High expectations for performance in both life and work are common, but what do you do when you get stuck and you’re not able to achieve the results you desire? In this episode, Mireille and Adam talk through the different aspects of perfectionism and ways in which is can be adaptive and helpful and other ways in which it poses additional challenges. What happens when we avoid the possibility of failure as opposed to simply having high standards for our performance? How can we begin to focus on healthy striving as opposed to reaching for perfection?
Given all of the recent changes and adjustments many individuals have made to working remotely, Mireille and Adam discuss some of the relevant aspects of working from home. How do you develop habits that work for you to be the most productive? Which factors make a difference to be successful in navigating challenges that emerge and how can you develop ways of staying socially connected while being physically distant?
Mireille and Adam discuss the process of forming memories, the various types of memory, anxieties, phobias, panic attacks, and how our attention and our memory relates to learning. Where you place your attention influences what you might remember. What you are able to remember influences how you feel, the choices you make, and your future outcomes.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak being declared a global pandemic and a national emergency here in the United States as well as many other countries around the world, it would be extremely difficult to have a serious conversation here on Brain Science that’s not colored by today’s very serious events. Mireille and Adam discuss the anxiety, fear, and panic that many may be facing. How do we navigate the unseeable unknown? How should we respond to change and the state of the world we are now living in?
Don’t panic. Prepare for change. Be adaptable. Be resilient.
Mireille and Adam discuss the mechanism of attention as an allocation of one’s resources. If we can think of attention as that of a lens, we can practice choosing what we give our attention to recognizing that multiple things, both externally and internally, routinely compete for our attention. Distraction can also be useful when we utilize it intentionally to manage the focus of our attention.
Mireille and Adam discuss shame as an emotional and experiential construct. We dive into the neural structures involved in processing this emotion as well as the factors and implications of our experience of shame. Shame is a natural response to the threat of vulnerability and perception of oneself as defective or inherently “not enough.”
Mireille and Adam dig deeper into empathy as a construct. What key brain structures are involved? How can we better understand empathy to be able to better navigate ourselves and our relationships with others both at home and in the workplace?
Mireille and Adam explore the habit loop, the role of environment as a cue, behavior change, the role of dopamine, willpower as a finite resource, and the impact of social influences on habits.
As with any change, we need to collect data. Instead of trying to change a habit right away, treat yourself like a scientist in a data gathering stage and experiment with different rewards to better understand your habit loops. Making and breaking a habit is different for everyone.
Mireille and Adam explore the importance of relationships and the concept of attachment. We often think of ourselves as individuals, but our lives are spent embedded within the context of social relationships. These relationships influence and shape our brains, which deeply influences who we are.
In this inaugural episode, Mireille and Adam explore what it means to be human at the most basic level. Our goal is to explore the inner-workings of the human brain to better understand our humanity. What are we capable of? What are the common experiences of life we all share? We start by asking the question, “what are the fundamentals of being human?”