Creative Arts with Patrick Moore


Borrowing Cheerup and Calmdown
February 27, 2017, 5:02 pm
Filed under: brain, compassion, healthcare, self-help, tucson | Tags: , ,
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Up or Down?  Where is balance?

 

Pep Up or Calm Down? Which is the Best Way to Live?

 The following is an excerpt from the most recent Natural Healer Newsletter. To subscribe to the email newsletter sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bnuPuj

Your nervous system has two processes—up-regulating and down-regulating. Which is better? Should we live life always pepped-up? Or always calmed-down? A natural balance uses both strategies. According to Arlene Montgomery in her 2013 book, Neurobiology Essentials for Clinicians. http://smile.amazon.com/dp/0393706028  people can get into a bad habit: people who habitually upregulate, Montgomery calls anxious. People who habitually downregulate, she calls depressed. Montgomery defines a resilient person as one who can use both systems at appropriate situations.

I want to be resilient! I tend toward depression.

This article describes how we may help others become more resilient. The side-effect of helping others is that we helpers become more resilient ourselves.

 

Relaxation Is Not Always Best

Isn’t relaxation always good? No, relaxation is not always the best remedy. Just as often, a person needs to pep up. …

 

Nerve State is Borrowed by Mirroring

… If you were listening to talk radio, with callers shouting passionately, and hosts hammering their points with persistent hard voices, how would you feel? If you were watching a video with protesters marching, seeing cops handcuffing them, how would you feel? We can’t help but borrow nervous states when we see facial expressions, postures and hear tones of voice. Mimicking–or Mirroring–is hard-wired into social animals…

 

Therapeutic Borrowing and Lending

The fact we humans mimic, is very useful for therapists.

First let’s make it too simple: You are a therapist. A person comes in to your office, looking very depressed and low. You in turn, turn up your smile, raise your voice a bit, lift your chest and present a cheerful, alert and active presence. The other person can mimic, and so borrow your state. Then they too will be cheerful, alert and active.

This is too simple. A depressed person does not mimic someone who is peppy. People have tried that on me when I am depressed, and it just annoys me. Why does this NOT work?

By laws of nature, we will not mimic someone whose state looks inappropriate for the situation. When I am depressed I think the situation is inherently depressing. When I see someone cheerful, they clearly do not perceive the world the way I do. My brain thinks, Why would someone be cheerful while the situation is depressing? In a depressed person’s judgment, anyone who is cheerful must have a screw loose.

Similarly, in an anxious person’s judgment, the situation requires more action–fighting or running away–and anyone who is calm at a time like this, must have a screw loose.

It would be dangerous to mimic someone whose thinking deviates from reality. By the laws of nature, we social animals will not mimic someone whose expressions, postures and tones of voice appear (in our judgment) inappropriate to the situation. Our survival would be at risk, to mirror someone who thinks it is time to act when it is time to give up, or vice versa.

Under what conditions will a depressed person, or an anxious person, resonate with another who wishes to be helpful? …

 

To see the rest of the article please subscribe to the email newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bnuPuj

 

Below are four of the upcoming Tucson workshops that feature mirroring, borrowing and body psychology. To register, contact me through my website: meltingmuscles.com/contact.html  

 

Sunday, March 26, 9 a.m.

Activating Your Intuition – 5 hour (Self-Care)

Awaken your sixth sense! Based on workshops with Stephen Bruno, partner exercises to dramatically improve your intuitive perception.

 

Monday, April 3, 2017, 9 a.m.

Responding, Not Reacting – Being Nonjudgmental with Challenged Clients and Yourself

(Communication/Therapeutic Relationship), Body Psychology, (discussion) 6 hours.

Don’t get aggravated. Turn challenges into healing moments by responding and unlocking this gift.

 

Monday, April 10, 2017, 9 a.m.

Mirror Neurons – Using Clients’ Mirroring Tendency to Connect with their Tension and Lead Them to Relax

(discussion), Research, 5 hours.

We social animals mirror others in order to understand them. Learning how, aids therapists and anyone who wants to improve his relationships.

 

Monday, May 1, 2017, 9 a.m.

Muscle Guarding as Communication – Learning the Nonverbal Language of Muscles

Body Psychology, 6 hours (group discussion).

A muscle tightening, tells you the brain feels unsafe about something. A muscle melting, tells you the brain is feeling safer about that thing…

 

More workshops are listed at my continuing education blog: meltingmuscles.blogspot.com