There will likely never be 100% consensus, seeing as every brain on the planet is different. There is some emerging consensus, however, that the brain creates the mind and that this process can begin quite early in gestation. For purposes of discussion, let’s say that the brain creates the mind; but then the mind can impact and even change the brain. I like the ‘vehicle-traffic metaphor’ to describe that phenomenon. Vehicles create traffic. In turn, the vehicles can be hampered or impeded by the traffic—something the vehicles created to begin with. More tomorrow.
Monday, May 31, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Part of successful and healthful living involves knowing what you can and cannot control. It appears you cannot control their failure to help with household tasks. What can you control? Your decisions about household chores and your mindset. I suggest that you can evaluate the chores and decide which ones are absolutely essential to family life and those that are not completely essential—and stop doing those. If family members complain, kindly say that you have reached your max and they will need to do those chores. Then, stick to it. Next, I suggest you could reframe your perception of doing household chores. Think differently about the household chores you have decided to do. More tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Monday, May 24, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
I just heard on the news that after a stroke or other traumatic brain injury, the damage to the white matter is a better predictor “of outcome” than gray matter. What does this mean? I’m not even sure I know the difference between gray and white matter. Actually, I'm pretty sure I do not know!
Great question! Let’s start with the difference between gray and white matter. The largest projection from a neuron or thinking cell is the axon, by which information leaves the neuron. The right hemisphere contains more white matter. That is, it has more neuronal axons that are wrapped with a whitish insulation (think fiberoptics) known as myelin. Reportedly, this helps prevent electricity from leaking out and increases the speed at which information messages fly along the neuron highways. This also gives the right hemisphere it’s slightly pinkish-white color. More tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Anne-Marie Chang, PhD, associate neuroscientist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, blue light (short-wavelength enriched light) interrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the short-wavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from these electronic devices. It suppresses the production of melatonin and apparently can reduce the time spent in REM sleep. There is some evidence that links chronic suppression of melatonin secretion by nocturnal light exposure with the increased risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. Suggestions include using glasses that block blue light and turning off all digital media equipment and E-readers for 30-60 minutes before going to bed.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
pediatrician and former filmmaker Dr. Michael Rich, aka “The Mediatrician”®
Beware of digital media distraction. Half of all kids and three-quarters of parents feel the other is distracted when talking to each other.Have regular sit-downs, screen-free meals with your children.
Put down your device. Be present with others. Observe the world around you. Let your mind wander.
Avoid blue light-emitting screen use before bedtime.
Play online games with your children rather than forbidding them. Learn how to play from them and, as you play, help them think about what they're seeing and doing on screen.
Help your children plan how to spend their time, focusing on important and favorite activities to avoid sliding into the screen abyss.
Monday, May 17, 2021
It may be a great baby-sitter—depending upon your definition of what makes a “great baby-sitter.” However, what their brains take in tends to return as behaviors. And the more passive mental picturing takes place the higher the likelihood of synapses disappearing from nonuse. According to Harvard, in “Screen Time and the Brain,” digital devices can interfere with everything from sleep to creativity. The first three years of a child’s life sets the tone and direction for as long as they life. A child an “recover from poor parenting to some degree,” as one brain-function specialist put it. However, the less they must recover from the better. Some tips tomorrow from pediatrician and former filmmaker Michael Rich, MD, aka “The Mediatrician”®
Friday, May 14, 2021
Retired and under new management. See spouse for more information.
I find that sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.
One minute you are young and carefree. The next, you are turning down the car stereo to see better.
Losing weight does not seem to be working for me. Therefore, from now on I plan to concentrate on getting taller.
Some people are like clouds. Once they disappear, it turns out to be a beautiful day.
I came. I saw. I forgot what I was doing.
Some people I am glad to see coming. Some people I am glad to see going.
I have decided that common sense is not a gift—it is a punishment. I think that is because you must deal with those who does not have that gift.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
For those of you interested in the pros and cons of early TV viewing, you an do an internet search.
Conclusions seem to revolve around no TV for the first two years of life and carefully selected educational TV after that.
What can the family watch together from age 3 of children and onward for those who do want to follow recommendations from the American Association of Pediatrics and others? Personally, I like the BBC Planet Earth series, some of the National Geographic offerings, and programs about behind the scenes at the Zoo. These are interesting as well as promoting life on Planet Earth and what is being done to reduce the rate that species are becoming extinct in this world.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
These recommendations are by no means new. Studies have been reporting problems for close to 15 years. There are some enlightened parents who understand more about brain development and who are following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation about no TV until age three and then only up to 2 hours per day—preferably of educational-type television programs. Watching TV and movies is a “passive mental exercise,” as the brain only processes what another brain has created. Active mental exercise is what builds dendrites on the thinking cells or neurons and prevents pruning of axonal connections because they are not being used. More tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Your inner self-talk voice takes shape in early childhood and persists lifelong. As with most other brain functions, self-talk may be misused, becoming a source of painful rumination or even psychosis, or it can enhance your success. Thoughts create your mindset and mindset creates your self-talk. A series of groundbreaking studies have found that how people conduct their inner self-talk has an enormous effect on their success in life. More tomorrow.
Monday, May 10, 2021
Increase your awareness. Learn to listen in on what you say, silently and aloud. When you recognize a negative style (e.g., don’t, can’t, won’t, hopeless), stop, think, and restate in a positive can-do manner. Bottom line, stop talking about what you do not wish to have happen. Tia Walker said affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily. And researcher Candace B. Pert PhD, pointed out that each receptor molecule remembers how many times it has been stimulated and whether it was over or under stimulated. This memory affects the flow of information through the brain and the body. That’s why abuse is lethal and affirmation so powerful.
Friday, May 7, 2021
As a point of interest, the famous “Lord’s Prayer” is written in positives: it tells you what to do; not what not to do.) Third, always use present tense to motivate the brain to get on board now as in “this is a done deal.” When you speak in future tense the brain may think “when that future time comes if you still want to do this I’ll help you.” The words ‘I’m going to’ is future tense and may never arrive. And last but not least, be genuine and truthful to yourself and others, avoiding insincerity, flattery, manipulation, or a word picture that can never happen. For example, telling a person who is five feet tall: “You are six feet tall” is unhelpful unless you also help them learn to use stilts.
Thursday, May 6, 2021
. The Free Dictionary defines it as a solemn declaration; an assertion; a positive statement or judgment about the truth of something; a statement intended to provide encouragement, emotional support, or motivation. Jean Marie Stine referred to affirmations as the mind’s programming language.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Dealing with NPD can be exhausting and can negatively impact your energy. What type of interactions exhaust your brain? People to talk nonstop about their problems but respond with ‘that won’t work’ every time you make a helpful suggestion? How is your energy level after spending a relationship encounter with them? Do you feel drained or energized? It’s one thing to voluntarily do a random act of kindness, it’s another to spend your time dancing to someone else’s needy tune. No relationship is 100% functional and affirming all the time. Sometimes you give more, sometimes they do, especially when it ‘rains’ on your parade. There needs to be a balance, however, over time. If you are your friend’s primary resource or they get your attention through bad behavior or unwise choices, rethink the relationship. Relationships that are not healthy and reciprocal are like a mild headache. You grow accustomed to the pain and accept it as ‘normal’ over time, failing to recognize the increasing painful headache, sometimes until it produces a 'brain tumor,' metaphorically. Remember: nutritious food gives you energy; so do nutritional relationships.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Dealing with NPD can be exhausting and can negatively impact your energy. What type of interactions exhaust your brain? People to talk nonstop about their problems but respond with ‘that won’t work’ every time you make a helpful suggestion? How is your energy level after spending a relationship encounter with them? Do you feel drained or energized? It’s one thing to voluntarily do a random act of kindness, it’s another to spend your time dancing to someone else’s needy tune. No relationship is 100% functional and affirming all the time. Sometimes you give more, sometimes they do, especially when it ‘rains’ on your parade. There needs to be a balance, however, over time. If you are your friend’s primary resource or they get your attention through bad behavior or unwise choices, rethink the relationship. Relationships that are not healthy and reciprocal are like a mild headache. You grow accustomed to the pain and accept it as ‘normal’ over time, failing to recognize the increasing painful headache, sometimes until it produces a 'brain tumor,' metaphorically. Remember: nutritious food gives you energy; so do nutritious relationships.
Monday, May 3, 2021
How do I even start figuring out how to deal with NPD Behaviors?
What can you do when confronted by a person exhibiting symptoms characteristic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? First, recognize that it involves their self-absorption, inability to manage anger, low self-esteem, low levels of Emotional Intelligence, failure to be empathetic, tendency to blame others, learned styles of coping (or not coping) with the ups and downs of life, low motivation for improvement, and so on. Refuse to accept blame or responsibility when it isn’t yours. When I encounter narcissistic behaviors I ask myself: will this matter in 12 months? If the answer is no, I simply get through that one encounter as soon as possible and find something for which to be grateful. If the answer is yes, then I address the issue functionally. Meaning, I set and implement appropriate boundaries to protect myself. When the narcissist is an adult family member, you can still choose to limit your exposure, set and implement appropriate protective boundaries, and avoid taking their narcissistic behaviors personally. More tomorrow.