R U OK? Day is a national day of action which aims to reduce suicide by encouraging people to connect with each other & ask: "R U OK?". Since 2009 the second Thursday in September has been dedicated to asking people this simple question - but more importantly getting people to stop to hear the answer - getting people to take some time to really connect with one another.
So often it is the person you sleep in the same bed with that you feel the least connected to. Or what if you just can't speak your kids language anymore? What then?
Connection to others is good for our health and well being. Open and honest communication - having someone there that you can truly show your most vulnerable self to and knowing you will be accepted just for being you provides an amazing sense of well being and feeling that we really do belong to one another.
Some simple steps you can take right now to build better connection with someone...
In my last blog I talked about what happens when you flood and how damaging it can be to your relationship when the dinosaur roars! So what can you do to calm the flood?
While it can take up to 20 minutes for the adrenalin and cortisol that is dumped in your body to prepare you for the fight, flight or freeze response, to leave your body, you can actually calm down much faster than that with practice.
Here I have some ideas for you to draw from – what works for one person may not work for others so you need to develop your own list. Doing some of these every day can help keep the dinosaur at bay!
Relaxation techniques - there are many mp3’s or apps available to guide you through meditation and relaxation exercises that can assist the process. Some useful ones you can try yourself include.
Amygdala hijacking is a funny sounding term that is actually far from funny!! It can make a normally sane and steady person into a roaring dinosaur faster than you can say dinosaur!!!
Magical wikipedia (I think it is magic because when I was a student I had to ride my bike to the library to look up the encyclopedia!!) describes the origins of "amygdala hijack" as a term coined by Daniel Goleman in his 1996 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Drawing on the work of Joseph E. LeDoux, Goleman uses the term to describe emotional responses from people which are immediate and overwhelming, and out of measure with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat.
In every situation we are observing with all of our senses. This information goes directly to the amygdala, situated deep in the emotional part of the brain and at the same time to the neocortex, the thinking part of...
One of my favourite scientific advances in the last 20 years is the ability to take pictures of the brain and its circuitry in action, and what this continues to teach us about how we are wired and therefore why we do what we do.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher is a leader in this area and has extensively studied what happens in the brain as it relates to love. She has differentiated 3 types of love, that each have their own areas of the brain that light up:
1. Sexual attraction or lust – Fisher describes as more like an actual “drive” like hunger, and just like hunger is required for your survival (if you don’t eat you will die). Sexual attraction or lust, (driven by estrogen and testosterone) is required for the survival of the human race. You can have a number of people who you are sexually attracted to but in humans we usually put it together with at least one of the other types of love.