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Monday, April 28, 2014

What is my motivational style?

The work of Tamara Lowe states that our brains are hard-wired for motivational styles. Her work is based on 8 years of research on over 10,000 people.

I've included her test for you to try. Self-awareness is the corner stone for making change. The better one understand oneself the easier it is to achieve.

Here's her test for you to try.

Friday, April 25, 2014

What is a mirror neuron ?

A mirror neuron is a type of brain cell which allows us to sense what some else is feeling. These cells fire in our brains in response to what we see others doing or experiencing. For example, if some else stubs their toe we will "ouch" along with them, as our mirror neurons fires as if we have also been hurt. This mechanism is the root of "empathy" or our capacity to understand others' feelings and intentions.

Although research is fledgling, some researchers suggest that people with autism have poorly developed mirror neurons, in that autistic people lack in their capacity for social interactions. They don't read social cues very well, if at all.

Mirror neurons fire involuntarily or automatically. We can't choose to turn our neurons on or off; we are at the effect of anything exposed to. Our brains are hard wired to see others as similar to us, rather than differently.

Implications for this research are many. Firstly, it makes sense to spend time with pleasant people as other's moods are likely to rub off on us via these mirror neurons. Secondly, it also makes sense for us to communicate as respectfully as possible, as others reflect back to us what they feel coming from us. Mirror neurons respond to body language as well as language.

Mirror neurons makes the popular saying: "It takes two to tango", so very true.

If you'd like to explore these ideas on a personal level, or you feel stuck with someone who "brings you down", contact Birgit Schinke on her website. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What foods are good for mood?

1) Proteins ( 22 amino acids) are necessary to produce neurotransmitters which communicate positive feelings throughout the CNS (Central Nervous System). The rate of depression in the world correspond to the amount of fish eaten and this is due to the Omega-3 contained in fish which is responsible for healthy brain function.

2) Omega-3 Fats which is found in fish and flaxseed is needed by the brain (which is 60% fat) and raises dopamine and is also an MAO inhibitor (slows down MAO enzymes which destroy neurotransmitters). Neurotransmitters are mood boosters in our CNS.

3) SAT Fats (butter, coconut milk, olive oil, nuts) are also known as Satisfying Fats. Olive oil contains Omega-9 which is a good mood fat. Butter contains butyrate (a fatty acid) which helps to make GABA ( a natural relaxant).

4) Vegetables contain magnesium (relaxing mineral) and potassium (promotes vitality). Vegies also contain Vitamins B & K which preserves Omega-3's.

5) Good Mood Carbs: bananas contain potassium, serotonin, and melatonin, all three essential for good brain health. Fructose from fruit is a carb but doesn't cause the blood sugar and mood to swing like grains (gluten) and white starches do. Fruit is also rich in B6 which is needed by the brain to produce serotonin.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What's the difference between a technical and an adaptive change?

The answer is from the work of Heifetz and Linsky from Harvard.

A technical change involves learning a new set of techniques or skills. It can be seen as a behaviour change via informational learning. 

An adaptive change requires a transformative turn or a change in mindset. 

One of the biggest source of failure is trying to make adaptive changes by using technical means.

For example, only 5-8% of people can loose weight by learning new technical skills, yet most try to do this. The most effective way to loose and maintain weight loss is via transformational learning.

Visit Birgit Schinke's web site if you are stuck with trying to make a change and would like support with transformational learning.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What food are bad for moods?

1) Sugar and white flour starches as this combination overworks the adrenals which keeps our hormones balanced. Adrenal fatigue is the precursor of most disease, and can also look like depression.

2) Gluten grains (wheat, rye, oats, barley) irritate the digestive tract so that nutrients don't absorb properly. Gluten intolerance is linked to depression as well as thyroid disease.

3) Fats (vegetable oil, margarine, shortening) are unstable and therefore rancid or oxidative which can cause cellular damage to the brain which is mostly fat. These fats contain omega-6 which cause inflammation; inflammation in the brain interferes with dopomine production, our pleasure hormone.

4) Soy depresses thyroid function.