Hacking your brain for happiness
Dr. James Doty
Apr 5, 2016
Dr. James Doty explains the neurological benefits of Compassion. “Project Compassion” has now turned into a leading research and educational institution and the only institution solely focused on the study of Compassion, Altruism and Empathy.
James Robert Doty, M.D., examines the neural, mental, and social bases of compassion. He serves as Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Founder and Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) – of which the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He serves as Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religion.
He has just release his first book, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.
Giorgio Grossi, PhD
The Stress Clinic Stockholm
Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health
Karolinska Institutet. November 2016
May 18, 2011
The Aspen Institute
Dec 18, 2014
Feb 2, 2015
World Economic Forum
How can a better understanding of the neural basis of mindfulness meditation lead to improved clinical applications?
• Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.
• Thomas R. Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health, USA; Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.
not instead of medication, but in addition to
The Hawn Foundation
Gates Foundation: develop a game to teach middle-schoolers the skills of mindfulness in a game-like format
Is there too much mindfulness? (can you overdo it?)
Twelve of 18 men in the study gave themselves at least one electric shock during the study’s 15-minute “thinking” period.
By comparison, six of 24 females shocked themselves.
All of these participants had received a sample of the shock and reported that they would pay to avoid being shocked again.
“What is striking,” the investigators write, “is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.”
Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind
Science 4 July 2014: 345 (6192):75-77
Timothy D. Wilson, et al.
In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.
December 20, 2013
Hardwiring Happiness: Neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson has a different way of looking at the functions of the brain and our inherent tendency to focus on the negative.
What he’s realized is that simply using positive thinking isn’t the answer. Neither is the practice of mindfulness.
He says you have to rewire your brain.
Kurzweil > Books
Enhance Your Resilience
Scientific American Mind. July 1, 2013
Resilience is the ability to modulate and constructively harness the stress response—a capacity essential to both physical and mental health.
Success can hinge on resilience. Setbacks are part of any endeavor, and those who react to them productively will make the most progress.
A person can boost his or her resilience. Strategies include reinterpreting negative events, enhancing positive emotions, becoming physically fit, accepting challenges, maintaining a close social network and imitating resilient role models.
There are numerous strategies for regulating emotions and enhancing resilience. Two approaches that have received increasing scientific support in recent years are:
- Cognitive reappraisal
Using reappraisal, individuals reinterpret the meaning of an adverse event so that they see it as less negative. Doing so tends to attenuate physiological and emotional reactions to the event.
For example, psychologist Kevin Ochsner and his colleagues at Columbia University have shown that when people intentionally reinterpret a situation such as a rejection for a job or the loss of a friend as being less negative, they report a decrease in unpleasant emotions.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/editing-your-lifes-stories-can-create-happier-endings ]
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/diet-of-defeat ]
- Mindfulness meditation
… teach children the skills needed to become socially competent, such as:
- knowing how to listen to,
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-social-animal ]
- empathize with and
- give support to others
Dr. Philippe Goldin
September 16, 2008
Search Inside Yourself program, Google
Classes of Emotion
– wellbeing/malaise, calm/tense, pain/pleasure
– embarrassment, jealousy, guilt, shame, pride
over 600 words in English to describe different emotions
Facial Action Coding System (Paul Ekman, PhD)
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations) 167 A.C.E.
If you are distressed by anything external [or internal], the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it;
and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
39:18 Learned Control Over Neural Activity in Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Pain
deCharms, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2005, 102(51):18626-18631
39:28 Navigation-related Structural Change in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers
Maguire et al, 2000 PNAS, 97, 4398-4403
46:20 re-interpretation strategies (cognitive re-appraisal, cognitive re-structuring) to an emotional probe was actually predicted by cognitive development
The older you are, the more cognitive developed
The more cognitive developed, the more you are able to use cognitive re-appraisal strategies to down-regulate emotional reactivity
This is age-dependent, at least from 8 to 22
cognitive behavioral therapy is change-oriented: identify mistakes in thinking
… find evidence that those thoughts are either not accurate or not beneficial. A heady, logical, linguistical, language approach.
49:26 Meditation is not good for everybody. We know that as a fact.
50:05 Exercise is a powerful mood regulatior.
50:30 Not studied: As we are so embedded in logos, language: Communication skills
How we actually process language?
Can we be trained to use language and linguistic processing in a way that is less harmful, to self and others?
Mindfulness meditation is ONE type of meditation. There are many kinds of meditation.
53 emotion labeling
59:25 emotional contagion
relationship with psychoanalysis
We are all humans. We can use different vocabulary but it’s the same suffering with slightly different flavors
restore psychological flexibility
Believing that I actually can do something.
… I can expand. I can be more than this.
hopefulness and hopelessness
February, 28 2008
Mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation technique, has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance.
Scientists have also begun to examine how meditation may influence brain functions.
This talk will examine the effect of mindfulness meditation practice on the brain systems in which psychological functions such as attention, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and self-view are instantiated.
We will also discuss how different forms of meditation practices are being studied using neuroscientific technologies and are being integrated into clinical practice to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Philippe Goldin (Speaker) is a research scientist and heads the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience group in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.
Larry King Now