BRAINJACKING

I’m electronically vulnerable . . . gulp . . . and I’m not talking about my

cell phone, or computer.  I have a pacemaker (who I’ve written about many times)

Tallulah PaceHead, my Cranky Pacemaker

and a home monitoring device which sits on my bedroom dresser and electronically sends information to my doctor who can immediately see how my heart is beating . . .  or not.  

 judy’s Pacemaker, Tallulah Pacehead

After reading this news synopsis I have vowed to be more loving to my friends and VERY solicitous of  my enemies.  Anyone with a bit of malice could hijack* Tallulah.

“Medical implants with wireless functionality are becoming increasingly common. They can be programmed, controlled and recharged without the need for surgery or wires.”

“Now cybersecurity experts have warned that medical device hacking could take an even more disturbing twist as patients begin to receive implants in their brains. Known as Deep Brain Stimulation, these devices deliver electrical pulses to neurons in the brain on or off. They are already being used to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, but are being trialed in patients suffering from Tourettes Syndrome, chronic pain, depression, anorexia, mood disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder.”

“Researchers at the University of Oxford warn wireless programming used to control these brain implants could be hijacked by hackers to induce pain, tremors or even alter their behavior.”

“While more convenient, these wireless medical devices are also far more vulnerable to hacking.

*Former US Vice President Dick Cheney had the wireless function on his pacemaker turned off in case foreign powers tried to use it to assassinate him.”

Ay iiiii iiiiiiiii, I’m in BIG trouble.  I’m a Democrat

Frankly Freddie – A man for ALL seasons (and a calendar too)

Santa CLAUStrophobia:

Fear of fly-by night men who are partial to the color red, use environmentally appropriate transportation and make their employees wear pointy shoes.

This phobia is often triggered by anticipation of shoveling snow and spending time with relatives in closed quarters.   It is characterized by over-spending, over-indulging, delusions of family harmony, leaving cookies and milk out to spoil and . . .  lying to children.

Have a HUMAN(E) Christmas!

Lickingly LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,

Freddie

P.S.  My Humans say to tell you to have a DOG-GONE

Merry Christmas AND . . .

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Peggy’s Read – The Upside of Stress

I read 2-3 books at the same time: One is for chilling out (usually a mystery), one is for the book group I’ve belonged to for years and one is because I love science.

My latest read, by Kelly McGonigal, PhD, “The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to get Good at it”, was enlightening.

McGonigal was interested in a longitudinal (1998- 2016) study of 30,0000 adults, showing that high levels of stress increased the risk of dying by 43% BUT ONLY if the person believed stress was harmful. (PA)

Those with high stress levels who did not believe it was harmful to their health had the lowest risk of death, lower than those who had little stress.

Popular opinion has been to avoid stress because it’s harmful.  This book made me rethink avoiding stressful situations and reframing stress as a challenge and help build resources and confidence.

Stress? Or a challenge? 

Here’s some of the interesting research and information from The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to get Good at it”:

Simply watching a” stress is enhancing” video to change someone’s mindset made a difference in the participants hormones that are produce during stress: cortisol and DHEA. The ratio of the two, called the growth index, determines the effects of stress. Higher levels of DHEA help people thrive under stress, and be resilience when stress is very high.
The researchers followed over time two groups:  a mindset change group that watched videos of the positive effects of stress and examples of thriving under stress and a control group that didn’t see the videos.  The group that was exposed to the positive effects of stress:

  • Continued to see stress in a more positive way.
  • Their depression and anxiety was reduced
  • Had fewer health problems
  • Were more focused and more productive.
  • These brief trainings resulted in lasting change.

There was no change in the control group.

Maybe non-life threatening stress should be called

the “challenge response”? 

Stress? Or meaningful activity-or both?

Some positive aspects of stress the book details:

  • The most common response to acute (as opposed to chronic) stress in people is growth and resilience.
  • Fight or flight not only gives you a bodily response to stress but can increase motivation for change.
  • Experience with stress when it’s not life-threatening can increase resilience. This response increases energy and focus.  It releases higher DHEA, raising the growth index. Artists and athletes show this when engaged in skill.
  • Oxytocin improves empathy and decrease fear, and increases social connections.
  • DHEA and nerve growth factor increases neuroplasticity to help you learn from stressful events.
    Cortisol and oxytocin help decrease inflammatory response and help recovery

Studies show stressed people are happier, maybe because they are engaged in meaningful things… jobs, raising kids, and  other projects. A full, busy life is full of stress.

Sometimes it is good to try to cam down, but other times it is better to say “I’m excited” when anxious. Cortisol and adrenaline actually improve performance during test taking,  Athletes say they are excited (rather than stressed) before a game which helps focus and determination to win.

When I think back to times I learned, changed and grew the most, high stress was ever present.  It was a fascinating read and while I still don’t relish most stressful situations I learned stress is ever present and whether I focus on the positive or negative aspects my brain, body and life are all impacted in critical ways.

Peggy

 

 

Pausitively Tuesday: The Main Thing

“The main thing is to keep the main thing

the main thing.”

Stephen Covey

I saw this sign at the Crab Cooker. I read it twice.  The first time thinking it was strange.  and then the second time:  “Whoa that’s profound!”

The main thing is the thing to remain the main thing?
Mainly the main thing is the thing to remember?
The main thing is always the main thing for the main thing?
The thing that’s main is the main thing to be the main thing?
The main thing is being the main thing of main things?
Remember the Maine.
 
Judy
 
 

A tenth of a second between me and Barbie

I’m standing in front of the open refrigerator, ready to get a snack. Even as my hand moves toward the food, my brain is still deciding what to do, still in the middle of choosing my hand passes the carrot sticks and grabs the chocolate cake.  Who knew?

If it weren’t for my chocolate lips I’d be a Barbie, Judy’s Journal page

  • “When we make a decision, we’re really choosing between several concrete plans of action and not abstract ideas.  Your brain is planning the necessary actions to execute all potential decisions. In fact, you’re still deciding when you move, and we can see that because of how you move.”
  • “How we move gives us a lot of clues into how people make decisions. For example, decisive choices tend to be a straight movement in one direction. But if we aren’t sure, the physical route we take might curve or hesitate. We can use that as an index of the preferences revealed in a movement as it is evolving.”
  • “Using this process, we can begin to identify which equations the brain uses to make these types of decisions. If we can identify these equations, we can develop targeted therapies and interventions for people who have disordered decision-making.” “If we understand exactly what is going wrong, we will be better able to intervene.  Compulsive gambling behaviour is an example of a disordered decision-making process that is impulsive, perseverative and ineffective.

My reaching for ice cream to go with the cake is adisordered decision-making process” . . .  I knew . . .

(jw)

Want to make better decisions? Slow down, Wispinki says:

“One way you can make better decisions is to wait a bit longer.” 

“That might be a way in which everyday decisions can be improved. It could be as little as a tenth of a second.”