Wednesday, June 03, 2009

You can create pathways to happiness.

Many times I've mentioned "the new science of pain". I written about how the brain changes with pain. It's been shown by imaging that imagined movements or seeing movements activate the same brain pathways as if actually doing the activity, "monkey see, monkey do". From this discovery mirror therapy was developed.

It's also known that if we think negatively about our pain (this is the worst pain ever), our brain changes in an unhelpful way, just as it changes in a beneficial way when we think positively about our pain (I can cope with this).

So scientists have discovered that you can change your brain by what you imagine not just by actions. You can benefit by practicing feeling happy. The left frontal cortex, known as the seat of happiness, will be activated. This link to BBC News Channel talks about
Searching the brain for happiness

Just by practicing, or imagining feeling happy, you can create the pathways to happiness


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeisea,
Amazing how things work, I was going to leave you a message asking you if you believe if your mind can learn to deal with CRPS.
I have been suffering for 18 months now. The first year was horrendous, I had a lot of changes to come to terms with.
Then the warmer months arrived and the pain was easier to deal with, as the cold really upsets my CRPS. So in my good times I decided to volunteer with Lifeline, my former employer. They have been extremely supportive and encouraging, knowing my limitations and condition they still hired me for two days a week doing book work. I found that the more I did my work the easier it has been to deal with or control my symptoms. Mid you, I have also learned what my triggers are, and stay focused on what to do to keep the pain at ease to a degree.
But now I have this horrid flu and it seems to have hit me hard. I am suffering head aches and funny feeling in my face, stiff neck and the pain is returning to its old extreme and the sweating is increasing, now burning is starting (which I didn't really suffer with before) it feels like I am loosing control.
So do you believe that CRPS can be controlled by your thought patterns. Not curred just maintained at a level that can be dealt with?
I feel like I am loosing ground

jeisea said...

Hi Jane
Sorry to hear you have flu. You describe what happens when you have a flare up of symptoms. In this instance and also for me, flu which causes aches etc has been the trigger, I believe. I find that when the body is stressed or in pain the brain can retrieve old pains so things escalate.What I did was use a throat gargle of 1/4tsp tumeric and 1/2 tsp salt in warm water. I did this up to every few hours. My virus involved a very sore throat. I used heat packs on aches etc. I rested (which is why I haven't posted much lately. Gradually the flu symptoms settled and the crps ones calmed but not gone. Then I did the things that help me with crps symptoms. I'll repost my list.

Now you asked if changing the brain can ease pain. Most definitely, I believe. There's heaps of research about this. Click the tag "brain" to find more about this. When you went to work for charity you did much more than just distract yourself from pain. I believe doing things for others increases our feelings of self worth, makes us content/happy. We know that being happy, laughing etc can change the brain in ways that benefit us. Not sure if research has been done on the power of "giving" to change the brain but I would lay odds that this is a very powerful way of changing the brain in a beneficial way.

My only caution for you is to remember to pace yourself and keep things in perspective. You have hit upon what scientists are only just discovering, the power of positive.

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