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  • Is This The Best New Solution To The Depression Epidemic? Depression has become a global epidemic. According to The World Health Organization 2016 fact sheet, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. The condition can detrimentally affect a person’s ... Read more
  • Neuroplasticity: How Your Life Shapes Your Brain Neuroscience has confirmed that your brain changes throughout your life, a concept known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is an umbrella term for a sequence of processes taking place in your brain over time in response to incoming stimuli. Your experiences, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions physically change the form and function of ... Read more
  • Four Steps To Take Control Of Your Mind And Change Your Brain Because of neuroplasticity, the scientifically proven ability of your experiences, behaviors, and thoughts to alter your brain, you are sculpting the physical form and function your brain every day with your life. Most of the time, neuroplastic change happens unconsciously as a result of thought patterns and habitual behaviors we ... Read more
  • Five Ways To Grow New Brain Cells It used to be believed that you were born with all the neurons you were going to have. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the birth of new brain cells, called neurogenesis, was observed in the hippocampus in the rat brain. Even then, scientists were skeptical that neurogenesis happened ... Read more
  • When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom, There’s Nowhere To Go But Up No one gets out of this life unscathed. We all have a tragic story – or five or way too many – to tell.  Unfortunately, enduring the loss of a child, surviving a bout with cancer, going through a messy divorce, or being the victim of violent crime are all too ... Read more
  • Depression Is A Symptom, Not The Disease Depression has grown to epidemic proportions. In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. According To the CDC, about one in 10 Americans aged 12 and over takes ... Read more
  • The Quickest Way To Change How You Feel Is To Change How You Think Science has confirmed, without a doubt, that your brain is shaped by your life. Your experiences, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings literally, physically change the form and function of your brain, a concept known as neuroplasticity, from the day you’re born until the day you die. We all come into this ... Read more
  • How Your Mind Shapes Your Brain Every second of your life, every single thing of which you are aware – sounds, sights, thoughts, feelings – and even that of which you’re not aware – unconscious mental and physical processes – can be directly mapped to what’s happening in your brain. Over time, patterns emerge and actually shape your brain’s form and ... Read more
  • How To Work Your Brain In Your Workout (and why it matters) We all know that exercise is good for us. It’s about the best thing you can do for your brain and body. But did you know that if you exercise in ways that disengage your brain from actively participating, you’re getting the physical benefits of increased blood flow and oxygen ... Read more
  • How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells, And Genes Every minute of every day, your body is physically reacting, literally changing, in response to the thoughts that run through your mind. It’s been proven over and over again that just thinking about something causes your brain to release neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that allow it to communicate with parts of itself ... Read more
  • How Your Neurons Make You A Nervous Wreck (and how to rewire them) For far too many people, being anxious, nervous, and worried, has become a way of life. It’s just the norm. Anxiety disorders are chronic, disabling conditions that are seen across the world in epidemic proportions. Globally, anxiety disorders were the sixth leading cause of disability in 2010. According to the National ... Read more
  • Ten Fundamentals Of Rewiring Your Brain Neuroplasticity has become a buzzword in psychology and scientific circles, as well as outside of them, promising that you can “re-wire” your brain to improve everything from health and mental wellbeing to quality of life. There’s a lot of conflicting, misleading, and erroneous information out there. So, exactly how does it ... Read more
  • How Happy Happens In Your Brain Your experience of your journey through life boils down to the chemicals in your brain. Happy, sad, mad, anxious, you name it – can all be traced to what’s going on inside your head. Your brain produces a chemical soup which directs your behavior, always instinctually encouraging you to seek pleasure ... Read more
  • Easy Things You Can Do To Get A Happier Brain Right Now We’ve come a long way in the science of happiness and have a pretty good idea of what happy looks like in your brain these days. It’s now known that what you do in your life every day, because of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change both physical ... Read more
  • What Depression Looks Like In Your Brain Fundamentally, a depressed brain looks just like any other brain. In fact, there’s no brain scan, MRI, EEG or any other medical test that can definitively diagnose depression, and it’s not understood in detail like other brain disorders. While we know the neurochemicals involved and many contributing factors, the truth ... Read more
  • How To Use 100% Of Your Brain Recently, I saw the movie Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. If you’re planning on watching it and don’t want me to spoil it for you, then skip the next paragraph. (In my opinion, you can find plenty of better ways to spend 89 minutes.) The general story is that ... Read more
  • What’s The Difference Between Feelings And Emotions? Although the two words are used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between feelings and emotions. Ok.  Big deal. Well, it kind of is a big deal because understanding the difference between the two can help you change unhealthy behaviors and find more happiness and peace in your life. Feelings and emotions are ... Read more
  • The Best Brain Advice From The Brain Experts I asked a group of some the most knowledgeable leaders in the brain fitness movement — I mean these guys are at the forefront of educating us on brain health and using our brains to achieve wellness and happiness — what their #1 advice would be to someone about taking ... Read more
  • 10 Ways To Stay Positive In A Negative World Everywhere I turn there’s bad news. A 22-year-old man in CA goes on a killing spree because he’s upset that he’s still a virgin. More than 200 girls were abducted by militants in Nigeria. The sea level is climbing and the East Coast is going to be underwater. Then a picture shows up ... Read more
  • You’re Not Stuck With The Brain You Were Born With How many times have you heard someone say or even said yourself, “That’s just the way I am” or “I was born this way”? Those statements may be true, but do not mean that the person is fated to stay that way forever.  Contrary to what used to be believed ... Read more
  • Negative Mental States Become Negative Neural Traits Negative Mental States Become Negative Neural TraitsYour brain has a natural negativity bias, which means it’s always on the lookout for anything bad: potential dangers or losses.  This vigilance helped our ancestors survive because more reactive, nervous, and clingy animals had better chances of passing on their genes. This negative hair-trigger still exists and can activate when ... Read more
  • Your Brain Needs Vitamin N (nature) Recently on a Saturday morning, I was driving to yoga class, with the windows down, the sunroof open, and tunes blasting. It was one of those brilliantly sunny days, in the mid seventies with the humidity uncharacteristically low for August, and the air was buzzing with salient energy, life, and joy. Know ... Read more
  • Trying to Make Everyone Happy But Yourself Being a people pleaser of the worst kind, I used to try to make others happy and dodge their displeasure at the cost of my own happiness. With this mentality, I created a world in which I placed my well-being in the hands of others for them to crumple like ... Read more
  • Life Gets Easier By Managing Expectations On Facebook the other day, I saw a post which read: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.”  For decades, I was the world’s best at fabricating this illusory bubble and criticizing myself mercilessly for not measuring up. Through ... Read more
  • All Right Right Now To make sure that they did not become a tasty meal, our ancestors’ brains developed a necessary vigilance and unease which continually scanned their outer and inner worlds for signs of danger.  This whisper of worry is still present today and so automatic that most are not even aware of ... Read more
  • The Key To Success Is In Your Head “Contrary to popular belief, winning in life has little to do with IQ, your circumstances, your financial resources, or even luck.  But, it has everything to do with creating a failure-resistant brain.  Every time you think a thought, feel an emotion, or execute a behavior, your neuro-circuitry changes, and the good news ... Read more
  • Why You Look Up When Remembering When you are trying to remember something, you instinctively might roll your eyes up toward the sky.  Ever wonder why you do this? There’s a real, physically based reason. Rolling the eyes upward is an automatic response the body makes when trying to access lost or hidden information because doing so causes ... Read more
  • What’s The Difference Between The Mind And The Brain? We all know what our brain is, right? It is that three pounds of “convoluted mass of gray and white matter” in our heads “serving to control and coordinate mental and physical actions.” OK.  Now, define the mind. Not as easy, eh?! You may be surprised to find that there is no single, agreed upon definition of the mind.  The psychiatric, mental health ... Read more
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger That quote is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Actually, he said it much more eloquently: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” It turns out that he was right. Studies have shown that some trauma survivors report positive changes and enhanced personal development, called post traumatic growth ... Read more
  • The Myth and Magic of Meditation Yes, myth. Now don’t get me wrong.  I am a HUGE proponent of meditation. Meditation has been scientifically proven to strengthen the immune system, reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke, minimize pain sensitivity, enhance cognitive function, and even grow a bigger brain. (I think doctors should prescribe meditation, not medication.) Meditation ... Read more
  • Are You Torturing Yourself With Your Thoughts? In 1995, on December 31st, at 7:56 pm my older brother by 10 months and best friend in the world, Chris Hampton, took his last breath, at the age of 33.  My mother, father, and other brother were all at his hospital bedside that New Year’s Eve night. Death didn’t happen quickly and it was not ... Read more
  • Thinking About Thinking There’s even a fancy word for it: metacognition. While this may seem like an impressive, big word to throw around, it may also seem like a minor, inconsequential concept in the grind of every day life, I have come to believe that it is an essential part of the foundation for a happy life. It is taught ... Read more
  • Are You Responding or Reacting? What is the difference in responding and reacting?  While the distinction may seem to be one of semantics, the impact of each in your life can be huge because reacting is an instinctual behavior directed by the reptilian brain, and responding is a conscious choice involving input from the more ... Read more
  • The Meaning Of Mindfulness Mindfulness is one of those fashionable terms that you see getting used just about everywhere, but what exactly does it mean? In his book, The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being, Daniel J. Siegel, Director of the Mindsight Institute, Co-Director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center ... Read more
  • My Reality Is Not Your Reality Lately, I have found myself  frequently expressing to people that, while I respect their opinions and beliefs and am glad they have found what works for them in their lives, I believe differently and their views do not work for me.  What is “right” is what is right for them. ... Read more
  • Deeper Than Down In The Dumps I want to talk candidly about something near and dear to my own heart and brain: depression.  First, let’s be clear about what depression is not.  It’s not just some yuppie fad for people with way too much time to think and not enough interesting stuff in their lives to ... Read more

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