February 19th, 2015

Update.

We made the campaign goal in the nick of time. Indiegogo allows continued funding. So please consider giving. You can donating anything from $1 and up. Every penny is appreciated!

Heard this about my Indiegogo campaign: Hi Thomas , our blog is interested in your project. We’re doing a spotlight on Indiegogo campaigns and would like to include you in the article. Great news.

Please visit and think of donating any amount. http://igg.me/at/trwhelpothers/x/9598087 The more traffic I get the more I get featured, which will help a lot.

Compassion and understanding for all creatures big and small.

 

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ON A FENCE: All creatures need to share

With the gutting of the middle class many people need counseling and coaching but cannot afford to pay—often, even a co-payment: the homeless, those on Medicare & Medicaid, Obamacare, etc. This is a campaign to help Thomas Ramey Watson, Ph.D. coach and counsel them for little to no cost.

About This Campaign

This is my first time using this platform, so please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Recently I started a free Grief and Loss support group for those who are trying to find meaning in their sorrow, help others, and heal. The group meets once a month in downtown Denver. We have started with several people, almost evenly divided between male and female, all but one over 50. I was impressed with how many issues everyone shares. All are educated and have been employed in various professions.

A big hurdle is that people need to get more regular care than once a month. How they can afford it is another issue. Many cannot pay the co-payments that even Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare require.

 

 

Is there anything more?
March 4th, 2015

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life
after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something
after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be
later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life
would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we
will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses
that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our
mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we
need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically
excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different
than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one
has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the
after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes
us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and
she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If
Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her.
It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not
exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t
exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus
and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her
loving voice, calling down from above.”

— Útmutató a Léleknek

There’s a master “circadian clock” in your brain that maintains your rhythms of sleeping and waking — and for the first time, scientists may have found a way to control it.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered a “reset” button for this biological clock, which could pave the way for more effective treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), jet lag and some of the negative health effects of shift work.

The biological clock is located in the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) — a tiny region within the hypothalamus, a section of the brain that controls hormone production. The SCN maintains a 24-hour cycle of rest and activity that helps us figure out when we should be eating and sleeping. The cycle is also linked to biological activities like hormone regulation, brain wave activity and cell regeneration. And while these rhythms are regulated in the brain, they’re affected by external cues like light and temperature.

More.

Ghost Boy” author Martin Pistorius was trapped inside his own body for over a decade. He joins HuffPost Live to discuss the emotional toll of being unable to move or communicate with the world around him, and the joy of waking up.

Originally aired on February 3, 2015

More.

Mental strength requires a three-pronged approach — managing our thoughts, regulating our emotions, and behaving productively despite our circumstances. While all three areas can be a struggle, it’s often our thoughts that make it most difficult to be mentally strong.

As we go about our daily routines, our internal monologue narrates our experience. Our self-talk guides our behavior and influences the way we interact with others. It also plays a major role in how you feel about yourself, other people, and the world in general.

Quite often, however, our conscious thoughts aren’t realistic. Instead, they’re irrational and inaccurate. Believing our irrational thoughts can lead to a variety of problems, including communication issues, relationship problems, and unhealthy decisions.

Whether you’re striving to reach your personal or professional goals, the key to success often starts with recognizing and replacing inaccurate thoughts. The most common thinking errors can be divided into these 10 categories, which are adapted from David Burns book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.

More.

Those with more reactive amygdalae at the start of the study were found to experience more severe symptoms of anxiety and depression in response to later stressful life events. However, an overactive amygdala alone was not enough to predict anxiety and depression. These symptoms had to first be triggered by a stressful life event.

These findings suggest that identifying “biomarkers” — measurable indications of the brain’s biological state — that may be able to predict later psychiatric conditions could be a promising line of research, opening up new possibilities for diagnosis and early intervention for patients with anxiety and depression.

“With continued research leading to the identification of additional biomarkers, including genes, our long-term goal is to inform efforts to prevent the experience of disabling levels of mental illness based on an individual’s specific form of risk,” Swartz said.

More.

According to the clip [on link], dogs’ noses have about 300 million olfactory receptor cells in their noses. Humans? A measly 5 million to 6 million. And in dogs, the system dedicated to processing smells takes up more relative brain area compared to humans. These disparities lead scientists to believe that dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than our own.

That’s pretty impressive. And unlike humans, dogs smell “in stereo” — that is, they smell separately with each nostril. That helps them figure out precisely where smells are coming from.

On top of that, dogs have a special organ called the vomeronasal organ, which lets them sniff out hormones released by animals and humans — alerting them to our emotional states, and even helping them tell when we’re pregnant or sick.

That’s certainly nothing to turn up your nose at.

More.

Happiness is good for you.

Psychology research shows that happy people make more money, perform better at work, live longer, and have better marriages than everyone else.

But the causes of happiness are elusive — philosophers have been trying to figure it out for thousands of years.

Over the past few decades psychological science has found a few consistent trends in what makes people happy. As the Gym Lion blog reports, happiness is less a matter of what you have than the things you do.

Here are a few of the top happiness-inducing behaviors. . .
More.

In blanket terms, OCD is characterized by two things: obsessions (intrusive, recurring thoughts) and compulsions (behaviors, typically repetitive, that are performed to lessen the anxiety of the thoughts). But the disorder can be difficult to identify because it can present in so many different ways.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines OCD as a “disease of doubt,” in which individuals experience “pathological doubt” because they have trouble distinguishing between probable and highly unlikely events.

“The sufferer can get stuck in something of a behavioral loop, where the thoughts recur and the compulsions recur non-stop,” Hyman told The Huffington Post. “They repeat many times during the day, causing a great deal of impairment to the person’s ability to function.”

In the case of “S,” the anonymous man interviewed on Invisibilia, he was able to seek therapy and the thoughts subsided, but what about other people like him?

Here are four important truths about OCD that will change the way you see the disease.

Obsessions are more than just worries.

The obsessions that characterize OCD occur in the mind “spontaneously and intrusively,” Hyman said, adding: “There is tremendous fear and anxiety attached to the thought.”

Researchers believe OCD thoughts are the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, which results in an inability to filter out undesired thoughts, possibly due to low serotonin levels.

However, Hyman emphasizes that the thoughts of people with OCD are not substantially different than the thoughts of people without OCD. Research on the content of thoughts has shown that anyone can have an out-of-character intrusive thought (for instance, you might think, What if I was to push this old lady into the oncoming train? when standing on the subway platform). The person with OCD, however, relates to it in a different way — they might grossly misinterpret the thought to mean that they are a dangerous person, whereas the non-OCD person will not take the thought so seriously.

More.

In a section of his 1843 masterwork Either/Or: A Fragment of Life (public library), which also gave us Kierkegaard on our greatest source of unhappiness, the Danish philosopher defines boredom as a sense of emptiness and examines it not as an absence of stimulation but as an absence of meaning — an idea that also explains why it’s possible, today more than ever, to be overstimulated but existentially bored.

………………………………………

This he counters with the correct strategy — a method akin to mindfulness training, which emerges again and again, across every major spiritual tradition and secular school of thought, as our most promising gateway to happiness. Kierkegaard writes:

The method I propose does not consist in changing the soil but, like proper crop rotation, consists in changing the method of cultivation and the kinds of crops. Here at once is the principle of limitation, the sole saving principle in the world. The more a person limits himself, the more resourceful he becomes. A solitary prisoner for life is extremely resourceful; to him a spider can be a source of great amusement… What a meticulous observer one becomes, detecting every little sound or movement. Here is the extreme boundary of that principle that seeks relief not through extensity but through intensity.

More.

Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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