Published on November 18, 2016
1. Dr. Gabija Toleikyte Neuroscience of Self Change
2. Warm up
3. What brought you here?
4. Neuroscience of Self Change • Brain • Personality • Habits • Break • 5 brain activity based steps to create a lasting change • Pub discussions
6. Me • Neuroscientist • PhD – University College London, UK • MSc – Helsinki University, FI • BSc – VU, LT • Business and career coach at SuperG Coaching • Applied neuroscience seminars for companies, schools, universities, public • Neuroscience in schools • Lecturer at Middlesex University
7. Brain Fixed Live Photo by Robert Ludlow
8. Parts of the brain Book “Neuroscience” Purves et al, 2004
9. Human brain
10. Phineas Gage (1823-60) http://onlinestorybank.com/2014/03/the-strange-case-of-mr-phineas-gage/
11. Prefrontal cortex • Execu&ve func&ons: reasoning, planning, decision making, cri1cal thinking, problem solving. • Personality: sense of self, values, self-control, mo1va1on.
12. Prefrontal cortex suppression • Inability to control emotions • Impulsivity, lack of inhibition • Frustration, easily provoked aggression • Lack of motivation • Lack of energy
13. Neurons • Brain contains over 86 billion of neurons. • Brain cells which contain information. • Neurons communicate with one another via small electrical currents (nerve impulse) and chemical signals (neurotransmitters).
14. Neural networks • Neurons are connected into neural networks to convey specific tasks. • Each thought, action or feeling is created by the activation of a certain neural network/group of networks.
15. Brain “highways” • Actions/thoughs/feelings which we repeat most often form brain “highways” where informations flows faster and more acqurately. • These networks define our default thoughts, emotional profile and personality.
16. Brain plasticity • Our brain is changing every day! • New neurons (neurogenesis) • Death of unused neurons (apoptosis) • New connections between neurons • Changed power of old connections
17. Brain plasticity and age • Neurogenesis happens though all of our life, thus, to there is never too late to learn and change. • Neurogenesis is more active when we are encountering new information. • Physically and mentally active life reduces a risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
18. Why do we usually do things the same way?
19. Habits • Majority of things we do • Personal, group, society • Saving energy • Can focus on other things • Known outcome • Safety/comfort
20. Habit loop
21. Junk food habit loop
22. Junk food habit loop
23. Smoking habit loop
24. Phone checking habit loop
26. Habit loop of procrastination Doing anything but task Temporary emotional relief
27. Cues • Time of day • Place (e.g. office, home, pub) • Emotional / mental state (e.g. tired, stressed, sad) • Person / people • Proceeding action
28. Habits triggered by place
30. Habits triggered by emotional state
31. What do you do when you feel unpleasant emotions?
32. Rewards • Physiological needs (thurst, hunger) • Change in emotional state • Psychological
33. 6 human needs 1. Safety / security 2. Variety 3. Significance 4. Love / connection 5. Growth 6. Contribution beyond yourself
34. Changing habit
35. What is the habit you would like to change?
36. What is your trigger?
37. What is your reward?
38. What other action could give the same reward?
39. Changing habits • If you want your brain to change, create that into a habit. • Get aware of your existing habits: cue, routine, reward. • Maintain the same cue and reward and change routine.
41. Can we change?
42. In order for us to change our brain needs to change first
43. Triune Brain Model (McLean, 1990) Mammal brain Lizard brain Human brain
44. Difference between brain areas • Lizard brain – staying alive: breathing, heartbeat, digestion. • Mammal brain (limbic system) – safety: emotions, connection, memory, habits • Human brain (neocortex) – change: higher cognitive functions, learning, decision making, colaboration
45. Lizard brain • Allows us to stay alive • Breathing • Heartbeat • Digestion • Always active (day and night) • Small energy consumption per cell
46. Mammal brain • Active most of the time • Allows us to be on “autopilot” • Emotions, habits, skills • Medium energy consumption per cell
47. Human brain • Active when we are making decisions, changing habits, learning, controlling emotions. • Very expensive for the brain energy wise! • Active sporadically only when needed.
48. Brain and Energy • When we are tired or stressed there is not enough energy for Human Brain, hence we revert to old habits – automatic, less energy consumption. • In that state we cannot make best decions or learn new habits.
49. Changing Habits #1 • At the start of change reduce the mental load and take lots of quality breaks. • Do the actions desired in the morning or after the break.
50. How could I implement more quality rest during my day?
51. Too much novelty creates anxiety • Novelty activates amygdala. • Amygdala evokes an instinctive fear and anxiety which pushes us to act old way. • Amygdala deactivates large chunks of neocortex, thus, we cannot evaluate the situation rationally.
52. Brain in depressed-like state
53. Changing Habits #2 • Implement a change in small bits maintaining majority of elements unaltered – feeling of familiarity.
54. What are the steps in creating this change?
55. Pleasure or pain? • We naturally avoid situations where we experience pain and seek the ones we experience pleasure.
56. Pain and pleasure centers in the brain
57. Parasympathetic nervous system • Release of dopamin – pleasure and motivation. • Release of oxytocin – dilation of blood vesicles – more oxygen and glucose to neocortex. • Intelectually, emotionally and perceptually best state, most creative and best decision making.
58. Changing Habits #3 • Regularly rewarded yourself for doing the actions new way (+ reimforcement), make the process fun. • Get clear on the benefits of this change.
59. What are the benefits of this change?
60. Sympathetic nervous system • Activated by stress and threat • Adrenalin and noradrenalin – contraction of blood vesicles, lack of oxygen and glucose for neocortex. • Tunel vision/thinking, rejecting new ideas, blocked creativity. • Cortisol – weakened immune system and reduced neurogenesis.
61. Changing Habits #4 • Manage Brain Stress Response - get aware of triggers and avoid them, stress reduction activities, support, reduce negative self talk. • Get clear on the drawback of staying where you are.
62. What helps me to reduce stress?
63. What am I loosing now and in future if I don’t change?
64. How long it takes to make a new habit?
65. Changing Habits #5 • To create a system where change is being supported and awarded for 1-3 month. • To create a suppot system: social accountability, personal coaching.
66. How could I make it consistent for 1 month?
67. Summary • Our brain can change, however, that requires energy, attention and effort. To create a lasting change we need to create it into a habit (trigger, routine, reward). • Stress and exhaustion push us to act in old ways. • Implement a change in small steps maintaining majority of elements unaltered. • Reward yourself and make process pleasant. • Manage stress response. • Changing habits take time (1-3 months) since new neural networks need to be formed.
68. Neuroscience of Successful Relationships • 26th of NOV, SAT,1-4PM, LONDON • Male and Female Brain • Developmental stages of Men • Communication in relationships • Embracing differences • Understanding the other persons • Languages of Love • https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ neuroscience-of-successful- relationships- tickets-28886996785
69. Individual consultation • Want to create a lasting change • Want to create better emotional wellbeing • Want to achieve more • Career change • Improve relationships • http://supergcoaching.com/testimonials/
70. Thank you! www.facebook.com/supergcoaching/ firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/supergabija www.supergcoaching.com www.mybrainduringtheday.com www.linkedin.com/in/PhD-Gabija-Toleikyte