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Archive for July, 2008

Survival Code - Hidden Disability

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Survival Code - The Hidden Disability

Welcome to this instalment of the Survival Code Series of articles.

I want you to read this excerpt from an article I found last May, it’s a perfect example of what’s going wrong in the fight to overcome stress.

Paediatric Bipolar Disorder a neurological disorder that influences mood, energy, thinking and behaviour. Unlike adults, who experience episodes of distinct “highs” and “lows,” many children with the disorder have an ongoing, continuous mood disturbance that is a mix of mania and depression. This produces chronic irritability and few periods of wellness or clearly discernible episodes. Moreover, since many children with bipolar disorder have other psychiatric disorders such as ADHD it is difficult for parents and clinicians to clearly see distinct episodes of mania or depression. Many children with this disorder exhaust their self-control during the school day and therefore exhibit this much more aggressive behaviour in the relative safety and privacy of the home.”

Pay particular attention to the section in red/bold as it highlights one of the most confounding and basic arguments that support the confusion around Stress and what it does! Mania, depression, stress and anxiety are all related and are NOT psychiatric disorders.

They are neurological dysfunction based on the same reproducible mechanism – the need to defend with no proper way of doing it.

The assumption (making an ass-of u-and me) here is that there are DIFFERENT problems because there seems to be different symptom groups. Yet this article also infers that that is a problem because not all children fall clearly into one or another category.

Instead of looking AT what is THERE, they try to interpret the symptoms based on conveniently placed labels placed by people who are more concerned with the reputation rather than their clients.

In today’s age of intelligence and technological and neuro-scientific research, I find it amazing that this type of accepted ignorance continues to be the basis of thinking among health professionals.

Of course they can’t ‘place’ these children into one or another category because they are all different but share common symptoms. It seems to me that to look at the process behind the symptoms would provide more useful results regardless of the label placed on the person.

That is why I am writing this series of articles on Your Survival Code. Each of us has stress reactions but what happens inside us is basically the same but expressed according to what we have learned in life. When I say “we” I mean what our ‘Nervous System’ has learned in life.

The Hidden Disability, the heading of the article, attracted my attention because it points to the very solution for all stress related syndromes (their term not mine).

It is not the childhood experience here that is the ‘hidden disability’; the true disability is the acceptance of false thinking as true and our inability to see that.

If we started to think about the internal neurological habit of creating stress reactions instead of creating new options and choices, we would see very quickly that the mechanism behind all this type of dysfunction are all related.

Therefore the solutions we also be related.

Of course there will be nuances between different people but the underlying solution is to train the nervous system to stop using the same defense response for everything it encounters.

This is exactly what we do in Neuro-Training. We prepare the person to be able to function differently NOT by trying to change their beliefs because with the right evidence they will do that anyway. Rather we attempt to change how the nervous system and subconscious do things. We remind the subconscious that it can use the genetics to function better and more efficiently.

One of the end results we find in our approach and is a sign of recuperation is that people start to become more competent in whatever they do. Even without consciously training more, they get better at what they do.

Think of this in terms of health first. The ability to organize what’s happening internally is the first step to achieving the success you want on the outside.

Then relationships will change as you start to become more congruent in yourself and with others.

Eventually all you will have to do is THINK of something and it will happen. Our subconscious is a generator of some amazing abilities. As soon as we can drop the defense and resistance to change and the things we are afraid of, we will find that those things we think we can’t have are there as soon as we stop denying them to ourselves.

This needs to be done at a neurological level First! Not a conscious (read therefore defensive) level.

Change your direction

What we need is to change the direction of our thinking with an objective view towards the HOW we do what we do not the subjective WHY we do what we do.

In Neuro-Training we look specifically at the ‘How you do’ what you do and train the nervous system to create better experiences to draw from. It will always use the best it has for you so we encourage it to create even better options for itself.

Get away from Plausible Thinking and start practicing Discerning Thinking.

Remember you always have a choice to think about something in a different way but you don’t always have the neurological patterns to support those choices. We help you to create the ability to live out those choices.

Keep watching the www.neuro-training.com website as we change it to best suit your needs. Enjoy.

Andrew

Survival Code – Why Does It Matter?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

This Survival Code articles are all related to ADD and are to inform you of a most important neurological substrate that can ruin your life or make it what you want.

These articles are to give you a full rounded picture of what the Survival Code means to you and what you can do about it.

The focus of this article is to describe better the effects of the Survival Code when it is activated.

Firstly if you have not read any previous articles in this line, I wish to explain a few things.

I am talking about the fusion of your genetic information that makes us who we are with your learned experiences that mould the nervous system into what it is today. This becomes the reference for our subconscious to recognise anything that could possibly hurt or threaten us.

We then do an interesting thing. We go into a primitive response (reaction really) called the Flight –Fight response. Now this would be fine if we were fighting off dinosaurs or ferocious beasts but these days our dinosaurs are bills or the rising prices of food etc.

If we cannot burn off the stress hormones produced by the Fight-Flight response it damages the immune system and associates an abnormal reaction to whatever we are focussing on at the time. If what we are focussed on is food and we have too many stress hormones in the blood stream we will develop a stress reaction to that food. This is called allergies.

If we are attempting to learn something new and the stress hormones are excessive we develop a stress reaction to the process of learning, this is called dyslexia.

I could continue with this list but it’s not the point of this article. The point is, while we are reacting to perceived threats that we cannot resolve in a natural, neurologically sound way, we develop dysfunction by association.

You may have heard the term, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This refers to the process of association the nervous system uses to ‘Know’ something. It attaches one neurological event to another event and they become linked together. Perhaps forever, if the events are repeated often enough.

We respond to our own stress.

Yes, that’s right. We respond to our own stress reactions and will learn to do one of two things:

1. We will succumb to the association of the two new events and live them out in our lives.

(Usually because we are not aware of their existence).

2. We will learn to overcome the effects of this unholy alliance by developing skills to change their influence. (Still unaware yet subconsciously driven to develop these skills).

Let’s look at the first scenario.

This is easy to assess because it is purely what most people would call “Stress”. As in previous articles the word “Stress” is the wrong term. Actually we should be using the term ‘Challenge’ for the ‘thing’ stressing us. This starts out as an external stimulus but can develop into an internal response once turned into a habitual response. The term we should use for the reaction to the Challenge is “Distress”. This is our reaction to the ‘stress’ not something outside us that is doing damage.

It is this ‘Distress’ that causes all the harm.

If life was simple, we could finish this article here by saying, “If you could only short-cut the Distress Reaction, you could change your life!” And that would be true!

Life is far from simple, yet there are simple laws that govern what we do as humans. The laws that govern our neurological responses, which in turn govern how we learn, are clear and unchanging.

They say, that if you associate two opposing forces, the stronger force will eventually win in the neurological decision making process. In other words, the associations we practice become the stronger behaviours within us.

If we practice going into the ‘fight-flight response’, it will become a habit and then a major character trait that has pre-eminence in our behaviours.

Opposing forces create conflict when put together.

We see this conflict range from simple confusion and forgetfulness to violence, murder and even war.

Yes these would be stressful events but they are obvious. What’s not so obvious are the skills we learn and develop to overcome the ‘stresses. They are more subtle and not always recognised in the right context. They are the ‘Compensations” to unresolved stress reactions.

These compensations are indeed skills and are developed out of a need to survive. They are based on inherited qualities that our ancestors used and developed in their time, but not by choice.

If we dig deep into the construction of these ‘Compensations/Skills’ we find some interesting qualities.

I will use the example of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This is not a disorder, it is a result of a series of compensations to unresolved stress reactions.

There are three symptoms the medical model uses to define ADD.

1 These people are easily distracted. Their attention is easily redirected and they find it difficult to finish any given task. They are starters but rarely finish anything.

2 They are highly impulsive, which means they give little if any warning of change.
This is quite disturbing for those around them.

3 They are classed as hyperactive. Too much energy that is seemingly out of control.

Unfortunately for these people their compensations take them into an inability to direct their neurological activities and therefore their behaviour reflects this multi-directionalism.

The skills the ADD person has developed, are all activities that are needed at the time of early growth to organise neurological input. Something happened to these people at a crucial time of change in their neurological development that changed the direction of that development.

They went into a distress state and it became associated with the most dominant activities at the time. These were, Curiosity and the need to change focus quickly (Distractible), Creating new options based on the events at hand (Impulsive) and finally the ability to Change the direction of their Energy (Hyperactive?).

I, for one, would love to have more Curiosity, Creativity and Energy, wouldn’t you?

Anyway the point again is that while people like this have the Distress State associated with other functions, these functions are going to be disturbed.

There are two directions available for anyone who has this kind of association happening.

1 They can learn to suppress the compensations with drugs or other forms of therapy.

2 Or, they can train their nervous system to use the talents they have and turn them into skills to rewire the associations and remove the conflict.

The second option would give them a much greater chance of redirecting their attention to the things that would help them organize internally.

OK. How do we train the nervous system to give up on its existing associations?

YOU CAN’T!

What you can do is use the very same process the subconscious used in the first place to make the ‘Unholy’ alliances and turn them into usable assets. That’s right! The fact that they are there in the first place means we can find them easily. They are typically stress reactions and easy to identify.

Once we find these nasty associations we can then retrain the nervous system to ADD (pardon the pun) new and better alternatives to what is there.

Luckily there is another law that governs the subconscious responses, which is, it will always do the best it can for you with what it has. Before we start this process it has little more than some wrong associations. After the training it will have the same wrong associations but with new additions to them.

There are always better alternatives to what exists within the associations already in your brain and nervous system. Once the better options have been experienced they can be used to reassociate with the existing ones and create new neurological pathways.

Then we have the talents we created to overcome the associations but now in a usable form.

Till next article stay well. Andrew

www.neuro-training.com/blobsc

If you have any insights or comments to make please do, thanks.

Survival Code - The Facts of Life

Sunday, July 6th, 2008
Survival Code - The Facts of your Life

Information

Survival Code – The Facts are not always what the seem.

I spoke last time about the Survival Code, a mixture of your genetic preferences inherited from your parents and beyond and the learned responses from life experiences.

I want to expose some of the neurological events that make this important for you to know about.

When you were born your nervous system was nowhere near finished in its development. In fact of all the mammals on the planet, neurologically, humans are born about 16-18 months too early. But there is a real reason for this.

Human neurology places much more attention on the experiential side of neurological training than does other animal neurology. You use life experience as a way of learning how to survive in the long term. Animals on the other hand put more emphasis on immediate survival. So they walk within minutes of being born because they don’t need to learn anything new about walking.

You might say that about humans too except that humans use the neurology of walking for many more things than just walking and you become so nimble in your ability to move that you can do things with your body that animals cannot. (And they probably would not want to either)

Our neurological functions learn to be more integrated and intricate than any other on the planet.

Let’s look quickly at the process you evolve through after birth.

At birth you have two hemispheres in the brain that are wired to function in a certain genetically preferred way. But if for some reason your brain cannot use the two hemispheres it will learn to use just one. Take for example the women born with only one half of her brain. She can function very normally, though with some challenges because some functions the right brain has taken over from the left (which was not there).

In other words, what functions would have been devoted to her left brain were transferred to the right side because she had no left brain.

Be that what it may, it shows that the brain and nervous system can adapt to some of the most severe circumstances. The earlier we experience the difficulties, the earlier the brain and nervous system learn to adapt and change to meet the new circumstances. If this was done according to genetic expectations many people would die early in life.

Your nervous system can and does adapt more from learning about its environment than what it is told ‘should be’ from its genetic references.

From the first breath you take your right brain is developing faster than the left. It has the job of spatial and form recognition. It hears sounds via tonal differences rather than specific words. It recognises actions and movements and decides on the response required because of the input it receives.

It has to be the first hemisphere to advance because it’s set of characteristics help you to develop the neural processes that support your growth. You start life from a sense of generality and progress towards specification as you have more experiences that reinforce your world’s preferences.

Your right brain is a great ‘impressionist’. It recognises life as a series of impressions and also sets up the neurology to reproduce those impressions as actions or abilities later on.

Your right brain tends to accept everything without much concern for whether it is right or wrong.
At this early stage you, the child, have little idea of the definitions of self (or the world) until the left hemisphere starts its development stage after 3 years old.

Any impressions experienced by ‘the child’ from birth to 3 years old become major references for what to expect from life. Therefore anything that occurs in this time are used as memories but are not defined as we think of memories. They are impressions that are real but non-descript.

This is one of the most important jobs psychology has, to put into words the impressions that formed our nervous system and brain before 3 years old, before we had an understanding of how words can represent these early impressions.

How does this relate to ‘Facts of Life’?

These early impressions are the basis of who you think you are in the world. Your subconscious knows who you are from going through the experience of being born but has not worked out who you are in the world until it gets more feedback from that world.

Here is where things start to heat up!

If the experiences you have early in life are all in support of your natural growth, your nervous system will develop into a stable and open learning system. If the experiences are not so supportive you develop a sense of threat which activates the genetic based response called survival.

How this happens is from the reaction we call ‘stress’. Stress is really a bad name for what is really happening though. Your stress reaction is a built in neurological response to threat, i e., something that could kill you. The stress reaction is really your reaction to something you perceive could kill you. Even if it can’t actually kill you.

Your nervous system needs certain training to complete its development!

There are some specific needs your nervous system has in this early stage, one of which is direct interaction with the mother. If this is denied, you, as the child, can quickly become desperate and die from distress.

Dr. Nil Bergman from South Africa with his ‘Kangaroo Child Care System’ has shown very succinctly that the child who is separated early from the mother will grow into an adult with very predictable and serious social and neurological defects.

Your nervous system is growing at the fastest rate in your life and any event that threatens you during this period impresses on your nervous system very quickly and sometimes permanently. They become the ‘Facts of Your Life’ which your subconscious uses to know what is threatening and what is not.

This is what makes up the ‘Survival Code’.

The more threatening events you experience and the earlier you experience them, the greater number of ‘Facts of life’ you have and use to justify your survival responses.

Your ‘Facts’ could be anything that opposes your natural neurological development. The consequence of these threatening events is to teach your nervous system that it needs to survive, so it makes the ‘Survival Code’.

What are the ‘Facts’ your subconscious uses to keep your Survival Code active?

How is this directing you away from the experiences you want to have in life?
I will be able to help you find them by training the nervous system with what it needs that it never had.

In the next article I continue to go deeper into the effects your life facts have on you and how you live your life.

To your continued health and happiness.

Andrew Verity

PS Keep watching for the Stress Relief Strategies Revealed book from Neuro-Training

Neuro-Training.com/blogsc

Sunday, July 6th, 2008
The underlying cause of your Stress Anxiety and Depression

The Survival Code

How you can crack your Survival Code and save yourself a life of wasted time, energy and stress.

Most of your time is taken up consciously with everyday things which must get done. You are distracted constantly away from those things you are good at and the things that would change your life into the success you want it to be.

You are overrun with conscious input, most of which you’ll try to block out anyway. So your subconscious has the job of collecting all the other stuff you don’t want to know about consciously and process it into some usable form.

To do this your subconscious categorizes all the input you experience (even if you are not consciously aware of it) and attempts to use it where it can and store it where it can’t. It can be acting on information you are not consciously aware of. In fact, it does this most of the time.

The more you use the subconscious this way the more you invite its other activities to become stronger as well. You mostly do not know what they are either so; how much of your life is the way you consciously want it to be?

Pay attention! This is critical information for you to understand your life!!

There are some things you have to know about your subconscious!

· The subconscious runs most of what you do

· It pays close attention to what your genes are telling it

· It must survive and reproduce

· It always does the best it can to help you be better

· It can only use what it has, not what you wish it had

· If you don’t tell it what you want in the way it understands it will use what it has

· It is literal and tries to make everything simple

· It will take action before you even know there is a problem

The most important of these for our discussion now is that the subconscious must survive,
because it wants you to survive. You die, it dies.

For it to survive it has created what I call a ‘Survival Code’.

This is a mixture of genetic references and the learned behaviors you develop through your life events and experiences.

I can hear you say, “It’s good to survive isn’t it?”

And the answer is: “You have already survived! You can stop doing that now and do what your survival was preparing you for – Living!!!”

Too much of your life is spent on surviving at a subconscious level while life and the things you want slip away from you, without even noticing till it’s too late.

The Survival Code is like having two full-time jobs.

One is to survive and mobilize all the resources needed to make that survival successful, while at the same time you have a life to lead with its own demands and pressures. If you had two full-time jobs, you would be dead in a week. Yet in fact, we all have two jobs to do and some people will tell you they feel they have more than two.

The big challenge is that while we are doing survival, we cannot do many other things. The resources you use up doing survival are no longer available for the things you want in life.

Why is it a Code?

The subconscious has formed a ‘recipe’ of all the main components of the events that were threatening to you at some time in life. The more threatening the event, the more components of that event get put into your library of “Survival Facts”.

You have different ‘Facts’ you use to know when you are under threat. The problem is, you don’t know consciously which are survival facts and which are just memories. You could start remembering some event and end up getting really stressed from just remembering a threatening event. The event is not here and now but your subconscious starts to react to it as if it was real and now.

Your resources are mobilized to survive the threat via a genetic based reaction called the
Fight-Flight-Faint response. This is how you survive based on your own experience.
The command to survive is a standing (ongoing) order from the genes.

While you are doing Flight-Fight-Faint response you are preoccupied and cannot put 100% attention to what you want to be doing.

The Survival Code guarantees you will focus on survival regardless of anything else you are doing or want to do. Even this by itself is still something you can overcome, but when you make this genetic based survival response a Habit, you lose the game!

Everyone has a different code but they are all built the same way by the genes. The genetic information is at the base of the code so you need to rewrite the code in a way the subconscious thinks comes from the genes. We have some cools ways to do that.

It is a mixture of a genetic based reaction to threat and the information you have accumulated over time to build up your ‘Facts’ of survival.

Crack the code and you set yourself free.

You rewrite the code by changing your neurological reactions to stress while consciously directing your attention to ‘Changing the Facts’.

One of the assumptions you make about any fact,
is that that are real and unchangeable.

That, in neurological terms, is untrue. You can replace or associate new Facts with any life experience. It then becomes crucial for the change process to be accepted, that the way you make the new associations must be recognizable by the subconscious as a valid genetic process. You can do just that and I will show you how in this book.

The Facts are usually life events that you did not like or that were not good for your natural development. When a young baby is taken away from its mother, it will become more and more distressed until something tells it “You could die”. The response will become stronger over time and the code becomes stronger.

Meet your best friend - Your Nervous System.

Your Nervous System has connections to every part of who you are and can respond to any stimulus. It constantly monitors changes and is connected to systems that can be used to read those changes.

It can be used as a feedback tool to know when you are heading in the right direction with the change process and indicate when a change of action is needed. It’s like having a spy inside the subconscious that will tell information if you push the right button.

Using the Nervous System to monitor cracking the Survival Code, we have to also look at the Brain.
The brain is a mixture of Nervous System, Mind and Genetics all in one integrated package.

If someone gave you one hundred million neurons and said, “Here, go design a Brain.”

What would you do? You certainly could not reproduce what you use now and even scientists who make it their job to know how it works, still don’t understand everything it can do.
But the subconscious does!

The brain is made of various divisions that seem to compete for the ‘user rights’ to lots of different types of information. It is alive and not unlike a muscle, in that if you don’t use it, some of its functions are sacrificed so the activity you are practicing can become better.

The two sides of the brain have learned to develop certain functions different to each other. They attempt to coordinate as much as possible but when the Survival Code is activated only the left hemisphere initiates actions. Some parts of the brain are activated to help the survival take place while other parts are inhibited, either so they can’t interfere or it is not economical to have them running when survival seems more important.

There is a very specific action the brain takes when the Survival Code is activated. It firstly slows done your ‘Corpus Callosum’, the connecting bridge between the two hemispheres by changing the chemistry of the area. Secondly it shuts down other ‘unwanted’ activities and thirdly it preserves energy for the survival rather than thinking of planning.

Let’s face it. If you are about to be eaten by a dinosaur you don’t need the part required for future planning to take over and create a conversation with the animal to convince it that “maybe eating you isn’t such a good idea in the long term”.

A lot of blood is mobilized into the muscles of your body to fight or flight, while some parts of the brain remain empty other parts are needed to control the fight flight process.

Even though this is an ancient survival action it has been evolved to be the most efficient. So when you see the dinosaur you immediately activate your Survival Code which sets in place a series of neurological events that try to keep you alive.

Well it’s pretty easy to see how surviving a dinosaur could be necessary, but what about all the other things you need to survive?. Some are inherited because of the nature of the evolution of the survival mechanism, but most are collected experiences that you have been through and that your nervous system has learned about.

These learned ‘FACTS’ are stored in your ‘Survival Code’ and used to alert the Fight-Flight mechanism to activate. The code is unique to each individual and yet uses the same genetic responses to act out its primary need – survival.

What if there is a ‘Fact’ in your code that says “TAXATION”. Then anything you associate with taxation can start up the Survival Code and your subconscious immediately goes into survival mode. The dinosaur you could run from or fight but what do you do with a letter from the taxation dept. Do you fight it? Run from it? Pretend it’s not there (the modern version of ‘faint’). None of these options make the threat go away.

So now you have a survival mechanism in action but no way for it to be effective. Therefore less chance to turn it off again. Usually the survival mechanism will reset after a good fight or run and the hormones and blood changes that take place during the survival activity are put back ready to survive the next threat.

It could be worse!

Another thing to consider is that if the mechanism is not reset, it becomes a constant action that is never turned off. This means that you are on alert all the time for ANYTHING that may be associated with any type of threat.

Now the subconscious is constantly looking for what the threat may be because its Survival Code is still activated. Anything can now become the focus of the survival response. The effect of this is commonly seen as ‘stress’. Even just asking someone how they are today out of courtesy, may be met with an angry response.

Stress reactions are a signal that the Survival Code is active and needs to be reset.

Until its reset, you will continue to be stressed and reactive.

If allowed to continue, this situation can and will create more problems than need to be there.

The solution is inside you

The subconscious is so adaptable that you can use it to tell you what it needs via the nervous system. By using the systems connected to the Nervous System we have been able to find ways of associating new and better options to what your subconscious thinks it knows. Adding new information into the subconscious this way means you have control over what you rewrite and the process of how you do it ensures the subconscious sees it as important as the old ‘Code’.

That means you can reset the code and even better, rewrite its content so that no further stress reactions take place unless your life really is threatened.

By doing this, your brain can maintain many of the functions that would otherwise be turned off and use them to create new options to what before seemed like an impossible situation. These parts of the brain are needed to input new information into the Survival Code to eliminate unnecessary information that has found its way into the Code.

It’s like being able to do a spring clean of the subconscious so it can focus on what you want rather than on what you don’t want.

Enjoy.

Andrew Verity

PS. Watch for solutions to retraining your Nervous System in Stress Relief Strategies Revealed book from Neuro-Training.com

www.neuro-training.com/blogsc