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Posts Tagged ‘brain

Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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Since we were born, we have started learning.
Learning and living are integral processes.

Different people have unique preferences and strengths in learning. The secret is to identify our own preferences and strengths,
and optimize them to develop our talents and creativity,
so that we can be of great service to others (while earning a livelihood simultaneously).

Here are quick reminders for myself to effectively, efficiently & effortlessly learn:

1. Intelligence = nature (genes) + nurture (environment). But, better methods / strategies for learning can boost up intelligence. In an analogy, before dyes and color contact lenses, hair color and eye color were entirely genetic too respectively.
2. Learn from how nature works, when one path gets shut down, we can take a different route.
3a. Must build construct / architecture / framework / blueprint. When we have a construct, we can solve difficult problems even when there is a lot of missing information.
3b. Must summarize / make notes.
4a. Must link concepts / ideas with visuals / feelings (synaesthesia).
4b. Try to link together ideas that do not normally connect (use metaphor / analogy). With patience & perseverance, we can connect any subjects.
5. Must use both: repetition / rote memorization + holistic relating / inter-linking.
6. Must create: write, draw, take photos, make videos.

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

Final remark: I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.

See also:
http://zenhabits.net/how-to-learn-more-and-study-less/

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

Posted in study

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5 calming tips to overcome anger

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It is OK for you to experience frustration / anger.
You are not alone.
We all experience frustration / anger in our lives.

Anger is not always bad,
anger helps us to assert our rights.

Anger, like other negative emotions and also positive emotions,
are normal and appropriate
under particular circumstances in space and time
(dynamic spatio-temporal context).

However,
when anger is prolonged / intense / unacknowledged,
it may lead to diseases,
which we do not want.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“For every minute you remain angry

you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind.

Negative emotions such as anger / frustration / resentment,
can be extremely destructive,
because these destabilizing emotions blur our vision,
disable us from rational and clear thinking,
and rapidly drag us down to regrettable paths of lives.
There is truth in the saying that
Anger Is One Letter Short of Danger.

It is all right to feel anger
but it is not all right
to express anger violently
or with cruel words.

Anger shows on our face,
can impair our potential to live a happy life.

Angry outbursts / aggression can become a bad habit;
the more one allows anger to take control,
the deeper the brain pathways are carved & reinforced,
because of brain plasticity.
Simply put,
Anger begets anger.

When people are stress / angry,
their body releases stress hormones
like cortisol & adrenaline,
that intensify the amygdala’s sense of danger,
& shut down the calming function of the prefrontal cortex.

We want calmer, more effective & more resourceful ways
to handle our emotions,
especially angry feelings.

We want to prevent ourselves
from getting stuck in deeper problems,
such as depression & anxiety,
in the long run.

Thích Nhất Hạnh / tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ views that
either expressing or suppressing anger
is an end of 2 extremes.
Expressing anger harms those around you,
destroys your relationship with others.
Suppressing anger harms yourself & your health.
Instead, choose to acknowledge our emotions.
Choose calmer & more soothing ways to attend to anger.

Melissa Costello shares that
anger can be a cover up for deep hurt & pain.
In 10 Mindful Minutes,
Goldie Hawn & Wendy Holden also shares that
anger can be due to fear.

The good news is
we can learn techniques
to overcome & deal with
our pain & fear.

Our brain is plastic,
we can train our mind
to be positive.

We can be creative
or learn from creative people
in dealing with our negative emotions.

Roger Weissberg of Yale University
contributed a technique using the traffic signal imagery^
to help people to deal with difficult emotions.

^ Children may prefer we call it traffic signal game,
instead of the traffic signal technique.

How to use the traffic signal technique?
You can get some paper & color pencils / crayons
to draw a picture of traffic signal.

Alternatively,
you can visualize traffic signal in your mind
When you are feeling negative emotions such as anger,
use the traffic signals to help you
to drive & steer your emotions safely.

Red = stop. Breathe mindfully / do some mindful breathing.
Yellow = consider all possible / thinkable / reasonable ways to respond.
In this yellow light stage, we activate our prefrontal cortex.
Green = Respond mindfully.

The traffic signal technique works because
according to Paul Ekman,
we begin feeling a strong emotion much faster
than we are aware of it.

When we use the traffic signal technique,
we allows ourselves to stop and think.
The technique lengthens the time between
the impulse / stimulus and response (either reaction or action)
as soon as
we realize and recognize
our difficult / negative feelings.

According to Victor Frankl,
between our stimulus and response
we have the freedom and power
to choose our response:
the most positive, mindful, meaningful response.
Through frequent practices
of the traffic signal technique,
we can build solid emotional resilience.

Last, but not least,
we can memorize some affirmations & scriptures.
They act as a short-cut
to quickly calm ourselves down
in the intense moment of strong negative feelings.

Examples of affirmations:
# The anger of today is the remorse of tomorrow
# If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb.
# People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing

Examples of scriptures:
# Proverbs 16:32 : “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that controls his temper than he who conquers a city”
# Proverbs 22:24,25 : “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered”
# Exodus 2:11-15 : In a sudden burst of anger Moses killed an Egyptian and had to flee for his life! It then took him 40 years of patiently, humbly tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the Voice of God instead of his own impulses, before he was ready for the slow, la­borious, patient work of delivering the Hebrews from Egypt.

To summarize
@~@ Remember that anger++ = Danger
@~@ Neither express or suppress anger, but acknowledge it
@~@ Traffic signal technique
@~@ Remember that you can choose your response
@~@ Memorize affirmations / scriptures

How to soothe baby to sleep? An understanding of light sleep vs deep sleep ; 4+6 essential tips

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What are the differences between light & deep sleep?
LIGHT SLEEP:
aka REM (rapid eye movement),
our brains wake up,
dream and stir, turn over,
adjust the covers without fully awakening.
Babies have twice as much active, or lighter, sleep as adults.
Light sleep helps the brain develop because the brain doesn’t rest during REM sleep.
During REM sleep the body increases its manufacture of certain nerve proteins, the building blocks of the brain.

DEEP SLEEP:
quiet sleep,
mind and body are quietest,
muscles are loose.

About dreaming while sleeping:
Baby has more dream sleep than adult.
I find it funny when my first son chuckled in his sleep, his tummy vibrating on me and his mouth making a large grin.

How to induce babies to sleep?
1. gentle rock.
2. nurse / breastfeed.
3. sing lullabies.
4. ensure that babies are not too hot.

Blueroselady: I personally find that latching my first son is the most effective,
possibly because it quenches thirst and relieves hunger,
gives warmth and secured feeling through close body contact.

Since my spouse has no breasts,
he sings the soothing Ave Maria and it works.

More modern version:

Unlike adults who can usually go directly into the state of deep sleep,
infants in the early months enter sleep through an initial period of light sleep.
After 20 minutes or more they gradually enter deep sleep,
from which they are not so easily aroused.

Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults.
About an hour after a baby goes to sleep,
he begins to squirm,
he tosses a bit,
his eyelids flutter,
his face muscles grimace,
he breathes irregularly, and
his muscles tighten.
He is reentering the phase of light sleep.
The time of moving from deep to light sleep is a vulnerable period during which many babies will awaken if any upsetting or uncomfortable stimulus,
such as hunger, occurs.

SOLUTION:
When your baby enters light sleep,
and you are sure that baby is not hungry / breathless,
1. do not move him e.g. from your lap to his cot within the 1st 20 minutes,
2. lay a comforting hand on your baby’s back,
3. hold his hand,
4. sing a soothing lullaby,
5. play soothing music / pre-recorded voices of your singing / saying prayers,
6. be there next to baby if he is in your bed (beware of the risk of pressing into him);
you can help him get through this light sleep period without waking.

Do not force your babies to sleep deep for too long.
Why?
“Nightwaking has survival benefits.
Tiny babies have tiny tummies,
mother’s milk is digested very rapidly.
If a baby’s stimulus for hunger could not easily arouse her,
this would not be good for baby’s survival.
If baby’s nose was stuffed and she could not breathe,
or was cold and needed warmth,
and her sleep state was so deep that she could not communicate her needs,
her survival would be jeopardized.”

But, here is a good news for tired parents:
“From three to six months, most babies begin to settle.
They are awake for longer stretches during the day and some may sleep five-hour stretches at night.
Between three to six months, expect one or two nightwakings.”

A piece of for parents:
“Remember that your baby’s sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby’s temperament rather than your style of nighttime parenting.
And keep in mind that other parents usually exaggerate how long their baby sleeps,
as if this were a badge of good parenting, which it isn’t.
It’s not your fault baby wakes up.”

Personal note:
When our first son was 2 months old,
he loves to wake up at night and needs someone to chat with him.
Oh my goodness!

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Written by blueroselady

March 27, 2013 at 6:06 am

Tips: improve memory

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Strive for a DEEPER UNDERSTANDING. There is psychological evidence to suggest that the more you understand about your material, the more you will remember and retain it, regardless of what memorization technique you use, or how many times you repeat the material to yourself.

Get a good night rest!

Rehearse what you have learned!

Make colorful visual associations.

Use mnemonic devices.
mnemonics = any memorization technique that helps you make material more PERSONALLY MEANINGFUL.

Written by blueroselady

February 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

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