Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias” Part 2

Part 1 of this blog was posted this past March 2015. It focused on neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s work on the brain’s negativity and positivity bias, two evolutionary distinct neural pathways; both of crucial importance to human survival and human adaptation as well as the more personal pursuit of wellbeing and enhanced quality of life—concerns that are always in the forefront to many of us who live with a chronic illness.

Part 2 presents Hanson’s method for counteracting the  “negativity bias” by strengthening or generating new pathways with “a positivity bias.” Continue reading

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Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias”

Negativity is an addiction to the bleak shadow that lingers around every human form … you can transfigure negativity by turning it toward the light of your soul.

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Quality of life, general wellbeing, is an ongoing concern for us. We want a daily existence characterized by positive emotions. We try in earnest to rest our minds on what is calming and edifying, states of mind such as trust, hope, optimism, gratitude, serenity, compassion or joy.   Continue reading

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Making Spousal Relationships Work

You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. — Sam Keen

This Valentine’s Day, along with the cards, flowers and dining out, let us give our ourselves and spouses, who are often our stressed caregivers, an additional gift—seven conversations on the art of strengthening our relationships.

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Strategies to Achieve our New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

“What keeps me going is goals.”
– Muhammad Ali

A year comes to an end and new one begins. It is the season when many of us enthusiastically commit to abandon old habits and acquire new ones. We might resolve to lose weight, adhere to an exercise routine, repair a broken relationship with a loved one, or deepen spirituality. The choices are endless.New Year Resolutions

Goal formulation is a worthwhile project. Goals are statements about what we want in the future. They help us organize our behavior. Goal attainment is positively related to life satisfaction and optimal quality of life. Attained goals can infuse our existence with enthusiasm, energy, passion, optimism, commitment, and inspiration, as well as meaning and purpose. Continue reading

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Aiming for Well-being

Este mensaje se puede ver en español.

“Move. Connect. Engage.”  – NWPF

Defining well-being has, for centuries, been the concern of philosophers. In recent years, however, the topic has attracted the attention of scientists within various fields, such as health and medicine, environmental studies, planning, policymaking, business management and leadership. As a result, presently, there is a growing body of knowledge identifying the factors or elements that both influence and constitute “the good life.”

Well Being

In the field of psychology, the most recent proposal is Martin Seligman’s “scientific theory of well-being.” He identified five pillars which, when adopted, also culminate in an individual’s flourishing.*   Continue reading

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Understanding and Managing PD-Related Shame and Embarrassment

Those of us living with PD often experience distressing shame and embarrassment secondary to some of our PD symptoms. When eating in public, for example, hand tremors can cause us to spill food all over the dining table and ourselves. The same tremors plus slowness of movement, have us struggle getting money or credit cards out of our wallets while the cashier, and customers waiting in line, show clear signs of impatience. Excessive salivation can result in drooling. Poor balance makes us walk unsteadily, as if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The list is not exhaustive. Continue reading

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