What Have You Done To Model Compassion Today? <3

<img src=”https://graymatter7112.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/compassion.jpg&#8221; class=”size-full” alt=”What Have You Done To Model Compassion Today?

“A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.
“Our fundamental question was, ‘Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice that mindset?’” says Helen Weng, lead author of the study and a graduate student in clinical psychology. “Our evidence points to yes.”

VIEW THE FULL STORY HERE: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/compassion-training.html

Perhaps all it takes is to be conscious of modeling this vital component of life. It may come easy to some but if it is ‘teachable’ as in the research above then it is our responsibility to: learn compassion…use compassion…and teach compassion!

Plan ahead! How will you model compassion tomorrow?

Just a thought from Dr. Lise’


Mild Head Trauma Can Cause Significant Changes in Personality

Mild Head Trauma Can Cause Significant Changes in Personality

Our bodies are so tough! They fall but get up immediately, they break a bone and we reset it, no biggie! And yet as flexible and resilient as we are it doesn’t take much of a fall or blow to our head to create long-lasting changes in our personalities and behavior!

When a head injury occurs most of us know if the person is ‘knocked-out’ they should go see a Doctor, or if they are bleeding from the event they should go to the hospital.

However, what we do not know is most Doctor’s and hospitals will ‘triage’ the situation. They look at the patient and think through, do they need medical care (stitches, surgery, hospitalization)…and if they are PHYSICALLY stable they are good to go…they are not usually trained to see the subtle details of a mild head injury because their job entails fixing the large components of a physical problem.

Then it seems later we discover that although that ‘motorcycle accident left him able to talk and hold a conversation’ there are now strange but noticeable issues…Even a good hit in a soccer game or a fall down the stairs can cause the most subtle changes in a brain, but these turn out to be VERY significant concerns in the person!

* Personality Changes
* Behavioral Changes
* Memory Problems
* Lack of Emotion
* Emotional Volatility
* Aggressive Behavior
* Self-Centered Attitude
* Poor Concentration
* Lack of Awareness of their Deficits
* Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
* Depression & Anxiety
* Hyper-sensitivity to Lights and Sounds
* Dizziness & Vertigo or a Balance Problem
* Fatigue or Constant Drowsiness
* Sleep Issues
* Slurred Speech at Times
* Word Finding Problems
* Nausea or Seizures

It is not necessary to have ALL these problems and there may be others that are even more subtle like not comprehending what you are reading, therefore, you have to re-read everything to understand it. Perhaps, their temper is extremely short and they were always so patient before…Or you may notice that they just ‘don’t seem themselves’ they just ‘seem off’.

These are concerns that we are noticing more and more often with our men coming back from the service, or our kids playing contact sports, or our elderly when they take a tumble.

Many of these concerns can be remediated, or ‘re-taught’.

One of the most difficult tasks for the brain to perform is called “switching” it is moving from one task to another smoothly or moving from one strategy to another, this is why people say ‘learn some thing new to strengthen the brain’.

Dopamine is released when we learn new skills. This is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that is released by nerve cells and sent to other nerve cells. It plays a major role in the brains system that is responsible for reward and motivation. Dopamine is the brain’s universal ‘chemical-signal’ for pleasure. We all know when a task seems pleasurable we will continue to do that task!

Try raising YOUR Dopamine levels by trying some of the following:

1. Learn something new! Here is a series of FREE PC games, created by an individual that has suffered through a brain injury…

2. Eating foods rich in tyrosine like; Almonds, avocados, bananas, low-fat dairy, lima beans, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are thought to help your body produce more dopamine.

3. Increasing your intake of antioxidants are thought to reduce free radical damage to the brain cells that produce dopamine. There are many fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants:
– Beta-carotene and carotenoids: Greens, orange vegetables and fruits, asparagus, broccoli, beets
– Vitamin C: Peppers, oranges, strawberries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
– Vitamin E: Nuts and sunflower seeds, greens, broccoli, carrots

4. Many foods inhibit brain function such as: refined packaged foods, refined white flour, cholesterol, caffeine, and saturated fats. I will usually say eat nothing in a box or a can, shop the perimeter of the grocery store and stay away from the inner lanes! NO artificial sweeteners!!!! Watch for your children’s food it is a common practice to reduce refined sugar by adding chemicals that kill our brains ability to function! **If you can not pronounce it do NOT eat it!

5. Exercise regularly. Exercise increases blood calcium, which stimulates Dopamine production and allows for re-uptake in your brain. Try 30 to 60 minutes of walking, swimming or jogging to jump-start your Dopamine. Or first thing in the morning, jump up and down, climb your stairs several times or chase yours kids, animal or spouse around the house!

6. Get plenty of sleep. Your brain uses very little Dopamine while you sleep, which helps to build up your supply naturally for the next day. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

7. THINK, SAY and BELIEVE HAPPY happy thoughts!!! Smile, laugh and giggle more every day, even if you have nothing to smile, laugh or giggle about…just going through the motion will create these wonderful endorphins!

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

Loads of ENERGY today!!!!

To Sign or NOT to Sign…that is the question

To Sign or NOT to Sign...that is the question

Over the past 40 years we have witnessed, Dr. Francine (Penny) Patterson, teach Sign Language as a way to communicate with a gorilla. Just because Koko cannot use verbal words as a basis of communication, didn’t mean that Koko didn’t have words to convey! The gorilla, being unable to verbally master the ability to talk was shown a way to communicate with sign language! What an impressive feat!

What can we all learn from Koko?

Koko knows 1000 Signs! She is able to express concepts of high-level thinking, judgement, organization, and even blame ( obviously understanding forethought). She conveys thoughts and emotions that we never conceived a gorilla could understand.

If we look at our special needs individuals, (Autism, Apraxia, Aphasia) or our adults with head injuries, or strokes we would understand that Sign Language could be an answer, to not only their communication but to their ability to understand in-depth concepts!

Concepts such as ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ are very difficult to teach and yet very ‘teachable’ when we add a visual cue. It ‘prepares’ the brain for what topic is being talked about next in a sentence.

If you have a need to facilitate communication or desire a basic understanding of signing take a look at our Functional Sign Language DVD. http://www.cognitive-connections.com/Brain-Shop/product/33-functional-sign-language-dvd-course

I believe, just as they have found with Koko, communication is a necessary part of feeling alive and connecting with one another.

Just another thought from Dr. Lise’

Are you a Hero or a Role Model?

Are you a Hero or a Role Model?

I heard Taylor Swift say tonight on 60 Minutes that she understands “that every songwriter is raising the next generation” and she believes it is her ‘responsibility’ to be conscious of this fact.

I have to say if we are a parent, sister, brother, friend, or even a sibling we are each in a position of being a hero/heroine and a role model to someone!

Taylor thinks about her music as she writes it…is this something I want people to hear me perform? As a 21 year old she has “intent with her words”, whether you like her music or not, she is conscious that she creates a thought or an image by the use of her dialogue.

If each of us lived our lives thinking, someone will learn, someone will hear and retain my word today…would that change the dialogue you use with your friends, your family, your spouse?

If you thought about the internal dialogue, the words you continue to use to yourself…would you still use the same words?

Today I invite you to remember who you are…and that you too are helping to “raise the next generation”.

Just another thought from…Dr. Lise’

Are you Kidding?

Are you Kidding?

Ok, ya gotta ask yourself…do you know the difference between teasing, flirting, joking, and sarcasm? There may be subtle differences but they are not the same!

Tease: to disturb or annoy by persistent irritating or provoking especially in a petty or mischievous way, or to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it

Flirt: to behave amorously without serious intent
or to show superficial or casual interest or liking (many times with subtle inferences)

Joke: something said or done to provoke laughter; especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist or finding the humorous ridiculous element in something

Sarcasm: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain…or a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual

It always surprising me that most individuals truly do not have the knowledge of how to use ‘wit’ with humor and yet they use ‘mean’, ‘degrading’ and ‘cruel’ words to the ones they love the most with a mask of calling it sarcasm.

There are subtleties in language that are needed for joking, teasing, flirting and sarcasm to be effective. It truly involves several different areas of the brain (language centers as well as the higher executive functioning of the pre-frontal cortex) and then an integration of left and right hemispheres!

If any of these ways of ‘kidding’ are used without the ability to differentiate between them they can come across as rude, crude, mean, harsh, and hateful of certain people or groups of people.

It is becoming more evident that our children are exposed to many forms of ‘play on words’ that are involved in supposedly having fun at someone else’s expense. We see this in children’s movies, in online games and cartoons. Therefore, when this ‘mean humor’ is interspersed with these mixed-messages, of laughing and smiling, it is confusing and extremely difficult for most children to comprehend the actual message being conveyed. They think people are just being mean to them, and if the kidding is done poorly, then they are just being mean!

So, what do these kids do back? They protect themselves, they bully…become behavior problems…retreat with-in themselves or lash out.

We are not born with the ability to understand these subtleties…we need to ‘teach’ our children what is meant by subtle expressions, idioms, metaphors and what people truly are saying when they are being sarcastic…and then ask yourself, what is it I truly want to ‘model’?

Caution: All kidding aside, use your ‘wit’ in a healthy, loving, kind, manner and let’s have FUN!!!

Learning Doesn’t have to be Hard and Boring

Learning Doesn't have to be Hard and Boring

I am asked all the time “What can I do to make my brain to think faster”? I have to say, play games!!! Not just any ole’ game tho…specific games to your brain’s issues. Remember the game Stratego? Or what about Quarto? Maybe 9 Man Morris? These are very old but very good games for strategy. Every game has an educational or learning value.

If you think about life, it is true we PLAY when we learn…As a banker you play with numbers, as an author you play with words, as a detective you play with facts…and as a teacher you play with knowledge.

If we could wish anything on our children as adults we say, “I wish for them a happy, successful life” and that means, a FUN life one that makes them happy! And having a successful life would mean they love what they do.

So, remember since modeling is the most effective way to teach…model FUN…model HAPPY and above all model SUCCESS by loving what you do!

Then you too will be a researcher of life…through PLAY!

Just a thought by Dr. Lise’

Happy ENERGY to you all!!!!