WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET OUT OF A BAD MOOD?

This is a quick one. I just learned something for a fascinating book I am currently reading called "A General Theory of Love". It involves how we learn and how we can get trapped in patterns of thought, simply from the way the brain absorbs, encodes and retains information. Your brain is an association machine.  Things that have an experiential  link to each other light up more circuits in the brain and a stronger connection is "felt".  As an example, If I say "train" and "tracks" there has a stronger resonance in mind than If I say "train" and "computer". In fact, not only is the neuronal activity for "tracks" heightened (as it has a strong association with "train", but the neuronal firing for "computer" may actually be inhibited, as for most people "computer" has little to do with "train".  As a further twist, if you are familiar with using your laptop on a train as you go to work, the circuit for...
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THE DAYDREAMING, DEFAULT STATE OF YOUR BRAIN

There is a state that everyone's mind goes to when we're not focused on something in particular, or our brain is not completing a specific task, and unfortunately it's not Hawaii. Neuroscientists like Dr Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University have called this non directed activity the brain's "default state". Curiously when this default state of the brain is studied in depth, the results indicate that when we are apparently doing "nothing" or daydreaming, our brain activity appears to be more active than when we are centered on a specific task. I want to go back and tell this to my grade nine Spanish teacher. See Mrs Mathers, I am doing my work! What's interesting, and I’m shortening this up a lot, (forgive me Dr McGonigal) is that it is this default, daydreaming state that seems to bring up much of your shame, fears and worries. The default state is highly active when we blame and judge others, but perhaps more importantly, it seems to be...
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WHAT IS ALARM?

ANXIETY ISN'T THE MAIN PROBLEM Im working on an article about anxiety from the perspective of me as doctor and me as patient as Ive dealt with anxiety my whole life. I don't really believe that anxiety is the main problem. I think the main issue is a sense of alarm. Trauma, I believe is stored in the body and is subjectively felt as a sense of alarm, usually somewhere between the navel and the throat. That sense of alarm is the cause and generator of anxious thoughts. The anxious thoughts maintain the Alarm as the Alarm maintains the anxious thoughts in a vicious cycle. Thats why anxiety is so hard to treat, as we are trying to treat the anxious thoughts rather than focus on the cause, which is the sense of alarm. I got through medical school by creating acronyms and mnemonics so I could remember information and I created one, using the word ALARM. This is meant to focus...
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WHAT IS ANXIETY?

WHAT, ME WORRY? This is the explanation and advice I give to just about every patient I have seen complaining of anxiety. Remember that when you feel anxious, that anxious thoughts will come to you and create more anxiety. It's an automatic Feeling-Thought cycle, and unfortunately, it's just how the mind works. Whatever emotion you are feeling at that time, your mind will create thoughts that are completely consistent with that emotion, and those fearful thoughts will appear even more real when your mind and body are experiencing that fear and alarm. In essence, the feeling gives rise to the thought and also gives it the sense that it is real, which is a powerful double whammy!  This contrasts with the truth, which is that your anxious thoughts only became real the instant you believed them.  Anxious thoughts are only a mind created prediction and projection of the future.  Anxious thoughts are always future based, they are never about what is happening now.  So, if anxious...
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