Self Fulfilling Prophecies..

A recent email I received from The Pacific Institute:

Thoughts Drive Results

How would you describe a self-fulfilling prophecy? Most people understand that a self-fulfilling prophecy is an expected situation, and therefore more likely to happen. Some would say that we actually cause these events to happen.

For example, according to Success magazine, two different groups of psychologists were once asked to observe the same child playing. One group was told beforehand that the child was emotionally disturbed. The other group was told that the child was a genius. When the psychologists were asked to report on their observations afterward, each group had found evidence to support their preconceived ideas.

Now, it’s important to realize that self-fulfilling prophecies are everyday experiences – not just laboratory experiments. What do you expect your day to be like when you get up in the morning? How do you expect your kids to behave? How much success do you expect for yourself? What do you expect for your organization’s production or sales for this month, or this year?

You see, if you predict failure, failure is generally what you will find. And if you expect excellence, excellence is likely what you will get. How we think about a situation determines how we act, and how we act, more than anything else, determines the results. Our thoughts drive our results.

That is how self-fulfilling prophecies work. There’s nothing magical about them. What you get in life is pretty much how you behave, coming back at you. Does that make sense?

Do yourself a favor this week, and see if you recognize areas where you are setting yourself up because of your expectations. If you are setting yourself up for the good, terrific! If not, what can you do to change those internal expectations, and change your life, your work, your business? For the school-age children in your life, how can you help them set themselves up to expect the best, creating self-fulfilling expectations, and work toward them?

Words and header reposted from: ​​The Pacific Institute, LLC. Copyright © 1997-2021. All Rights Reserved.

To learn more visit: the pacific institute.com

Images: Kareen Fellows

Needs

All human beings share needs, in addition to our physical needs, such as food, water and shelter, everyone of us has a number of emotional needs. We have the need to give and receive attention, to heed the mind / body connection, the need for purpose, goals and meaning in our life, which is very important.

We have the need to feel connected to community and making a contribution, needs for challenge and creativity, for intimacy and a sense of control and a sense of status. Also we have the need for a sense of security in life.

1) How often do you get to meet up with friends?
(the need for attention and community)

2) Can you and your partner really talk together?
(the need for attention and intimacy)

3) How are you sleeping these days?
(the need for mind body connection)

4) Are you happy with your diet?
(the need for mind body connection)

5) How much exercise are you getting?
(the need for mind body connection)

6) Is there anyone who you feel really understands you, and is close to you?
(the need for intimacy)

7) What choice do you have about what happens in your life?
(the need for control and security)

8) Do you have a clear sense of where you want to take things in life?
(the need for purpose, what gets me out of bed in the morning)

9) Do you feel excited by stuff in your life?
(the need for challenge / purpose / meaning)

10) What involvement do you have with people around you?
(the need for community and status)

Maslow's Hierarchy, (or Pyramid), of Needs is one of the central ideas in modern economics and sociology. The work of a once little-known American psychologist, it has grown into an indispensable guide to understanding the modern world. This film explains who Maslow was, what his pyramid is, and why it matters so much.

What your emotions are saying...

Our emotions are messages that we can sometimes struggle with. Here is what they are trying to tell you. Are you stuck on one emotion?

Perhaps using this guide, do some journalling about that emotion, cut out pictures from an old magazine and stick them into your journal. See what you learn from doing that. Find someone to talk over things with.

The Science of Stress, Calm and Sleep

Even outside of a pandemic, many people struggle with maintaining healthy amounts of quality sleep and managing stress. The good news is that neuroscience offers interventions to help improve our physical and mental health. Professor Huberman discusses ongoing research from his lab, including practical applications that everyone at any age can use to manage stress and sleep better.

Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, nervous system function, and neural plasticity (the ability to rewire our nervous system). His lab’s most recent work focuses on understanding the human neural circuits that underlie states such of stress, focus, sleep and non-sleep rest states. Much of that work is done in collaboration with David Spiegel, Willson Professor and associate chair of psychiatry & behavioral sciences.His work with Jeff Goldberg, chair of ophthalmology, involves a clinical trial to promote visual restoration in diseases that cause blindness such as glaucoma.
Information from Stanford Alumni

Breathwork, Good Mental Health & Tools for the Brain

Learn how age old breathing techniques are being studied in the science lab to help people of all ages reduce stress and gain better well-being.

Andrew Huberman, a professor of neuroscience and opthamology, with his own lab at Stanford University, explains how to control our internal state with science-backed breathwork tools.

Dr Andrew Huberman researchs how the brain works (function), how it can change through experience (plasticity) and how to repair brain circuits damaged by injury or disease (regeneration).

From The Huberman Lab:

Our specific main goals are to:

1. Discover strategies for halting and reversing vision loss in blinding diseases.

2. Understand how visual perceptions and autonomic arousal states are integrated to impact behavioral responses.

We use a large range of state-of-the-art tools: virtual reality, gene therapy, anatomy, electrophysiology and imaging and behavioral analyses.

For more information about us, our research, our peer-reviewed publications and press coverage, please click here.

Huberman Lab.com

MIndfulness in the time of a pandemic.

"Mindfulness provides us with a means of cultivating greater and more objective awareness of our own emotional landscape, the emotions of others, and of external circumstance.

In doing so, it gives us more choice in how we respond to challenges we may face and the ability to more consciously choose where we place our attention.

Wherever you are in the world we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. In the words of one of our favourite meditation teachers: “Moment by moment we can find our way though” - Sharon Salzberg.

Mindfulness in the time of a pandemic, by the 'mother of mindfulness Ellen Langer.

Fear, anxiety & denial

Acknowledging that feeling fearful and anxious at a time such as this is not only normal but appropriate. Given the nature of the threat we are facing, fear and anxiety are adaptive responses as they alert us to the fact that we need to be taking appropriate action to keep ourselves and others as safe and healthy as possible.

It’s also important to recognise that fear and anxiety can quickly escalate and reach a tipping point beyond which they are no longer helpful and can affect us in negative ways. When the acute stress response, otherwise knowns as the ‘fight or flight’ response, kicks in we’re not as able to think clearly or make good decisions; we become more reactive and less responsive; and our thinking can quickly spiral, becoming increasingly negative and difficult to unhook from.

Jon Kabat-Zinn - Mindfulness, Healing, and Wisdom in a Time of COVID-19

Warning signs

Mindfulness helps us get better at recognising and understanding our own personal signals that tell us we’re close to our tipping point. We can think of mindfulness as being like our own personal ‘fear and anxiety thermometer’ helping us get to know our own warning signs and recognise them as they’re kicking in.

Examples include:

  • irritability
  • losing patience
  • a sense of urgency
  • difficulty sleeping
  • inability to focus
  • catastrophic thinking
  • ruminating
  • eating or drinking more than usual.

    In addition to knowing and recognising our warning signals, mindfulness gives us the opportunity to respond by taking steps to settle and soothe our nervous system, which in turn enables us to think more clearly, make better decisions and respond as opposed to react.

    Beware denial

    It can also be tempting to turn away from and deny the seriousness of what’s happening. Denial may be particularly appealing given the significant impact that this outbreak will have on so many people financially, emotionally or physically. While temporary distractions can be useful for giving our minds a break, on the whole denial is not a helpful approach. It can leave us vulnerable and exhausted as it may lead to not taking appropriate precautions and it’s difficult to sustain in the face of reality.

    Mindfulness can help us see things more clearly, which in turn helps us strike a balance between staying informed and making sensible choices without becoming overwhelmed.

    Healthy brain breaks

    Giving your brain a break when you’re nearing your tipping point can be a helpful way of deactivating the acute stress (‘fight or flight’) response. Even short moments of reprieve are beneficial as they help reset enabling us to find the middle ground between overwhelm and denial. It’s in this place that we’re able to make better choices and are best placed to support ourselves and those around us.

    We recommend trying out the following as often as you need to:

    Move

    Any kind of physical movement is a great way of releasing the build-up of excess energy that accompanies the acute stress (‘fight or flight’) response – take yourself for a walk or run outside; do some stretching, yoga or some other form of mindful movement; or crank some uplifting music and dance around the house for a few minutes.

    Breathe

    When you slow your breathing rate down the uncomfortable physical sensations of fear and anxiety start to subside. Try the following:

  • Stop what you’re doing, take three long, slow deep breaths.
  • Impose a rhythm on your breathing so that your out-breath becomes longer than your in-breath.
  • Try a 4-2-6 rhythm – e.g. breathe for 4 counts, hold your breath for 2 counts, and breathe out for 6 counts.
  • If that doesn’t feel comfortable, try imposing a 3-1-4 rhythm. The main thing is that your out-breath is slightly longer than your in-breath.
  • Ground

    Connect to what is happening in this moment right now more consciously engaging your senses. Try the following:

    Splash cold water on your face

  • Take a hot (or cold) shower
  • Cuddle your pet
  • Smell and/or diffuse a relaxing essential oil (i.e. lavender, geranium, ylang ylang)
  • Take a moment to enjoy a cup of tea – really pay attention to the aroma and taste

    Sleep

    When we’re fearful and anxious it can be hard to sleep. Given the importance of sleep for our mental and physical wellbeing, including immunity, establishing good habits around sleep is particularly important at the moment.

    Consider creating a pre-sleep routine by turning off news and screens at least an hour before going to bed. If you wake during the night and find you can’t sleep, rather than sit lay there and worry, try a meditation from the ‘Sleep’ program in the Smiling Mind App.

    Connect

    While social connection may be tricky during this time when many people are physical distancing, staying connected to others is more important than ever as we are wired to connect and seek comfort and care from others. We are fortunate to have so much technology at our fingertips enabling us to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues.

    Try using video conferencing technology so that you can see each other, as we communicate best when we can see each other’s body language and facial expressions. Do your best to listen and interact as mindfully as you can with others – really pay attention to the people you’re interacting with.

    Contribute

    Contributing to the wellbeing of others helps shift our attention from ourselves onto what we can do for them. This helps us connect with others; gain a sense of agency, even if only in a small way; plus helping others also positively impacts our own wellbeing.

    Consider how you might help others at this difficult time. For example, you could support a local business you value that is likely struggling at the moment or check up on an elderly friend or relative.

    Create healthy habits

    Mindfulness can help us create healthy habits to keep us and others as safe and healthy as possible. For example, washing your hands mindfully and taking care not to touch your face.

    Article by Sharon Salzburg via Beyond Blue

    This article was originally published by Smiling Mind.

  • Why Movement Matters

    After a day's walk, everything has twice its usual value. G.M. Trevelyan

    It's a hugely challenging time, we are all faced with lockdowns, restrictions and border closures. For some of us, our regular exercise program may be being challenged, adding to our stress.

    What form of movement do you enjoy? Most days I walk between 5-12 ks, and love it. But with the social distancing rules prohibiting dancing at venues, I've found I'm missing my dancing life. I've been noticing it affects my level of well-being. In this talk Kelly McGonical shares why movement matters.

    "Movement will give you access to joy, that will dramaticalllly improve the quality of your life. Help support mental health and create more meaning and belonging." Kelly McGonical PHD.