Brain and Behavior

Vulnerability Practice

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~ Mary Anne Rademacher

This quote speaks more clearly to me than any other of the mistake we sometimes make when we glorify achievement, striving and courage. And vulnerability.

In our “just do it” culture, we often push aside our needs, our low energy levels, our unhealed, raw vulnerability and force ourselves onward “no matter what.”

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Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your 3 Brains: Part 4


Read more about getting to know your three brains: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

The word “trigger” refers to anything that sets off the three brains to the point where you become aware of a thought, feeling or body sensation. In the exercise from the last post, you brought up a memory that “triggered” a feeling, thought or physical sensation. In other words, the memory evoked some experience for you.

Triggers can be external or internal. External triggers originate from our surroundings. An example of an external trigger is my mother’s criticism. As a result of her judging my outfit, let’s say, I am triggered to experience anger, sadness or shame. Since my mother is in the environment, this is an external trigger.

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Brain and Behavior

Challenging Self-Doubts

Talented and thoughtful, she was a successful non-profit executive. She was well-known throughout the region for her philanthropic endeavors. She had founded three businesses in separate niche industries.

To the outsider, my client was a skilled entrepreneur, a connector between the business and arts communities. She was a self-made woman. When she spoke, others listened -- and followed.

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Brain and Behavior

Warning Signs of Perfectionism (and How to Fix Them)

Perfectionists believe that there is no such thing as “good enough.” There is either “fail” or “don’t fail.” The concept of success is irrelevant because “success” is based on others' validation and is something to be chased but never realized.

Perfectionists never feel successful because there is always more to be done, more to be improved, more to “fix.” Because of this, they are often paralyzed by inaction or too much action.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: September 3, 2016


Here in the U.S., we're currently in the throes of Labor Day Weekend (and I'm at a local music and arts festival, celebrating!).

Labor Day is the first Monday of September, and although it gives us a nice little three-day weekend, it's about much more than that: Labor Day honors our country's labor movement and "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, Happy Labor Day! I hope you're doing something to celebrate all your hard work and, once you get a chance, check out this week's latest in how your mood affects whether you live in the moment or the future, the new warning labels regarding opioid use with other medications, what your choice between iPhones and Androids says about your personality, and more!

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Brain and Behavior

The Denial of Trauma

“I don’t have trauma.”

“What happened to me isn’t trauma.”

“Trauma is something horrific.”

“I should have been able to cope with it.”

“It’s not sad.”

“I’m not upset.”

Accepting you are suffering from trauma is by far one of the most difficult aspects of recovery. I thought that admitting I was suffering from trauma suggested I couldn’t cope with the events in my life or I didn’t have the strength to deal with and process those events.
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Brain and Behavior

Harnessing Our Racing Thoughts

To stop overthinking (also known as ruminating), we first have to understand why we do it.

Our brains favor a hardwired "negativity bias." This keeps our subconscious scanning our environment for any kind of perceived threat to our physical or psychological safety. If our brains, consciously or subconsciously, interpret any kind of threat, we have a psychological and physiological response called "fight, flight or freeze" that will go into effect to keep us safe.

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Brain and Behavior

Upgrading Your Mind

How many articles have you read that start out with something like this?

Manage Your Weight: 10 Easy Tips
Five Simple Ways to Manage Your Money
Time Management Tips for Getting it all Done
How to Manage the Stress in Your Life


All these (fictitious, yet typical) articles suggest ways to manage some aspect of your life. Not bad, if you can do it. However, most people can’t. And here’s why.

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Bipolar

My Bipolar Care Plan: A 3-Legged Stool

I often find myself putting other people I meet who have bipolar disorder into two clearly different categories. Either they are like myself and they are manic, or they tend to have depression more of the time. For me, if I have depression, it is normally mixed in with feelings of regret of what has happened in the past. I try hard to not dwell on the past.

As a person with mania, there are many things that I feel are different for me than for other people. For instance, I tend to have manic rage and manic anger. I have manic disappointment as well.
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