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 Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters:’ reframing mental distress as a call to action – part 1

Following are excerpts from the book, “Freedom: the end of the human condition” written by biologist, Jeremy Griffith, in 2016*. It recounts the psychological alienation felt by humans when a separation occurs between (the Grace of) instinct and the 'knowledge of right and wrong’ inherent in the social adaptations of living in society, what he …

calming dysregulation fast – ten trigger hacks

When you have Childhood PTSD, there’s nothing worse than being in some crucial conversation, or some big moment, and some little thing triggers you. And even though you know it’s not worth getting upset about, you get upset anyway. You can feel it spreading through your body — the feeling of adrenaline and discombobulation, feeling numb in …

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 …

how to map your nervous system: polyvagal theory – part 1

With anxiety, depression, and stress on the climb, have you ever wondered how you can understand your reactions to life’s challenges and stressors? Or maybe you wondered how you can become more resilient? Did you know that you can map your own nervous system? This is such a powerful tool that can help you shift …

breath in deeply: bring your mind home to your body

Breath is the gift of life - one we are used to and do not see it as such. It’s become an automatic experience on our part which, in many ways, it is. Have you ever thought about it? Do you breathe, or does the breathing happen without your conscious involvement? When you are focussed …

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 …

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