• In this articlepublished in the Great Course Daily, we can read an extract from the lecture series: "Outsmart Yourself: Brain-Based Strategies to a Better You", taught by Professor Peter M. Vishton, Ph.D., where he explains the hugely importance of habits and how we could use some tools of cognitive neuroscience to help us break the bad ones. Something to be considered when confronting a behavioral change, and maybe some explanation why we do what we do.

  • This sentence is the one that stayed with me for days, and somehow, summarises the relevance of this article by Nicola Twilley: "only you feel your pain". 
    Pain, although it’s a physiological process, is one of the most subjective ones, not only difficult to explain, but to measure.There are specific neural regions that are activated with the experience of pain, with the memory or anticipation of pain, but the intensity of how we experience it, really depends on each person, and the circumstances that have surrounded, or surround or painful experience. Some food for thought.

  • Mindfulness could be defined as awareness of your thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them. Assuming this definition, cognitive fusion might be the problem. When you infer that you are your thoughts, that this thought that's in your head is the Truth and, what's worse, that it defines you.

    But when you give defusion a try, a thought can be contemplated as just an idea, a suggestion to be considered. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. But, you really shouldn't care.

    Actually, when it comes to mindfulness, "Is it true?" is the wrong question. The right question is: "Is it useful?"

    Erik Baker has more to say in his article about how ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and it might help you

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  • There is mind blowing Ted Talk by Johann Hari, “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong”, that if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, specially if you are willing to understand the deep root of addictions. In this article, "You Can Never Change Your Life Through Willpower. Here’s What Actually Works, The opposite of addiction is connection", Benjamin p. Hardy, also highlights the relationship between addiction and disconnection. But not only that, he goes one step further by stating that willpower doesn’t actually work. Because will power it’s focussed on the self, and addiction is all about context. So is all behavior.

    ...
  • "Thoughts determine feelings. Remember that. Make a note. Get a tattoo. This powerful idea goes back thousands of years to the Stoics".

    Feelings aren’t truth incarnate.

    Emotions are useful, but they are our biological suggestions, not commandments. Our brain is a pattern-recognition machine. It makes observations and starts forming rules about the world. It’s really good at this. It creates automatic thoughts based on previous experience to simplify our way through life.

    But sometimes our brain makes errors when it’s forming its rules, and the most common error is "better safe than sorry" acting as an overprotective parent.

    So maybe that automatic emotional reaction, that gut feeling isn't really adjusting to reality.

    And so? What to do?

    Listen.

    Eric's Barker approach on states on Aaron's Beck book ...