Friday, March 30, 2018

Core Emotion of Sadness

Sadness is a signal that you have experienced some type of loss. provides energy to grieve losses, heal past woundedness, and recover (feel better). Without identifying and managing sadness you may fail to recover from your losses and/or grieve successfully. Sadness may or may not involve tears.

In many cultures males are socialized to repress loss and sadness, which can result in the development of a slush fund of ungrieved and unresolved loss and sadness. Down the line when a small loss occurs, the male may over-react as the slush fund rushed forward and engulfs them. Females often receive a type of reward for being in a state of sadness (e.g., comfort and attention from their support system).

Unmanaged, sadness can suppress immune system functions, interfere with critical brain functions, decrease levels of serotonin, increase one's risk for depression and/or immobility, and lead to apathy.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Core Emotion of Fear

Fear is signal that you may be facing some type of danger, a situation that may be unsafe. Fear provides energy to take appropriate protective action for yourself and/or for others, especially those you love. Again, in many cultures, males are socialized to avoid fear, exhibiting it often as anger; while females are socialized to be somewhat fearful, exhibiting it as fear or as sadness and expecting someone else to “protect them.”

Without fear you may be unable to protect yourself or your loved ones adequately. When unmanaged, fear can kill ideas, undermine confidence, suppress the immune system, and escalate into phobias and/or immobilization

This is a tricky emotion, however, as imagined danger triggers the stress response in the same way as does actual fear. Imagined fear can create immobility. This points out the importance of identifying imagined fears (and everyone has some!) and resolving/dealing with them. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Core Emotion of Anger

Used correctly, anger is a very valuable core emotion. It is a signal that one or more of your boundaries have been invaded (e.g., mental, physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, social, financial…). Anger provides energy to create, implement, reassess/reset appropriate personal limits. Without the ability to identify and manage anger appropriately, you may lack the motivation and energy to take appropriate corrective action, or you may become complacent and begin to tolerate the intolerable

Unmanaged, anger can lead to bitterness, suppressed immune system, cardiovascular problems, illness, injury, and even death

In many cultures males are socialized to believe that anger is a male prerogative, while females are socialized to repress their anger (because it is not “nice” and is “unfeminine), exhibiting it as fear or sadness. This can lead to females tolerating dysfunctional and abusive environments. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

EQ High-Low Characteristics, 2

Think about the list of characteristics. If you were an employer, who would you prefer to hire? As an individual, who you like to date or marry? One of the reasons for raising your EQ is to reduce the potential conflict in your life. Another is to role-model a more functional way to live to whomever is watching you. A third reason is that living a high level wellness lifestyle that includes high levels of EQ is likely to impact your health in positive ways. Remember: conflict is expensive. In the home, high levels of conflict contribute to illness, stress, violence, addictions, divorce, murder . . . In schools in burns out teachers, triggers misunderstandings, and may exacerbate dysfunctional behaviors on the part of students with mental health problems . . . In churches, it burns out clerics, rips congregations apart, and sets up an environment of anger and retaliation. All excellent motivators to raise one’s own level of Emotional Intelligence.

Euphoria's "Two Faces"

Euphoria is not a separate core emotion. Rather it represents a brief period of intense excitement, bliss, or pleasure that may be genuine or that can be chemically induced. Euphoria provides energy to experience special moments at an intense level but was not designed to be sustained for long periods of time. According to Kent Berridge, an affective neuroscientist, intense euphoria occurs from the simultaneous activation of every hedonic hotspot within the brain's reward system. Substances that can trigger a mild euphoria include tobacco, caffeine, small doses of alcohol (when first ingested), THC, barbiturates and benzodiazepines, amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, and methylphenidate , etc. Euphoria may signal early carbon monoxide poisoning (e.g., “choking game). For some, emotionally arousing music, dancing, intense aerobic exercise, or sexual activities, may induce euphoria. It may also be a symptom of specific neurological or neuropsychiatric disorders, such as mania associated with bi-polar disorder. Intense “romantic love” and portions of the human sexual response are also associated with euphoria. More tomorrow.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Core Emotion of Joy

Core Emotion of Joy

Joy is a natural state of anti-depression that some believe is hard wired into the brain It’s a signal that life is basically going well and can be a choice for how to respond to life. It provides energy to live life to its fullness. It is believed that genuine joy is the only emotion that does not result in negative outcomes when it is maintained over time.

Without joy you may be unable to become the balanced, contented, productive individual you were intended to be.

Pseudo or false joy is an attempt to feel better when genuine joy seems unattainable. It can lead to obsessions, compulsions, addictions, a sense of unreality, frustration, illness, and even depression. More tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2018

EQ – 8

Clear scientific evidence exists that facial expressions registering at least joy, anger, fear, and sadness are inborn and may be seen on the face of a fetus during gestation, depending on what the mother is experiencing internally and externally in the environment. You may be able to picture these more easily if you imagine you are standing on a rug on which is written the word Apathy—in front of a set of 5 stairs labeled “The Emotions Staircase.” Apathy is not thought to be an emotion in and of itself. Rather, apathy can result when the brain is in a state of emotional overwhelm due to mismanagement of the three protective emotions or a misunderstanding of euphoria. The first step is labelled “Sadness.” The second step is “Fear.” The third step is “Anger.” The fourth step is “Joy.” And the fifth step is “Euphoria. Metaphorically imagine you climb these step steps until you reach “joy.” Stop on the Joy Step.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

EQ - 7

Dr. Pert, a NIH researcher, who led studies identifying opioid receptors in the brain and changed perspectives about addictive behaviors, indicated that a specific neuropeptide (neurotransmitter than affects moods) appeared to be associated with each core emotion so a person can experience only one core emotion at a time (although the emotions can alternate rapidly). Moreover, each emotion exhibits differing gestures, postures, behavioral patterns, memories, and facial expressions. They create similar physiological markers, however, that involve a wide range of bodily changes (e.g., rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, stomach butterflies, flushed or pale face, changes in breathing, triggering secretion of hormones and neuropeptides). All emotions are positive and some are also protective—each designed to help you become aware of specific sensory stimuli and to manage specific situations appropriately. Behaviors related to emotions are often mismanaged, resulting in negative outcomes. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

EQ – 6

Many grew up believing that emotions were negative and if they didn’t exist how much better life would be. Not so. All core emotions are believed to be positive and three are considered “protective.” Think of an analog clock. Without an energy source, the hands of the clock would fail to move. Without emotions to provide information and energy, you likely would be “motionless” as well. However, you can experience each core emotion and receive the information it provides without emoting (e.g., giving expression to it or taking any action). Emotions are very powerful. Dr. Pert said that when you are in the grip of a strong emotion, you are in a biochemically-altered state. Although emotional impulses arise in the 2nd brain (Mammalian) layer, there likely is no dedicated emotion center. When triggered, emotions arise nearly simultaneously in brain and body cells. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

EQ – 5

So what are emotions? How do they differ from feelings? Let’s begin with emotions first. According to Candace B Pert, PhD, both the brain and body are part of the subconscious, faithfully recording and reporting chemical processes that enter our conscious awareness only as we recognize them as emotions. Think of emotions as cellular signals that can be triggered by internal (thoughts) or external (environmental) stimuli and are designed to:

  1. Get your attention
  2. Give you information by connecting the subconscious with the conscious
  3. Give you energy
  4. Motivate you to take appropriate action (if any is needed); otherwise to give you the opportunity to learn something that might be very helpful in the future.
More tomorrow

Monday, March 19, 2018

EQ – 4

JOT behaviors, so called, are examples of low levels of EQ.

J stands for jumping to conclusions
O stands for overreacting
T stands for taking things personally.

These behaviors tend to create conflict, inside an individual and between individuals. As you raise your EQ and work on resolving JOT behaviors, you tend to experience less conflict, which can be seen in the things you say and do that—and that result in more positive outcomes. EQ is not emotions or feelings; it does involve both of them, however, as components. In essence, this involves learning to identify emotions quickly and accurately and manage them effectively, along with an understanding of the difference between emotions and feelings. More next time.

Friday, March 16, 2018

EQ – 3

Daniel J. Goleman, PhD, an early researcher on EQ (his book on EQ came out in the mid-nineties, which was the first time many had even heard the term Emotional Intelligence) has been quoted as saying:  Out-of-control emotions can make smart people stupid. First of all, low levels of EQ tend to correlate with conflict. Studies on Managers in a variety of organizations have shown that very successful managers tended to have high levels of EQ regardless of IQ. Conversely, managers judged to be to be less successful tended to have high IQs but low levels of EQ. Studies in 2006 also showed that Managers were spending about 18% of their time managing employee conflicts. This was twice the percentage reported ten years earlier. More next time.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

EQ – 2

Based on audience questions about EQ, it became clear that there was a great deal of confusion about what EQ even was, what it could do for a person, or how you “get it.” Here’s one working definition: 

Emotional Intelligence involves the ability to know what feels good, what feels bad, and how to get from bad to good in a way that results in positive outcomes.

No surprise, the brain likes and wants to feel good. That’s appropriate. Learning how to feel good in a way that results in positive outcomes, however, is a learning curve. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Brain and EQ

During a recent Brain Conference there were several questions from the audience about EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Apparently that genre of information is less well known than I thought. And it is worth 80% of a person’s success in life according to the Success Quotient or SQ. That formula reads like this: Your IQ + your EQ = your SQ. IQ and EQ do not contribute equally to your SQ, however. IQ is said to contribute about 20% while EQ contributes 80% if not more. Therefore, most people can be very successful in life based on their level of EQ (and not necessarily based on their IQ). Think of Forrest Gump in the movie by that name. His IQ was likely high 70's or low 80. Most likely his EQ was of the charts. Interestingly, Gump gave his mother all the credit for what he had learned. Which points out that while IQ potentials are inherited (likely from your opposite gender parents), EQ is learned. That's good news! More tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Brain Neurons

“Common knowledge” has said for some time that the human brain has about 100 billion neurons to say nothing of at least as many glial cells and who know how many of other cells that may not yet have been identified. [Remember that it was only 2015 when researchers discovered that the brain does have an immune system, with immune vessels having been found in all three protective layers (meninges) that surround and protect brain tissue.] There is some emerging evidence that the brain may not contain nearly this many neurons. And the male brain, being larger, may have a couple billion more neurons than the female brain—the consensus previously being that the numbers of neurons were equal in male and female brains with those in the female brain just more tightly packed. If this holds up there will be yet more textbooks that need revision . . .

Monday, March 12, 2018

Aging Paradox, 2

A study of mental health among individuals over 90 was centered in Cilento, Southern Italy and was part of a larger study called CIAO (Cilento Initiative on Aging Outcomes). Lead author Anna Scelzo reported that as expected, the participants who were over age 90 had poorer physical health—but unexpectedly they had a better level of mental health and well-being. They also had a tendency to be stubborn, domineering, and needed a sense of control, “which can be a desirable trait as they are true to their convictions and care less about what others think.” Dr. Dilip Jeste, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and fellow author, said that the study shows how wisdom and mental well-being can increase with aging even when physical health is declining. He called this phenomenon “the paradox of aging.” The researchers concluded that exceptional longevity was characterized by a balance between acceptance of and grit to overcome adversities along with a positive attitude and close ties to family, religion, and land, providing purpose in life. (

Friday, March 9, 2018

Aging Paradox

More and more research is suggesting how physical health, diet, and genetics relate to longevity. Recently, researchers from three countries (USA, Italy, Switzerland) decided to try and identify any special traits that help individuals stay healthier and live longer. The study centered in Cilento, a rural area of r southern Italy. Cilento is noted for an unusually high proportion of the population who live to age 90 and beyond. Out of a total population of 60,000 there are about 2000 people over age hundred. Participants were recruited from nine villages in the region (29 participants ages 90-101 plus 51 relatives aged 51-75. Evaluative measure included Established measures were used to rate the physical and mental well-being of all participants. Older participants completed questionnaires and were interviewed about their beliefs and the events of their lives. The 51 relatives answered questions about the personalities of the 90-plus group. To be continued ...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Alzheimer’s Potential Treatment – News

In January of this year, the report of a research project was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The researchers removed Alzheimer’s-related protein tangles in mouse brains. They were able to decrease levels of BACE1, a key brain enzyme, which reduced the levels of amyloid plaques. Apparently this is the first time a team of researchers has been able to achieve this result. Naturally this raises hopes of a treatment to combat Alzheimer’s in human brains. You may want to check out the Abstract yourself ...

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

FOMO Recovery

Here are strategies to consider.

1.   Be honest about the extent to which fomo is impacting your life and decide if that’s the journey you want to continue living.
2.   Learn to be mindfully aware of the moment and enjoy what is happening right now or consciously and creatively deal with it if it’s not what you want to be doing.
3.   Decide whether you want to follow the pack or lead the pack; get soaked at the back of the canoe or ride the prow—you may still get wet but the view is spectacular up front.
4.   Set clear guidelines about how you choose to spend your time. Are you saying ‘yes’ because you actually want to do that activity or simply because you were asked or are afraid of missing out? Make choices based on their congruence with your Longevity Lifestyle.
5.   Implement clear boundaries about the use of social media sites and the time you spend on technologies—then stick to those boundaries unless a life-and-death situation arises (and that is not what restaurant your best friend went to last night!)
6.   Learn to evaluate what is really important and what may be real but relatively unimportant in the big scheme of life. Then make choices with one eye on the moment and the other on how this choice will impact your life down the line.
7.   Realize that this is the age of technologies and the genre will only get more and more complex and evolved—so carefully select those that align with your desired goals and lifestyle and then use them in balance.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

FOMO Questions

If you think you might be struggling with a fomo (fear of missing out) phobia, ask yourself:

1.   Do I understand that a fomo phobia represents a mindset and perception of negativity, deprivation, or loss, all of which are unhelpful and not part of a Longevity Lifestyle?
2.   Am I know that each brain differs and that I teach my brain what is rewarding, which means I and can reteach it if my out-of-balance reliance on social media is giving me negative consequences now or is likely to in the future?
3.   Am I aware that ‘comparisons are odious’ as the old saying goes and that envy and jealousy can derail me and actually destroy my life?
4.   Do I often wonder if I am ‘missing out’ or do I realize that no one can ‘do it all’ or ‘have it all’ and that I need to be selective for what works for my brain?
5.   Do I spend so much time on social media sites that I ‘miss out’ on living a balanced Longevity Lifestyle, accomplishing my goals, and developing a healthy relationship with myself?
6.   Do I connect with others or overspend just to feel included or valuable?
7.   Do I have my own goals and projects that work for my brain or am I trying to be affirmed and or succeed by hanging on to someone else’s coattails, beliefs, or attitudes or by trying to live life vicariously through them?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Recovering from FOMO

According to researcher Andrew Przybylski, the fear of missing out likely has to do with people's ability to self-regulate and focus on the moment. For people who feel very secure in their relationships, their relationships are important to them, but they don't feel compelled to always be connected. Social media may not create the tendency, but it likely exacerbates it by making sharing so easy. I remember talking about fomo with a group of individuals and one of them commented, “Well, you don’t need to worry about fomo. You’ve got a life.” I could not help laughing. “You’re correct,” I replied. “Fomo is not a lifestyle I choose to live. I do have a life but likely I wouldn’t if I spent much time on social media or on trying to keep up with anyone else. Balance in critical.” “So what do I do?” the individual asked. “I know I have fomo big time.” That got me thinking, as interactions with others usually does. I suggested the individual answer several questions. More tomorrow.

Friday, March 2, 2018


A study in Australia (commissioned by viagogo) reported that 70 per cent of Australians reported having experienced fomo, and that Facebook tended to trigger this phobia more than other types of social medial, finding that nearly 5 million Australians said they experienced fomo after using Facebook. The most common cause of fomo reportedly was missing out on tickets to a sports or musical event (25 percent). This was followed by hearing a friend bought property or made a financial investment or got a promotion or new job (22 percent). A study of undergraduates revealed that those with fomo had more intense emotional reactions around the use of social media. They tended to check social media during classes and also admitted to engaging in distracted driving habits that included checking social media while driving. It’s probably a good idea to engage in some self-evaluation in relation to time spent on social media and to your level of fomo . . .

Thursday, March 1, 2018


The study by Andrew Przybylski revealed that the less people felt autonomy, competence, and connectedness in their daily lives, the more they felt fomo. The results also revealed that study participants with high levels of fomo tended to feel less competent, less autonomous, and less connected with others (as compared with those who were not anxious about missing out on something). Interestingly, they also tended to use social media more frequently. Przybylski reportedly said that the study was unable to clearly define whether using social media triggers the phobia or whether fomo promotes the use of social medial. Their analysis of the data, however, suggested that the lack of autonomy, competence, and connectedness underlies fomo. This in turn, tends to lead those individuals to check Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media very frequently. More tomorrow.