better understood.

Abraham Maslow, attributed with first defining Needs, suggested that “people need both esteem from other people as well as inner self-respect. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and achieve self-actualisation.

Our everyday experience tells us that our emotions cause us to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes us smile, and feeling sad makes us frown. Case closed, mystery solved. However, James became convinced that this commonsense view was incomplete and proposed a radical new theory – that the relationship between emotion and behaviour was a two-way street, and that behaviour can cause emotion

Subsequent research has indicated that, in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person – what I call the “As If” principle.

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