The Applied Neuroscience Institute

Home of the NeuroPositive Method™
The Neuroscience of the UpSpiral Of Emotion, Health & Optimal Living

Swear Words!  Damn!!
The Heraclitus Effect
The “At Ease” State of Mind
Placebo or Nocebo?
I Want To Simplify My Life –Beware!
The “Tail of the Dog” That Bit You
Gamma Waves and Gas
How, How, How?
How Positive Are You?
Worry Warts:  Habit and Addiction

Swear Words!  Damn!!

Swear words are both expressions of negative emotions and inroads to experiencing negative emotions. Swear words, used to be descriptive or as emphasis in speech, are oftentimes an expression of some level of personal hostility for one’s self. Can’t you just swear because you just want to make a point or for emphasis or color?

Sure, sometimes a swear word says it like nothing else can, with exactly the same emphasis and good feeling. But you have to be good at it and you have to know when to use it. Ask any comedian. It bears repeating: swear words are swear words because they express hostility, usually grounded in hostility towards one’s own self.

In studies done at Harvard University in neuroscience, we know that whenever a person uses a swear word, it arouses the amygdala of the old brain, the place of strong negative emotions. When we read a swear word it arouses the basal ganglia, which among other things establishes our habits.

Our swear words make up a good deal of our own inner self-talk. We most use our swear words inside our own heads about ourselves. If anyone on the outside talked to us like we talk to ourselves, we would battle with them. We would be angry with them. We’d probably not talk to them, if they talk to us like we talk to ourselves inside our heads.

I am fascinated by the swear words people use and identify with because usually, they are the same words they use when they are angry or disappointed with themselves. We say horrible things to ourselves inside our heads.

Talk to yourself like you would like others to talk to you. Talk to yourself in the kindest, most gentle and forgiving way you talk to others.

I am a good and loving person, I care, and I love myself. Or (your name) I thank you, (your name) I respect you, (your name) I love you.

Do it over and over and over and over and your amygdala (that place of negative emotion in your brain) will shrink because it’s less active!

The Heraclitus Effect

There is in quantum physics the research and realization that what is called the Heraclitus Effect exists. To simplify, it means that if you focus on a decaying system, the focus on the decaying system will sustain it and keep in from decaying.

In other words, if you focus on something that is ultimately self-destructive or gets you nowhere, you sustain it by your focus upon it. The effect is also called the Anti-Zeno effect. 

The Zeno effect is what happens when you focus positive energy on a positive thing –positive outcomes are sustained. 

You may ask, what is a decaying system? It is anything that isn’t working, that is negative and moving in a direction that is not the truth. For example, the opposite of your strengths are your weaknesses.

The focus on those weaknesses sustains them. Focus on them, talk about your weaknesses, obsess over them, beat your self up, listen to your negative self-talk and you’re doing the Heraclitus effect- sustaining a decaying system that leads inevitably to even greater destruction or decay.

So the work is not sustaining a negative system, but using your energy to sustain a positive one. 

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The “At Ease” State of Mind

At ANI, State of Mind management is very important to our work because we know two significant things.

1. A State of Mind will grow unless you change it –something on the outside may change it but it will change for only a short time.

2. We are much more in charge of our State of Mind than we think –it doesn’t just happen to us. We create it and it can change with practice.

If you practice an “At Ease” state of mind, feeling it over and over and over and over, even if you can feel just a little of it, the “state” will grow. Set it as the bar of your emotional life and as the months pass, aim for a higher and higher move toward this bar.

These are the “Olympics of the Mind”. You may not be pole-vaulting in Beijing, but you raise the bar of your emotional state just by consistent practice. And you’ll feel like you got a Gold Medal.

The AT-EASE State of Mind

Relief (feel a little not a lot)
Peace (move in the direction of peace, just a little peace)
Free (think of a time when you felt free and feel it)
Unburdened (drop your shoulders and breathe)
Casual and more relaxed (walk slower and feel like you feel when you are more relaxed)
Grateful (focus on something to be grateful for, something lovely)

Put all of these together and call them your “At Ease” State of Mind!
You attract what you get from the direction in which you are moving
in your feeling state.
The Universe responds to your feeling state in a positive direction.

Placebo or Nocebo?

A placebo effect is one that is caused by using something like a sugar pill to get people to believe they are receiving a remedy when actually they are not. It is used in research to test whether a medication really works or patients just believe it works. There is a lot of interest today in just what is going on when placebo effects actually do occur. What is the nature of the “believing” going on that causes the remission of a disease or problem?
We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the “belief” plays an important part in the cure. If you believe that a medication will work or that a doctor knows what he or she is doing, the treatment is much more likely to work.

There is an opposite affect, though, called “nocebo”. A nocebo is the belief that a remedy will not work or that a doctor cannot help or cannot be trusted. A nocebo can get significant results, or we should say a lack of results. If a patient does not believe that an intervention will work, it is much more likely that it won’t.

It’s a lot like that in life. What we believe will work- the more we believe it- especially in ourselves, the more it works. The greater our “nocebo” about ourselves, the more we don’t believe that we can make it work or that we can do anything, the much less likely we are to do it.

There is an even deeper level to all of this. Do you believe that things will usually work out? Or do you believe that they will not? Whichever it is, you are busy, by your beliefs, in creating that outcome.

Our new VisioNavigator Certificate Class begins on September 8, 2008, “live” in Rancho Mirage, California and streamed on our website.

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I Want To Simplify My Life –Beware!

If you want to simplify your life to more deeply immerse yourself in something that gives you pleasure or something that you love, then go for it. But if you want to simplify your life because you want to retreat or escape what you perceive to be the pressures of life, watch out! If you want to simplify your life because you feel oppressed or overwhelmed, watch out! First of all, life is not simple; it is highly diverse and complex. Look at nature and all of creation; you are greeted with great complexity. It is the nature of the Universe. You are a part of the diversity that is intended to express a part of God as the unique person you are.

Simplify your life for the wrong reasons and you will find yourself taking care of a partner who becomes ill or involved in a family feud or caught up in things you never imagined could fill your time.

You are designed to be involved in life. You are as innocent and beautiful and in need of stimulation as an infant in the eyes of Source. You are designed for “experience”, “savoring life”, deepening meaning, and joy –all of your life.

The retreat from life that is isolation and disinterest, a slow “unplugging” from the stimulation of “aliveness” is not how you are made. You are just not created that way.
Complexity that is creative, diverse and novel –new stimulation is something the brain and your Spirit need all the days of your life.

Too often the desire to “simplify” is an escape from using your strengths to live life in “aliveness”. The hole you create from the motives of escape, withdrawal, and fear will be filled by a tumor, by depression, by becoming ornery and crabby, or by someone else’s problems which you feel compelled to get involved in.

The “Tail of the Dog” That Bit You

Anyone who has nursed a hangover from alcohol has probably heard the advice that what they needed was a little bit of the “tail of the dog” that had bitten them. In other words, the body’s reactions to withdrawal from alcohol consumption would be helped by having a little more alcohol to offset the symptoms of nausea or the headache of the withdrawal.

Actually, it’s the same for withdrawal from positive emotion. When you have felt positive and you are not so positive, when you were high in your UpSpiral and you feel lower and “withdrawn” from “feeling good”, the same thing is true. You may even be getting headaches or the shakes of a little anxiety. All you need to start to turn it around is a little bit of the hair of the” tail of the dog” that bit you. Go to the Emotional Gym and find something to feel a little gratitude for and nurse the gratitude, just a little if you can’t feel it a lot. Use the physical motions of the Emotional Gym that you have conditioned to help you feel gratitude. Use feeling gratitude to get your mind off of your focus on not feeling good and put your focus on the tail of the positive dog that has bitten you with how good it is to “feel good”.

Emotions are as much a choice as thoughts, and sometimes you can’t change your thinking until you have done something to change your feelings. Anything that brings just a little gratitude, love, peace or joy will work. Like, maybe taking a walk and only noticing lovely things.

Negative feelings do not have to have a core, a purpose, a reason or a root cause. Sometimes they “just are.” And because they sometimes “just are” for a thousand different reasons, you don’t have to chase them down and analyze them. Stop the big investigation over them and just change them a little.

Gamma Waves and Gas

If we were just one particle as worried about the cost of psychic energy as we are about the price of gas at the pumps, we would have the brain synchrony that would produce the consciousness and enough UpSpiral thinking and “feeling good” in living that there would be a thousand ways around the price of gas. Nothing could be more important than how you spend your psychic energy. You have more than enough psychic energy when it is not wasted on worry, fear, anxiety and dread. Gamma waves are the result of the brain running on consistent positive emotion. Gamma waves create brain synchrony. It represents an easy flow of problem solving that can only be experienced in the UpSpiral. It represents the brain working as a unity, burning just the right amount of its fuel, which is glucose. It is the “gas” of the brain and it needs to burn evenly and with synchrony. Love, peace, joy, and gratitude are emotions of choice, not of circumstance. Wherever the price of crude oil goes on the world market, the price you pay for your using your brain’s energy is always your choice. The better you exercise that choice, the less the price at the gas pump will bother you, and the less it bothers you, the more efficient the energy will be on all levels of your life. Try it; just see if brain synchrony doesn’t also increase the efficiency of the gas in your tank over time. Love, peace, gratitude and joy increase fuel efficiency in the long run. Put it to the test!

How, How, How?

When you are setting goals and dreaming dreams, having hopes and exercising the real, raw courage to own your desires and actually “want” what you “want”, how is the best tool of the ego, to cut through, reduce and diminish your dreams. If you knew the “how,” what you wanted would already be here. Face it! You don’t know the “how” and it isn’t even your business. So get your nose of the “how” and get your nose back into your business, which is to own your wants and your desires. Admit that you have them, admit that you want what you want. I know, I know, you are afraid that you will get what you want and find out that it isn’t what you really want and you’re afraid that you will feel like a failure or like you are a fool. Actually, each wanting builds upon the last. You can’t get to where you’re going without wanting, and then growing beyond that want to another and another and another. Give it a break, go ahead and dream and plan, and let the “how” appear as it will, as it always does. It comes from the Source, from God, from Higher Power, from Inspiration, out of the blue, in an instant, from a knock on the door, or a clue in a telephone call you least expected. The “how” is not the problem. You learning to dream and plan and set goals and keep the “how” out of the way –that is the problem. Everything that you think blocks your way can change in less than a mille-second. Now put your nose back where it belongs, and want what you want, desire what you desire, plan what you love, ask to find your passion. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” –do you think Thomas Jefferson knew “how” that would happen when he wrote it down. No, he didn’t. I asked him.

How Positive Are You?

Your state of positivity is a direct predictor, not only of your sense of life-satisfaction and well-being; it predicts how you thrive at a cellular level. Did you know that at a cellular level, what you take in is not as important as what you get rid of? It’s what you don’t expel- what you retain- that needs to be eliminated from your system. That’s what can cause a wide variety of problems. And it’s directly related to your state of mind. The more positive you are, the more you are in an UpSpiral, the more you thrive, getting rid of unneeded toxins. I encourage you to take The Positive Mind Test, see where you score, and then take the test again in 6 months. Right now it’s free. Order my book Growing the Positive Mind or enroll in one of our programs and see if you do not grow your positivity. One more thing. You’ve heard about “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction. What do you think? I’ll let you in on a secret; the more positive you are, the more you will bring into your life what you want. The less positive you are, the less you even know what you want, much less have the personal power to attract it!

Worry Warts:  Habit and Addiction

A physical wart is actually a kind of a virus that starts small and grows in size. A worry wart is a negative thought that starts small and gets to be a habit. When you worry, you establish a route along a neuropathway in the brain that becomes a pathway that is easier and easier to take. The negative thought or worry, as it gets larger, bumps other thoughts off the highway. The bigger the worry gets the more it runs other thoughts and feelings off the road of that neuropathway. Since both thoughts and feelings travel on the same neuropathways, what is happening is the worry thought is taking up too much of the road and good thoughts and feelings get run off of the road.

Worry is a habit, pure and simple. It is a habit, even an addiction. To change this, use a technique from the Emotional Gym. Every worry needs to be seen as a gift which is revealing the self-absorption and self-centeredness of the ego. It’s just the ego trying to stay alive and breathe while you’re in the business of becoming a more loving and caring person. Worry is the ego giving itself away and keeps you from being the real self, filled with strengths, that you really are. So every time you worry, decide to use it as a sign to use one of four feelings; love, peace, gratitude or joy. Feel one of these feelings over and over until the worry is gone. You might argue that worry just persists and that you have to feel gratitude over and over all morning long. And just what would be so bad about exercising your choice and feeling gratitude all morning long?

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute