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Consciousness

Science Explains What Happens To Someone’s Brain From Complaining Too Much

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The more we complain, the more we wire our brain to focus on the negative aspects of our lives. Luckily this is a two-way street, and we can undo the damage and begin to step into a more positive mindset and outlook.

  • Reflect On:

    How much do you complain? The first step towards fixing this issue is by becoming aware of it. Be honest with yourself, and take note of your thoughts, and what you are choosing to talk about.

We all know those types of people who always find something to complain about, maybe we are even one of them! How much of an effect does complaining actually have on the brain and what can we do about it? New research shows exactly how complaining every day might be affecting our brain and because the brain is an amazing and resilient organ we can even reverse these effects. The first step is becoming aware of the issue.

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What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? Are you already dreading the day ahead? Is it cloudy, and thus right out of bed, you find yourself in a grumpy mood? Well, if this is you, know that it is not too late to make a change. Complaining can become a habit, and the more we do it, the more we continue to do it. With some effort, we can break this habit and start to see the world in a more positive light, if we choose to take action.

Neuroplasticity

Within the past couple of decades, thanks to the development of brain imaging and neuroscience, we can now clearly see that the brain is indeed capable of rewiring itself. It is up to us, however, to make these necessary adjustments in order to allow for this to happen. Neuroplasticity means the brains ability to change and form new neural pathways and synapses, this is what allows us to break old habits, form new ones, learn new skills, grow, change and essentially, evolve.

Because of neuroplasticity, we have the capability to:

  • Increase our intelligence
  • Learn new and life-changing skills.
  • Recover from certain types of brain damage
  • Become more emotionally intelligent
  • Unlearn harmful beliefs, habits and behaviors

For Better Or For Worse

‘Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

It is important to know, that there are two sides of the coin and we can indeed rewire our brains for the worse, if we pick up habits and behaviors that are detrimental to our well being, such as complaining.

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According to Alex Korb, Ph.D., and author of The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change At A Time,

“In depression, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the brain. It’s simply that the particular tuning of neural circuits creates the tendency toward a pattern of depression. It has to do with the way the brain deals with stress, planning, habits, decision-making and a dozen other things — the dynamic interaction of all those circuits. And once a pattern starts to form, it causes dozens of tiny changes throughout the brain that create a downward spiral.”

How Does Complaining Affect The Brain?

When we get caught up in the habit of continually complaining, in the form of thoughts in our heads or out loud to anyone and everyone we come into contact with, it will directly alter our thought processes. Altered thoughts lead to altered beliefs, which will inevitably lead to a change in behavior.

In fact, our brain possesses something that is called the negativity bias, meaning that the brain has a tendency to focus more on what’s wrong, not what’s going right or the positive events in our life. These negative thoughts can actually drown out the positive experiences over time so that you aren’t able to even see the positive events that are taking place in your life.

Neuroscientist, Dr. Rick Hanson sums up the negativity bias quite nicely,

“Negative Stimuli produce more neural activity than do equally intensive positive ones. They are also perceived more easily and quickly.”

So, by continually allowing ourselves to complain we are strengthening this behavior, as mentioned above, the first step towards changing this is to become aware of the problem. That alone, will make see the issue and likely ponder on your negative thoughts.

How Can We Change Our Brain?

This isn’t to say that we always need to “think positive” a common new-age misconception, but we should take the necessary action steps to counteract the effects of thinking negatively all the time.

A simple and effective technique is to wear a complaining bracelet, this is a tactic that I learned from watching an episode of Oprah years ago. You simply wear a bracelet, any kind that can easily come off, and every time you catch yourself complaining about something, in your head or out loud to someone else, you switch wrists. To hold yourself accountable, let your family, friends, and co-workers know of your challenge so in case you don’t realize that you’re complaining, they can call you out too. The goal is to see how long you can go without having to switch the bracelet, but this technique is also powerful for showing you how much you are actually complaining in the first place.

Meditation & Mindfulness Practices

Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher and her colleagues from the University of North Carolina showed how people who meditate daily have more positive emotions that those who don’t.

After a three-month experiment, Fredrickson’s team found that “people who meditated daily continued to display increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support and decreased illness symptoms.”

If you are new to meditation, there are a ton of resources available to help get you started. Just 15 to 20 minutes a day could be enough to change your brain and your entire life, for the better!

Much Love

Meditation Resources

5 Meditation Apps That Are Available Right Now For Download

An Introduction To Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation For Beginners: 20 Tips To Help Quiet The Mind

Meditation For People Who Don’t Meditate: A Simple Guide

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

Is Synchronicity A Glimpse Into The 4th Dimension?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The idea of dimensions was first spoken about in the mid 1700s by Joseph-Louis Lagrange, it was later a part of Einstein's various theories.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we limited to what we experience dimensionally based on where we are dimensionally? Are we not able to easily see or interact with 4th dimensional beings due to our existence in the third?

Currently, the world is going through a transition. This could either be the effect of the current communication revolution or be the cause of the current communication revolution, depending on how you view things. To define the communication revolution, I am speaking about the way we have rapidly changed our means of communication through smart devices and social media.

This phenomena seems old, but has actually only been around for less than a decade, with it really becoming the norm in the last 5 or so years. This has allowed people to communicate in a way that was not previously possible and despite the obvious flaws of smart devices and social media, it has allowed ideas to circulate like never before, and has lowered the degrees of separation between people.

The six degrees of separation is a 1929 concept from Frigyes Karinthy that says we have just 6 steps between ourselves and any other living being on the planet. Well, due to the communication revolution, those 6 degrees are probably closer to 2 or 3. If I look to my own social media and network, I have Peruvian Shaman on my friends list and a Tribesman from Gabon in Africa.

Many of the people I have collaborated with are in the United States and Canada (I am from the UK) and I have managed with relative ease to communicate with people who would be considered a “celebrity” through a simple Facebook introduction. This is all new and something that did not exist just a few short years ago.

I see this as a more scientific and rational reason for what many would describe as a mass spiritual awakening. Many people are being exposed to ideas that were not available before or hidden in small pockets of the world for only a few to see.

One of the buzzwords that have been circulating relating to spiritual awakening is “stepping into the 4th dimension” or “4th dimensional beings” and this is something I would like to discuss in this article.

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What Is The 4th Dimension

The easiest way to visualize the 4th dimension is to start with the lower dimensions and work our way up. The start is a singular point which cannot be seen with no up, no down, no left and no right. The first dimension from this singular point is when it stretches out and has 2 ends. What we would call a line. This is the dimension of width. The second dimension is when you add 4 of these lines together (making a square) so you would have width and height.

Then the third dimension is when we give the square depth. This is what we would call a cube. This principle works for any shape, but the square was given as a simple visual representation to imagine. So far all of the dimensions have been describing space, however the fourth steps into the realms of time and an object moving in time.

This idea was spoken about in the mid 1700s by Joseph-Louis Lagrange and later worked upon in 1854 by Bernhard Riemann and in 1880 by Charles Howard Hinton. In 1908, Hermann Minkowski presented a paper called Space and Time which became the basis for Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity.

I would just like to say that what I am speaking about is not fully comprehensible as it deals with matter outside of our ability to visualize, so you have to work with this knowing that you cannot imagine the concept, but to just try to imagine what it could be like.

To give another visual representation- we are 3-dimensional beings, yet we see in 2 dimensions. What I mean by this is things appear to be flat through our eyes as if we move them closer or further away the shape and size changes. If you look at a soccer ball for example it resembles a 2-dimensional shape that changes in size depending upon how close it is to us and the depth of this is seen only due to light. However, if we saw it from a 3-dimensional perspective the size would stay the same and we would be able to see the entire ball simultaneously. So when we start to move into the 4th dimension we are talking about movement of time and time in a spatial sense. This is something we are bound too, however, the 4th dimension is not.

To give another visual, imagine a 1st-dimensional being- it would only be able to move left and right. A 2nd dimensional being up, down, left and right. A 3rd dimensional being up, down, left and right, forwards and backwards. This means a 4th-dimensional being would be able to see up, down, left and right, forwards, backwards and every angle simultaneously. In this dimension everything would represent the actual size and as I mentioned earlier this is not necessarily something we can fully visualise. But below is as close as we can get:

A 4th-dimensional being is theoretically something living outside of our known laws of time and space. They would also not be bound to time in the same way we are, meaning time would not be a line with a start and end point, but more like a spiral in which they would be at the center. As an example; a 4th-dimensional being would be able to see both sides of a wall simultaneously, and would be able to move through time. Using the logic of us (as 3-dimensional beings) seeing in 2 dimensions, it would make sense that only a 5th-dimensional being would be able to see time as a whole.

This could very well explain why a 4th-dimensional being would not be detectable using 3-dimensional means of tracking. For example, if a 3-dimensional being was to step into the first dimension where only width is visible, the 3rd-dimensional being would only be visible in width. Meaning only a slice of that being would appear to the 1st-dimensional being and at certain angles nothing would appear in the 1st dimension.

Higher Dimensions Could Struggle To Communicate With Lower

People often say if there were such beings and they were trying to make contact, why would they not have done it. One answer to this is quite simple, maybe they are and we just don’t have the means to understand it. A good example is if a human being tried to communicate with an ant, we could easily make ourselves visible from our understanding of the world, we could even guide the ant or pick it up and force it to go in a specific direction, however that ant may not know that it is some form of life manipulating its movement.

Maybe a higher being communicates in a way that we cannot comprehend. An example of this would be changing weather to try to change the way we act. This could be conceived as a clear form of communication that we are not fully understanding.  

What Is Synchronicity and How The 2 Relate  

Synchronicity is when a series of 2 or more events have a meaningful relationship with each other, what many would call a coincidence, but a coincidence with meaning. These events are often recurring, such as seeing the clock at 11:11 every day or seeing the same animal repeatedly. How could this relate? We could argue that we are all actually part of the same organism. Meaning a human body contains cells, these cells could be looked at as separate, however, they are actually part of the human body.

If you take this logic and apply it to the planet and the beyond you could view us as just singular cells in a larger organism. Given this logic you could argue that we are the cells of a higher dimensional being, and in the same way we would generally want the best for our bodies and minds, these higher dimensional beings would likely want the same for us. Not being bound to time a synchronicity could simply be a communication from (a version of) ourselves, to ourselves trying to explain what we need to do to move forward.   


Some of this article is factual, some examples are theoretical explanations that can help visualize the ideas. Much love, Luke. If you would like to download my free eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control YOU CAN DO SO HERE

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

How To Survive The Dark Night Of The Soul

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The dark night of the soul can be viewed as a complete purge of a person and their false sense of self we call the external identity. This can be a tough time, but a necessary one to move to higher levels of consciousness and being.

  • Reflect On:

    If you are experiencing this, or know someone who is, remember this isn't about forcing a 'fix' of anything. Ask questions, reflect on what you are resisting and holding onto so dearly. We are looking to evolve, be open to the process.

The dark night of the soul is a phrase derived from 15th century poem “Noche Oscura” written by Spanish mystic, saint and priest John Of The Cross. It refers to a spiritual crisis, a seeker of truth is forced to face during their spiritual evolution. The dark night is when the man/woman of God (or your metaphorical equivalent) is given the feeling of abandoned by their maker and left to find their own way. It is the transition from being shown the way you should be, to actually being that way. The dark night gives the impression that the change is painful, but the suffering actually comes from the resistance to the change and not the change itself.

One could call it the integration of the dualistic mindset, to one of unity. The harmonising of the masculine and feminine. Or the merging of the soul with the body, and realising it to be one.

In the words of St John himself:

Into this dark night souls begin to enter when God draws them forth from the state of beginners – which is the state of those that meditate on the spiritual road – and begins to set them in the state of the progressives – which is that of those who are already contemplatives – to the end that, after passing through it, they may arrive at the state of the perfect, which is that of the Divine union of the soul with God.”

It Is A Purge Of The Self

The dark night is the complete purge of a person who seeks a higher path of truth. This leads to a breakdown of the egoic construct this person has created and leads to the death of the avatar they believe to be the self. This can result in hopelessness and an existential crisis. It is the true butterfly metamorphosis which seems really beautiful to the outside, but the reality is a lot more brutal.

For the caterpillar to become a butterfly, it has to completely dissolve. It does not change in the way we might think, with the caterpillar growing wings, but it completely falls to pieces and becomes a liquid pulp. It literally becomes nothing and has to die. It then forms in the complete darkness and unknown. This means to become the butterfly, it is forced to step into a completely unknown place outside of anything it would call comfort. But this is just the start, it then has to fight its way out of the cocoon which is not an easy process. However, the beauty is in this fight as it builds the strength of the wings. Without this, the newly formed butterfly would not be able to fly. So it is the caterpillars dark night of the soul leads it to be the fully evolved beautiful and free creature.

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This is the same for the holy men and women we see in the public light. We often see their compassion and unconditional care, but forget the process they needed to go through to get there.

The Difference Between The Dark Night And Depression

The dark night of the soul differs from depression, as depression is more self centred and apathetic in nature. Whereas the dark night is more a question of where one would fit into the bigger picture. The potential suffering is often due to a feeling that you cannot do anything about the suffering of others. Whereas depression is more often centred around the person who is suffering. There is often a fine line between the 2, and they can exist simultaneously, however, someone is far more likely to be misdiagnosed with depression, than the dark night of the soul.

Karma

If you believe in the cycles of karma, many of us have a karmic debt (past or present life) and this debt needs to be balanced to move forward. If you visualise a set of scales with all the past deeds- the giving and taking needs to have balance restored. Not too much either way. If you fill your cup too much it will overflow and make a mess, if you empty your cup to much you will find there is nothing left to give. If you ask for progression, you can often be forced to face the karma you carry in this life far quicker than you normally would.

The Dark Night Of The Soul Is An Answer To Your Prayers

The dark night of the soul could be thought of as an answer. It is common to search high and low for meaning, but the answers we receive are often not inline with the expectations held. Sometimes it feels as if there is a magic formula, discipline or teacher who is going to arrive and liberate us. But anyone that ever does only ever gives a false sense of liberation.

True liberation comes from within and the dark night allows us to humble ourselves, strengthen our wings and build character for the journey ahead. It is a chapter (or series of chapters) of our own personal heroes adventure to find and liberate yourself from suffering.

What To Do If You Are Experiencing It?

If you are experiencing the dark night of the soul, reach out to those who understand and have been through a similar process. There are many events, workshops classes and online groups that have a higher likelihood of meeting people who would understand your process. You can also attend retreats that specialise in Shadow Work or Spiritual Crisis. Just be intuitive about who you work with as they need to be the right person for you. There are also charities that can help, in the US they have Spiritual Emergence and the UK has Spiritual Crisis Network. If you are somewhere else in the world there is a good chance you will be able to find something similar, if not you can always reach out to the US or UK charities.

The Dark Night Of The Soul does pass and while it can be difficult while you are in this vortex, you will never be given a load you cannot carry. On the other side of this process is something beautiful and if you persevere, you will get there. Take care and if you would like to download my free eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control You Can Do So Here

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Alternative News

People Are Taking Placebo Pills To Deal With Health Problems & It’s Working

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    People are now involved in studies where they are told they are taking a placebo medication, and it in fact is one, and they are being healed. The mainstream is finally picking up on mind-body connection.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this the true power of our mind? Our consciousness? When we want to get better deep down, do we not make that decision in our mind and thus heal? What does this say about harmful and side effect-ridden medications?

An article published in Scientific American is a clear marker for showing just how much the mainstream has caught on to the fact that the mind-body connection is much more powerful than we previously thoughtand could explain why more and more people are gravitating towards alternative forms of medicine.

A growing body of scientific research suggests that our mind can play an important role in healing our body – or in staying healthy in the first place…There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats. – Dr. Bruce Lipton, from The Biology of Belief

Health is one area where we can clearly see how our mind is connected to physical material reality, and how non-material science is going to play an even more important role as we move through 2018 and beyond. It’s not just health though, research in the areas of neuroscience and quantum physics is also showing how vital our thoughts, perceptions, emotions and feelings (factors associated with consciousness) are with regards to understanding the true nature of our reality.

Mind influencing matter is no longer something that’s being trivialized. There are even declassified intelligence agency documents and peer-reviewed studies that have been published that clearly show an effect at both the quantum level, and the classical mechanical level as well. If you want to learn more about this, a great place to start is with the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by Apollo 14 Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell.

It’s really no surprise to see this topic pop up all over mainstream media outlets, it’s a common occurrence these days. When something so spectacular gains attention and becomes so obvious, it’s almost impossible to ignore, despite the fact that its discovery has been around for decades.

Open-Label Placebo Experiment

Time magazine recently published an article about a woman (now a 71-year old medical assistant) and her struggle with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She tried everything, from drugs to changing her diet. It was a horrible way to live, she told the Times, as she was often huddled in a corner and keeled over in pain. It’s something that can really debilitate your life. Approximately ten years ago today, she decided to enroll herself into a study, a first of its kind clinical trial, one where the patient would be receiving a placebo pill. The pill had no active ingredients, and she felt “deflated,” that she got her hopes up for nothing.

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Three weeks later, after taking the pill twice daily, Buonanno (the 71-year old medical assistant) was symptom free. She had never gone so long without an attack. “I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” she says. “I still don’t.”

The placebo effect is a non-therapeutic treatment (like a sham pill), and it improves a patient’s physical condition. This has been documented for centuries. The interesting thing about the study the woman decided to participate in, is the fact that patients taking the placebo pill were well aware that they were taking a placebo. With traditional placebo studies, patients are made to believe that they are taking something that will benefit them and improve their condition.  In 2009, Harvard Medical School launched the first open-label placebo, where patients knew what they were taking, and they started with people who had IBS, including the 71- year old woman. As Time points out,

The findings were surprising. Nearly twice as many people in the trial who knowingly received placebo pills reported experiencing adequate symptom relief, compared with the people who received no treatment. Not only that but the men and women taking the placebo also doubled their rates of improvement to a point that was about equal to the effects of two IBS medications that were commonly used at the time.

The team of researchers, alongside a team at the Program in Placebo Studies and Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, have secured a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to replicate the study mentioned above. So far, researchers have treated 270 patients and intend to treat approximately 100 more with IBV via their ongoing clinical trial.

How Is This Working?

Despite the fact that the Placebo effect has been documented for well over one-hundred years, experts still can’t pinpoint what underlies this mechanism. It seems quite simple to me: it’s consciousness and the basic biology of belief. Some people argue that that the human body does not respond to treatment, but instead, the ritual of treatment. The actual pill has no effect, so what else could it be? What’s interesting is that the effect is now demonstrated even when the person knows it’s just a placebo!

There is no money in the placebo, which is why we probably haven’t heard about it much, or not enough attention is paid to it. Today, it’s well recognized in modern medicine, doctors at the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, for example, have shown that fake surgeries – slicing people’s knees open and sewing them back together without any treatment at all – provide the same improvements for people with osteoarthritis of the knee as real knee surgery.

Isn’t that remarkable?

Other Examples Of The Placebo Effect

Another example comes from a study published in 2002 by the New England Journal of Medicine which looked at surgery for patients with severe debilitating knee pain. It’s long been thought that there is no placebo effect observed in surgery, but this just isn’t true. This study divided people into three groups, for one group the surgeons saved the damaged cartilage in the knee. For another, they flushed out the knee joint by removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. The third group received a fake surgery, the patients were simply sedated and tricked into thinking that they actually had the surgery. All three groups went through the same rehab process, and the results were astonishing. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had the surgery.

The placebo effect should be the subject of major, funded research efforts. If medical researchers could figure out how to leverage the placebo effect, they would hand doctors an efficient, energy-based, side effect-free tool to treat disease. Energy healers say they already have such tools, but I am a scientist, and I believe the more we know about the science of the placebo, the better we’ll be able to use it in clinical settings. – Bruce Lipton, Ph.D (Taken from his book Biology of Belief – Highly recommended to learn more about this phenomenon)

A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s Prevention & Treatment, conducted by University of Connecticut Psychology Professor Irving Kirsch and titled “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” made some more shocking discoveries (source)(source). Kirsch found that 80% of the effectiveness of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. Kirsch even filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants.

“The difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on average on this clinical scale that goes from fifty to sixty points. That’s a very small difference, that difference is clinically meaningless,” Professor Kirsch explains. (source)

Studies examining non-physical healing go beyond the placebo. There are hundreds of studies examining the effect of human intention (the human mind) and how it can also alter physical material reality as well as our health. I go into more detail on these topics in the article linked below, so please feel free to check it out if interested!

This Is How Powerful The Mind-Body Connection Really Is

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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