Change Your Mind Change Your Body

Just finished up a great course on Coursera

Positive Psychology
by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Lot’s of great info in here!
A lot of you may have heard of the heart mind connection… this is an idea that is prevalent in Buddhism… it is also heard all of the time in sentiments like “lead from your heart” – of course by the 40th time you hear this you want to lead with your fist… probably not fitting for this thread… but it happens!

While that has always had an ethereal touch to it, it just so happens that the heart and the mind are quite tightly connected… by what you may ask?

I am GLAD you asked… the vegus nerve… are you seeing this for the first time? You are not alone… a quick noted on the nerve:

According to an article in Uplift titled 12 Ways to Unlock the Powers of the Vagus Nerve

“The vagus nerve is the most important nerve you probably didn’t know you had.”

“The vagus nerve is a long meandering bundle of motor and sensory fibers that links the brain stem to the heart, lungs, and gut. It also branches out to touch and interact with the liver, spleen, gallbladder, ureter, female fertility organs, neck, ears, tongue, and kidneys. It powers up our involuntary nerve center—the parasympathetic nervous system—and controls unconscious body functions, as well as everything from keeping our heart rate constant and food digestion to breathing and sweating. It also helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose balance, promotes general kidney function, helps release bile and testosterone, stimulates the secretion of saliva, assists in controlling taste and releasing tears, and plays a major role in fertility issues and orgasms in women.”

“The vagus nerve has fibers that innervate virtually all of our internal organs. The management and processing of emotions happens via the vagal nerve between the heart, brain and gut, which is why we have a strong gut reaction to intense mental and emotional states.”

This is only part of what I found when taking this course, however, it was one of the larger nuggets of knowledge for me, and yet ANOTHER bit of knowledge that the ancients had knowledge about, that MOST took as more akin to folklore (heart mind connections) – yet is proving to be a “thing”.

A couple of other great takeaways were her studies that found that those who are happier or at least rate themselves happier, tend to be able to perceive more opportunities, they have a broader perspective and are able to recognize and RECEIVE more oppornities – or as she titles it “Positive Emotions Broaden Thought Reptoires” citing that “positive emotions are really about time future”, whereas negative emotions are more along the lines of flee, attack, spit etc, more of the fight or flight present, now time frame. The gist is that negative emotions cause you to have constrictive thoughts versus expansive, broader thoughts.

Finally, and for the sake of brevity?! (there is quite a bit more in this course, I am just hitting on a couple of the highs) Barbara Fredrickson introduces you to the Loving Kindness Meditation… (in a past life I personally would not even continue reading this, however, stick with this there are INSANE NOT TOO STICK AROUND BENEFITS HERE)

First what is the Loving Kindness Meditation all abou?

According to contemplativemind.org:

“Loving-kindness, or metta, as it in called in the Pali language, is unconditional, inclusive love, a love with wisdom. It has no conditions; it does not depend on whether one “deserves” it or not; it is not restricted to friends and family; it extends out from personal categories to include all living beings. There are no expectations of anything in return. This is the ideal, pure love, which everyone has in potential. We begin with loving ourselves, for unless we have a measure of this unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves, it is difficult to extend it to others. Then we include others who are special to us, and, ultimately, all living things. Gradually, both the visualization and the meditation phrases blend into the actual experience, the feeling of loving kindness.”

Essentially it is other focused meditation.

The benefits found in Barbaras studies include:

The beat to beat rhythms of their heart
become more efficient.

More positive emotions

More connection

The coolest, neatest part is that by meditating in this nature is that YOU are literally changing your body, your physiology with YOUR MIND!

So much more in this course, you can take it for free yourself at the link below.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/positive-psychology/home/welcome

Your Friend,
Brandon Handley

PS If you missed the Fatherhood for the Rest of Us zoom calls for Seth Godin’s Tribes you missed a great time!  I have a copy of the slides used to discuss the material for you if you would like.

Simply reply to this email and say “Slides Please”

PPS During the month of July a request was made to review a parenting book, the group will be reviewing The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child.  This book and his methods helped out quickly at our home and perhaps it can assist you as well!  To be certain, we didn’t feel like we had a defiant child ourselves, this book was recommended by the good doctor via his Coursera Course which I took earlier in the year.  Worth the read for sure!

We would love to see you join us as we go through the book, discuss it and review applications found in the book that can be put to use in your home TODAY!.

PPS Finally, if you have not tuned into some of the Fatherhood for the Rest of Us BJJ podcast reports you are missing out on some inspired content.  Check out the latest one here:

BJJ Report Getting it Right

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