Presentation on theme: "“The mind is what the brain does” www.draronsonramos.com."— Presentation transcript:
“The mind is what the brain does”
How we understand our experiences can promote or prevent the development of mental health disorders by turning off or on genes which make us vulnerable to psychiatric illness. We can control how we interpret our life experiences – to promote healthy development and build resilience and mastery. We can learn, develop, and teach specific skills which protect from disabling emotional disorders.
Mind-Body medicine is identifying key factors to prevent mental health disorders. Even Hippocrates the ancient Greek father of medicine noted disease=negative emotions.
Life experiences effect our genetics. We are born predisposed to certain mental health conditions - our early life experiences shape how our neural circuitry develops. We can tip the balance + or - Many symptomatic mental health disorders have their onset or roots in childhood. Though we debate the amount of the contribution from genes vs. environment, we do not debate the scientific fact that the environment influences gene expression. How do life experiences change the brain? Effects on - hormones, blood flow, circuitry, neuronal growth and development, neurotransmitters, etc. We control our response to negative experiences. Our perceptions effect our physiology» THREAT or CHALLENGE. Threat=stress response, impaired memory, learning, and emotional regulation. Challenge=opportunity for mastery and resiliency.
Why do some people develop post- traumatic stress and others post- traumatic growth after devastating experiences?
Here is the good news coping effectiveness, resiliency, and optimism can be taught and learned modifying gene expression. THIS DOES NOT MEAN SHIELD FROM: loss, failure, mediocrity, disappointment, and pain…..it is teaching the skills to cope with difficult experiences in life. Developing this SKILL TAKES CONSCIOUS EFFORT AND WORK. We need to lead the way changing ourselves and our “explanatory style” for our children. Looking for “islands of competence” (Brooks & Goldstein). Seeing challenges as “desirable difficulties” (Malcolm Gladwell). Resilience means learning how to fail.
Social Support – teachers, parents, friends Locus of Control – not a passive victim Optimism – things will work out; positive emotion is not the inverse of negative emotion- building a positive mindset occurs through actively solving problems effectively How you think about causes determines your out look, everyone has an “explanatory style”- the detrimental P’s (permanence, pervasiveness, personalization). Children learn their explanatory style from us Self Esteem (feel well) vs. Mastery and Optimism (do well)
Competence: The ability to handle situations effectively. Confidence: The solid belief in one's own abilities. Connection: Close ties to family, friends, school, and community give children a sense of security and values that prevent them from seeking destructive alternatives to love and attention. Character: A fundamental sense of right and wrong that helps children make wise choices, contribute to the world, and become stable adults. Contribution: When children realize that the world is a better place because they are in it, they will take actions and make choices that improve the world. They will also develop a sense of purpose to carry them through future challenges. Coping: Children who learn to cope effectively with stress are better prepared to overcome life's challenges. Control: When children realize that they can control their decisions and actions, they are more likely to know that they have what it takes to bounce back. *Kenneth Ginsburg
What are we capable of if we don’t worry about the outcome ?
LORT by Carver et al. A = strongly agree (0) B = agree(1) C=neutral(2) D = disagree (3) E = strongly disagree(4) 1.In uncertain times, I usually expect the best. 2. It’s easy for me to relax. 3. If something can go wrong for me, it will. 4. I'm always optimistic about my future. 5. I enjoy my friends a lot. 6. It’s important for me to keep busy. 7. I hardly ever expect things to go my way. 8. I don't get upset too easily. 9. I rarely count on good things happening to me. 10. Overall, I expect more good things to happen to me than bad.
Reverse 3,7,9 i.e. a=4 d=0 3,7,9 and sum Sum 1,3,4,7,9,10 that is your total Ignore 2, 5, 6, 8 they are filler only Lower scores=more optimistic 0-24 Other measures The Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), Peterson et. al CES –D Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale - NIMH
Be in the Moment Realistic Goals Everyday events – notice and share them Acts of Kindness Turn Negative into Positive Honor Your Strengths End the day with GRATITUDE
Meditation does not require an ashram it can be build into daily life with moments of contemplation, re-experiencing positive events, being grateful, reappraising
Good vs. Bad Stress Thoughts # Facts Explanatory Style= learned helplessness vs. agent of change High Stress- no prefrontal cortex activity in the brain – no problem solving-increased cortisol – increased insulin – increased inflammation- accelerated aging – decreased immune function – telomere shortening Increased mindfulness – low stress, increased resiliency, increased telomerase, increased immune function, increased cerebral blood flow
Positive Psychology News - The Optimistic Child by Martin Seligman Raising Resilient Children by Brooks & Goldstein Building Resilience in Children and Teens, Kenneth Ginsburg David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell Osher Center at University of California, San Francisco - Yale Stress Center - Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times, Margaret Nelson
Nurture Shock, by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman The Emotional Life of Your Brain, by Richard Davidson Mindsight, by Daniel Siegal, M.D. Mind and Body Health Handbook, by Ornstein and Sobel The Family ADHD Solution, by Mark Bertin