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The Brain's "Hope Circuit"

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Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about something called the hope circuit. Have you ever heard the phrase learned helplessness? This was coined by the psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Steve Mayer.

And it's the idea that if an animal or person is exposed to difficult experiences over and over, but they don't feel like their actions can stop the experience from arising, they'll start to shut down. They'll get depressed and they won't feel more motivated. The idea is that they've learned that there's nothing they can do, so why try. Learned helplessness. And maybe you've experienced this in your own life at times.

Going through repeatedly difficult experiences and not feeling like there's anything you can do to, to help yourself. It can be demoralizing, and it can lead to a sense of helplessness. However, there's new research that has just come out by Steve Mayer that shows learned helplessness is not actually learned. Instead that state of feeling helpless, helplessness is our default response to a threatening situation, which is, to curl up in a ball, protect ourselves, get quiet and do nothing. It's a protective mechanism that we have as humans and as animals, our default response in the brain to threatening events.

But what Dr. Mayer's research now shows is that there's actually a circuitry in the brain that overrides this helplessness response. Stimulating a part of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus, research suggests this circuitry is associated with hope and is now being termed the hope circuit. So when we fall into that state of helplessness, which a lot of us are familiar with, especially around difficult events. It's not because we've learned to be helplessness, helpless.

It's because we're not activating our hope circuit that overrides the helplessness response. One simple way to work with this in your life is to simply ask, what part of the situation can I control? What do I hope that I can change? Where do I feel like maybe this moment can get better or seeing a positive future that feels very hard to access? Once you feel like you can influence the ,experience you activate that circuitry in the brain. And it overrides that helplessness response. Hope is powerful. And at what, it's what makes us unique as human beings.

We'll talk some more about this in the meditation. And as always thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you shortly and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

The Brain's "Hope Circuit"

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about something called the hope circuit. Have you ever heard the phrase learned helplessness? This was coined by the psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Steve Mayer.

And it's the idea that if an animal or person is exposed to difficult experiences over and over, but they don't feel like their actions can stop the experience from arising, they'll start to shut down. They'll get depressed and they won't feel more motivated. The idea is that they've learned that there's nothing they can do, so why try. Learned helplessness. And maybe you've experienced this in your own life at times.

Going through repeatedly difficult experiences and not feeling like there's anything you can do to, to help yourself. It can be demoralizing, and it can lead to a sense of helplessness. However, there's new research that has just come out by Steve Mayer that shows learned helplessness is not actually learned. Instead that state of feeling helpless, helplessness is our default response to a threatening situation, which is, to curl up in a ball, protect ourselves, get quiet and do nothing. It's a protective mechanism that we have as humans and as animals, our default response in the brain to threatening events.

But what Dr. Mayer's research now shows is that there's actually a circuitry in the brain that overrides this helplessness response. Stimulating a part of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus, research suggests this circuitry is associated with hope and is now being termed the hope circuit. So when we fall into that state of helplessness, which a lot of us are familiar with, especially around difficult events. It's not because we've learned to be helplessness, helpless.

It's because we're not activating our hope circuit that overrides the helplessness response. One simple way to work with this in your life is to simply ask, what part of the situation can I control? What do I hope that I can change? Where do I feel like maybe this moment can get better or seeing a positive future that feels very hard to access? Once you feel like you can influence the ,experience you activate that circuitry in the brain. And it overrides that helplessness response. Hope is powerful. And at what, it's what makes us unique as human beings.

We'll talk some more about this in the meditation. And as always thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you shortly and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Duration

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