Saturday, December 31, 2011

Neuroscience and Kissing? Maybe TMI!

Here's the link to the article below, which may deflate romanticists dreams, validate common sense, and demonstrate once again that neuroscience is the new celebrity of culture in the second decade of the 21st century.


Sealed with a kiss - and neuroscience

  Enlarge Photo    
By Sheril Kirshenbaum
Sunday, December 26, 2010
A kiss at midnight to ring in the new year. That's what Friday night should bring, right?
It's tradition, compulsion, festive duty. An excuse to make a bold move with someone new, a reason to be anxious about finding a date or a chance to celebrate with a longtime love. And there's pressure to get it right.
There ia a scientific basis for those high stakes. Whom you kiss can set the course for a good year. Really. It's not magic - it's chemistry and neuroscience. And no matter how painstakingly you set the scene, in the end chemistry trumps mood music. From a scientific perspective, a kiss is a natural litmus test to help us identify a good partner. Start the first moments of 2011 with the right one, and you're beginning the year on a natural high.
Just what is it that makes kissing such a powerful and significant part of the human experience?
A kiss influences important chemicals in our brains and bodies responsible for promoting social bonding. According to the work of Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, kissing evolved to facilitate three essential needs: sex drive, romantic love and attachment. Each is involved in promoting reproduction, and kissing bolsters all three. In that view, locking lips helps us find partners, commit to one person and keep couples together long enough to have a child.
Humans have evolved to use a number of signals - including taste, smell and possibly silent chemical messengers called pheromones - to help us figure out whether someone is a suitable partner and a good person to reproduce with. A kiss means getting close to someone - close enough to suss out important clues about chemistry and genetics. At this range, our noses can detect valuable information about another person's health and perhaps even his or her DNA. Biologist Claus Wedekind has found, for instance, that women are most attracted to the scents of men with a different set of genetic coding for immunity than their own. This is probably because when there is greater genetic diversity between parents in this area, their children will have more versatile immune systems. The assessment occurs at a subconscious level, yet a bad initial kiss may be a result of a genetically star-crossed pair. (Which is something else to worry about during a new encounter: "What if the girl of my dreams rejects my genes?")
During a passionate kiss, our blood vessels dilate and our brains receive more oxygen than normal. Our breathing can become irregular and deepen. Our cheeks flush, our pulse quickens, and our pupils dilate (which may be one reason that so many of us close our eyes). A long, open-mouthed exchange allows us to sample another person's taste, which can reveal clues about his or her health and fertility. Our tongues - covered with little bumps called papillae that feature our 9,000 to 10,000 taste buds - are ideally designed to gather such information.
When we kiss, all five of our senses are busy transmitting messages to our brain. Billions of nerve connections are firing away and distributing signals around our bodies. Eventually, these signals reach the somatosenory cortex, the region of the brain that processes feelings of touch, temperature, pain and more.
Our brains respond by producing chemicals that help us decide our next move. A good kiss can work like a drug, influencing the hormones and neurotransmitters coursing through our bodies. It can send two people on a natural high by stimulating pleasure centers in the brain. The feeling has much to do with a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is responsible for craving and desire and associated with "falling in love." When it's really pumping, dopamine spurs us to take things further.
Kissing also promotes the "love hormone," oxytocin, which works to maintain a special connection between two people; kissing can keep love alive when a relationship has survived decades, long after novelty has waned. In other words, kissing influences the uptake of hormones and neurotransmitters beyond our conscious control, and these signals play a huge part in how we feel about each other.
A bad kiss, alternatively, can lead to chemical chaos. An uncomfortable environment or a poor match can stimulate the "stress hormone" cortisol, discouraging both partners from continuing. Evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup of the University at Albany reports that 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women say they have ended a budding relationship because of a kiss that did not go well.
Whether it's magic or a disaster, there is one thing that a first kiss is very likely to be: unforgettable. Psychologist John Bohannon of Butler University and his research team surveyed 500 people to compare their recollections of a variety of significant life experiences - such as a first kiss and the loss of virginity - to find out what made the most dramatic impression. A first kiss trumped everything: It was the most vivid memory in the minds of those being surveyed.
In fact, when asked about specifics, Bohannon reported that most people could recall up to 90 percent of the details of the moment - where they were, who made the first move - no matter how long ago the exchange took place.
Which is not to say that sharing a New Year's Eve kiss with someone new will necessarily be a memory worth savoring for a lifetime. If midnight's buss is a bust, remember that you can't control everything about the situation and that your body (or your partner's) may be saying something very important: Look elsewhere. If the chemistry is wrong, there's not much you can do. But take heart. Valentine's Day is less than two months away.
Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist at the University of Texas and the author of the new book "The Science of Kissing."

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Yes, We All Like Stuff that Mirrors Our Own Opinion. Here It Is in Spades!

"Isn’t positive thinking better than negative thinking? All other things being equal, sure, but the alternative to being either an optimist or a pessimist is to be a realist. “Human intellectual progress, such as it has been, results from our long struggle to see things ‘as they are,’ or in the most universally comprehensible way, and not as projections of our own emotions,” Ehrenreich concludes. “What we call the Enlightenment and hold on to only tenuously, by our fingernails, is the slow-dawning understanding that the world is unfolding according to its own inner algorithms of cause and effect, probability and chance, without any regard for human feelings.”

 Here's the link to the whole article from Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=kool-aid-psychology&page=2

Realistic thinking is the way to delve in 2012!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting Ready to Get Ready to Make Changes

I'm thinking and talking and writing about change; change that I am choosing, not change that is being imposed upon me.  Theoretically, we prefer change that we have control over to that which we do not. But, we can't necessarily stick to change even change we choose. The will or skill to do so is labeled in many ways: will power, self-control, strategic allocation of attention. I started last week to avoid the onus of New Years resolution. I'm meditating for 20 minutes 5 days a week in my pjs as I roll out of bed, followed by 10 minutes of stretching, back exercises,  and finally followed by coffee. So far so good.

Along the way I found this  article on Psyblog. I like it because research is routinely included so you can easily verify the tips. Although ten techniques are mentioned, I'm only including the first two right now because many are redundant. Here's the opening.

"1. Respect low ego
Research has found that self-control is a limited resource (Vohs et al., 2000). Exercising it has clear physiological effects, like lower glucose levels (Gailliot et al., 2007).
At any one time we only have so much self-control in the tank. When you've been tightly controlling yourself, the tank is low and you become more likely to give in to temptation. Psychologists call this 'ego-depletion'.
Recognise when your levels of self-control are low and make sure you find a way to avoid temptation during those times.
Unfortunately, as we all know to our cost, self-control frequently fails. Part of the problem is we overestimate our ability to resist temptation (Nordgren et al., 2009)."

Here's a link to an article on this blog about decision fatigue, ego depletion etc. http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/08/decision-fatigue.htmlA shot of sugar helps — sometimes. But if you're temptation is sugar, best to try something else.

"2. Pre-commit 

Make the decision before you're in the tempting situation. Pre-committing yourself to difficult goals can lead to increased performance. In one study by Ariely and Wertenbroch (2002) students who imposed strict deadlines on themselves performed better than those who didn't.
Only take a limited amount of money with you to curtail spending, or only have healthy foods at home to avoid the temptation to go astray.
It's difficult to pre-commit because normally we like to leave our options open. But if you're harsh on you future self, you're less likely to regret it."

We'll all find different ways that work with our different brains and habits. The shot of sugar doesn't help me, even if I don't have an overeating or sugar temptation. Pre-committing works even though I'm not sure why. Maybe because I like to know I can count on myself ?
What works for  you?
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Do You Suffer from Acedia?

John Plotz opens his NYTimes Book Review essay (Dec. 25, 2011) with the following paragraph.

"By some miracle, you set aside a day to tackle that project you can't seem to finish in the office. You close the door, boot up your laptop, open the right file and . . . five minutes later catch yourself thinking about dinner. By 10 a.m., you're staring at the wall, even squinting at it between your fingertips. Is this day 50 hours long? Soon, you fall into a light, unsatisfying sleep and awake dizzy or with a pounding headache; all your limbs feel weighted down. At which point, most likely around noon, you commit a fatal error: leaving the room. I'll just garden for a bit, you tell yourself, or do a a little charity work. Hmmm, I wonder if my friend Gregory is around?"

Does this state sound vaguely familiar to writers? And perhaps to other readers too? Dr. Plotz identifies the syndrome as acedia, described in the writings of monastic monks in the 4th and 5th centuries:" . . . the ills that come with solitary, sedentary, cerebral work." Yes, those monks were writers too. I'm not suggesting that acedia is the same as writers' block, but similarities arise for contemplation. Acedia sounds more intellectual, historically interesting, and even more mystical than plain writers' block. I'll have to start looking for a place to use the word.

As it turns out, John Plotz is working on a book project titled, "Semi-detached: Absorption and Distraction Reconsidered." I'm eager to know more since detachment and distraction are topics of interest in general for intelligentwomenonly.com: useful in stress reduction, letting go of negative self-talk, meditation, self-hypnosis, focus. Remember Mischel's marshmallows and strategic allocation of attention?  For writers, absorption (when we can arrive at that level of focus) produces tremendous spurts of writing productivity. But it's difficult to summon at will.

Plotz provides no magic medicine as treatment, but tell us of a mental exercise. Divide oneself into two, "one the consoler and the other the object of consolation". Although he doesn't specifically say to talk to yourself, I assume that's what you do as both the client and therapist. He notes that this exercise and others from Evagrius (Fourth century monk and ascetic), ". . .  unmistakeably anticipate the self-disciplining (and self-forgiving) exercises of modern cognitive-behavioral scientists." Hm-m-m-m. Sometimes the connections are wide and tight at the same time: Fourth century and twenty-first, monks and psychologists, negative self-talk and realistic self-talk, the continuum of states of mind.

My absorption is waning. Or is it decision fatigue? I must need a shot of sugar. It's late afternoon after all. How about you? I'm sure some of my writing readers already know about acedia. Any thoughts about similarities and differences related to wb? Any treatment suggestions?
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Detaching from WWW.

Letting go of all things electronic for the next four days in order to be "in the moment", whether the moment is joyous, anxious, calm or content, sad — or mad or glad. The "retreat" is a spa treatment for my brain. It already feels good to my body too. Back posting on December 28th.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Calm, Cool, and Collected for Holiday Time?

Here's a piece of a 2010 post that might help you deal with NST and resulting stress in the week or so ahead.  Right now is the time to find a calming, realistic mantra: "I'm letting the stress go for now." "One step at a time. I'll make it work." "I can do it." "One week (or one day) and this will all be over." "I will be fine and I will be happy." Then just say it over and over to yourself like a robot. It's not positive thinking. It's not negative thinking. It's coping thinking. If you don't feel stressed at all, more power to you. You've already figured out how to hang loose, let it go, take it easy, avoid perfectionism, be in the moment, and enjoy this time of year.

• Cognitive Restructuring — A Classic Way to Change Your Inner Monologue

Cognitive restructuring is a psychological term which means to change, alter, (restructure) what we are saying to ourselves (= our thoughts =cognitions) It's the classic way to eliminate negative self-talk.

From Albert Ellis's book, A Guide to Rational Living ( 3rd edition, 1975)) to today's bestselling books by David Burns (Feeling Good 1999),  the topic of changing what you say to yourself (when it's not working to bring about a desired result) has always been a good idea.
Cognitive restructuring had been kidnapped by the positive thinking crowd along the way, but now even Martin Seligman, the "father" of positive psychology is backing away from the positive overhype as shown in his brand new book, Flourish. Not-negative is different than positive.

I used to refer to the restructured product of a negative thought  as a neutral statement but now I think of it as a realistic statement.

Here are the steps:

1. Notice your inner self-talk.
2. Discriminate between negative self-talk and useful self-instructions.
3. If it's useless negative self-talk, quickly check out alternative ways of thinking to eliminate the negative self-talk:

     • realistic thinking — "I handled that situation poorly. Fortunately I learned something from it."
     • coping statements — "Next time, if in doubt — don't."
     • substitution to divert attention — count by odd numbers to 1000, recite the Gettysburg address
     • see a big STOP sign in your mind to remind you to stop the NST
     • imagine that the NST is a concrete object that you blow up, drown, erase or turn into steam in your mind

Try some of this stuff out and see what works for you.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Pull Out All Techniques So You Can Have a Good Day, Week, Month

There's a whole week until Christmas, two days until Hanukkah, and two weeks until the new year. This is often a time of too much and too little: too much to do and not enough time to do it, too many expectations and too few resources, too much fatigue and too little sleep,  too much perfectionism and too little acceptance, too much up tight and not enough relaxation.

Looking back and looking around I see how unimportant some of the major stressors of the holidays have been for me, although of course I didn't see it at the time. "In the big picture of life" it doesn't really matter if Jane doesn't like the scarf, or your son is disappointed with the too small fire engine, or you never sent cards out for the third year in a row, or the house looks yukky, or that you didn't make cookies, or even that you have to be alone for the holiday season.

We all have to dig deep to find our resilience and to rise to a reasonable place where we can be comfortable and slightly happy. So we have relatives who are a pain in the neck, or competitive co-workers who are difficult, or health and money problems, or worst of all, tricky problems with our partners, spouses, family. Not good.

I don't have the answers and I can assure you that I don't handle things well and easily, routinely. But I encourage us all to at least be most accepting of ourselves during this time of year. Remember the three ways to get rid of negative self-talk: problem-solving thinking, cognitive restructuring, and detachment. Eliminating NST will not solve all problems, but it will definitely help you have a more enjoyable few days, few weeks, few months ahead.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Have a Healthy Brain

Top 10 Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis (and a Call to eBook Readers)

You may have  noticed that Amazon.com is shar­ing aggre­gated data on how ebook read­ers inter­act with the books they are read­ing. For exam­ple, the “Pop­u­lar High­lights” sec­tion (towards the bot­tom of our Kin­dle book page) ranks the Top 10 sen­tences that Kin­dle read­ers have high­lighted and shared while read­ing The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (April 2009; 182 pages; ranked #1 in Kin­dle Store’s Pre­ven­tive Med­i­cine section).
This infor­ma­tion is invalu­able to authors and pub­lish­ers - as you can imag­ine, we’ll make sure to not only main­tain but to elab­o­rate on these top­ics as we pre­pare future edi­tions of the book.
So, what are so far the Top Ten Quotes on Life­long Neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, based on read­ers’ reac­tion to The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness via Kin­dle eBook plat­form? Here you are the Top Ten:

  1. Neu­ro­plas­tic­ity refers to the life­long capac­ity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stim­u­la­tion of learn­ing and expe­ri­ence. Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis is the abil­ity to cre­ate new neu­rons and con­nec­tions between neu­rons through­out a life­time.” (High­lighted and shared by 24 Kin­dle readers)
  2. …best defenses against chronic stress are phys­i­cal exer­cise, relax­ation, self-empowerment, and cul­ti­vat­ing social networks.”
  3. Learn­ing is thought to be “neuro-protective.” Through neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, learn­ing increases con­nec­tions between neu­rons, increases cel­lu­lar metab­o­lism, and increases the pro­duc­tion of nerve growth fac­tor, a sub­stance pro­duced by the body to help main­tain and repair neurons.”
  4. There is not one sin­gle “atten­tion”, but three sep­a­rate func­tions of atten­tion: alert­ing, ori­ent­ing, and exec­u­tive attention.”
  5. The fear of fail­ing, the fear of look­ing not smart, is a key obsta­cle to learn­ing that I see too often, espe­cially with peo­ple who want to pro­tect per­ceived rep­u­ta­tions to such an extent that they do not let them­selves try new learn­ing cycles.”
  6. Emo­tion is the sys­tem that tells us how impor­tant some­thing is. Atten­tion focuses us on the impor­tant and away from the unim­por­tant things. Cog­ni­tion tells us what to do about it. Cog­ni­tive skills are what­ever it takes to do those things.”
  7. As lit­tle as three hours a week of brisk walk­ing has been shown to halt, and even reverse, the brain atro­phy (shrink­age) that starts in a person’s for­ties, espe­cially in the regions respon­si­ble for mem­ory and higher cog­ni­tion. Exer­cise increases the brain’s vol­ume of gray mat­ter (actual neu­rons) and white mat­ter (con­nec­tions between neurons).”
  8. Evi­dence of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity has been observed mostly in the brains of indi­vid­u­als who became experts in a par­tic­u­lar skill. Why? Because changes asso­ci­ated with learn­ing occur mas­sively when we become expert in a spe­cific domain. The areas of the brain that sup­port the skills at which one has become an expert change over time.”
  9. Cur­rent rec­om­men­da­tions sug­gest that a brain-healthy life style should include at least bal­anced nutri­tion, stress man­age­ment, phys­i­cal exer­cise, and brain exercise.”
  10. it is also impor­tant to main­tain emo­tional con­nec­tions. Not only with our­selves, to have self-confidence and self-esteem, but also with our fam­ily our friends.” Sleep and over­all health con­di­tions are other fac­tors that also mat­ter. Here we focus on the four main pil­lars of brain health: Bal­anced nutri­tion Stress man­age­ment, Phys­i­cal exer­cise, Men­tal stimulation.”
We have not yet fig­ured out whether we’ll be able to track this same data via other eBook plat­forms such as Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Apple’s iPad. In any case, fas­ci­nat­ing times! If you hap­pen to have a Kin­dle (or read Kin­dle books via other devices), and can invest $4.99 in a pretty solid eBook…please get your own copy and make sure to high­light your favorite sen­tences so we can include them in our analysis!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Mexico, Detachment, and No Stress

Back on the detachment kick as a stress reduction technique. I'm in Mexico, where it's particularly easy to be "in the moment". I'm looking out over the earth curved water's edge, the beach inhabited only by willets and seagulls, life uncomplicated by responsibilities other than cooking occasionally, watching tiny sand islands suddenly emerge as the tide goes out then expand into endless stretches of empty beach.
I know this is a rare opportunity. I also know that being here, or actually almost anywhere in Mexico, always does the same thing for me. Allows me to zone out easily and comfortably.

Although meditation is a wonderful form of detachment too, and certainly much more practical, it's impossible to pursue REAL life while in a meditative state. Some can do that. I have not been able to do so — yet.

In accord with the research on the intuitive style of thinking versus the logical, I'm finding (or imagining) greater fluidity and creativity in thinking when I'm here and detached. The question becomes, "How can I carry this back with me? And where can I find a similar ease of detachment and how can I carry it with me in real life? Maybe there is no answer and the escape is only that — a brief opportunity to zone out. I like it.

Questions that arise with lengthy periods of detachment are: How to not care without being uncaring? How to detach and yet still be responsible? How to use the creative thoughts while keeping the detachment in place?

I'll be back attached by Wednesday!
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Why Women Need to Support Men

Here's a quote from Marcia Reynolds (author of Wander Woman) a colleague whom I have quoted previously in posts.
"There is an identity evolution going on around the world. Economic necessity has spurred women to be more self-sufficient and confident both at work and at home. This reality has put a dent in male dominance. However, the result is not the "End of Men" as many writers would have you believe. As the definition of "what it means to be a woman" changes, so does the definition of "what it means to be a man."
The problem is the lack of support for this evolution.
The truth is that many women are proving to be good at traditionally "male" tasks, such as running businesses, fixing gadgets and even drinking. Men are also proving to be good at traditionally female tasks, such as listening, caretaking, doing household tasks well and managing family relationships.
Women are not becoming less feminine; they are learning to speak up, take charge and more easily make decisions while still possessing more "feminine" qualities at varying degrees. Men are not becoming wimps; they have been given the freedom to express their "softer" emotions, find joy in less "manly" tasks, and choose careers based on meaning and fulfillment instead of taking a path based solely on money.
We are all evolving. It's the labels and judgments we place on each other that are not evolving."

Here's the link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-reynolds/why-we-need-to-support-me_b_1127886.html

Most interesting to me was a comment by a reader who noted that moving beyond competition as to which gender is smarter, quicker, funnier, better, is key to improved communication and relationships. I heartily agree while also noticing that I'm very competitive with, to, and about men and need to make some changes in my thinking, behavior, and posting on the topic of gender difference.

Here are some thoughts I'm entertaining on the topic.

• I don't want to be less or feel that I have to be less, so that men can be more.
• I don't want to be fakely feminine so that I can be acceptable.
• I don't want to have unrealistic expectations of the men in my life: colleagues, sons, spouse, friends. E.g. They always know about technology and directions to get somewhere.
• I don't want men to have unrealistic expectations of women and me. E.g.We always enjoy the caretaking role.
• I'm not sure how to drop the defense, or the offense, and genuinely move forward collaboratively, although I think for sure it's the right way to go.
• If I figure it all out I'm sure I'll feel good, but I'll miss the humor and edginess of the competitive game.

What are your thoughts about gender differences, competition, and supporting men? Remember the Time magazine article about whether men or women do more work to "run the family show"? http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/08/equity-in-gender-division-of-labor.html
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WW: Ann Patchett — Writer, Entertainer, Entrepreneur

Trumpet blast!  News flash! 

Today's post opens the curtain on a new subject for intelligentwomenonly.com, Writers and Writing.  It shows up now as the 8th and bottom red box on the right side of the intelligentwomenonly.com site. Posts on the topic will show up haphazardly for now, all labeled "Writers and Writing" and carrying WW in the title line. If you have ideas, thoughts, comments about the new subject and/or you'd like to write a guest post for Writers and Writing, please let me know.

After today, I'll continue to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the regular topics: understanding negative self-talk, eliminating negative self-talk, gender differences, psychosocial/political/cultural stuff, stress reduction, techniques to reduce NST and stress, and problem-solving.

Ann Patchett — Writer, Entertainer, Entrepreneur

 I heard Ann Patchett read and speak at Town Hall in Seattle. She was the best writer/speaker I've ever seen/heard: funny, real, honest, dramatic, and right there with the audience. When I recently saw this article below about the "new" book tour trend I realized Ann broke the historic and familiar pattern at least a year ago. Here's the link to that article:


 In case you missed the article about Ann's new bookstore in the New York Times, here's the link:

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Rumination — Often an Extension of Negative Self-Talk

 David Brooks, columnist and author of The Social Animal, asked people in their sixties and seventies to write to him about life and learnings. Here's a snippet from one of his recent columns as he categorizes and summarizes the responses he receives.

 Beware rumination. There were many long, detailed essays by people who are experts at self-examination. They could finely calibrate each passing emotion. But these people often did not lead the happiest or most fulfilling lives. It’s not only that they were driven to introspection by bad events. Through self-obsession, they seemed to reinforce the very emotions, thoughts and habits they were trying to escape.

Many of the most impressive people, on the other hand, were strategic self-deceivers. When something bad was done to them, they forgot it, forgave it or were grateful for it. When it comes to self-narratives, honesty may not be the best policy.

Here's a link to a previous post about rumination. http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/10/rumination-is-not-problem-solving.html

Now is a great time to stop NST and rumination! Enjoy the upcoming holidays without the inner critic, demon, harsh perfectionist. Let's get real. You don't have time to make exquisite cookies. You did drink too much at the office party. You have not chosen the perfect gift for everyone on the list. Your party wasn't the best. The house hasn't a touch of decoration yet and maybe won't for a week or two or three.
BUT, you are still a good person, a smart person, a capable person. You just are NOT a perfect person. And when you are 60 or 70 you certainly don't want to still be stuck on 2011 and your inability to be a great cook, party planner, or gift giver.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

The Pain and Pressure of Negative Self-Talk

Here's the beginning of a heart-felt article and link to the rest at http://thinksimplenow.com  Reading this along (with permission) in contrast to the usual research-based stuff. This is real life, from the heart.

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

Photo by aeschleah
By Tina Su
Do you know what makes life difficult?
The answer is simple: it’s us. :)
It is us, and that large and complex brain of ours that seem to seek out drama, repeat negative self-talk, create false illusions of fear, and generally makes our life difficult in almost all situations. Seriously.
Every single struggle we experience on a daily basis; every complaint, every dissatisfaction, every problem can be drilled down into a single source of root cause: our brain and the stories it tell us.
Because our brain’s job is to keep us safe, it is constantly acting from a place of fear. Its job is to ensure our survival. As such, its job is not to ensure that we have a blissful experience while we are alive.
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