English (United Kingdom)French (Fr)Russian (CIS)Espa
Home Library Tutorials Neurohacking Tutorial 9 - Emotional Stability & Unconscious Mind - NHA Guide To Methods and Technology
Neurohacking Tutorial 9 - Emotional Stability & Unconscious Mind - NHA Guide To Methods and Technology PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 268
PoorBest 
Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Friday, 20 July 2012 21:37
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 9 - Emotional Stability & Unconscious Mind
Structure, Function and Behavior
From Automation to Autonomy
What Happens If Things Go Wrong?
The Unconscious Mind
NHA Guide To Methods and Technology
Getting Into The Garden
The Most Important Bits to Remember
Hacks and Exercices
Notes, References and Answers
All Pages

 

 

 

NHA Guide to Methods & Technology

 

Because processing incorporates feedback, in NH terms the links between sensorimotor neurotransmission, behavior and emotion gives us another of those lovely 'multidependent' systems that can be hacked at various points; for example:

  • Control neurotransmission (chemistry) and you modulate emotion and behavior.
  • Control behavior and you modulate neurotransmission and emotion.
  • Control emotion and you modulate neurotransmission and behavior.

 

Bear this in mind when selecting your methods, because one of the three will almost certainly be easier for you personally.


For Emotional Stability & Congruous Association

In order to ensure congruous association, it helps if the conscious mind and the unconscious mind can communicate with each other quickly and well. Congruity of association is important for emotional stability as well as many other major intelligence factors, so if we are 'in two minds' with the front end striving to be society's ideal and the rear end trying to follow biological intent and entelechy, it's a priority to improve communication between networks and build up the physical connections between them. We cannot expect congruity from any system if parts of it cannot 'talk to' each other.

There are two 'ways in' for building up the communication highways that enable strong conscious awareness of unconscious content (and intent); Bottom-up, and Top-down. Bottom-up methods consist of adapting conscious awareness to be more aware of unconscious content (adapt yourself to suit the context, for example hypnosis or chemicals). Top-down methods consist of adapting unconscious knowledge to be more easily understood by the conscious mind (adapt the context to suit yourself, for example Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or input control). You should already know enough to be aware that fastest results come from doing both regularly.

Main Bottom-up methods and some Top-down methods for emotional stability and congruous association are discussed here. More Top-down methods will be discussed in the next tutorial.


Lifestyle & Behavioral

Garbage In = Garbage Out

In your input control you should by now have considered all of the following: diet, sleep, exercise, environment, chemicals, media, your own thoughts, and the company you keep. Here are some important points to remember:

Nobody is going to achieve emotional stability if their blood sugar levels are up and down like a hookers knickers. There may come a point where you have to choose between sugar and sanity. If this happens, remember that sugar can be slowly replaced with honey, sanity cannot. [

There is some promising research on the correlation between healthy gut flora and emotional stability [86]

Waking up to a rush of cortisol every morning due to an alarm clock is not good for emotional stability. The very name of the device gives its effects away!

Short bursts of intense exercise are better for the brain and body than long periods of working out. [87]

 

Meditation

Is well known for its effects on emotional stability and ability to initiate the relaxation response. However, as always everyone is different and beginning long periods of meditation from an anxious state of mind is probably a bad idea. Simple relaxation exercises like yoga or tai chi or simple activities such as gardening are very helpful to some.

 

Recent (2012) meditation research has focused on creating new techniques mixing meditation and other methods to reduce destructive sentiments while improving social and emotional behavior.

For example, researchers developed a 42-hour, eight-week training program that provided good results, integrating secular meditation practices with techniques learned from the scientific study of emotion. It incorporated three categories of meditative practice:

1. Concentration practices involving sustained, focused attention on a specific mental or sensory experience

2. Mindfulness practices involving the close examination of one's body and feelings

3. Directive practices designed to promote empathy and compassion toward others.

 

Students learned to better understand the relationship between emotion and cognition, and to better recognize emotions in others and their own emotional patterns so they could better resolve problems in relationships. In addition, depressed mood levels dropped by more than half. In a follow-up assessment five months later, many of the positive changes remained. [88]

Meditation has also been discovered to improve awareness of subliminal input (often thus rendering it less powerful) [89]

 

Mindfulness

Other studies have examined mindfulness, aka "integrative body-mind training (IBMT)" and its effects; researchers report improved mood changes coinciding with (measurable) increased axonal density -- more brain-signaling connections -- and an expansion of myelin, the protective fatty tissue that surrounds the axons, in the brain's anterior cingulate region (N6), after one month of regular practice. Activity between N6 and N3 facilitates self-regulation and emotional coordination.

These changes are the same ones found in our original emotional development, and may indicate the recommencement of development. [90]

 

Exercise Your Free Will

Remember the benefits of natural surroundings as input, and use your knowledge both in where you go and how you decorate your surroundings. Just being outdoors in nature changes our neurochemistry.

Recreation can and should be fun, but remember that if we are anxious some things, for example alcohol, stimulants, sugar and psychedelics, as well as many chemicals in processed foods, can exacerbate unhealthy sentiment. Learn what substances make you feel calm and what substances make you excited. Don't use mood-enhancers when in bad moods! And don't use psychedelics to achieve 'altered states' (or for any serious NH such as memory-adjustment), if you know you are or think you may be emotionally unstable. Have patience; all things change with time.

You are the captain. You have the power to surround yourself with textures and colors and smells and objects that inspire you and augment your abilities, or slow you down and dull them. Which will you choose? You have the power to give your attention to media that tell you the truth about reality, or that feed you the usual bullshit. Which will you choose? You have the power to watch movies and programs with good role models, and listen to music that inspires healthy emotion and augments your abilities, or you can watch stuff and listen to stuff that depresses you and produces harmful sentiment. Which will you choose? You have the power to interact with people who inspire you and augment your abilities, or those who seem to drain you, make you feel tired and anxious. Which will you choose?

 

Sound and Vision

Humans, and many non-human animals, produce and respond to harsh, unpredictable, nonlinear sounds when alarmed. Nonlinearities in music and soundtracks can be simulated through the use of technological manipulations. Recent work found that film soundtracks from different genres differentially contain such sounds and they affect both our emotional arousal and our mood. When visuals are added, as in a movie, their influence changes our arousal levels; in other words they become context-dependent. [91]

This is media hacking unconscious mind, and changing it. We think its nicer if you're in control of what's changing, and what its changing into. It's your mind. Take control.

 

Modeling

Imagination has evolved to augment our ability to interact with reality via prediction and memory. With self-control the mind has the power to create its own input -to imagine things on the inside of the model (implicately)- and unconsciously intelligence will start working out how to reproduce them (or the closest thing it can find to them) in reality (explicately). Items in our imagination prompt the mind to make things 'become more like' whatever it believes we are surrounded by.

This tendency is already taken advantage of by 'mainstream' NH. For example, athletes commonly use images these days to mentally rehearse how they want to perform by picturing themselves successfully completing their competition. A tennis player may see a tennis ball striking the racket at just the right spot, at just the perfect moment in the swing. Studies show that this form of imaging as input improves performance.

With balanced rear nets, when we know enough to know what we are doing, control of self and input can develop several powerful abilities, but we leave exercises for this until intermediate level because with an uncontrolled or unaware mind, all the unconscious gets for modeling is whatever input is thrust upon it (and the unconscious will go right ahead and try to reproduce it regardless).

You will find exercises for practising healthy emotion via modeling later in this tutorial.

 

Chemistry

The useful thing about neurotransmitters (and hacking them) is: neurotransmitters do everything. They can whizz around the brain as ‘flying programs’ and yet behave in finely-tuned accurate ways because they can only be ‘read’ by a receptor of the correct type for their molecular pattern.

They perform different functions in different networks, and different functions in the same network.

The cellular level is susceptible to hacking because cells don’t have free will and they don’t have cognition. They can’t decide: “Oh, bugger it, I’m not going to respond to these signals right now, because there’s nothing exciting REALLY going on out there; I’m only getting these signals because this body has taken some amphetamines”. Cells are totally controlled by their environment. We can’t ‘change their minds’ unless we change their environment. We can 'fake the signals' and alter a cell’s belief about what it perceives, which is why artificial drugs that fit natural receptors work so well; we can change cells’ environments, and consequently their behavior, and consequently ours. That's what hacking with chemistry is largely about.

Various chemicals can help us in achieving emotional stability, but the complexity we face is that everyone is different and we need to know how they affect us personally rather than look at how they affect others.

For example if we personally are short of NE, small amounts of alcohol or stimulants can help us achieve emotional stability by increasing confidence to 'just right'. But if we are not, the addition of more NE may exacerbate arrogance. If we are short of ACh, small amounts of tobacco and/or marijuana may help creative focus and reduce distractions, but if we are not, large amounts may put us at risk of OCD.

This is where 'knowing yourself' really comes into NH, because it gives you the power to tailor your own nootropics to your own specific needs, just as you can tailor your own space to your own specific needs.

Being closely aware of your own responses and your own neurology cannot be taught, no matter how many tutorials we do or who else assesses us, although it can be helped by self assessment. It is an ability that can only be built up by practice at actually doing it; only by knowing really well which are our weak and strong networks and how our systems currently respond to environmental and inner changes can we navigate successfully with chemistry to remain in the green zone.

NOT knowing yourself can lead to two unpleasant "Jekyll and Hyde" effects, the first type occurs where someone is perfectly fine as long as they don't do 'x' (for 'x' read anything from drinking soda to mainlining heroin to watching horror movies) but it is clear that they have no idea how 'x' really affects their state of mind (because 'x' mucks up their awareness, perception and memory as well as their neurochemistry.)

The second way "Jekyll and Hyde" can happen is when some neurochemical drops below 'expected' levels, and this often happens when people try to give up habits and don't replace them with anything healthier. In this case, someone is absolutely fine as long as they continue to do 'y' (for 'y' read anything from Prozac to marijuana to going out to work). We also see this effect when someone stops taking antipsychotics because they 'feel better now', and don't notice their behavior becoming ever-more bizarre.

Things that keep us in or throw us out of balance are important to know about, and their effects on us are all part of 'knowing ourselves'. So we also need to know about addiction, and how it applies in our lives.

Dictionary definitions of addiction are usually as follows: "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma."

By this definition, one could legitimately say that we are all addicted to breathing oxygen, so let's first acknowledge this -being addicted to healthy habits of thought and behavior is a pretty good thing, and conscious reason has no incongruity with conscious experience in agreeing that we have evolved with a built-in need for some things such as air, food and water, complete with full body awareness of how long we can go without them and their 'goldilocks zone'; i.e., what happens when we get too much or not enough of them. This sort of awareness is automatic and controls things such as the 'dive reflex' and feedback about hydration, hunger and temperature.

It's a different story with introduced chemicals, including foods, and we have to allow our brain/body systems to 'learn' where the goldilocks zone lies for us personally by trial and error (ideally from only healthy choices, although most of us have experienced this sort of experimentation with alcohol in our youth.)

Our individual responses to chemistry are as varied as our individual personalities, because the thing most chemicals target is the same thing that modulates personality -neurotransmitters. We all need healthy neurotransmission to achieve emotional stability and some of us find that if genetics or experience have resulted in our being one or two short of a six pack, replacement therapy works beautifully. Obviously, stimulating the brain to produce its own healthy chemistry is the overall aim, but temporary replacement with a substitute can trigger this process, as many have found with SSRIs, growth hormone and oxytocin. Once networks are exposed to a chemical on a regular basis, they often start building more receptors for that chemical.

So if you are on anything prescribed long-term and concerned about addiction, especially if it is anything with harmful side effects, you should make sure to get blood testing and reviews so that you can alter the dosage if new receptors have formed, or consider switching between different medications from time to time to eliminate 'accumulative' effects, one of which may be addiction.

The most dangerous kind of addiction, and the sort that can do us most harm, is the kind that is both harmful and that we don't know we have, and/or that anxiety will make us deny we have.

The most common examples of harmful 'unknown' addictions are sugar, TV, noise, money, sleeping pills, constant company, and material possessions. This should enable us to see that 'addiction' is not a simple concept. It can consist of merely compulsive automatic habits (good or bad), or physical dependencies (good or bad) due to chemical states or changes in our bodies and minds. All we seek to make you aware of here is that addiction in itself is not a problem -it is what we are addicted TO, and WHY, that needs to be looked at and fully understood in terms of knowing ourselves.

Weaker networks are more susceptible to addiction because the unconscious knows that they need more good input to fully develop and the addictive activity is whatever gets the network into the emotional state it feels most comfortable with. Sometimes its for anxiolytic purposes, and whatever substance or activity reduces anxiety becomes addictive. Sometimes it is for neurotransmitter-replacement, such as opiates for endorphins, SSRIs for serotonin, MDMA for oxytocin or nicotine for ACh. Such substances can become addictive because the more balanced emotional state is addictive -it's what we are supposed to be feeling!

People who know themselves this well are effectively 'avoiding Mr. Hyde', and that's fine in the short term. In the long term we must make all efforts to be self-sufficient as we can with regard to neurotransmission. If we know what we may be deficient in, we can explore the many things that may be helpful, and often gentler adjusters may be found in the plant world than in the use of hard pharmaceuticals, and we've also known of cases where people have discovered they are paying a fortune for a drug made from something that grows wild in their own yard.

Two particular substances have earned a reputation (among some) for enabling emotional stability: Lithium, and Marijuana. They have also unfortunately earned the reputation (among others) for dreadful side effects including permanently loose bowels/stomach pain on the lithium side and permanent paranoia/apathy on the marijuana side. Some of these different responses are determined by genetics, others by experience. These are two perfect examples of what not to forget -(altogether now...) "EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!"

If you want to learn more about drugs and chemicals, visit the 'Drugs & Chemicals' section of NHA library. Chemicals for accessing unconscious awareness are discussed below.

 

Tech

There have been good reports of many technologies for improving mood and maintaining emotional stability. If you know yourself well enough to recognize triggering factors for mood swings, systems such as Sunlight therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or vitamin supplementation during sunlight depletion are very useful.

DBS is showing promise for depression and so is TMS in many instances, and brain tech like this is now in much more common use. [92] DBS is of course vulnerable to hacking, as (a) once you have the electrodes in the signal is calibrated to 'just right' by asking the patient how they feel and whether they want more stimulation (which for some people is a bit like saying, "Are you sure you wouldn't like some more free heroin, Mr. Smith, or have you had enough?" and (b) the very software that does this calibration can be hacked. There has also been slow but steady progress in DBS for other disorders, and some wonder if the potential for 'abuse' is slowing keeness to adopt. [93]

TMS is beyond availability for most unless they have lots of cash or DIY abilities, but in many cases similar (and gentler) effects can be achieved with NMS.

NMS can be good for balancing N3, particularly for calibrating the Hippo & Amy into a healthy 'green zone' between paranoia and gullibility, and has more recently been used on more frontal regions such as the left and right frontal lobes, the caudate nucleus and the septum. [94] There are good indications it helps some people with depression.

NMS uses 'modeling feedback' similar to that presented by the Proteus and other machines, but the signals are magnetic pulses rather than light/sound. Modeling feedback, where input is provided for your system to copy, is an adaptation of ordinary biofeedback (where the input is provided by your own system). Modeling feedback is used to reduce high blood pressure or irregular heart rate in similar ways -the body is given an example of healthy rhythms, and follows the example, eventually learning the habit of keeping healthy rhythms going on its own.

In the neural version, the brain is shown examples of healthy rhythms recorded from these brain parts, and copies them; slowly changing its own rhythm to match the input rhythm. Once the brain has experienced healthy balanced signaling, it has an example in memory to copy and reproduce. It becomes more like whatever it is surrounded by.

When working with NMS its important to remember that artefacts can arise such as hypnagogic imagery (more info below), out-of-body experiences, or 'visions'. Remember that everything going on has its origin in your own perception, and you'll be fine.

CES can be good for 'balancing' networks once they have achieved sufficiently similar density. The FDA has approved CES devices for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. CES's main benefit seems to lie in its production of alpha rhythms in individuals who otherwise find it very difficult to relax. Initiation of the relaxation response by this means may be behind its success as a 'normalizer' or 'balancer'. Effects may not be so great for rear loaders, but we await evidence or information on this (so if you tend to rearloading and you've tried it, let us know!) It may also be better at balancing ipsilaterally (ie, left and right hemispheres & CC) rather than front-to-back, but again evidence is lacking.

Research shows promise for the use of CES in recovery from mild brain injury and concussion [95]

To learn more about all of these consult the 'Methods & Tech' section of NHA library, and Tutorial 7.

 

Psychological & cognitive techniques; for example Co counseling, EFT, CBT, Interactional analysis, etc will be covered in Tutorial 16.

 

 



Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 14:04