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Do You Want to Share Your Pain or Relieve It?

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Guided Neuroplasticity can help you relieve cortisol and stimulate your happy brain chemicals. You can enjoy more dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin when you know how your brain works. You can build new neural pathways instead of repeating old pain endlessly.
Here you will learn what it takes to build new neural pathways, and why old pathways are so powerful. You will learn what turns on your happy chemicals in the state of nature, and what turns on your stress chemicals.
Our brain evolved to protect us from harm, so it is constantly alert for potential danger signals. Cortisol is turned on by pain and the anticipation of pain. The bad feeling prompts your brain to scan for more evidence about the threat. You can easily wind up with endless pain, but you can also rewire your brain with new responses. You'll be glad you did!

Published in: Self Improvement

Do You Want to Share Your Pain or Relieve It?

  1. 1. Do You Want to Share Your Pain or Relieve It? Inner Mammal Institute Loretta Breuning, PhD Guided Neuroplasticity
  2. 2. Our brain creates endless pain because • it confuses social pain with physical pain • it equates disappointment with pain • it blends anticipated pain with actual pain
  3. 3. You can escape this loop when you know how your brain works
  4. 4. You can turn on your happy brain chemicals in new and sustainable ways dopamine endorphin oxytocinserotonin
  5. 5. You can build new neural pathways to give the electricity in your brain a new place to flow
  6. 6. This presentation shows you:
 1. what turns on the pain chemical (cortisol)
 2. what turns on the happy chemicals
 (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin)
 3. how to build new neural pathways
 to enjoy more happy chemicals and
 avoid more pain chemicals
  7. 7. Then you will choose a new behavior or thought pattern to stimulate the chemistry you want. You’ll repeat it every day for 45 days without fail.
  8. 8. It’s not easy, but on Day 46 you’ll be so thrilled that you’ll want to start your next rewiring project
  9. 9. Pain = Cortisol 1.
  10. 10. Cortisol is found in all mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and mollusks
  11. 11. Cortisol is triggered by bodily harm (and the anticipation of harm)
  12. 12. Neurons connect when cortisol flows
  13. 13. This wires us to turn it on faster in similar situations
  14. 14. Anticipating harm promotes survival
  15. 15. This monkey escaped a lion by climbing a tree. Now his brain is good at scanning for trees.
  16. 16. Whatever turned off your cortisol saved your life, from your mammal brain’s perspective
  17. 17. Brains with more neurons can wire in more danger signals, and more ways to escape danger
  18. 18. We humans prevent harm by anticipating it and taking action
  19. 19. But we can end up with
 a lot of cortisol
  20. 20. Cortisol works by making you feel bad so you do what it takes to make it stop
  21. 21. This zebra would rather be eating, but smelling a lion triggers more cortisol than hunger
  22. 22. It scans for evidence of threat so it can do what it takes to relieve the bad feeling and go back to grazing
  23. 23. Cortisol is nature’s emergency broadcast system
  24. 24. Your cortisol makes you feel bad when you get a whiff of anything that hurt you before
  25. 25. It alerts your brain to scan for potential threat
  26. 26. A big brain is good at finding threat when it looks
  27. 27. When there’s no immediate threat, you scan out for distant, subtle threats that fit the neural pathways you have
  28. 28. The electricity in your brain
 flows like water in a storm.
 It finds the paths of least resistance.
  29. 29. You can end up feeling threatened all the time
  30. 30. To make matters worse, we mammals feel social pain as well as physical pain
  31. 31. Social pain is the cortisol that surges when you see a potential threat to your social needs
  32. 32. In the state of nature, social pain = physical pain because separation from the herd is an immediate survival threat
  33. 33. Your genes are annihilated if you don’t meet social needs
  34. 34. Natural selection built a brain that makes social disappointment feel urgent
  35. 35. Any social pain in your past connected neurons that flow to your cortisol today
  36. 36. To complicate things further, happy brain chemicals mask cortisol, but only for a moment
  37. 37. Happy chemicals distract you from cortisol dopamine oxytocin endorphinserotonin
  38. 38. But their natural spurts are brief and they’re soon metabolized
  39. 39. When a happy chemical spurt ends, you might confuse that with pain
  40. 40. This is why we keep looking for ways to stimulate our happy chemicals
  41. 41. But many ways of stimulating them have bad consequences
  42. 42. You can end up with more cortisol
  43. 43. To make things even worse, disappointment triggers cortisol
  44. 44. It’s easy to see why from the lion’s perspective This lion will starve to death if it keeps chasing a zebra that got away
  45. 45. Cortisol surges when your expectations are not met, which motivates you to stop investing energy in a failed pursuit
  46. 46. This is nature’s operating system Happy chemicals motivate you to approach rewards and unhappy chemicals warn you to avoid harm
  47. 47. Nature’s operating system motivated our ancestors
 to do what it takes
 to survive in the harshest conditions
  48. 48. But we all end up with some pathways we’d rather do without
  49. 49. It’s not easy being a mammal
  50. 50. But you can build new neural pathways to turn on your happy chemicals in new ways
  51. 51. You can feel good when you do things that are good for you
  52. 52. You can give your electricity a new place to flow
  53. 53. Let’s look closer at what turns on the happy chemicals 2.
  54. 54. Good feelings are brain chemicals we’ve inherited from earlier mammals dopamine endorphinoxytocinserotonin
  55. 55. It would be nice if they flowed all the time, but they are there to do a job
  56. 56. Your brain rewards you with a good feeling when you do something good for your survival
  57. 57. But our brain defines survival in quirky ways
  58. 58. 1. It cares about the survival of your genes (even putting your body at risk to promote “reproductive success”)
  59. 59. 2. It relies on neural pathways built in youth (even though early experience is rarely a reliable survival guide)
  60. 60. This is why happy chemical spurts can be hard to make sense of
  61. 61. Your brain turns on a happy chemical when it sees a way to meet a need
  62. 62. But the spurt is soon over and you have to do more to get more.
  63. 63. This makes life frustrating for everyone
  64. 64. Our brain evolved to seek happy chemicals because in the state of nature, what feels good is good for you dopamine endorphin oxytocinserotonin
  65. 65. Let’s see why they spurt in nature, and why they droop after they spurt
  66. 66. Dopamine is the great feeling
 that a reward is at hand
  67. 67. Dopamine releases energy for the chase
  68. 68. Dopamine droops once you get the reward, until
 you set your sights on another reward
  69. 69. Oxytocin is often called the “love chemical”
  70. 70. Oxytocin is stimulated by touch and
 trust
  71. 71. Oxytocin droops when you’re separated from the herd, which makes you feel like your survival is threatened
  72. 72. Serotonin is the pleasure of social dominance
  73. 73. Serotonin is not aggression but a calm sense that “ I will get the banana ”
  74. 74. Serotonin
 is soon reabsorbed,
 so we are always looking for ways to stimulate more
  75. 75. Endorphin masks pain so you can do what
 it takes to survive
  76. 76. Endorphin is triggered by pain. You get a little bit from vigorous exertion.
  77. 77. Endorphin droops after it spurts because pain is urgent survival information
  78. 78. Dopamine rewards you for the effort of steps toward your needs. Serotonin rewards you for getting respect from others. Oxytocin rewards you for finding the safety of social support. Endorphin rewards you for action that relieves pain.
  79. 79. 3. Let’s see how your brain builds the pathways that control your happy chemicals
  80. 80. You were born with billions of neurons but very few connections between them
  81. 81. Connections got built each time something felt good or bad
  82. 82. Your pathways got built from lived experience
  83. 83. Each dopamine spurt connected neurons that turn on the good feeling in similar circumstances
  84. 84. Each serotonin or oxytocin spurt wired you to seek more good feelings in similar ways
  85. 85. Your electricity flows effortlessly where it flowed before
  86. 86. You got wired by the accidents of your past experience
  87. 87. Reptiles are born hard-wired with the experience of their ancestors. They leave home at birth because they already have survival skills.
  88. 88. Mammal brains get wired from life experience
  89. 89. The bigger a creature’s brain, the more helpless it is at birth and the more it relies on neural pathways built from experience
  90. 90. Experience includes mirror neurons, which turn on when we see others get rewards or pain
  91. 91. Mirroring wires a little monkey to do what it takes to meet its survival needs
  92. 92. It must master the skill in order to eat
  93. 93. Mirror neurons can wire you to reproduce pain you observe even when you face no real threat
  94. 94. Each mammal gets wired to seek happy chemicals in ways that worked before
  95. 95. Building new pathways later on is not easy because old pathways feel normal and natural
  96. 96. Electricity flows effortlessly down old pathways because they got paved by a substance called myelin
  97. 97. Myelination peaks before age 8, and again in puberty
  98. 98. This is why old patterns may repeat despite our best intentions
  99. 99. You can blaze a new trail through your jungle of neurons
  100. 100. But it takes a lot of effort to activate a new pathway
  101. 101. And after all that, your new trail will disappear into the jungle unless you blaze it every day
  102. 102. The new trail may feel wrong even when you know it’s right
  103. 103. But it will feel natural in 45 days if you repeat your new pattern without fail
  104. 104. Your old path will still be there, but your electricity will have a new place to flow
  105. 105. You can wire in behaviors that turn on your happy chemicals in new ways
  106. 106. For example, you can stimulate the joy of dopamine by taking steps toward a goal Results are unpredictable but you can always adjust your expectations and take another step
  107. 107. You can stimulate the pleasure of oxytocin with small acts of trust It’s not safe to trust always and everywhere. We’re designed to make careful decisions about when to trust.
  108. 108. You can stimulate the pleasure of serotonin by finding the good in what you have You can feel important without putting others down or waiting for them to put you up
  109. 109. You can enjoy endorphin through laughter and exercise We are NOT designed to inflict pain on ourselves. Small endorphin drips are enough.
  110. 110. Habits of a Happy Brain Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin $11.00 Detailed suggestions for each chemical and a step-by-step plan are in: by Dr. Loretta Breuning
  111. 111. Don’t just share your pain it. Relieve it!
  112. 112. You’ll be glad you did
  113. 113. Free resources for rewiring your
 
 happy chemicals at InnerMammalInstitute.org
 • Youtube video:
 Your Ups and Downs Are Natural …and also learned • 5-day Happy Chemical Jumpstart • infographics: You Have Power Over Your Brain • PsychologyToday.com blog: Your Neurochemical Self
 • a training program
  114. 114. Dopamine Serotonin Oxytocin Endorphin Plan your new circuits:
  115. 115. Dopamine Dopamine makes you jump for joy when you reach a goal or get a toy. Innature,ithelpsfindfoodwhenyouneedit. “Eureka, I got it!” A memory gets created. Dopamine causes expectations. Correct predictions bring good sensations. Dopamine feels great so you try to get more. It rewarded our ancestors trudging through gore. Cocaine triggers dopamine. Caution to all: Joy without goal-seeking leads to a fall. Dopamine flows when you feel like “I’ve done it.” Whenothersdoitforyou,yourdopaminewillshunit.
  116. 116. Serotonin swells your chest with pride When you get respect and needn’t hide. Yourbrainfeelsgoodwhenyouboostyourselfhigher. But when others do this, it provokes your ire. “I don’t care about status. It’s other who do.” Butyouspurtserotoninwhenthelimelight’s on you. You are quite modest and don’t like to boast. But no serotonin flows when you coast. Status doesn’t depend on money. You can be clever or helpful or funny. But when others one-up you, your mind agitates. ‘Cause serotonin droops ‘til you lift your own weights. Serotonin
  117. 117. Oxytocin Oxytocin makes you trust your mates. We love the bonds that it creates. Oxytocinflowswhenyoustickwiththeherd. “Notme!” youmaysay,“I’mnobovine orbird.” But without social bonds, your brain feels alarm. This protected our ancestors from all kinds of harm. Thoughtheherdwillannoyyou,thepackhurt you so. When you run with a pack, oxytocin will flow. “My pack is great and the other is nuts.” This thinking prevailed since the first mammal struts. You’re above all this foolishness, obviously. But it feels good when I trust you and you trust me.
  118. 118. Endorphin Endorphin helps you mask the pain Of injuries that you sustain. Yourancestorsescapedfrompredatorattack ‘Causeendorphinfelt goodwhile theyranback. Endorphin feels great when it eases your pains. But only real pain makes it flow in your veins. Exercise triggers it, experts alert you. But first you must do it ‘til body parts hurt you. Endorphin receptors let opium in. So you feel like you’re safe without lifting a shin. Laughing and crying can trigger it too. But just for a moment– then the job’s through.

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