An introduction to Brene Brown…in case you haven’t met her.

You can't give children what you don't have yourself," says Brené Brown. "No matter how much importance you place on it." For instance, you can't raise children to be more resilient to shame than you are yourself. "I can encourage my daughter to love her body," she says, "but what really matters are the observations she makes about my relationship with my own body. Damn it. So the question isn't so much, 'Are you parenting the right way?' as it is, 'Are you the adult you want your child to grow … [Read more...]

Is depression a mental or physical illness? Unravelling the inflammation hypothesis.

Most people feel down, tired and inactive when they’re injured or ill. This “sickness behaviour” is caused by the activation of the body’s immune response. It’s the brain’s way of conserving energy so the body can heal. This immune response can also occur in people with depression. This has prompted some researchers and clinicians to hypothesise that depression is actually a side effect of the inflammatory process. But while there may be a connection between inflammation and depression, … [Read more...]

Toddler Tantrums and Gut Bacteria

Original source: Could germs be to blame for your toddler's temper tantrums? The complex ecosystem of microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract is known to change considerably in the first two years of life, especially as solid foods are introduced into a child's diet. And according to a new study, this unstable "gut microbiome" and a toddler's temperament are linked. "Although we predicted we would observe an association between temperament variables and … [Read more...]

Pain Really Is All In Your Head

Source - found here When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain. That's because our perception of pain is shaped by brain circuits that are constantly filtering the information coming from our sensory nerves, says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind. "There is a completely separate system for the emotional … [Read more...]

Inflammation and Mood

Depression and other mood disorders could be the brain’s response to inflammation, according to a new nationwide study from Denmark released Wednesday. The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, is the largest of its kind and adds further evidence to the emerging theory that certain mental health conditions could be caused by inflammation. Researchers found that patients with an autoimmune disease were 45 percent more likely to have a mood disorder, while any history of infection … [Read more...]

Chronic Stress and the Brain

Chronic Stress Can Damage Brain Structure and Connectivity Chronic stress and high levels of cortisol create long-lasting brain changes. Neuroscientists have discovered how chronic stress and cortisol can damage the brain. A new study reconfirms the importance of maintaining healthy brain structure and connectivity by reducing chronic stress. Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that chronic stress triggers long-term changes in brain structure and … [Read more...]

How To Rewire Your Brain For Greater Happiness

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could hack into our own brains and rewire them to be happier? Science has shown we actually can thanks to a phenomenon called experience-dependent neuroplasticity. "It’s a fancy term to say the brain learns from our experiences," says Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness. "As we understand better and better how this brain works, it gives us more power to change our mind for the better." Hanson assures he isn't just talking … [Read more...]

compassion  •  empathy  •  insight  •  safety … [Read more...]