Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scared of Asking for a Date or Favour? Take a walk

We all have what is known as the episodic memory (Semantic and Procedural are the other memories). To have a sharp mind and make it work on peak levels we need to make sure all the three memories fire regularly. For children particularly, students, its very important. However the burden of education and low parental time, have made life very monotonous. Children hardly have time to attend family functions, go picnicking with family, go on treks etc Its studies studies all the way.

What makes the episodic memories kick? In the year 2000 I attended an alumini meeting in my school and got to meet all my class mates after many many years. Grey hairs, tired looks, dimmed sight. But I realised all most all of them relived their life in school, the energy seemed to surface from no where. We spoke our days playing hand cricket, our teachers, the misadventures, the punishments, etc etc. What was kicking in their brain was the episodic memory. The avalance of memories and the surge of emotions actually made each one of us 'de-age' and feel a lot younger and stronger.

If you are not giving an opportunity for this episodic memories to fire and fill your mind with mirth and joy then you are exposing yourself to depression. If good events dont kick of episodic memories, depression and anxiety will do it. This would mean that the brain will magnify insults and alter the working of the brain in a way that the episodic memories dont exist at all. Excess activity of the stress response system sends emotional centers of the brain into overdrive so that negative events make a disproportionate impact and hijack rational response systems. Researchers believe that some people react with anxiety to stressful life events, seeing danger lurking ahead everywhere—in applying for a job, asking for a favor, asking for a date. People who have either condition typically overestimate the risk in a situation and underestimate their own resources for coping. Often enough, a lack of social skills is at the root.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people to monitor the environment for the troubling emotional landmines that seem to set them off. That actually changes metabolic activity in the cortex, the thinking brain, to modulate mood states.Exercise is an important adjunct to any therapy. Exercise directly alters levels of neurohormones. Exercise is an important adjunct to any therapy. Exercise directly alters levels of neurohormones.
However, just telling a distressed person to exercise is futile, as depression destroys initiative. The best thing a loved one can do is to simply announce: "Let's go for a walk." Then accompany the person out the door.

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