Respect yourself


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Respect yourself, human evolution and triune brain theory. A personel perspective.

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Respect yourself

  1. 1. why and how you need to listen to your body when it has something very important to tell you …
  2. 2. Rationale (if any …) “Why some staff members shorten their sick leave while they are advised to rest?” they should listen to what their body wants to do … they should respect themselves
  3. 3. « Respect yourself … “If you don't respect yourself/ Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na”. “ Put your hand on your mouth/ When you cough, that'll help the solution” The Staple Singers
  4. 4. Going back to my roots (1) … It tooks 5M years to move from: ardipithecus ->
  5. 5. Going back to my roots (2) …  To Homo genus (2.5M years ago):  Homo abilis -> Homo erectus ->
  6. 6. Going back to my roots (3) … To Homo sapiens sapiens -> 200,000 years ago (??) -> To be continued …?
  7. 7. Summary of the Human adventure. • 5 million years … this is the time it took to adjust ourselves, as human beings “in being”, to a slowly changing environment. 6 glacial periods • We are now in an interglacial period that started 10 to 12,000 years ago.
  8. 8. Everything goes too fast  Over just 100 years we shifted to a universal rural life to more and more urban setting (in 2007, urban>50%, worldwide)  From the 4-strokes seasonal rhythm (in the Northern hemisphere), to a chaotic +/- succession of the seasons.  Global warming,  Globalization of the commercial exchanges.
  9. 9. How do we cope with a changing environment at the scale of a human life?  The intrinsic human (mammals) physiology – (other than the nervous system): it is a matter of physics, chemistry at the level of the cell (cell biology) and of communication between cells (endocrine glands, local mediators, …)  C. Bernard (1813-1878) - homeostasis: “The stability of the internal environment [the milieu intérieur] is the condition for the free and independent life”
  10. 10. The Boss …. Human species managed to survive as bare fragile animals, struggling among beasts in a hostile environment. (we are just naked apes - Ref.: The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris) WHY? • They were living as a united group, • Their unique circumvoluted and hyperconnected brain (protects individuals and thrive on its peers: We are The others).
  11. 11. The triune brain theory (Paul D. Mac Lean, 1913-2007)  Superposition of 3 evolutionary structures we inherited during the evolution from the reptilians (320M years ago):  The reptilian complex  The limbic system  The neocortex
  12. 12. The reptilian complex  The reptilian complex: instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays. The deeper structure of the brain. INSTINCTS. Immediate survival.
  13. 13. The limbic system:  The limbic system: inherited from the early mammalian species and is responsible for the motivation and emotion involved in feeding, reproductive behavior, and parental behavior. BASIC NEEDS. Emotion, motivation, long-term memory, olfaction (M. Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. Volume 1: Swann's Way. The Cookie)  Memory, “a human being is an acting memory” without memory, no happiness, no sadness …
  14. 14. The neocortex  The neocortex: the most recent step in the evolution of the mammalian brain, conferring the ability for language, abstraction, planning. THINKING CREATION IMAGINATION.  Frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes, outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres
  15. 15. Three buddies in a boat (skull?) Connections between these 3 structures:  the reward bundle  the punishment bundle  the inhibitor system
  16. 16. The Reward/Punishment/Inhibition of Action system (1)  The reward bundle (medial forebrain bundle) reinforces a sensation that pleases us. “I want it again …”, “Give me more …” (Pleasure Systems in the Brain, Michael A. Bozarth,  The punishment bundle (periventricular system – PVS) transmits the information that what is happening is detrimental, painful, unpleasant, IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED …  The behavioral inhibitor system (BIS, H. Laborit, cf. supra): passive submission. Chronic stress and subsequent chronic diseases.
  17. 17. « I don’t like that » … or How to deal with punishment? Fight or flight! 1st is the flight: okay, but what if there is no way to escape? Unconscious actions  2nd : “is there anyone around? If so: YOU are the CULPRIT”. From willingness to flee to willingness to fight. “It is useless, but it makes me feel so much better …” Unconscious actions   3rd, no way out, and nobody to punch … or I am not allowed to react (culture, education). It is the inhibition of the action. All the mechanisms triggered to take action just act against the individual -> psychosomatic diseases and beyond.
  18. 18. The Reward/Punishment/Inhibition of Action system (2) (Ref.: accessed on 25 September 2013)
  19. 19. 4 basic behaviors  H. Laborit, a French neurophysiologist, identifies subsequently 4 central behaviors:  Consumption, which satisfies the elementary needs,  Gratification, which reinforce the sensation of pleasure,  Response to punishment, that may be flee or fight,  Inhibition, which is a state of tension that drives to anxiety which is the impossibility of taking over a situation.
  20. 20. The Boss is Back on the Track  The neocortex has the capacity to take over and to give a meaning to what we decide to do.  We often take action based upon a wrong assessment of the situation.  This same neocortex gives a time-lagged picture of the current situation: It doesn’t listen to what your body feels right away through its 5 senses.
  21. 21. Here and Now …  This is exactly what the Buddhist tradition teaches: the Four Nobles Truths (the 1st is the « Truth of Dukkha »: unsatisfaction, anxiety of trying to hold on things that are consistenly changing »  This is the core of any meditation technique  Jon Kabat-Zinn: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Hyperion Books, 2005.
  22. 22. Give yourself a break  Recenter  Feel yourself on your respiration the tensions, and focus on releasing them  Clear your thoughts  Lying down, sitting position or walking
  23. 23. Back to basics  Do not pretend to be stronger than you really are:  Accept to feel tired, sleepy, weak, sick and manage yourself accordingly  « Know Thyself » (ancient greek aphorism).  Finally repecting yourself is respecting the others:  If you spend all your energy to struggle against yourself you will be a burden for your colleagues and your family.  If you carry a communicable disease, just stay away from the one you care, keep the bugs for yourself …
  24. 24. Respect … again  THANK YOU JJ