Monday, May 30, 2016

Neuroscience In The News On May 30

These are articles that I found of interest relating to news about Neuroscience.  In this issue, I have highlighted articles about fighting addictions through the gut-brain axis, information processing through the cannabinoid receptor in the hippocampus and the neuroscience secret to happiness.

Please check out the article links below and feel free to comment with other information related to these subjects.  I enjoy learning as much as I can about the brain and passing this information on to everyone else that shares these passions.

This is for the week beginning May 30, 2016.

Please come back each week and hopefully I will have some more highlights.  Feel free to share with me ones that you have found and I may highlight those as well.

Feel free to check out the highlighted articles from May 23, 2016

Addiction Through Gut-Brain Axis

“We are what we eat”. This piece of folk knowledge is true in more ways than one. In fact, it is well known that food, through action on the enteric system, has direct effects on the brain. The mechanisms underlying this exchange are no longer a mystery since a large body of scientific literature highlights the functional crosstalk between the periphery and the brain. In particular, the so-called gut-brain axis consists of bidirectional communication between the brain and the enteric system, linking the emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions (and vice versa). Insights into the gut-brain crosstalk have revealed an extremely fascinating communication system that is thought to be involved in many routine functions and systems within the healthy body, as well as in many diseases.

Article Link:

Information Processing in Cannabinoid Receptor

In the brain, there is a delicate interplay of signaling substances and cellular activity. Scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Charit√© - Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin have now identified another key player within this ensemble. In a laboratory study they found that the “cannabinoid type 2 receptor” influences information processing inside the hippocampus. This area of the brain plays a crucial role in the generation of long-term memories.

Article Link:

Neuroscience Secret To Happiness

In his book, The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama wrote: “We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable happiness.” And the wise man might have been proved right by science.

According to neuroscientist Jaak Panskepp, it is the road to happiness, rather than the act of reaching the destination, which makes us happy. The neuroscientist claims that the fulfillment of desires may not cause happiness in the long run.

Article Link:

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Let Me Tell You How Wrong You Are

We are high and mighty these days in our society.  It doesn't take much for us to proclaim to the world what THEY should do!  The meme of our day seems to be, "LET ME TELL YOU HOW WRONG YOU ARE"!

I'll forewarn you, this blog post is a little bit of a rant on something that just grates on my nerves.  As always, I do try to write with a point that hopefully when you're done reading this, it may help see something a little differently.  At least, that's the goal.  So bear with me through this one.  Sometimes I just have to get on my soapbox!  

Let me tell you how wrong you are!

  • Don't believe me?  Take a look at online social media, especially when it comes to politics.  Those that support a candidate view all others as stupid, broken, ill-informed, or uninformed.   No, this is not meant as a political discussion either. 

  • Don't believe me?  Take a look at many of the religious postings in online social media.  Unless you believe like they do, they will not even talk to you.  They won't discuss things with you because it is their way or no way.  No, this is not meant as a religious discussion either.

My Recent Experience

In fact, I just had an experience the other day that proved this without doubt.  I was traveling.  The rental car company gave me a very big vehicle to drive.  I had no choice to take the car they gave me because of the way I rented it.  If I wouldn't have taken this car, I would have paid a lot more money.

Anyway, I'm driving to find something to eat and parking was limited.  Keep in mind, I am trying to get this vehicle in and out of a parking spot and that was not easy or comfortable for me.  It made me quite nervous and anxious.  My anxiety was extremely high.  Sometimes I get animated when the anxiety is high.

After circling the parking lot several times, I stopped to regroup and figure out what I should do.  Unfortunately I didn't realize for a minute or two that I was blocking a lady trying to back out of a parking space.  It was inadvertent.  The moment I realized what I had done, I moved from the spot I was in.

When I parked the vehicle, another lady came up and rolled down her window.  Apparently the person that I had inadvertently blocked in the parking spot, was her daughter.  She started out telling me how I needed to be more "CHRISTIAN".  I'm not even sure where that came from because it wasn't like I self-identified with that in any way.  It didn't matter when I tried to explain to her what had happened, she had already judged me to be this horrible person that got mad at her daughter and blocked her in.

We exchanged words and I gave her an earful back.   I normally don't do that, but this lady instigated this and would not stop.  She had to be right.  She had to tell me how wrong I was.  There was no backing down and somehow she was a holier-than-thou type of person telling me to be a better Christian.

When I walked away from her after I stood up for myself, I felt like someone had just covered me with icky slime.  I felt like I needed to take a shower to wash off all the evil junk she spewed at me.  I'm sure she went to her next prayer meeting and told everyone the story or at least her version of how awful a human being I was.

When we have the attitude of...

When we have the attitude of "let me tell you how wrong you are", we have lowered our self from the status of human into the status of something less than.  Thinking that we know it all and we can judge another person, does not even rise to an enlightened or spiritual person.

Later, after I brushed off what this lady did to me, I could not help but think that what if I had just had some horrible news that day or maybe I realized it was my last few days to live.  Would she have treated me differently, or was she so self-absorbed that she wouldn't have cared.  My point is, we never know what another is going through and to judge others and act this way to other people, could be very hazardous to their health and well-being.

This was not love that she showed.  If she was a christian, she maybe misunderstood the concept of love and judgment.  Unfortunately, it isn't this person only in situations like this.  It is far too prevalent in the world and something NO ONE should be proud of or endorse.  Yet, we all do!

So that is my soapbox.  I could have done without this event that day, but my greater point is that we need to stop and see others with love, not judgment.  It is not our place to cast judgment on others and tell them how wrong they are.  In fact, more times than not, we need to take an inventory in our own life of what we need to work on.

Here's another blog post that talks about judging others and makes some good points.  Click the image below to read the blog post, Before You Judge Me.

Let me know if you have been judged like this by others or if you do the same thing.  I'd love to hear your comments below.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Trauma Is Worse

My trauma is worse than your trauma.  No, my trauma is worse.  You don't know how bad I had it.  I had it so much more!  Of course, I'm being fictional here.  Please don't take this that I am saying this emphatically as the truth.

Have you seen this scenario play out though?  I have seen it a million times and it really gets under my skin to be honest.  I do understand how horrible trauma can be and that it can really make it beyond difficult for a survivor to face.

In the early days, the trauma you have been through feels like some big monster choking the life out of you. It does feel like no one understands and you're all alone.

Your story is valid...

I've had people hear my story and then think that their story wasn't valid.  It always saddens me.  Each person who has been abused, beat, traumatized or whatever the case may be has their own story.  My story isn't any worse.  Yes, in some ways I've experienced a lot, but that doesn't mean I am any more special.  

Trauma is Trauma!  I'm sorry if that sound too simple but it is.  Yes, we all have our degrees of trauma and types of trauma, but holding that as a badge of honor will not get anyone very far.  Yes, I had to learn this the hard way too it seems.

Don't bite their hand off...

If someone offers you a hand of understanding, have the compassion to thank them for it or at least don't bite their hand off for offering it.  Understand that they have no way to know what you have been through until you share your story with them.  Don't expect them to understand something they don't fully know.  Getting mad at them will only distant yourself from others that may be there to support you.  It alienates people so that they walk away with a bad taste in their mouth and more likely than not, are more reluctant to support others in the future.

Anyone who has been through child abuse or other trauma has a long road of recovery ahead of them.  We're all in this together and there is no need to fight one another as if we somehow have it worse.

Sometimes good intentions fall short...

Yes, sometimes people make statements that are well-intentioned but they fall short.  You can always get angry and upset with them if you want or help them understand what it is that you know so they can be there for you in a greater way.  The more we educate others, the more we advance the understanding and treatment of mental health issues.

Let's join arms and hands and walk together into a greater love and light and understanding then we have known before.  It benefits all of us if we do this.

Here's another blog post that I wrote some time ago which applies to this one. Click on the image below to check it out.  (Therapeutic Listening For Suicide And Depression)

A Question For You?

So, I have a question for you to think about and hopefully add as a comment in reply.  Do you sometimes bite the hand of support off even from someone that is well-intentioned but falls short?

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

Friday, May 27, 2016

Embrace The Negative

I see people time and time again only focusing on the positive.  They only embrace the positive.  They only invite the positive into their life.  While there are good reasons for that, you're only grabbing half of life or healing or whatever the issue may be.

I know, you're probably ready to click off of here and say, "he doesn't have a clue what he is saying in this blog," but hopefully you will hear me out. I think it is an important part of life that many miss out on, especially those in healing.

No, I'm not talking about hanging around with doom and gloom people all day life.  I'm not talking about immersing yourself in the negativity.  I'm talking more about moderation and a shift in awareness and consciousness on negative people and thoughts.  I know that if you hang around this stuff, it can really bring you down.

Unfortunately, it isn't so much about the other person being negative as it is what the negative part brings up in each one of us.  Think of it as your teacher because it is showing you something that you are mirroring out and reflecting to the world.  Yes, I'm sure that is not easy to read, but it is true.  Its part of our human experience.  It is part of living in a human body.

If you only focus on the positive, you're exhausting so much energy to keep the negative away from you.  By doing this, you are giving power to the negative and actually attracting the negative, rather than seeing what it is in the negative that is there to teach you.

When you embrace the negative, you take the power back.  You take control and harness the energy because now, you have the ability to conquer it or learn from it.  Maybe it is a stepping stone to something more in your life.

Focusing only on the positive means that you're giving up half of your existence and your continued growth.  It means you're not seeing the whole picture.  It means that you're locked in a pattern of consciousness and awareness that will limit you, rather than free you.

Most of the time, humans do not want to be around the negative because it is like asking a person who is carrying a lot of luggage to carry also carry a 50 lb weight.  Instead of being upset with the extra 50 pound weight, we need to learn how to let go of the luggage we carry.  If we do this, we will be further ahead.

Being human in a human body is a learning curve.  It is a process.  It does include embracing the negative along with the positive to find balance in our life.  Do it in moderation and you will be surprised at just how much power you reclaim.  Use the negative as a teacher and soon you will move to the head of the class.

Here is some interesting information from 2009 on negative or positive thinking.

Question of the Day
Do you try to embrace positive thinking in your life or do you struggle with negativity?  What are your thoughts on the subject.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

We Sabotage Ourselves

There are many hurting in the world and I sure don't want to make light of anything that anyone is going through.  I've struggled with my own issues in life and at times I've barely held my head above water.  At other times in my life, I've sunk down into a mental hole of depression and despair.

I know what its like to go through some very rough and extreme moments in life.  If you want to know more, you can always catch up in my book, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma (click to read more on my blog).  I felt that I needed to start out with this because the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone or cause them additional pain.

I will speak personally because that is my truth.  Apply it to your own life as you see fit or maybe allow it to help fill in the hole of despair and depression you may be experiencing.  We are all in this together. 

One of the things we do....

One of the things we do as humans is we sabotage ourselves.  I know personally that I do this.  Recently I struggle through a major loss and change in my life.  I had people reaching out, but I closed the door on them.  I had people I could call, but I just didn't want to talk to anyone.  The things that I had once used to help me in life had become nothing but daggers pointed in my direction.

I did everything and anything to sabotage my life.  I didn't care about my health or what I ate or what I did.  I was in misery and I wanted to stay in misery.  Happiness or well-being had become enemies to me.  I fought anything that was good for me.

Yet, I knew deep down that in order to change the way I felt, I had to change the way I was acting and behaving.  I had to change those things that were not helping and embrace that which could help.  It didn't all happen at once.  I didn't change it overnight but I kept working towards the good and I kept trying and attempting to embrace that which would help me.

We do it before we realize it...

It is so easy for us to sabotage ourselves.  We can do it with the best of them.  We can do it before we even realize we are doing it.  However, it isn't helpful.  It isn't good for us long term.  We know that, but we still do it.

Sometimes people come along in your life and are there to help you.  Sometimes they reach out and if we keep pulling our hand back, we will keep sinking in the quick sand.  Sometimes the hand reaching out to us helps give us the strength to make it up out of the quick sand.  Maybe it just gives a temporary moment of rest and pause so we can find our way out of the hole of despair and depression.

The thing is, if we sabotage ourselves, we'll stay stuck in that dark hole.  We'll stay in that quick sand that keeps pulling us under.  Is it easy to get out of it?  NO!  No, it definitely is not.  It can require much more strength than we sometimes have, but that's where others come in.  They are there to help us through those difficult moments until we can find solid footing to stand on.

If you're in one of these deep dark holes of despair and depression, try this and see if it works.  If it doesn't, then keep trying until you find the thing that does.  Focus on one thing that you can do to help you.  It doesn't matter how small it may be.  Once you've been able to do that, then repeat again and again.  Don't reach for the stars immediately.  Instead of just focus on doing one small thing.

Once you keep adding those things together day after day, you'll probably look back and be surprised at just how far you have come.  Don't give up.  Don't allow the quick sand to pull you under.  Realize you have much more strength than you can see and know that "this too shall pass".

If nothing else, I'm pulling for you.  I'm reaching out with a hand through my words here to offer a moment of strength and support.  You can do this.  You can do this!

By chance if you sabotage yourself, don't worry - tomorrow, you can always try to do something differently.  And if that day isn't as successful as  you want, the next day gives you a clean slate.
Leave a comment if you agree that you sabotage yourself or if you disagree.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.