Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Habits

One of the greatest developments in contemporary psychiatry and behavioural psychology is the knowledge that the mind and the brain are in fact two separate things and that with the power of your awareness you can change the structure and the chemistry of your own brain.

With the knowledge that you can use mindfulness to rewire your brain, the treatment of behavioural disorders and mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, (a debilitating mental illness that is a result of faulty brain circuitry) can now be undone and managed in a way that may no longer require the use of pharmaceuticals.

There is still so much to be learned on the illnesses of the mind, so much so, that contemporary psychiatry is at least 100 years behind general medicine. Research into mental illness has shown that in 30 years there has been no improvement in the use of pharmacology for the treatment of anxiety and depression, mood disorders or addiction and human happiness has not improved either.

 

Breaking Bad Habits

The more often you repeat a behaviour the stronger the urge to do it again becomes, this is because you are strengthening the neurological pathways that connect the impulse to the action in the brain.  If you stop feeding the impulse the urge will eventually die.

The compulsion to repeat negative behaviours usually proceeds an uncomfortable sensation in the body. Uncomfortable feelings are the result of your body releasing chemicals and hormones that make you feel intense sensations of uneasiness, stress, fear, panic or anxiety. Our natural response to these sensations is to make them go away as soon as possible.

Becoming aware of your feelings and understanding that the physical discomfort you are experiencing is short-lived will help you to overcome the need to feed your beast. Uncomfortable sensations and emotions are a part of being a human and knowing that they come and go will help you to reduce their impact on your life.

Once you are aware of the sensations and emotions that drive your behaviour you can begin inserting a positive action, consciously and lovingly when they occur, actively reframing your focus and rewiring your brain.
Suggested interventions that are simple and effective at the time the negative or intense feelings arise could be; having a glass of water, taking a walk, jumping up and down or practising a breathing exercise.

Giving yourself this little bit of space between the impulse and the action will draw light on your ability to navigate the mind away from your brain. The space created helps you to unlock the brain from the mind and dissolve the patterns that are embedded into your psyche.

Top Tips For Making Changes

  • Recognise the sensation the impulse creates in your body – normally negative impulses make your body feel tight and constricted and good ones make you feel open and relaxed.
  • Make the choice to sit through uncomfortable sensations for 90 seconds
  • Make a plan – have a strategy in place for when urges arise for example – when you want to eat chocolate consciously have a glass of water instead so that over time when you have the impulse to eat chocolate your action will be to drink a glass of water.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness – becoming attuned to your inner self, thoughts, feelings and emotions will help you tackle pre-programmed habits that no longer serve your greater purpose in life.
  • Positivity practices like mantra and mindfulness help to repattern the brain as you manually and thoughtful train yourself to be kind, compassionate, self-loving and aware.
  • Mediation and yoga help you to relax and refocus the mind away from the negative and reframe it to the positive, this repeated practice helps to strengthen the positive pathways in your brain and weaken the negative ones.
  • Deep breathing exercises help you to rebalance and refocus the mind and body and reduce the stress hormones that generate uncomfortable feelings.

Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy19WzkPxE&t=690s

Uncomfortable Feelings Are Short-lived

The urge to repeat a behaviour – or the compulsion only lasts approximately 90 seconds according to Dr Joan Rosenberg a clinical psychologist and motivational speaker.

Dr Rosenberg has the formula to help people with deal with uncomfortable sensations and feelings which she calls the “Rosenberg Reset” – it is 3 steps to approaching uncomfortable feelings:

Step 1. Making a choice

Step 2. Dealing with the 8 uncomfortable feelings

Step 3. 90 Seconds of separation – meaning waiting out the feelings for a minute and a half.

She says the key to happiness and success is our ability to manage uncomfortable feelings and also make accurate and meaningful decisions moment to moment.

Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz ‘You are not your brain’ at Mind & Its Potential 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcrGlUHlu4M&t=1480s&list=PL9uvtvecXuuD8zWM_rpxIccJRmzYfjJa1&index=3

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder. His research has significantly impacted the treatment of serious compulsive disorders like OCD and confirms that contemplative practices like yoga and meditation change the brain.

In his 20 years of research into the compulsive disorders of the mind, DR. Schwartz confirmed that the mind – the immaterial can change the material meaning that the adage ‘Mind over Matter’ is on point. It confirms that our self actually exists beyond the physical body and is an intelligence that is unseen and immaterial, yet very real.

You are not your body but a spiritual being inhabiting the body just got very real.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

Everyday Mindfulness – Activity Chart

Everyday Mindfulness – Activity Chart

Mindfulness Everyday – Activities

In our busy lives we often neglect the simple things that keep our reality harmonious, ground us in nature and cultivate wellbeing. Places that provide sanctuary and stillness have been overcome by our integrated obsession with technology.

Instead of finding time to tune into the natural world, we tune out  into a virtual one. Inside of  our virtual playground our minds are filled to the brim with concepts and images of alternate realities that often appear to be better than our own. The images we see are often hugely exaggerated versions of the truth – whether it be the perfect house, the perfect love affair or a life of endless travel.

In the struggle to make the unreal into real, we fall short  and the enormous expectations we place on ourselves crumble our self- esteem (that is built on the externalised world). We are left feeling lost and disconnected from who we are the truth of the world we live in.

Simple is best.

Simple things really are the best.
There are a plethora of ways to nurture wellbeing, self healing, emotional growth and happiness. Popular tools for mindfulness and wellbeing are of course the regular practice of yoga and meditation, but there are other ways to treat yourself with greater kindness, grow your self – awareness and help you cope with the stress of everyday living.

In the chart below there are simple and effective activities and tools you can use when things seem to fall out of balance for you. These activities are for everyone including kids. They provide ways to reach a deeper awareness of yourself and  your place on planet earth and help you learn who you are from the inside out. Simple mindfulness activities cultivate connections to the natural world and the people in it.

In short – we are a social, spiritual and sensitive species that which requires a place in community, emotional care, regular nourishment from the earth a connection to Mother -Nature, close friends and comfort from loved ones. Maintaining these elements of wellbeing are the easiest ways to balance your internal and external worlds and feel peace and contentment in everyday living.

Namaste xx

Simple is best.

Simple things really are the best.
There are a plethora of ways to nurture wellbeing, self healing, emotional growth and happiness. Popular tools for mindfulness and wellbeing are of course the regular practice of yoga and meditation, but there are other ways to treat yourself with greater kindness, grow your self awareness and help you cope with the stress of everyday living.

In the chart below there are simple and effective activities and tools you can use when things seem to fall out of balance for you. These activities are for everyone including kids. They provide ways to find reach a deeper awareness of your place on planet earth, learn who you are from the inside out and cultivate connections and relationships that provide support and meaning.

In short – we are a social, spiritual and sensitive species which requires a place in community, care and nourishment from the earth and Mother -Nature, close friends and comfort from loved ones and  a healthy, happy environment to live and thrive in.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

The Nature of Sound – A Guided Meditation

Duration – 4 min – 10 min

Mother Nature in all her wisdom provides us with everything we need to grow and thrive. The sounds made by the natural world are there to help tune the body to the frequency of the earth, the planets and the stars. A secret symphony that guides our health and wellbeing and leads us to connect with the spirit of who and what we are.

  • Develop your natural ability to self heal by listening mindfully to each and every sound as it is made and then dissipates. Allow your breath to be the invisible tether that keeps you connected to the present moment and to your body.
  • If you get lost come back to the earth where you sit and the beating of your own heart. Follow the songs of the natural world to find a prayer that is unique to you.

Ages 5+

Tips For Your Listening Experience

  • Find a comfortable position where you are not going to be disturbed and play the track from start to finish.
  • Listening with headphones will enhance your experience.

Read More On Natures Wonders Here.

“The relationship medicine men and women have with the natural world has taken millennia to evolve, and it’s a relationship sustained through custom, respect, and balance”… 

We are not responsible for any accident or injury you may incur from practising these activities.
All Rights Reserved, Horatio’s Jar 2019
Copyright Horatio’s Jar

The Finger Labyrinth – A Mindfulness Activity

The Finger Labyrinth – A Mindfulness Activity

The Finger Labyrinth – Mindfulness Activity.

Using your fingers to wind through the labyrinth, you will discover the relaxing effect this fun activity will have on you. Using the labyrinth mindfully enhances meditation and prayer, the labyrinth is similar to the maze and has existed throughout ancient cultures for at least the past four thousand years.

Dr Lauren Artress from her book ” Walking a Sacred Path”:

“You enter a maze to lose yourself and a labyrinth to find yourself.”  

By tracing your finger through the winding curves you find yourself moving towards the coiled center, this is where the path in ends; from there you re-trace the coil outward and away from the center, back to the entrance, unwinding.

Your Finger Labyrinth

  • Find your very own finger labyrinth here.
    Trace your finger along the path to find the centre and then retrace the path to find your way out.
  • Tracing the labyrinth 5 or more times will help to relax your mind and body, becoming aware of your breathing as you wind in and around the curly pattern.
  • You may like to add a prayer to say as you weave in and out of the landscape or come up with positive words and thoughts to say, such as “ I am a wonderful person”, or “ I love my mum and dad” to boost your wellbeing, your mood and change your brain.
Colour A Frog Poster

Colour A Frog Poster

Colour Me A Frog

Frogs have existed on earth for 250 million years, outliving the dinosaurs and evolving into a myriad of species unique in colour, form and behaviours. Natural habitats rely on amphibians, and without them, the food chain becomes broken, and the habitats die.

More than 4,200 amphibian species are at risk of extinction due to disease, habitat destruction and pollution; that is almost half of all the known species of amphibians on the planet.

Colour Me In

Colour in your own frog and hang it on your wall.
Putting your poster up where people can see will help educate your friends and family about frogs and how important they are to the whole world.

Colour in your own frog and hang it on your wall.