All life depends upon feedback loops to survive and thrive, to adjust and adapt to ever-changing worlds. Our health depends upon the dynamic flow of information within those loops. Perceiving and responding are the two fundamental elements of all feedback loops: We perceive what is “there” and then we generate an appropriate response to it. Read on to discover how to put the power of your mind-brain-gut feedback loop to work for you and someone you know who may be suffering from a digestive disorder.
Since humans first began to live in larger organized communities: that is, since the dawn of societies and culture, three feared and often deadly scourges have afflicted humankind. Those afflictions were: famine, disease and war. In Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Homo Deus, he describes how for the first time in all of recorded human history, novel threats have emerged. More importantly, so have new opportunities to actively shape the fabric of our lives. Read on to learn to tame the new health threats by becoming a "wise chooser."
Did you ever play on a teeter-totter as a child? I used to enjoy finding the position that would balance me and my playmate midway between up and down. That position was hard to maintain. We’d sit there, seemingly suspended in midair, not quite perfectly still, but mostly pleasantly hovering above the ground. Read on to learn why teeter totters model how to rebalance our energy system's needs, and how doing so is essential to managing irritable bowel and other common health challenges.
Living creatures didn’t always have what we picture today as brains. Before actual brains there were bellies, or at least some primitive way to absorb nutrients from the environment existing outside the organism. If there was plenty of food available, flowing toward and past the ancient organism like in ancient oceans, there was no real need for a primitive brain in the head. After all, in those times there wasn’t even a head to house a brain even if one were available! Read on to learn how we rely on our guts and their resident bacteria for our very lives!
In seeking love, we engage in a never-ending tug-of-war with ourselves that dramatically colors our connection to our partner. On one hand, we take actions that we hope will make permanent (as in, "lived happily ever after") our connection to the “other” (spouse, partner, lover, or friend). We act from the barely conscious belief that “if only” we make the right choices we will achieve our romantic/intimate ideal. On the other hand, we are haunted by the dim awareness that no matter what we do, our efforts will ultimately end in separation from that ideal partner. They'll disappoint us, leave us, or we'll end up leaving them. (In this blog, I’ll use partner to refer to our intimate other, regardless of the form of the connection.) Read on to learn to build better connections.
Why do we say we “feel warm” toward someone to whom we feel close and are attracted? What is the link between physical temperature and the allure and strength of our attraction toward someone? Why do we describe someone who doesn’t greet us in a friendly way as giving us a “cold reception” or the “cold shoulder” when we are ignored? Is there really a connection between having “warm-hearted feelings” and physical temperature? Read more to learn what science says and what you can do to get closer...
Love and Connection: the twin pillars of longing and being that prop up the roof under which we live our lives. Getting intimately close to someone triggers a cascade of chemicals throughout our brains and bodies, including opioids, morphine-like molecules also found in heroin...How can we reduce the odds that our love doesn’t go haywire? Read on to learn about surprising skills that help love last.
Love, in all its endless variety, for better or worse, often runs our lives. About 60% of songs croon about love. One music survey found that among the chart-topping pop songs, over 90% yowl about sex, not love. Love and sex aren’t the same, of course. Many people lament the confusion, broken-heartedness and unrequited yearnings that develop when a person or couple sadly settles for sexless love or loveless sex. Many clients come to my office bearing witness to the challenges of sustaining longer-term connections that are supported by both love and sex, which is ultimately about authentic, intimate connectedness. Read on to learn more about inserting "healthy danger" into your love life.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “I don’t know if I’m coming or going.” I’ve certainly thought that, and felt it, too. It is an experience of (hopefully) temporary confusion and internal conflict. For me, it is often reflected in a moment when I feel pulled in two directions making it a personal struggle to decide what to do next. While this feeling can arise when I’m simply tired and “brain drained,” operating in a sort of mental fog, I can also experience this mental tug-of-war when there are compelling reasons for two equal but opposing options and I can’t for the life of me figure out which is best. Read on to learn to reduce this confusion by exercising BOTH sides of your brain...
Children seem to have no trouble being wide “awake to life.” Neither do puppies for whom every walk involves unbounded enthusiasm and sheer ecstasy at the wonder of it all. The boundless joyfulness and inquisitiveness they show is inborn. It is a natural endowment for being born into this world. Where does that sense of wonder and awe go with time’s passing? Is it recoverable? What is the path by which we can recover it? Read on to learn the steps to "wake up" your brain and reinvigorate your life.