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Addressing the Challenge of Connecting Ourselves with Ourselves Through Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness. Derek Luk, Mental Health Education Coordinator, RNBN, University of Calgary SU Wellness Center. Lack of empathy, compassion, and connection. .

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slide1

Addressing the Challenge of Connecting Ourselves with Ourselves Through Neuroplasticity and Mindfulness

Derek Luk, Mental Health Education Coordinator, RNBN, University of Calgary SU Wellness Center

slide2

Lack of empathy, compassion, and connection.

Addictions- self soothing/self numbing behaviors

stress

Internal

External

Childhood experiences

Relationships- family friends

Academics :increase competition, expect

Finances

Isolation, perpetuated by internal

environment

Trauma- physical, emotional, spiritual,

intergenerational, sexual,

economical

Vulnerability- focus on negative.

Poor self worth.

Biology of negative belief “not ___ enough”

Western culture of self hate.

Emotional maturity under-developed.

Afraid to fail.

Medical issues.

Accepting of cultural stigmas of self and others

objective
Objective

Establishing a mind, body, and relational connection to build resiliency, create awareness and develop the internal self.

collaboration of academic social and emotional learning
Collaboration of Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

For more information, view “The Missing Piece” document on casel.org

Retrieved from http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/core-competencies

3 universal causes of stress
3 Universal Causes of Stress
  • Uncertainty
  • Lack of information
  • Lack of Control

Add

  • **Perceived inability to cope
  • Social Isolation

** Adjusting your perception to view difficult events differently.

(Maté, 2003)

biology of belief
Biology of Belief

“Early experiences condition the body’s stance toward the world and determine the person’s unconscious belief about herself in relationships to the world”.

(Maté, 2009; Bruce Perry)

negative biology of belief
Negative Biology of Belief
  • Replace out-modeled negative experiences and reasoning with new positive experiences. Repeatedly challenge old beliefs to imprint the change for new behaviours.
  • Negative Biology of Belief
      • I have to be strong,
      • It’s not right for me to be angry,
      • If I’m angry, I will not be lovable,
      • I’m responsible for the whole world,
      • I can handle anything,
      • I’m not wanted-I’m not lovable,
      • I don’t exist unless I do something- I must justify my existence,
      • I have to be very ill to deserve being taken care of
  • Brene Brown: People who have a strong sense of love and belonging “BELIEVE” they are worthy of love and belonging. “BELIEVE” they are worthy

(RSA, 2013)

clarify the definition being mindful
Clarify the definition “Being Mindful”
  • Mindful Awareness- develops a deeper capacity for understanding self. Involves low-no judgment, unconditional acceptance of self, and practicing the art of letting go.
      • No attention or awareness = auto-pilot reaction.
      • Awareness and attention allows for choice in reaction.

(The Garrison Institute, 2012. Dec 7, Dr. Michael Kerney and Dr. RadhuleWeininger)

mindfulness
Mindfulness
  • Effective therapy is believed to center on the acceptance of thoughts and feelings, a process facilitated by enhanced attention to, and awareness of, mental experience.
  • Relating to thoughts and feelings as passing events in the mind—rather than identifying with them or treating them as necessarily accurate reflections of reality—allows individuals to disengage from automatic dysfunctional cognitive routines and reduce or prevent rumination, thereby reducing the likelihood of persistent negative affective experience

(Kemeny, Foltz, Cullen, Jennings, Gillath, Wallace, Cavanagh, Giese-Davis, Rosenberg, Shaver, & Ekman, 2012)

mindfulness presence
Mindfulness Presence
  • Includes awareness of present and nonjudgmental acceptance
  • Self-regulation of attention allows for metacognitive awareness of one’s emotional and cognitive experience as it occurs. This meta-awareness combined with a non-judgmental awareness characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance supports emotional and cognitive self-awareness and self-regulation.

(Jennings, Snowberg, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2011).

loving kindness care caring practice and mindful listening
Loving kindness CARE caring practice and mindful listening
  • Caring practice involves silent reflection focused on generating feelings of care for oneself and others by mentally offering well-being, happiness, and peace—first to oneself, then to a loved one, then to a neutral colleague or acquaintance, and finally to a person who one finds challenging, such as a difficult student, parent, or colleague.
  • Mindful listening exercises develop the skill to simply listen to another and notice (without acting upon) emotional reactions such as urges to interrupt, offer advice, or judge.

(Jennings, Snowberg, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2011).

clarify the definition being mindful1
Clarify the definition “Being Mindful”
  • Reactive Awareness(autopilot) vs. Responsive Awareness
  • Self Knowledge- Understanding self
  • Self Empathy- Western culture is a self loathing culture.
  • Contemplative Awareness- Awareness of spirituality and sense of meaning/purpose.

(The Garrison Institute, 2012. Dec 7, Dr. Michael Kerney and Dr. RadhuleWeininger)

evidence based p ractice to increase s elf awareness
Evidence Based Practice to Increase Self Awareness
  • Mindful Meditation
  • Reflective Writing
  • Supervision and Mentoring
  • Peer Support Group
  • Educational Initiatives
  • Research Initiatives
  • Psychotherapy
  • Spiritual Direction

(The Garrison Institute, 2012. Dec 7, Dr. Michael Kerney and Dr. RadhuleWeininger)

contemplative science and mindfulness practice
Contemplative Science and Mindfulness Practice
  • Enhance regulation of attention and emotions
  • Change in information processing in somatic experience, self understanding, and social understanding.

(The Garrison Institute, 2011, Nov, Rob Roeser)

contemplative science and mindfulness practice1
Contemplative Science and Mindfulness Practice
  • Concentration Meditation
  • Insight Meditation
  • Loving Kindness Meditation
  • Body Scan / Yoga

(The Garrison Institute, 2011, Nov, Rob Roeser)

interpersonal neurobiology
Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Become aware of sensory vs. observant circuits.
  • Teach students to take “time in” to monitor and modify internal environment.
    • Every day ~10 minutes in class practice stabilizing attention. Simplest way is focusing on breath.

(The Garrison Institute, 2012, Dec 4, Daniel Siegel)

interpersonal neurobiology1
Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Create community where feelings are mentionable and manageable
  • Emotional social intelligence supports inner reflection, relationships and resilience.

(The Garrison Institute, 2012, Dec 4, Daniel Siegel)

re defining the brain as a processing center
Re-defining the Brain as a Processing Center
  • Brain interprets and processes energy and information flow from the internal and external environment.
  • Automatic reactions without the mind ability to monitor or modify response occurs in response to emotional memory (Amgydala).
  • Automatic reactions can be based on survival instincts.

(Doidge, 2007)

understanding the brain through neuroplasticity
Understanding the Brain Through Neuroplasticity
  • The Brain’s ability to change itself based on repeated internal and external experiences with the environment.
  • Repetition of experience will enhance the speed of retrieval and response.

(Doidge, 2007)

slide23

What do we repeatedly rehearse in our heads when bad things happen?

  • Just as the brain has the potential to create new productive pathways (learning instrument), it also has the ability to create negative destructive pathways as well (distorted thinking, low self esteem)
  • RUMINATION
evidence of neuroplasticity
Evidence of Neuroplasticity
  • Jeffrey Schwartz from UCLA treating severe OCD with mindfulness training and neuroplasticity.
    • After 10 weeks of mindfulness-based therapy, 12 out of 18 patients improved significantly, without medications. Before-and-after brain scans showed that activity in the orbital frontal cortex, the core of the OCD circuit, had fallen dramatically and in exactly the way that drugs effective against OCD affect the brain. Schwartz called it "self-directed neuroplasticity," concluding that "the mind can change the brain."
  • Dr. Pascuel-Leone conducted experiments in which he demonstrated changes in the brains of individuals only mentally practicing a piano exercise.
      • These subjects demonstrated that the mere act of thinking about an activity imparted physical changes in the brain.
numbing the brain
Numbing the Brain
  • Brain cannot protect us from vulnerability, but it can protect us from the “awareness” of vulnerability.
  • Emotional shut down, people need higher stimulation to feel alive
  • Indifferent Culture- nothing matters, no vulnerability, kids remain emotionally immature
  • Repeated events reinforce neural patterns, binding with protein and building them up like scar tissue- trauma rooted in our brain

(Maté, 2003)

negative neuroplasticity
Negative Neuroplasticity
  • If you truly believe that you are somehow emotionally flawed, damaged, unworthy, unlovable, or “unfixable”, that is where the power of stigma, and negative neuroplastic reinforcement, will continue to control your life, and impact the decisions you make.
social and emotional learning
Social and Emotional Learning
  • Self Awareness
    • identifying and expressing emotions
    • recognizing strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • Self regulation
    • regulating emotions and impulses
    • setting short/long term goals
  • Social Awareness
    • cultivating compassion, empathy, and attuning to others
  • Relationship skills
    • responding vs. reacting to situations
    • taking accountability (involves being vulnerable)
    • problem solving vs. blaming
    • communicating authentically and respectfully.

(The Garrison Institute, 2011, Dec 6, Linda Lanteieri)

re defining relationships
Re-defining Relationships
  • Exchange or sharing of energy and information flow with other persons or inanimate objects.
  • Energy: capacity for action.
  • Information: patterns of energy that have symbolic meaning.
  • Energy and information flow can be chaotic, rigid, or integrated.
    • Small inputs in your life can result in large negative outputs.

(Siegel, 2011)

rumination and self blame
Rumination and self blame
  • Rumination is a cognitive process that involves repetitive negative thoughts, including a particular focus on past
  • We predicted that the mindfulness component of the training would promote attention toward immediate, rather than past or future experiences, including present thoughts, feelings, and sensations, with a less evaluative focus on what arises in the mind
  • negative experiences and failures
  • Inability to let go
  • High judgment reaction

(Meiklejohn, Philips, Freedman, Griffin, Biegel, Roach, Frank, Burke, Pinger, Soloway, Isberg , Sibinga, Grossman, & Saltzamn, 2012).

rumination and self blame1
Rumination and self blame
  • Compared with controls, training group participants demonstrated decreased trait rumination, and increased mindfulness, and maintained both improvements over time The greater the number of days individuals reported practicing meditation for the requested amount of time at home (20 min or more) across the 8-week training period, the lower their trait anxiety, and the higher their mindfulness, at the post training assessment,

(Meiklejohn, Philips, Freedman, Griffin, Biegel, Roach, Frank, Burke, Pinger, Soloway, Isberg , Sibinga, Grossman, & Saltzamn, 2012).

brene brown power of vulnerability
Brene Brown: Power of Vulnerability
  • Vulnerability is not a weakness, but courage.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, positive emotions, happiness and innovation. But also birthplace of loss, grief, anger, sadness.
  • Culture of Indifference: Numbing Self
      • Culture of Shame: protecting self from being hurt.
      • Difference between Shame and Guilt
        • Shame- I am bad, personalize failures
        • Guilt- I did something bad, identify failure as a behavior, but not the person
  • (RSA, 2012)
vulnerability for connection and resiliency
Vulnerability for Connection and Resiliency
  • Connection requires vulnerability. Resilience is built upon connection, not by isolation.
  • People need to have courage to be imperfect, and accept self for being imperfect. This involves being compassionate to yourself.
  • Authenticity- ability to let go of who you should be in order to be who you are- requires deep connection.

(RSA, 2012)

acceptance
Acceptance
  • Acceptance does not mean tolerance, resignation, or giving up. It means the choice to experience experiences as they are, with awareness, with an attitude of curiosity and openness, and without needless defense and judgment, without blame and without shame.
  • High judgment creates high self righteousness, which results in high behavioral rigidity.
resilience
Resilience
  • How do you fill your resiliency tank?
  • Burnout happens when our internal and external environment demands us to give more, when our tanks is already empty.
  • Take 2 minutes, and write down activities you do to fill up your resiliency tank.
attachment creating a community of safety and empathy
Attachment: Creating a Community of Safety and Empathy
  • People will only show vulnerability when they feel unconditionally accepted and safe.
  • Empathy can only be expressed to others when compassion is shown to self, to accept self unconditionally.
  • Embrace vulnerability be showing gratitude, being thankful, and building relational resiliency.

(Institute for Spirituality and health, 2013, Jan 16, Philip Shaver)

slide37

Health and healing does not come from the outside, it comes from the inside.

  • Major contributor to many diseases is an overload of stress induced by unconscious beliefs. If we would need to heal, it is essential to begin the painful task of reversing the biology of belief people adopted early in life. Whatever external treatment is administered, the healing agent lies within. The internal environment must be changed (Maté).
biology of belief1
Biology of Belief
  • Replace out-modeled experiences and reasoning with new experiences. Repeatedly challenge old beliefs to imprint the change for new behaviours.
  • (Maté, 2003)
      • Brene Brown: People who have a strong sense of love and belonging “BELIEVE” they are worthy of love and belonging. “BELIEVE” they are worthy.
      • (RSA, 2012)
slide39

“The mind is like a muscle, where it lies most of the time is what it will seek in the future”

OR

  • Expose students to more positive emotions

(Maté, 2009)

the mind makes the brain flexible
The Mind makes the Brain Flexible
  • If we can establish an awareness of the mind, and strengthen it’s resiliency to stress, it will provide us the capacity to regulate the processes in the brain, and allow us to seek connection in establishing meaningful relationships.
references
References
  • Begley, S. (2007). Train your mind, change your brain : how a new science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves. New York : Ballantine Books,
  • CARE model for teachers. A program of the Garrison Institute’s Contemplative Teaching and Learning Initiative. (n.d.) Retrieved Sept. 15, 2013 from http://www.care4teachers.org/about-care/
  • Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself: Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science. New York: Viking.
  • Institute for Spirituality and health. Philip Shaver: Perspectives from attachment theory, Buddhism and neuroscience. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi072F-BpYE
  • Jennings A., Snowberg K., Coccia M., & Greenberg M. (2011). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46(1), 37-48.
  • Kemeny M., Foltz C., Cullen M., Jennings P., Gillath O., Wallace A., Cavanagh J., Giese-Davis J., Rosenberg E., Shaver P., & Ekman P. (2012). Contemplative/emotional training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338-350. doi: 10.1037/a0026118
references1
References
  • Maté, G. (2003). When the body says no: The cost of hidden stress. Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada.
  • Maté, G. (2009). In the realm of hungry ghosts: Close encounters with addictions. Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada.
  • Meiklejohn J., Philips C., Freedman M., Griffin M., Biegel G., Roach A., Frank J., Burke C., Pinger L., Soloway G., Isberg R., Sibinga E., Grossman L., & Saltzamn A. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Springer Science+Business Media, 1(1),doi: 10.1007/s12671-012-0094-5.
references2
References
  • Pasuale-Leone A. (2001). The brain that plays music and is changed by it. Annals of the Ney York Academy of Science, 930(1), 315-239. Retrieved from http://tmslab.org/wp-content/files/PascualLeone_MUSICBRAIN_NYAcadSci.pdf
  • RSA (2013, Aug 13). Dr. Brené Brown: Power of vulnerability. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXSjc-pbXk4
  • SCSASmithers (2013, Mar 6). Gabor Maté: When the body days no: Caring for ourselves while caring for others. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6IL8WVyMMs
  • TED Talks (2012, Mar 16). Brené Brown: Listening to shame. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0
  • The Dalai Lama Center. (2011, Nov 2). Sir Ken Robinson: Educating the heart and mind. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1A4OGiVK30
references3
References
  • The Dalai Lama Center- Heart and Mind conference. Retrieved Sept 15, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/user/dalailamacenter/videos?shelf_index=1&view=0&sort=dd
  • The Garrison Institute (2011, Nov). Rob Roeser: Contemplative Practice, Teaching, and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/cae-videoaudio/2011-symposium-videos/1087-rob-roeser
  • The Garrison Institute (2011, Nov 22). Mark Greenberg: Nurturing mindfulness in families, school and youth. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3KXkO7NeG0
  • The Garrison Institute (2011, Nov 28). Tish Jennings: Discussing CARE for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayBhUJUEnEo&list=PL681609811AEEC342&index=4
references4
References
  • The Garrison Institute (2011, Dec 5). Adele Diamond: Why disciplining the mind may be critical for children. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wdFKPTEL2M&list=PL681609811AEEC342&index=22
  • The Garrison Institute (2011, Dec 6). Linda Lanteieri: Moving from science to practice. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWQGAUi8V0U&list=PL681609811AEEC342&index=2
  • The Garrison Institute (2012, Dec 4). Daniel Siegel time in: Reflection, relationships, and resilience at the heart of internal education. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVYd1W4iAm0
  • The Garrison Institute (2012. Dec 7). Dr. Michael Kerney and Dr. RadhuleWeininger: Learning to breathe underwater: towards self awareness based model of self care for medical professionals. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amaN8Q_zuwM&list=PLhw-De-qJGP7U3RJO6BCFBUSLUbMZoTn6&index=2
references5
References
  • The Garrison Institute (2013, Jan 10). Tobin Keith: Growing the integrative mind. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q57L-jbrps&list=PL681609811AEEC342&index=13
  • The Nature of Things (2008, Nov 28). Norman Doidge: The brain that changes itself. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/The+Nature+of+Things/2008-09/ID/1233752028/
  • The Nature of Things (2013, Feb 5). Norman Doidge: Changing your mind. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2332409695/
  • Siegel, D. J. (2011). Mindsight: the new science of personal transformation. New York: Bantam Books
  • University of Idaho (2010, Dec. 28). Brain based learning (neuroplasticity). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvZ-9ofM7Go.
articles of the science of mindfulness
Articles of the Science of Mindfulness
  • Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S. F., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564–570. doi:10.1097/01.
  • HölzelB, Lazar S., Gard T., Schuman-Olivier Z., Vago D., & Ott U. (2011). How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Psychological Sciences, 6(6), 537-559. doi: 10.1177/1745691611419671
  • Kemeny M., Foltz C., Cullen M., Jennings P., Gillath O., Wallace A., Cavanagh J., Giese-Davis J., Rosenberg E., Shaver P., & Ekman P. (2012). Contemplative/emotional training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338-350. doi: 10.1037/a0026118
  • Meiklejohn J., Philips C., Freedman M., Griffin M., Biegel G., Roach A., Frank J., Burke C., Pinger L., Soloway G., Isberg R., Sibinga E., Grossman L., & Saltzamn A. (2012). Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students. Springer Science+Business Media, 1(1),doi: 10.1007/s12671-012-0094-5.
mindfulness in education resources
Mindfulness in Education Resources
  • http://www.care4teachers.org/
  • Bridgeland J., Bruce M. & Hariharan A. The missing piece: A report for CASEL. A national teacher survey on how social and emotional learning can empower children and transform schools. Retrieved from http://static.squarespace.com/static/513f79f9e4b05ce7b70e9673/t/526a2589e4b01768fee91a6a/1382688137983/the-missing-piece.pdf
  • The mindful revolution documentary: Exploring how mindfulness can transform education. Retrieved from http://themindfulrevolution.com/education/the-mindful-revolution-documentary/