Thursday, August 31, 2017

Moser and Kross Studies, Cont’d

Researchers found that when study participants addressed themselves using their ‘given name’ and the pronoun “you,” something very interesting happened in the brain. First, there was a dramatic reduction in anxiety levels; electrodes documented a vast reduction in energy consumed by the frontal lobes; the activity of the amygdala (part of the mammalian-limbic system) quieted down as well, its activity reduced by just about half. Participants were also more successful in the given task. Conclusion: toggling the way you address yourself—first person vs your ‘first name’ and ‘you’—flips a switch in the neocortex and in the amygdala (seat of fear), which gives you psychological distance, enables self-control, allows you to think clearly, and to perform competently. It minimizes rumination after you complete a task (a handmaiden of anxiety and depression), releases you from negative thoughts, gives you and your brain perspective, helps you focus more deeply, and make plans for the future.

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