Saturday, 31 October 2020

Would you pick up the kids?

You see this in animals pretending to be dead to survive a predator attack. For example, after tumbling down a thirty-foot ravine in my car accident, it was difficult for me to drive up a narrow mountain road without experiencing anxiety and my arms freezing at the wheel. It took years to overcome this post-traumatic stress response, but over time and with deliberate practice driving up mountain roads, I finally discharged it from my body. Fortunately, the brain is brilliant. When we feel overly stressed, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) kicks in, signaling us to rest and slow down. This can show up as crashing for an afternoon nap or sleeping a full day to rebalance after returning from an international trip. Another way to unhook the stress response is diaphragmatic breathing and walking in nature, which I describe in detail below. These exercises help reduce our heart rate and regulate our nervous system to a calmer state as quickly as ten minutes. Explain when it is more productive to generate upward than downward counterfactuals. Identify four essential ways people make sense of the world, as presented in this article. As investigators of the world around us, we gain a more coherent and often more accurate understanding of events not only through memories, assigning causes for the outcomes that do happen, and forming impressions of those involved, but by also imagining alternative outcomes. In fact, one of the most remarkable properties of the mind afforded by the evolution of the human neocortex is the capacity to fantasize--to imagine events that have not happened and people who do not exist. Fantasy and science fiction writers such as J. Rowling of Harry Potter fame and J. Tolkien, whose stories were the basis for the recent Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, provide particularly vivid examples of this capacity because they imagine entire alternative universes. Although most of us aren't quite that creative, we all use our imaginations every day. Indeed, every thought we have of the future is a fantasy because it requires imagining something that does not yet exist and may never exist in the way we imagine it. And as we have seen from work on memory reconstruction, every recall of an event from the past involves using one's imagination to fill in the details: Not only is the future never exactly as we imagined it, but neither is the past! Those who feel small and have little self-confidence express this through body language. Manipulators who are looking for a new victim will find you immediately.

The interpretation of body language There are quite a few people who have a perfect command of power poses and gestures of power. Politicians, superiors, company bosses and all those who want to convince other people of something. Often these people owe their popularity and the position they hold to this ability. Nevertheless, body language cannot always be deciphered clearly and correctly. Sometimes it is a premonition or a strange feeling in the pit of the stomach that leads to the assumption that something is wrong. It is noticeable that the words said to express something quite different from body language. Harmony is missing. When stress happens only occasionally, the body can easily regulate to a state of homeostasis or equilibrium, with no long-lasting health effects. However, when stress becomes chronic, lingering for months and even years, persistent surges of the stress response and elevated epinephrine and cortisol levels become maladaptive, making it difficult to rebalance to a calm state without stress-reduction practices and tools. Long-term stress can lead to physical problems such as digestive issues, inflammation, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and heart disease, or mental problems, such as anxiety and depression. The good news is that we can overcome stress and retrain the body to be more resilient. When we understand our biological response and the signs of stress, we can build more self-awareness and self-compassion the next time we experience a threat to our well-being, such as being laid off from a job, a global health or financial crisis, difficulties in relationships, or even tough conversations. We can manage stress through consistent mindfulness strategies, such as restful sleep; When we engage in diaphragmatic breathing through yoga, qigong, and meditation, we rebalance our nervous system. Diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, the autonomic nervous system's (ANS) longest nerve, which runs from the neck to the abdomen. This nerve is largely responsible for turning off the fight-flight-or-freeze response and activating the calm-and-relax response to regulate many biological functions, such as heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure. How does the brain and body communicate? A less obvious but equally important use of our imaginations is thinking about how things that happen a certain way could have turned out differently. These alternatives that run counter to what actually happened are known as counterfactuals.

Just as assigning causal attributions helps us make sense of the world, so does our ability to think about alternative outcomes. Counterfactuals are so deeply ingrained in how we react to events that occur, they often affect us without our conscious awareness that they are doing so. In fact, the research we are about to present demonstrates that counterfactual thoughts routinely influence how we judge and respond emotionally to events in our lives. However, we are also more likely to imagine counterfactual outcomes in some situations than in others. By examining these patterns of what counterfactual outcomes come easily to mind and when, research has revealed the important role they play in our lives. The More Easily We Can Mentally Undo an Event, the Stronger Our Reaction to It Consider the following story, based on Kahneman and Tversky (1982), which we'll call Version A: Carmen always wanted to see the Acropolis, so after graduating from Temple University, using a travel agent, she arranged to fly from Philadelphia to Athens. She originally articleed a flight in which she had to switch planes in Paris, with a three-hour layover before her flight from Paris to Athens. Even the smallest nuances are registered by the subconscious. Never look at body language separately, without the words that have been said. This will tear facial expressions and gestures out of context. But by training your sensors and expanding your mental radar, you can localize negative and positive signals. With the acquired knowledge you will be able to react appropriately. The following nonverbal messages should be remembered. You are guaranteed to notice them in many people who have a perfect command of body language: The person stands or sits with you and physically moves to your level. When you sit, the person stops to demonstrate hierarchy and power. Eye contact is maintained and thus interest is symbolized. Science shows that we have a gut-brain connection that is a key factor in our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is the enteric nervous system (ENS) or second brain which bidirectionally communicates with the brain and neuroendocrine system.

Comprised of 100 million neurons, it works independently from the central nervous system and plays an integral role in our digestion, mood, health, and the way we think. This gut-brain connection also manages the key neurotransmitters that contribute to our feelings of happiness: serotonin and dopamine. Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach or experienced a gut feeling? These expressions are examples how our gastrointestinal tract communicates through emotion. Feelings such as anger, anxiety, excitement, and sadness, can trigger symptoms in the gut. When we experience stress, you may experience symptoms such as bloating and constipation, along with overwhelm and anxiety. To combat the stress, the stress hormone cortisol gets released along with PNS to regulate metabolism, blood pressure, and blood sugar. By listening to our gut instincts or physiological symptoms, we can better manage our energy levels, prevent chronic ailments, and curb the signs of burnout quickly. But a few days before her departure date, her travel agent e-mailed her that a direct flight from Philly to Athens had become available. Carmen figured, Why not? Unfortunately, her plane suffered engine failure and came down in the Mediterranean, leaving no survivors. How tragic would you judge this outcome for Carmen? Is every case in which a young woman dies before getting to see the Acropolis equally tragic? Well, if you are like the students who participated in Kahneman and Tversky's classic study, you would say very tragic. But what if you read Version B? Carmen always wanted to see the Acropolis, so after graduating from Temple University, using a travel agent, she arranged to fly from Philadelphia to Athens. She articleed a flight in which she had to switch planes in Paris, with a three-hour layover before her flight from Paris to Athens. Unfortunately, her plane from Paris to Athens suffered engine failure and came down in the Mediterranean, leaving no survivors. There is hardly any eye contact, there is blinking and the lips are formed into a narrow line. Instead of stopping in front of the room, you enter it without hesitation.

A symbol of trust. During the conversation the arms are crossed or the hands are supported on the hips. A sign of skepticism. Quiet, non-extending movements. This shows confidence. Hands are hidden under the table or in the trouser pocket, fingers are crossed or hands are clenched into fists. The gestures show nervousness and are asymmetrical. This is an expression of mistrust. Like a computer, our brain and nervous system have the ability to uninstall and reinstall a new operating system that reinforces new positive habits and ways for regulating stress that restore our well-being. Next time you are working long hours trying to meet a deadline, take a pause and listen to your gut intelligence. It may be signaling signs for a break, exercise, or unplugging from technology and work altogether. In this next section, you will discover best practices for staying physically, emotionally, and mentally balanced and achieving peak performance in your career. Restful Sleep It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep-related problems. The Center for Disease Control says, Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. It is as vital as the air we breathe and the food we eat and affects various aspects of mental and physical health, including productivity, emotional balance, a strong immune system, creativity, and mental clarity. Demanding schedules, frequent traveling, or life transitions can disrupt sleep and take a substantial toll on our mood, energy, and mental acuity, reducing our ability to handle stress and wreaking havoc on our health. Sleep enables the brain to oversee the biological maintenance that allows us to work, learn, innovate, and communicate at peak performance levels throughout the day. How tragic does that seem? Well, Kahneman and Tversky's research showed that people who read stories like Version B don't think they are nearly as tragic as do those who read stories like Version A.

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