when fear gets stuck: an epigenetic mechanism

Fear-based mental health conditions are common, impacting millions of people worldwide. Previous research has shown that specific regions and pathways in the brain may be responsible for processing fear. A new study from Linköping University in Sweden has revealed a biological mechanism that impacts fear pathways and how fear memories are stored in the brain. …

the great slowdown: why breaking down is waking up

The history of humankind is like a maze; a collection of pathways, designed to lead us from a beginning to an end goal with the journey entailing much retracing of steps, the occasional dead end and from time to time that sense that we’ve all been here before — after all, aren’t those who don’t …

trauma-soothing genes: implications for transgenerational trauma & new treatments

Using a powerful new sequencing technique researchers have tracked down genes within mice that work towards soothing fear-related memories. These genes are hidden within relatively unknown regions of the mammalian genome we'd written off as 'junk DNA'. "It's like harnessing the power of the Hubble Telescope to peer into the unknown of the brain,"  said …

breathing to manage your stress – a new approach

The role of the breath in meditation and stress management programs is well established. As a meditation strategy, focusing on the breath is primarily a tool for concentration, a place to focus the mind. As a stress management technique, slowing the breath, “belly breathing,” and focusing on the exhalation are all common (and effective) approaches to shifting the nervous system out of a …

neurotransmitters and brain function (a really good summary)

Neurons (nerve cells) in the brain form elaborate networks, with each neuron having up to 15,000 connections with neighbouring neurons at contact points called synapses. While the nerve impulse travel through the neuron as an electrical impulse, it does not cross the gap known as the synaptic cleft but rather stimulates the release of a …

the chemistry of emotions part 2

Neurotransmitters play a critical role in modulating emotions in the brain and serious problems can result if neurotransmitter levels are not optimally balanced. Depression, anxiety or mood swings can all be caused by a lack of a balance in neurotransmitters. Drug therapies given to individuals suffering from these disorders aim to restore that balance. For …

call to awakening: reframing mental distress as a potential catalyst for positive change

These films are about our individual and collective awakening and how we can use crisis to awaken and find our calling in order to make the world a better place. The series of short films were inspired by and made during the COVID-19 pandemic, about our times and how to navigate a changing world. They …

vagal pathways: portals to compassion

Contemplative practices are conceptualized as methods that function as neural exercises enhancing vagal regulation of the autonomic nervous system. The model presented proposes that specific voluntary behaviors (e.g., breath, vocalizations, and posture), which characterize ancient rituals and form the core of contemplative practices, can trigger a physiological state mediated by vagal pathways that fosters health …

wisdom of trauma

“Every human has a true authentic self. Trauma is the disconnection from it and healing is the reconnection to it.” Dr. Gabor Maté Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root …

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