Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It seems to be very difficult to get the sun to shine for more than one day at a time this summer. I looked at the Lumina Mandela for some inspiration this afternoon and was grateful for the colour--reds,yellows, greens and blues. At least the summery colours were able to lift my rainy spirits.
Learned a bit yesterday about a study that claims to prove that if we improve our working memory we can also improve our ability to control our emotions in stressful situations.
Working memory basically is our ability to hold more than one thought at a time and still get our task done. Made me think of the folks that I know who might describe themselves as "having a short fuse" especially in situations where lots of information is coming at them and their stress level is rising. Some of these people are still having tantrums in their fifties and sixties. We tend to want to help them manage their emotions but this idea of helping them improve what they are able to hold in their working memory regardless of what comes at them is intriguing. Simply concentrating on their emotional brain to the exclusion of the working memory only helps if the situation they are in is fairly straightforward or simple. The more complex the situation the more quickly they can lose it. Being able to retrieve information that their brain needs when they need it could help eliminate the stress response.
The challenge now is to find ways that are practical and helpful to improve the working memory.

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