RIP is about more than just anxiety

RIP was initially developed to help with anxiety, but it can be applied to any episodic distressing emotional state or unhelpful behavior.  It can be applied to feeling angry, lonely, embarrassed, sad/depressed, uncertain or hurt..any unpleasant emotion as long as that feeling comes and goes rather than is constant.  It can also be applied to bad habits: overeating, yelling at my kids, overuse of social media, excessive drinking or drug use, procrastination, too much screen time, and so on. 

When these emotions and behaviors occur periodically rather than constantly,  it is possible to identify the three phases of RIP: after the episode, during the episode, before the next episode. We recognize during these episodes, the front of our brain, which is responsible for higher-ordered thinking, including logic, reason and problem-solving, is “off line,” which means we are not going to expect to make rational decisions during these episodes. And what is great is the strategies of RIP do not require us to do so.  In the Recovery and Prevention phases, when higher-ordered thinking is available to us, we can use the front of our brain to not only to decrease the frequency of the episodes, but to prepare ourselves to end the episodes as quickly as possible when they do occur. 

To learn more about the RIP method, check out transcendpersonaldevelopment.com

A New New Year’s Resolution

Artwork Copyright (c) 2016-2017 John P. Dennis

Think about how many people make a New Year’s resolution only to break it within a few months. Some people avoid making any resolutions, goals or plans to avoid being disappointed if the commitments are broken. Some would like to become a better version of themselves, but fear the determination and follow through that is required. If this sounds familiar, for you or someone you know, I’d like to suggest a new New Year’s resolution: Gentle Redirection.

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Happy Holidays?

Artwork Copyright (c) 2016-2017 John P. Dennis

For many of my clients, “The most wonderful time of the year” is anything but wonderful. All around us we see the bright colors of Christmas trees, menorahs, gift wrap and decorations. The reds, greens and whites help put is in the holiday mood. However, painful memories of childhood celebrations featuring family conflict, abuse or want; notable absences due to death of a loved one, divorce or other misfortune; or simply the stress of meeting unreasonable expectations of the Season, can all color the Holidays blue.

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Want Happiness? Be Grateful.

Video – Focusing on that for which we are grateful is a powerful strategy for increasing happiness. The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.

Body Image Damaged By Media

Video – Unrealistic Body Image in our Culture Results From Computer-Distorted Beauty
A 60-second video that takes us on a journey from real to completely fabricated. This video illustrates just how our perceptions of beauty are manipulated and distorted.

How You Use Your Body Shapes How Your Brain and Mind Work

Artwork Copyright (c) 2016-2017 John P. Dennis

Video – Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Mindsight & Personal Growth

This interactive talk will examine two major questions: What is the mind? and How can we create a healthy mind? We’ll examine the interactions among the mind, the brain, and human relationships and explore ways to create a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and mindful, empathic relationships. Here is one surprising finding: the vast majority (about 95%) of mental health practitioners around the globe, and even many scientists and philosophers focusing on the mind, do not have a definition of what the mind is! In this talk, well offer a working definition of the mind and practical implications for how to perceive and strengthen the mind itself—a learnable skill called mindsight. Then well build on this perspective to explore ways that the mind, the brain, and our relationships are influenced by digital information flow and also how they can be moved toward healthy functioning.

Presented by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight – YouTube

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

The Neurons that Shaped Civilization

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it.