Elaine Fox: Rainy Brain Sunny Brain



Our neurons and their connections deep within our brains changing our mindscape at the neurological level can influence our psychological weather systems By changing the way our brain responds to challenges and joys we can change the way we areBy modifying the checks and balances between our rainy brain and our sunny brain we will see that we do not need to be resigned to a life of fearful avoidance but instead we can take steps to change our outlook and change our lifePractice in seeing or interpreting things in a particular way can lead to fundamental changes in the brain circuits underlying our affective mindas our brain forms a habit of noticing the positive rather than the negative the underlying brain circuits will gradually begin to changeBy shifting our mindscape the patterns of biases and distortions uniue to us we are able to shift the way we see the world pp xiv 162 177 180The book presents a refreshing approach for achieving a healthy motional climate We need a responsive sunny brain that happily cohabits our mind space with a healthy rainy brainBoth aspects of our affective mind are influenced by what life throws at us our genetic makeup and which genes are turned on and off by the Hello, Hippo! Goodbye, Bird! experiences we have Most importantly the crucial biases of our uirks of mind that set our affective mind into solid foundations can be sculpted be mental training whether it is through mindfulness based techniues cognitive bias modification techniues drug treatments or traditional talking therapies Our mind is highly plastic and the affective mind is noxception While it s not necessarily Cannibal easy to change the possibility of shifting our fundamental affective mindset is always there p 199The author does an amazing job of making neuroscience approachable accessible and applicable and showing how we can optimize the rainy and sunny ualities of our brains toxperience the rainbows of our lives Although the background behind optimism and pessimism were well outlined this book did not actually descibe how to retrain the brain While some therapy modalities were mentioned there was no further Mastered (The Enforcers, explaination I liked the science in this The author described the way the brain functions and how that changes according to stimuluswhether good or badwhether optimistic or pessimistic I loved that part plus all the studies But I have to agree with most of the reviews regarding the title The promise in the subtitle regarding retraining your brain was not a part of this book So 3 stars I reviewed this new book on the neuroscience behind optimism for The Philadelphia Inuirer Turns out the brain is malleable which is good news for us pessimists Fox details the why and how of brain wiring andmotion without stooping to the promises of cheap self help Highly recommended Teaser Meditation changes the brain for the better It s hilarious to me that all this new science and ways of helpingcuring people with depression post traumatic stress disorder and OCD has been written in the Bible for thousands of years Re training the brain for a happy life Man, Son of Man epigenetics CBM proceduresyepit s all there Goes to show that if you Ss addiction depression or anxiety know all too wellLuckily anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are malleable than wever imagined In Rainy Brain Sunny Brain Fox describes a range of techniues from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy to innovative cognitive retraining xercises that can actually alter our brains' circuitry strengthening specific thought processes by xercising the neural systems that control them The implications are normous lifelong pessimists can train themselves.

The cover of the book promises the methods to retrain your brain but failed to deliver There was a lot of science and surveys some good some bad since it was mostly confirming their hypotheses As for the How to it nded up bring a specific type of treatment without a description of how to do it on our own or Uncommon Wisdom even where to get the treatment She So this doesn t really teach you how to retrain your brain like the title suggests It does go through a comprehensive review of research on this topic and depressionanxiety in accessible language than you would get from the original publications I was also able to see some my therapists suggestions into the context of the research they are based on and it kind of Unseen City encouraged me to take them seriously Science has found that genuine changes in happiness only come about when three things come together lots of positivemotions and laughter being fully Art engaged in our lives and finding a sense of meaning that is broader than our day to day lifeWe flourish when we renjoying a life filled with goodness growth and creativity and when things go wrong a strong resilience to get over the humpThis book was captivating inspiring God Is in the Crowd even I was gripped by the chapter on genetics and unable to put the book down until I finished it in one sitting Prof Fox superbly managed the task of putting decades of comprehensive research into layman s terms without academic jargon or dumbing down She clearly separated what we know and what we don t know about optimism and pessimism and outlinedvidence supported ways of facilitating a optimistic flourishing mindset I d recommend this book if you are looking for a solid grounding to the science of optimisticpessimistic mindsets Appreciating the science may help readers who are interested in a pure self help book understand how the advice offered in these books can retrain your outlook and reduce anxietydepression A favorable brain forecastWhat s the weather like in your brain As Elaine Fox clearly demonstrates in Rainy Brain Sunny Brain our Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard emotional climates and forecasts are deeply influenced by the uniue neurological wiring ofach of our brains The roots of our sunny brain are The Matriarchs (The Family embedded deep in pleasure the parts of our neural architecture that respond to rewards and the good things in life while the roots of our rainy brain lie deep among the ancient brain structures that alert us to danger and threat our fear brain Tiny variations in how our pleasure brain and our fear brain react and how well this foment is kept under wraps by higher control centers of the brain lead to themergence over a lifetime of a network of connections that make up our rainy brain and our sunny brain p xii In others words it is our uniue set of brain circuits make us who we are and influence whether we tend towards a pessimistic or optimistic self and world view Neurologically speaking it s the interplay between the amygdala the Notes for the Everlost emotional brain the nucleus accumbens the pleasure seeking brain and the prefrontal cortex the control center of the brain which determines our attitudes and outlooks on life As who we are is largely determined by. Are you optimistic or pessimistic Glass half full or halfmpty Do you look on the bright side or turn towards the dark These are asy uestions for most of us to answer because our personality types are hard wired into our brains As pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Elaine Fox has discovered our outlook on life reflects our primal inclination to seek pleasure or avoid danger inclinations that in many people are healthily balanced But when our fear brain or pleasure brain is too strong the results can be disastrous as those of us suffering from debilitating shyne.

Ant to know how a massively complicated piece of machinery works you should ask the guy who designed and built it not the guy who tickers with it on weekends in his garage This is another of the new surge of psychology and brain science books being cranked out by the scientists themselvesIn this case Elaine Fox an Oxford University researcher travels some well worn ground on arlier No Biggy! experiments showing how ourmotional center the amygdala and our control areas in the prefrontal cortex are linked to Crush It! each other and how dysfunctions in those connections underlieverything from anxiety to OCD to depressionBut her larger purpose in Rainy Brain Sunny Brain is to argue that Attracting Birds to Your Backyard even though we may all be born with slightly different genetic inclinations toward optimism or pessimism we are not destined to live with those for the rest of our lives Relying on themerging field of neuroplasticity the ability of the brain to adapt and change she talks about work in her lab and others that can get people to look at the world optimistically to activate our sunny brain with techniues that range from computer games to meditation to cognitive relabeling of our fears and negative feelingsOne of the most interesting of the new xercises is called Cognitive Bias Modification It involves watching negative and positive images on a computer screen and then paying attention to a target probe If the probe is always placed next to the positive images people afterward not only report feeling optimistic but act optimistically on such tasks as trying to solve tough problems The opposite ffect occurs if the probe goes next to the negative imagesIt suggests that Bird-by-Bird Gardening even brief interventions like these arenough to reset our mental wiring for an indefinite period and it offers hope that those of us who are trapped in a negative fatalistic view of life can help pull ourselves out of it without psychotropic medications or The Works of Saint Augustine expensive therapy Reading this book made me realise I find myself in a strange position of being an optimistic depressive I believe things will turn out ok I just often don t seem to care that they will My anxiety also doesn t seem to be of the pessimistic variety I mually afraid of things going my way and not going my way And that s a good thing because if I were to read this book looking for ways to get optimistic I d walk away disappointed It s heavy on science and light on self help and this is how I like such books but the title and cover might be a bit misleading The reader will learn a lot about how brains work but not much about how to change it the balance between the two parts of your brain the bit that seeks pleasure and the bit that tries to avoid danger Clearly we need both to function healthily but occasionally our fear brain wins and locks us in a feedback loop that works like a self fulfilling prophecy We look for negative things and we find them And the we find them the we look for them The biggest take away from this book is that you get what you pay attention to so redirect your attention Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone every now and thenDidn t we know that We kinda knew that But still lots of good brain science. To think positively and find happiness while pleasure seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their livesDrawing on her own cuttingdge research Fox shows how we can retrain our brains to brighten our lives and learn to flourish With keen insights into how genes life xperiences and cognitive processes interleave together to make us who we are Rainy Brain SunnyBrain revolutionizes our basic concept of individuality We learn that we can influence our own personalities and that our lives are only as sunny or as rainy as we allow them to

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Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this nameElaine Fox is a psychologist and neuroscientist who has researched widely on the science of emotions She grew up in the 1970s in Dublin and has worked at St James Hospital Dublin University College Dublin Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and has been a visiting senior scientist at the MRC Cogn