Will you take 4.5 minutes to watch and listen to Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, John Legend perform “Lean On Me” at the 2015 Induction Ceremony?
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise,
We know that there’s always tomorrow.
We need others. Our brains need other brains. Not just when we are babies but throughout our lives. But by the same token, other brains can be such a stress. How can one and the same phenomenon have such opposite effects? (Shanker, 162 pag.)
And from Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive, my current read:
Strong, negative emotions (fear, anger, anxiety, hopelessness) tend to narrow our minds—it’s as though our peripheral vision has been cut off because we’re so focused on the peril that’s front and center. There’s actually a physiological side to this phenomenon. When these negative feelings are present, our brains respond by secreting cortisol, the stress hormone. This inhibits the prefrontal cortex from effectively processing information, so even at a neurocognitive level our ability to focus and learn is impaired. (Brackett, 28 pag.)
So… what to do? Breathe; just breathe.
You’ve probably tried deep, slow breathing to calm yourself down. But there’s actually a more useful breathing technique, one that can reduce stress, decrease pain, increase concentration, halt migraines, and prevent panic attacks. What to do: Breathe in while you count slowly to 4. Exhale while you count to 8. In for 4, out for 8. Repeat for at least one minute. This is a bit more challenging than it sounds! The trick is to always exhale for twice as long as you inhale. (McGonigal, 96 pag.)
Why it works: Breathing at this rhythm increases your heart rate variability, the slight differences in the length of time between your heartbeats, from one to the next.
The more variation, the better. In the long term, high heart rate variability protects against stress, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. In the short term, increased heart rate variability has a huge impact on your nervous system. It shifts your body from what scientists call sympathetic stimulation (which, when activated by stress, pain, or anxiety, triggers a fight-or-flight mode) to parasympathetic stimulation (a calm-and-connect mode).
Just by changing how you breathe for one minute, you can shift your entire nervous system from a stressful state to a highly relaxed state. Muscles relax, heart rate decreases, digestion improves, and state of mind improves. If you’re feeling any kind of bad, this powerful shift is sure to help. (McGonigal, 97 pag.)
One of my dearest friends wrote to me yesterday:
I’ve been trying sometimes to look at twitter, and I decided this morning I’m not sure whether I can do it anymore. Almost every tweet I read emanates anger and doesn’t assume good intentions from others.
Just read our #TrinityLearns feed. It is so joyful.
This really good advice (from me, I know) is based on another of Jane McGonigal’s Super Better power-ups:
Love spree! Check the clock or start a timer. You’ve got three minutes to like, favorite, or leave a positive comment on as many social media posts from friends and family as you can. If you’re not on social media, use your three minutes to send quick “you’re awesome” or “thinking of you” emails and text messages to as many people as you can. You’ve only got three minutes, so don’t think—just spread the love! (McGonigal, 175 pag.)
Just in case social media is bringing you down, I’ll be your filter. Just read, watch, like, and comment with an appreciation of these beautiful artifacts of learning, resilience, joy, courage, and happiness.
Don’t just scroll. Play the video. Flip through all the images by using the arrows. Find learning, resilience, joy, courage, and happiness. Spread the #TrinityLearns love.
We need others. Our brains need other brains.
Lean on me when you’re not strong
I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.
So, intentionally find the good: Go on a #SuperBetter Love Spree.
And, breathe (out longer than in by a factor of 2); just breathe.
If there is a load
You have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me.
You are in my heart and my prayers.
(OK, and Brené Brown’s prayers – thank you, Brené.)
God, give [us] the strength and courage to
contribute more than [we} criticize.
That means you too, parents!
Brackett,Ph.D., Marc. Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive. Celadon Books. Kindle Edition.
McGonigal, Jane. Super Better: The Power of Living Gamefully. Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Shanker, Stuart. Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life. Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.