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We need heroes and heroines, people to look up to--those significantly demonstrating the best life has to offer, who can show us the way through life. I’ve found a new personal hero, and the book about him is entitled Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. She is the author of another book I love entitled Seabiscuit, a story of a race horse whose heart to compete and live life to its fullest was a symbol to millions of people during the depression.
Unbroken is the story of a World War II veteran--Louis Zamperini--who was lost at sea for 47 days and then captured and tortured by the enemy for two years. It is an amazing story of survival, ingenuity, resilience, and forgiveness. I’m humbled to learn of this kind of person, this kind of life force. Though he is no longer with us (he passed to the next life on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97), this is a life that matters and will always matter. This is a life we can seek to emulate in positive ways.
I believe it doesn’t require such dramatic circumstances of incredible hardship for us to help our brain to reset itself and seek to do the right thing for the long term. At least I believe that's the case if the brain is properly balanced. Sometimes, I believe, extreme trauma can have an extremely positive imprint on our lives. Extreme trauma is often that which causes us to seek that which is truly important and leave all of the rest of the stuff of life to fend for itself. I don’t think I could have done that without balancing my brain. And, I don’t think I would have sought to balance my brain unless/until I was forced to seek assistance. And then, as it happened, it was an inside-to-outside experience. Having a brain that would move into a state of deep relaxation and reset itself–wow, I had no concept how truly incredible that opportunity was and will continue to be for me.
Louis Zamperini is a hero beyond imagination. And, given the capacity for each of us to function with a balanced brain, to prioritize what is important, we become, I believe, small heroes and heroines whose life matters greatly, much beyond our own time. I salute a balanced brain to lead us all to a life that matters.
The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) presents Positive and Negative Valence ideas for research and consideration. This is also a helpful way to consider overall wellbeing.
When one thinks about “valence” in positive and negative senses, it may be helpful to think about the positive and negative sides of overall wellbeing. The positive valence side is made up of positive states of satisfaction, contentment, and relaxation, while the negative valence side is made up of states of suffering, distress, sadness, or anger. To see these exact states of wellbeing and positive or negative valence change in a human being in a short time (1 hour to 3 weeks generally) is amazing, and it’s amazing to see such dramatic shifts happen coincidentally with shifts in brain patterns and rhythms, while life situations remain relatively constant.
I’m convinced that the key to wellbeing as the key to positive valence is in the brain rhythms and not simply situational. I’m convinced that when I realize these brain rhythms are driving my perception of my own wellbeing in the moment, and the situation I find myself in at that moment is only a temporary state, my personal power, confidence, and overall wellbeing are as great as they can be.
As the world studies and better understands what the NIMH is encouraging in their effort to seek RDoC research, I’m also convinced that the world will be a better place; We humans won’t be as apt to react in ways disproportionate to a situation and we will endeavor as individuals and collectively toward a greater sense of wellbeing—a positive valence—driven by a balanced brain.
It is important for us all to respect and honor this brain power.
CJoin Lee Gerdes, founder and CEO of Brain State Technologies®, for a special BrainTalk webinar on addiction and the brain. Lee will discuss how cutting-edge brain research is changing our understanding of addiction and how the revolutionary process called Brainwave Optimization® is helping people all over the world to kick the habits that have held them prisoner for years.
Last week brought news of more scientific findings that align with the Brainwave Optimization® model of the brain and stress responses. JAMA Psychiatry published an article that studied adults with a history of substance abuse and healthy control-group subjects. They asked them about their history of childhood maltreatment trauma and did brain scans to look at the size of different brain regions. They then followed their behaviors while in substance abuse treatment. Those individuals with childhood trauma had smaller volumes in the left temporal lobe (limbic) region, and they had a shorter time to relapse into substance abuse. Furthermore the smaller the left limbic region, the more severe was their substance abuse.
We at Brain State Technologies® would hypothesize that those with childhood trauma are in a left hemispheric freeze response that may alter development in the left hemisphere (causing smaller limbic volume). And they are at risk to engage in high arousal behaviors including substance abuse, as a way to depart the freeze response.
The repercussions of trauma can be long-lasting. Brainwave Optimization is a great service for those scarred by stress and trauma and those in their circles. Brainwave Optimization encourages the brain to support self-recovery from stress response states that seem to have a life of their own. And, for those in stressful life situations, Brainwave Optimization helps to prevent becoming “stuck” in those states altogether.
The world at large pays homage to a medical model which is totally invested in diagnosis and intervention to affect change. The Brainwave Optimization® world, by contrast, is totally invested in deep states of relaxation that allow the brain itself to reset, and consequently the downstream manifestations of the brain in physical, psychological, social, and spiritual areas to be reset for the greater good of the client and for those with whom the client relates.
Brain State Technologies® collects and anonymously catalogues brain data from every client, all over the world, who experiences Brainwave Optimization® sessions. This data warehouse now stores the brain data of over 60,000 clients. This extensive and ever-growing pool of data allows us to continue to learn and recognize different patterns of brain imbalance and how these unbalanced patterns manifest for the life compromises clients face. We’ve used this data to hone our algorithms for brain balance and harmony. Never have we used the data to diagnose, heal, treat, or cure anyone. That’s neither what we do nor what we intend. We view the brain pattern as observers only, not as diagnosticians or healers. This is a tremendously important point which is fundamental to Brainwave Optimization®.
You and I are made to heal ourselves of many issues, if/when we can find a path to help the brain balance itself.
If you are someone whose life has been compromised somehow, please know you have more power and potential in yourself and through yourself than you may have ever imagined. The times when we face issues and barriers that compromise the quality of our lives may be the only times we can see how resilient we really are as individuals. These problems may be the only times we find ourselves to be courageous and filled with hope. Don’t give up. Stand as tall as you can against the adversarial wind blowing against you in life. Your wellbeing is an inside-out journey and not simply dependent on someone or something on the outside to affect change.
There was a time when I believed that hope was something for those who didn’t have the persistence to make something happen. Now I understand the world differently. I now see hope as the result of having the courage to wait for it to arrive. I now realize that hope only manifests after a state of hopelessness which only those who face it can understand.
I hope I’m growing wiser as I grow older – some would argue that, of course, but inside I have more hope than ever. I Hope I can help others see the incredible power of wellbeing they have inside of them if only they will wait, be patient, and count on hope catching up to them, which is a step in helping each of us see the power inside us to manifest our own wellbeing.
I salute your inside-out journey to discover your potential in the world as you enjoy your wellbeing. We have each been wonderfully made.