Yoga stresser deg – og det er bra!

Fra bloggen «PreFrontal Nudity» i Psychology Today: Yoga: Changing The Brain’s Stressful Habits

As a neuroscientist, despite my initial incredulity, I came to realize that yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful.  It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga’s greatest neurobiological benefit.

Your brain tends to react to discomfort and disorientation in an automatic way, by triggering the physiological stress response and activating anxious neural chatter between the prefrontal cortex and the more emotional limbic system.  The stress response itself increases the likelihood of anxious thoughts, like «Oh god, I’m going to pull something,» or «I can’t hold this pushup any longer».  And in fact, your anxious thoughts themselves further exacerbate the stress response.

Interestingly, despite all the types of stressful situations a person can be in (standing on your head, running away from a lion, finishing those TPS reports by 5 o’clock) the nervous system has just one stress response.  The specific thoughts you have may differ, but the brain regions involved, and the physiological response will be the same.  The physiological stress response means an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension and elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones.

Some people might think that the stress response is an innate reflex and thus can’t be changed.  To clarify, the response is partly innate and partly learned in early childhood.  Yes, the stress response comes already downloaded and installed on your early operating system.  However, this tendency is enhanced, by years of reinforcement.  In particular, you absorb how those around you, particularly your parents, react to stressful situations.  Their reactions get wired into your nervous system. However, just because a habit is innate, and then reinforced, does not mean it is immune to change.  Almost any habit can be changed, or at least improved, through repeated action of a new habit.

Reklamer

Er du redd for lykke?

Interessante saker fra Scientific American:

Unhappiness is often viewed as something to be prevented, avoided or eliminated. Yet recent studies reveal that for some people, feeling good is what scares them. Recognizing this fear and targeting it with therapy may be a critical first step before other mental illnesses can be treated.

People fear positive emotions for many reasons, such as feeling unworthy or believing good fortune inevitably leads to a fall, according to two new studies. Mohsen Joshanloo, a psychology graduate student at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, developed a Fear of Happiness Scale, on which participants indicate their level of agreement with statements such as “Having lots of joy and fun causes bad things to happen.” Such beliefs can plague people in many countries, according to a study by Joshanloo published online in October 2013 in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. The study found the scale to be reliable in 14 different cultures.

Er du redd for lykke? Ta testen her.

Myten om trassalderen

Jesper Juul, i Dagbladet:

Det begynner alltid med et smilende nei. En tilfeldig dag sier man: «La oss gå inn og spise». Barnet ser på den voksne, og sier «nei» med et nesten frydefullt smil rundt munnen og øynene. Fra da av er dette svaret på nesten alt det de voksne sier eller vil.

Dette frydefulle smilet har ingenting med trass å gjøre. Det kan best oversettes med: «Jeg har akkurat skjønt at du og jeg ikke er samme person. Vi er to ulike personer. Er ikke det gøy?». Med smilet og ordet «nei» feirer barnet oppdagelsen av sin egen selvstendighet. Både gleden over og viljen til autonomi og selvstendig utvikling varer med fredelige forhold i ett til halvannet års tid. Det lureste de voksne kan gjøre, er å svare med et hyggelig smil og gå inn til spisebordet. I løpet av 15 sekunder følger barnet etter. Det gjelder stort sett i alle situasjoner.

Image