3 Positieve affirmaties om je brein opnieuw te bedraden

positieve affirmaties “I am deeply fulfilled by all that I do.” ~Louise Hay
Heb jij je ook wel eens verscholen achter het feit dat je te oud bent om iets nieuws te leren of een andere weg te kiezen of wat dan ook? Of misschien was er een andere beperkende overtuiging die je ‘benutte’ en jou ondertussen weg hield van jouw ideale leven. 

Als dat zo is, dan moet ik je even iets vertellen …

Een overtuiging is niets anders dan een gedachte die je continu herhaald, dag in dag uit, uur in uur uit en ………………………

je kunt het VERANDEREN. [Read more…]

Spanningen? Té druk? Verminder stress en vind rust in je hoofd.

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.
~ Socrates

Leren ontspannen op elk gewenst moment, je gezondheid verbeteren, afrekenen met stress en slapeloosheid, ongewenste gewoonten doorbreken…… Het lijkt wel te mooi om waar te zijn. Ik kan ook wel wat extra slaap gebruiken en wat meer focus, dus op onderzoek uit.

Alfa staat

De Silva methode leert je aller eerst om te ontspannen door middel van allerlei ontspanningsoefeningen. Je brein wordt in een zogenaamde alfa staat gebracht. Dit is een toestand waarin je lekker ontspannen voelt en tegelijkertijd ook alert. Als je geen idee hebt van de tijd en de tijd vliegt voorbij dan zit je hoogstwaarschijnlijk in de alfa staat. De alfa staat kun je ook omschrijven als het ‘hier en nu’. Voor de techneuten onder ons, de alfa staat ligt tussen 8 – 13 Hz.

Op dat niveau kan je actief je onderbewuste instructies geven en zo jezelf (her)programmeren voor betere resultaten. Handig als je merkt dat je bijvoorbeeld vast zit in een situatie, geen idee meer hebt welke kant je het beste kunt opgaan en gestrest voelt. Jongeren die angst hebben voor de examenperiode kunnen zich beter concentreren, vrouwen in de overgang hebben minder klachten en mensen met allergieën rekenen daar voor altijd mee af, om maar een aantal cases te noemen.

[Read more…]

Stress op een hele andere manier!

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers –

Stress doet je hart vele malen sneller slaan, versnelt je ademhaling en kan je behoorlijk doen zweten. Stress werd lange tijd gezien als vijand nummer 1, maar nieuw onderzoek toont aan dat stress enkel gevaarlijk is als je het idee hebt dat stress slecht voor je gezondheid is. De kans op overlijden neemt dan zienderogen toe! Mensen die veel stress hebben, maar dit niet als slecht voor hun gezondheid interpreteerden, hadden een veel lager overlijdensrisico.

 

Een andere visie op stress?

Er is onderzoek gedaan aan de Harvard Universiteit, waarin mensen leerden om een stressreactie juist te zien als een hulpmiddel om een uitdaging aan te gaan. Hoe? Het op wilde toeren slaan van het hart bereid je voor op actie en het sneller ademhalen zorgt voor meer zuurstof naar je brein. Op die manier ondersteunt je lichaam je beter voor de te leveren prestatie, zoals een presentatie of sportevenement.

Het opmerkelijke was dat deze nieuwe visie op stress een andere fysieke reactie teweeg bracht bij mensen tijdens een stressvolle actie. De hartslag ging wel omhoog, maar het samentrekken van de bloedvaten bleef achterwege. Als je weet dat hart- en vaatziekten juist ontstaan door onder meer het samentrekken van de bloedvaten, dan is dit een fantastische effect! Jouw stress zet aan tot actie en tot een beter gebruik van het brein door meer zuurstoftoevoer én ondertussen maak je minder kans op chronische hart en vaatziekten….. als je stress kunt zien als een hulpmiddel tijdens een uitdagende situatie!

Wat je nog meer moet weten over stress

Als je stress hebt, dan maak je het hormoon oxytocine aan. Ook wel het knuffelhormoon genoemd. Stress en knuffelen… Huhhh?
Wat de relatie tussen deze twee is en wat het effect is, dat vertelt Kelly McGonigal, een gezondheidspsycholoog, op een geweldig leuke en speelse manier in deze 15 minuten durende TED presentatie. Een must voor iedereen!

10 Simpele dingen die je kunt doen om je happier te voelen (wetenschappelijk getest!)

strategieen voor happinessHappiness is so interesting, because we all have different ideas about what it is and how to get it. It’s also no surprise that it’s the Nr.1 value for Buffer’s culture, if you see our slidedeck about it. So naturally we are obsessed with it.

I would love to be happier, as I’m sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science. Here are ten of the best ones I found.

 

1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with either medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

 

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.

 

 

2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:

Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.

 

3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house

Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

According to The Art of Manliness, having a long commute is something we often fail to realize will affect us so dramatically:

… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don’t work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

 

4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. If you want more evidence that it’s beneficial for you, I’ve found some research that proves it can make you happier right now.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:

We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

George Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how the men’s social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

The men’s relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable, except defenses. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000:

Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

I think that last line is especially fascinating: Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

The Terman study, which is covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

 

5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C


In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

The connection between productivity and temperature is another topic we’ve talked about more here. It’s fascinating what a small change in temperature can do.

 

6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

 

7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:

According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.

 

8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

 

9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:

According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

We’ve explored the topic of meditation and it’s effects on the brain in-depth before. It’s definitely mind-blowing what this can do to us.

 

10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction

This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

For further reading, check out 7 Simple productivity tips you can apply today, backed by science, which goes even deeper into what we can do to be more grateful.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier


As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now

Posted by R & S in Science On December 2, 2013

Neuro-tip™ 20

Brein en tegengestelde overtuigingen

Als je iemand tegen komt met overtuigingen, die tegenovergesteld zijn aan die van jou, dan ontstaat er in het brein een soort van cognitieve dissonantie. Die tegenstrijdigheid geeft een onaangenaam gevoel. In de meeste gevallen gaan mensen dan in de aanval of ze vluchten juist weg voor die persoon.

Bedenk de volgende keer als je dit overkomt, dat iedereen zo z’n eigen overtuigingen heeft. Bekijk het eens van de kant van de persoon met de andere overtuigingen. Wellicht word jou manier van kijken er door verrijkt, misschien ook niet. Beiden zijn oke!

Het verdiepen in elkaars overtuigingen zorgt ervoor dat de scherpe kantjes van de verschillen minder worden.

Last van uitstelgedrag?

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~Don Marquis

Lees deze ongelooflijke statistiek eens:

Volgens Dr. Edward Miller, decaan van John’s Hopkins’s University veranderen negen van de tien mensen die een  hart bypass operatie hebben ondergaan, na de operatie niet hun gedrag of leefstijl ook al worden ze geconfronteerd met mogelijk overlijden als gevolg van het niet veranderen!

Ongelooflijk toch? Het is triest, maar waar.

Herken jij dat ook in jouw leven, dat je iets probeert te veranderen of ergens mee wilt stoppen?
Kijk eens naar je voornemens voor dit nieuwe jaar. Wat heb jij je voorgenomen?

  • Wil je een betere gezondheid hebben, maar krijg je het niet voor elkaar om je eet patronen en gewoonten te veranderen?
  • Wil je meer geld verdienen, maar blijf je gewoon hetzelfde doen?
  • wil je een betere of andere relatie en onderneem je geen actie? [Read more…]

Breincoach

Deze korte geweldige video gaat over het brein. Het laat precies zien hoe jouw oude gedachten, overtuigingen en gewoonten zijn gemaakt. Prachtige beelden van binnenuit het brein. Je ziet hoe er neurale netwerken worden gemaakt.

Bekijk hier de video

Breinwetenschappers bewijzen hiermee dat de hersenen niet “hard wired” zijn. Met andere woorden, jouw gedachten, jouw overtuigingen en jouw gewoonten die jouw resultaten in jouw leven bepalen, kun je veranderen! je kunt nieuwe neurale netwerken in je brein aanleggen.

Dat is goed nieuws! Je kunt jouw brein herprogrammeren. Hoe?

Met het juiste programma en de juiste begeleiding kun jij andere programma’s in je brein opnemen. Programma’s die je meer geluk, meer geld en een betere gezondheid kunnen opleveren. Benieuwd? Wil je het ervaren? Wil je meer uit het leven halen?

Neem contact op. Ik leer je hoe het brein werkt en hoe jij daar veel beter mee kunt samenwerken met betere resultaten.

Neuro-tip™ 19

Brein en negatieve gedachten

Blijf je achtervolgd worden door negatieve gedachten en twijfels? Ga in een diepe staat van ontspanning en herinner elk detail van deze gedachte. Herinner ook elk daarmee samenhangende gedachte of gevoel die je hebt bij deze negatieve ervaring.

Blijf in deze ontspannen staat voor 5 tot 12 minuten. Als je nu deze negatieve gedachte weer opslaat in jouw lange termijn geheugen, dan bevat het elementen van jouw ontspanning.

De volgende keer dat deze negatieve gedachte of dit gevoel weer omhoog komt, dan zal het je minder lastig vallen. Na verloop van tijd zal dit stuk van je oude geheugen verdwijnen.

Neuro-tip™ 18

Brein en woorden

Woorden zijn belangrijk voor het brein. Weet je wat het meest negatieve woord is? NEE…

Zo gauw het brein het woord NEE ziet of hoort, dan wordt in rap tempo allerlei stresshormonen aan je lichaam af gegeven. Deze stress hormonen zorgen ervoor dat je ineffectiever en inefficiënter wordt en minder gezond! Waarom?
Ze interrumperen meteen het normale functioneren van jouw brein met betrekking tot het nemen van beslissingen, jouw communicatie, jouw woordgebruik ed..

De kracht van het woord JA is minder sterk dan het tegengestelde woord NEE. We reageren minder direct op JA, omdat we niet meteen in een gevaarlijke situatie voor ons gevoel verkeren en dus geen directe actie hoeven te ondernemen.

Dat betekent dat we vaker en bewuster het woord JA aan onszelf moeten aanbieden, wil het op den duur de NEE verslaan in ons brein. Het blijkt dat voor elke negatief woord wij 3 positieve woorden hebben aan te reiken.

Ga voor meer informatie naar words can change your brain of lees het artikel Hoe maak je gebruik van je brein

Neuro-tip™ 17

Brein en geld

Geld is waarde. Je brein heeft bedradingen die het mogelijk maakt om zoveel mogelijk geld te hebben als je wilt, alleen …. dan heb je dat wel met integriteit te doen. Voor jezelf en vooral voor anderen.

Waar je op hebt te letten is dat jouw persoonlijke waarden overeenstemmen met jouw financiele doelstellingen. Als deze niet matchen, dan leidt dat tot angst, zorgen en twijfel. Daarmee ondermijn je jouw eigen financiele doelstellingen.

Dus vraag je af: wat is ten diepste mijn persoonlijke waarde? Schrijf de eerste 3 woorden op die nu te binnen schieten.