The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~Chinese Proverb~

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Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.

~ Jean Houston ~

life one step at a time . . .

There are very few human beings who
receive the truth, complete and staggering,
by instant illumination.  Most of them acquire
it fragment by fragment, on a small scale,
by successive developments, cellularly,
like a laborious mosaic.

~Anaïs Nin~

How Our Words and Feelings Influence Each Other

July 6, 2014

Maybe you have noticed that many positively charged words contain the “i” sound (e.g., like, high), while many negatively charged words have an “o” sound (e.g. lonely, low).

Some scientists noticed this is true in many languages, and wondered why. Their research shows that the way our mouth forms vowels as we speak influences our feelings, and our feelings influence our word choices.

So, the link between what we say and how we feel is not just psychological, it is physical as well. Findings such as this are not only interesting, they remind us how integrated our mind-body experience is.

Mouth Muscles and Mood

We each have a major mouth muscle called the zygomaticus. We use this muscle when laughing or smiling. Or, if you hold a pen between your teeth, so each end of the pen is pointing toward an ear, you are exercising your zygomaticus.

The zygomaticus muscle is also used to pronounce the vowel sound “i”.

We have another major mouth muscle called the orbicularis. We use this muscle when we purse our lips. Or, if you hold one end of a pen between your lips, as you would a cigar, you are exercising your orbicularis.

The orbicularis is also used to pronounce the vowel sound “o”.

In the research:

  1. Study subjects influenced to be in a positive mood were asked to make up ten words and say them aloud. They made up words containing significantly more “i” sounds than “o” sounds. Participants influenced to be in a negative mood were asked to make up ten words and say them aloud. They made up words containing many more “o” sounds than “i” sounds.
  2. Study participants exercising their zygomaticus (“i”) muscle by holding a pen between their teeth found a series of cartoons to be more humorous than the participants holding a pen between their lips, stimulating the orbicularis (“o”) muscle.

Words and Feelings

The investigators concluded that as people learn language, forming “i” sounds becomes associated with good feelings that prompt us to use more “i” sounding words. The “o” sound becomes associated with negative feelings and words.

This phenomenon is true in many languages because it is owed to the way humans use their facial muscles as they articulate words. The link between forming vowels, and our emotion and word choices is cross-cultural.

Everyday, and everywhere, the words we use reflect our feelings, and our feelings influence the words we choose. Our individual physical and emotional expressions are intimately connected, and this mind-body unity is universal.

You can also read this article at PsyWeb.

Source: Science Daily

Non-Military Triggers of PTSD

June 18, 2014

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be triggered by various traumatic experiences, but the symptoms are most often recognized in individuals suffering military related trauma.

This is not surprising since military experience and PTSD are frequently linked in TV shows, films, and the news media, and much PTSD research today involves traumatized veterans.

While veterans deserve excellent assessment and treatment for PTSD, the equating of PTSD with military service has been associated with less recognition of the same symptoms when caused by other types of trauma.

“The implications are that many people who develop PTSD following non-military combat traumas - particularly rape - are less likely to have it recognized by those around them, and are also less likely to seek help for their difficulties,” said researcher Dr. Ian Tharp.

Non-Military Related PTSD

Non-military causes of PTSD are more common when you consider the wider population. Symptoms can arise from experiences such as natural disasters, physical or sexual assault, traffic accidents, or industrial accidents. A number of people develop symptoms after spending time in hospital ICUs (intensive care units).

Dr. Tharp points out that the likelihood of having PTSD symptoms is greater after these types of events than after military combat. Yet, without increased awareness of this in communities, non-military PTSD symptoms may be ignored by those who have them and overlooked by family or friends.

So, familiarize yourself with the signs of PTSD and take them seriously no matter what event triggered their development. A person’s symptom intensity and need for help is not determined by the type of trauma gone through.

The Signs of PTSD

If you, or someone you know, persistently experiences some of these symptoms a mental health assessment is recommended.

  • recurring/involuntary/intrusive memories, traumatic nightmares, flashbacks of the trauma, intense/prolonged distress after exposure to traumatic reminders, intense reaction after exposure to a trauma-related stimulus.
  • persistent, effortful avoidance of trauma related thoughts/feelings, or of external reminders of the trauma (e.g., place, objects).
  • amnesia (not owed to injury) around features the trauma, continuous negative expectations/beliefs about the self, persistent trauma-related negative emotions (e.g., anger, guilt, fear)
  • loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of alienation or detachment from others, difficulty expressing positive emotions.
  • irritable/aggressive behavior, self-destructive/reckless behavior, hyper-vigilance, heightened startle response, trouble concentrating, problems sleeping.

Source: Science Daily

You can also read the article at Brain Physics

Why Depressed People Can Often Manage Practicing Yoga

May 6, 2014

There are many scientific reasons why yoga is good exercise choice for people with depression.

Practicing yoga helps us become mindful of the present, reduces stress, and helps balance the body’s hormones. Research suggests yoga increases the release of our feel-good neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, GABA, dopamine), and promotes neurological growth.

However, some of the most compelling reasons for doing yoga—from a depressed person’s point of view—are not scientific or noble. They involve the compatibility of yoga with people who feel lethargic, sad, and unmotivated.

Six Reasons Depressed People Can Manage Yoga

  1. Some yoga poses require strength, but many of them are more about relaxing into a stretch, such as doing a seated forward bend. Relaxing into something does not require much energy or motivation. It actually feels a bit as if you are giving up struggle or letting-go which can be a relief if you are depressed.
  2. Going to a yoga class gets you out of the house and around others—something people with depression are often recommended to do. However, you can also do yoga alone, at home. There are YouTube and other free online videos that teach yoga basics if you do not wish to purchase yoga books or DVDs.
  3. If feeling tired or lethargic, you can scatter yoga poses throughout the day instead of going through a series of them. If you are depressed, the thought of practicing a yoga series or routine may be overwhelming, whereas doing one pose every couple hours is doable. Plus, many yoga postures can be done sitting on a chair, or lying down.
  4. When people are depressed they do not always feel like moving. With yoga, you can stay in one pose as long as you like. Some of the postures are comfortable to maintain for several minutes or more—so you can exercise and not move simultaneously.
  5. Yoga postures can be adjusted to suit anyone’s fitness level. You do each pose the best you can and without straining your muscles or joints. Gently does it. However, if you are out of shape or have medical issues, talk to your doctor before starting any type of exercise.
  6. When you are feeling better, you can easily increase your yoga practice to suit a higher energy level. If depressive symptoms recur, it is just as easy to scale the practice back.

Yoga not only keeps the body flexible, but the practice itself is flexible enough to suit anyone, even those struggling with depression. A few poses each day can relax your muscles, quiet the mind, and help you feel connected to your body and yourself.

You can also read it HERE.

The Tragedy of Hiding Individual and Societal Shame

March 31, 2014

The hiding of human emotion is common in modern culture. We become so good at it that we end up hiding our emotions not just from others, but from ourself. We pay a high price for this coverup, individually and as a society.

“Emotions are like breathing—they cause trouble only when obstructed,” says Thomas Scheff, sociology professor at UC Santa Barbara.

In a recently published paper, Scheff examines the emotion shame. In our society that reveres individualism, Scheff finds that shame is the most obstructed emotion. Because it is the most hidden, it is also the most destructive.

Hidden vs. Helpful Shame

This does not mean all shame is bad. If you have ever done or said something hurtful, and then experienced an inner jolt of shame, that is your internal sense of morality or compassion reigning in your behavior. Paying attention to our natural shame reactions helps us cultivate good relationships.

The shame that withers our soul comes from the mouths of others. If we hear, “Shame on you,” often enough, we forget shame is about questionable behavior and begin to think of our self as being shameful. We may react to this shame by fearing to assert ourself, or by becoming aggressive.

Professor Scheff points out that hidden shame, which is prevalent in our culture right now, may be responsible for both individual and societal acts of aggression. There is research supporting the idea that behind violent behavior lies hidden feelings of humiliation.

Societal Shame and Aggression

“Especially for leaders, both shame and anger are carefully hidden behind a veil of rationality,” writes Scheff. For instance, Scheff suggests the U.S. invasion into Iraq after 9/11 may be owed to the Bush administration’s hidden sense of helplessness and shame over the terrorist attack.

People in modern societies learn to be “civic respectable” and hide their anger and shame. Yet, most of us experience both emotions. If they are not expressed effectively, they will be expressed ineffectively or to our detriment.

Resolving Hidden Shame

Shame is epidemic in our society, yet those who feel shame usually feel alone. Know that, except for a few rare individuals, everyone in the modern world—consciously or unconsciously—has issues with shame.

When asked how to resolve hidden shame, Professor Scheff had some excellent advice, use laughter:

“That is, laugh at yourself or at the universe or at your circumstances, but not at other people. Most of the laughing we do in comedy is good. No matter the actors, we are really laughing at our own selves that we see in their foolishness.”

If your sense of shame is deeply ingrained and beyond the effects of laughter, seek out someone you can talk to. You need to express your feelings and have the experience of being accepted as you are.

Source: Science Daily

You can also read the article HERE

Why Self-Compassion Is A Wise and Practical Choice

February 26, 2014

Compassionate action arises when we understand that beneath our different circumstances and appearances lies an essential oneness, a shared human experience.

Though we know this oneness includes our self, many of us have an easier time extending compassion to strangers than to the person reflected in our bathroom mirror. However, by not showing self-compassion we exclude ourself from the human race.

Self-compassion means:

  • Relating to the self with concern and kindness.
  • We see that flaws, failures, and pain are part of the human condition, and that the person we call “I” shares in the human condition.
  • Admitting that we are one of those “other people” who deserve appreciation and respect.

The Power of Warmth

In cold climates, ice often builds up on the sidewalk. Frequently, before trying to remove the ice, people sprinkle salt on it so it begins to melt. This makes breaking the ice up and shoveling it away much easier.

Any problem we may have, such as depression or anxiety, can seem to be a thick, slippery buildup of ice. We may chop away at it with self-criticism until we feel exhausted, or we can soften the ice by treating ourself kindly.

Self-compassion is a gentle warmth that loosens the icy grip of self-condemnation. It is not just a lofty spiritual ideal, but part of the human heart’s practical, healing wisdom.

So, it seems choosing the compassionate way would be a no-brainer, but for many of us it is a tough decision.

Tough Self-Love

What is tough about self-compassion?

  • It takes courage to let go of the habitual self-critical thoughts we have identified with for much of our lives.
  • It takes daring to embrace self-nurturing thoughts that seem foreign and maybe even foolish.
  • It takes determination because you must prove the benefits of self-compassion to yourself (words such as these prove nothing, but may encourage the effort to apply self-compassion and see how it works).

Fortunately, we do not have to embrace self-compassion all at once; the human condition is built into the process. We experiment, succeed one moment, fail the next, doubt, lose hope, get fed-up with our situation, re-contemplate compassion, and try again.

Yet, trying does not mean engaging in a series of grand gestures—compassion is effective when gestures are small.

Three Ways To Build A Self-Compassion Habit

You do not have to feel compassionate to act compassionate. All acts of self-kindness, felt or not, will disrupt established patterns of self-critical thought.

  1. Instead of reacting to self-criticism by refusing to be self-critical or pushing the thoughts away, simply notice the feeling or feelings that come with the criticism. Being aware of how you feel—without trying to escape the feeling—is an act of self-compassion.
  2. Once or twice during the day, lay a gentle hand over your heart (as you would rest a compassionate hand on the shoulder of a friend). Simultaneously send yourself a kind thought such as, “You’re human, I get it. I’m on my side.”
  3. When realizing that you have indulged in some hearty self-criticism give yourself a lighthearted pep talk such as, “Whoa, there I go again, being hard on myself - not helpful.”

You can also read the article HERE.

Meditating on Compassion Builds a Happy Brain

September 27, 2013

When you roll a genetic scientist and monk into one human being, you end up with Matthieu Ricard, a very happy individual with a passion for the perks of meditation.

He wants others to understand that meditation alters the brain just as weight-lifting changes muscle, and that anyone who trains his or her brain can be happy.

The Proof Is in the Brain Pudding

The proof is in Ricard’s own brain. When scientist Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin wired Ricard’s skull with 256 sensors, the scientist discovered something astonishing. Scans revealed that as Ricard meditated on compassion, his brain produced gamma wave levels “never reported before in the neuroscience literature,” said Davidson.

Ricard’s brain also showed intense activity in the left prefrontal cortex, but not in right side, indicating minimal negative thought activity and a hefty capacity for the experience of happiness.

“It’s a wonderful area of research because it shows that meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree, but it completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are,” says Ricard.

What’s Great About Gamma Waves?

Of all our brain waves, gammas have the smallest amplitude and the fastest frequency. Neuroscientists believe gamma waves connect information coming from all areas of the brain and are associated with high levels of mental clarity and focus. We all have gamma brainwave activity, but the amount varies. Low gamma activity has been linked to memory and learning problems.

Benefits of Cultivating Gamma Waves

  • Better memory; vivid and rapid recall
  • Heightened sensory perception
  • Increased ability to focus and assimilate whole scenarios
  • The brain processes more information more quickly
  • Happier, calmer disposition

Focusing On Feelings of Compassion

Other studies have validated that meditators, especially when focusing on feelings of compassion, produce gobs of gamma waves while meditating. The left prefrontal cortex activity increases, enhancing self-control, compassion and happiness. Activity in the amygdala, the brain’s fight or flight hub, decreases.

Ricard does not consider living well and showing compassion to be a religious law, but rather a very practical means of happiness. “Try sincerely to check, to investigate,” says Ricard. “That’s what Buddhism has been trying to unravel – the mechanism of happiness and suffering. It is a science of the mind.”

Starting Small

We can all create a habit of meditating by starting small. A minute or two of meditation with a focus on compassion just before rising in the morning, and another minute upon retiring can be the beginning of a powerful practice of gamma wave happiness.

Or, read the article HERE

Sources: thebuddhism.net; omharmonics

Solid, Liquid, Gas: Water Can Teach Us Thought Management

September 3, 2013

We know that water can be a solid, liquid or gas. That makes water an excellent metaphor or illustration for thoughts, which can also be a solid, liquid or gas.

What we feel has much to do with how we think. Knowing the difference between “types” of thoughts can help us manage our depression, anxiety or other mental illness.

Solid Thoughts . . .

Our thoughts become solid when we believe them. Believing a thought makes it a part of our mindset, and our mindset affects our emotions and our body. These solid thoughts provide a framework for our lives, a self-image, so we must choose them wisely.

For instance, if you believe the thought that you are powerless, that thought becomes one of a cluster of thoughts that you call “me.” When you think of “me” or “I,” it will include powerlessness because your belief has made that a reality. Solid ideas create our self-image. If our self-image is peppered with thoughts such as, “I am powerless,” our self-image will contribute to a depressed or anxious mood.

How to Manage Them

Some psychotherapies address the solid thoughts that create a problematic self-image. For instance, cognitive or psycho-dynamic therapies help individuals identify beliefs that have been held for so long they seem like facts. Once we know our negative-effect beliefs, we can melt them with our awareness and choose more effective ones to hold on to.

Liquid Thoughts . . .

Thought has often been compared to a river. The river of thought contains all possible thoughts. This rush of ideas is available to an open and curious mind, an intention to learn or create. As thoughts flow, they help us do work by turning the wheels in our mind. “Liquid” ideas are free to collide and make interesting connections. They inspire and sometimes enlighten us.

How to Use Them

The river of thought is not positive or negative, but work done there will reflect the heart and intentions of the person using it. If we take any of the river’s thoughts and hang on to them tightly, they lose energy and become a solid. This is not necessarily bad. Ice has its uses. However, we need to be aware of how we use thought so that we are not trapped within it.

Gas Thoughts . . .

When we stop working with thoughts and observe them, they become clouds scudding across the sky. If the mind is exceptionally still, thought is as invisible as humidity in the air. Observing without making judgments (thinking) is being mindful.

How to Free Them

When we are mindful, thoughts are wispy things that carry no personal baggage or emotional weight. They are no longer about us. We experience that being, or being alive, does not depend on thinking. If we know moments of mental stillness, it becomes apparent that the drama of our daily thoughts is not life nor who we are.

When we again engage our thoughts, they lose some of their gaseous vibrancy and we find ourselves back in the river of thought, thinking, inventing, collecting, comparing, measuring, making our living and sharing our ideas with others.

Or, read it HERE

One Woman’s Experience with PTSD Stigma and Recovery: An Interview

July 28, 2013

You learn the most about mental health diagnoses by talking to people who have them, especially those who have lived with symptoms for many years.

I interviewed Ginny, a 50-something-year-old woman who has struggled with, and learned to manage, symptoms of PTSD.

Part of Ginny’s PTSD journey is dealing with the stigma of having a mental health diagnosis. She is eager to share her thoughts on this subject, hoping that it will help to eliminate the public’s fear and misunderstanding of PTSD and other mental illnesses. Ginny also enjoys sharing her experience because it proves that recovery from mental illness is possible.

J. Marshall: Ginny, before learning to manage your PTSD symptoms, how did you experience the stigma of having emotional and mental difficulties?

Ginny: I always knew that I had severe emotional problems and that I was extremely sad from the time I was four-years-old until I was diagnosed at the age of 32 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) Having been born into a strict religious cult and not exposed to the outside world until I was 22 years of age, I felt like I was a freak because I couldn’t relate to anything that people around me were talking about.

When I did get married or get jobs, people would ask me questions about myself, and not having learned discretion at all, I would tell them truthful answers which only served to produce more questions, until they would finally try to slip away and act like they wished they had never talked to me at all! That felt like stigma to me. It felt like I had something so bad inside me that made acquaintances turn away from me and that I might never have friends.

JM: Do you think stigma is less of a problem now than it was say, 15 years ago?

Ginny: Now that I’ve had therapy and give back to the clients at the [mental health treatment] center that helped me so much, I don’t think stigma has improved much at all, due to the fact that the very people who are now in charge of the day treatment program seem to feel they are just babysitting adult people who cannot improve their lives. The clients who are wanting to go forward in their treatment are not getting the coping skills they so desperately need and want.

JM: What symptoms of PTSD were/are the most difficult to live with, and what has helped you learn to manage them?

Ginny: Some of my symptoms that were hard to manage and got me in trouble with coworkers and friends were: dissociating, feeling worthless when I made mistakes (being taught they were sins), being sensitive with sound, never believing the sad would ever go sway, no positive coping skills, a very high startle response, as well as hyper-vigilance.

Some coping skills that have helped me manage these symptoms are: grounding techniques, being taught I have rights, gaining autonomy, using Bose noise cancellation headphones in crowds, restaurants and movies, finding a purpose in life, giving back to others by co-facilitating a NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] support group for people living with a mental illness, and sharing my story with nursing students through NAMI’s In Our Own Voice presentations.

JM: Do you notice any myths or misperceptions about PTSD being generated or perpetuated in the media?

Ginny: I don’t think that the media has done a good job of covering how PTSD can affect a person again and again throughout their lifetime and that it is not usually a one-time event where you go through therapy and you get all better and that’s it. You never know what triggers can bring back flashbacks and nightmares in an instant and sometimes it takes an up and down hill battle to deal with the effects of PTSD.

JM: When we spoke prior to this interview, you mentioned that PTSD in the veteran community is getting most of the attention these days. Do you want to comment on that?

Ginny: I do think that childhood physical/sexual/emotional abuse and neglect has been pushed to the background with all the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan during this past decade. The government suddenly found money to fund websites and time to fund research into PTSD for veterans, even though it has existed for years! Those of us who suffered severe abuse have been neglected by the system, as well as our abusers, it feels like sometimes. People and the media only seem to think of veterans when they think of PTSD and that is sad.

JM: What would you like to tell people who are just beginning their journey of recovery with PTSD?

Ginny: If you have just found out that you have the diagnosis of PTSD, please know that recovery is a process and be very gentle and forgiving with yourself. None of it was your fault. You had no control over how it came to be, whether you were a child who was emotionally, physically or sexually abused or neglected, or if you witnessed a horrific event, or if you were a soldier in some war. It’s not your fault! Try to get professional help, if at all possible. You are worth it!

You are lovable and a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars!” ~ Desiderata

Or, read it HERE

Dreams and Depression: How the Depressed Brain Does Sleep

July 14, 2013

In The Twenty-Four Hour Mind, sleep researcher Rosalind D. Cartwright writes about dreams as a means of regulating distressing emotion.

She also shares what research has discovered about rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in people who are  depressed.

Cartwright believes that dreams, which occur during REM sleep, come from the interplay of our new experiences and the memories we have stored. Dream images are generated as a pattern recognition between recent emotionally charged events and memories that have a similar emotional flavor.

An emotionally charged experience, by interacting with relevant memories in a dream, diffuses its emotional charge. This process also alters or updates our memory files with new experiential information.

Sleep is a busy time, interweaving streams of thought with emotional values attached, as they fit or challenge the organizational structure that represents our identity. One function of all this action, I believe, is to regulate disturbing emotion in order to keep it from disrupting our sleep and subsequent waking functioning. ~ Rosalind D. Cartwright

Unfortunately, people with depression tend to have abnormal cycles of REM sleep. This gums up our dreams' work of emotional modulation.

Depressed Sleepers

Researchers have discovered several sleep differences between severely depressed individuals and those who are not depressed:

  1. People with severe depression slip into REM sleep sooner than non-depressed sleepers. They may begin dreaming only 45 minutes into their sleep, cutting the normal amount of initial deep, non-dreaming sleep in half. The loss of this deep sleep cannot be fully recovered during the night.
  2. The REM sleep may not only start too early but also last up to twice as long as is considered normal (about 10 minutes is normal).
  3. The eye movements of depressed individuals during REM are often too frequent or not frequent enough.
  4. Our body releases its biggest spurt of human growth hormone (HGH) during the first deep sleep cycle of the night. The HGH release does not occur in depressed sleepers whose deep sleep is disrupted by early REM. HGH allows our physical body to repair itself. A lack of it means our body will be slower to heal or grow.
  5. Depressed individuals awakened during early onset REM are usually unable to recall their dreams.
  6. During REM, depressed dreamers have higher emotional brain center activity than non-depressed dreamers.
  7. During REM, depressed dreamers have high activity in areas of the brain responsible for decision making and rational thought; non-depressed dreamers do not.
  8. Depressed sleepers have too little slow-wave sleep (SWS) which is characteristic of the third and fourth stages of our sleep cycle.

Another interesting fact to come out of brain imaging research is that antidepressants dampen REM sleep. This might be why depressed sleepers have poor dream recall and could be why antidepressants are often effective in relieving depression.

The question remains whether depression is caused by sleep abnormalities or depression triggers sleep abnormalities. Either way, it does not mean “life is but a dream,” though for people with depression it might be said that “a good mood is but a normal dream cycle.”

Or, read the article HERE

We May Give Our Brain Too Much Credit For Our Behavior

June 27, 2013

We have been taught that thinking (cognition) happens in the gray matter housed in our skull.

It is natural for us to assume that everything we do is the result of complex mental computations that go on there. And it is logical for us to assume that if a person is not managing life well, the problem must lie between the ears.

Embodied Cognition

Embodied cognition is an idea that turns our belief about the brain’s central role in thinking on its head. This theory suggests that what the body perceives as we interact with the environment is just as responsible for our behavior, and getting us to our goals, as the brain.

This idea changes the brain’s job description.

  • Old job description: The brain translates incoming data, then uses that knowledge to order our unconscious and conscious behavior and actions.
  • New job description: The brain is one part of a broader thought system that processes perception and action as we interact with the environment.

This means the environment and our bodies are not just influences on our thought process but are essential mechanisms of thought processing.

How this Relates to Mental Health

The concept of embodied cognition has not altered mainstream perceptions of mental health or mental illness, but it might. Anyone who has holistic thoughts about well-being can relate to the implications of embodied cognition:

  1. Our sense of self and our experience of being in the world are aspects of a brain-body-environment thought processing system.
  2. What we call thought disorders are actually a disturbance of our brain-body-environment awareness and thinking system.

This expanded notion of cognition complements our current knowledge and treatment of mental disorders. Our brain is, after all, part of the thinking process, and current treatments address this. Yet embodied cognition does imply that the traditional psychological focus on brain function is too narrow.

Consider Schizophrenia

Because of embodied cognition, it has been theorized that the symptoms of schizophrenia are owed to a disruption of communication between the environmental, body and brain processing mechanisms. To put it another way, thinking becomes disembodied, losing its connection to the body and the environment.

The disembodiment leads to feelings of emptiness or loss of self as well as alienation from others and one’s surroundings. It necessitates navigating through life by performing everyday behaviors as separate, unrelated actions instead of fluid brain-body-environment behaviors.

Also Consider Melancholic Depression

Melancholic depression,  in light of cognitive embodiment, might be viewed as “hyper-embodiment.” The body loses some of its ability to connect with the world and cannot fluidly process data from the environment. Without this connection, an individual is less attuned to others and feels both detached and emotionally stunted. The body becomes too solid, and the person feels trapped in a world of reduced possibilities.

Making this Information Practical

The theory of embodied cognition may someday change the way we view mental health and thought disorders. In the meantime, it is fascinating food for thought and inspiration.

  1. The theory of cognitive embodiment is yours to think about – or not. However, anyone with a mental illness can only help themselves by staying informed about the latest research and ideas in psychology and neuroscience. Keep an open, flexible mind.
  2. Continue to experiment with ideas and activities to find those that help you to cope with your psychiatric symptoms or to heal. Think holistically and pay attention to all aspects of your life: social, occupational, leisure, spiritual, mental, physical and emotional.
  3. Theories such as cognitive embodiment remind us how unique our experience of the world is and how integrated our life is with all that surrounds us.

Continue reading HERE

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