Groundbreaking #neurobiology research reveals new way to work with #trauma, turning traditional #self-help on its head

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For those who have tried psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation and other stress-reduction techniques, only to feel unchanged and perpetually struggling with depression, self-anxiety and low self-esteem, the latest research findings in a new branch of brain research, relational neuroscience, shed light on a new solution: neuroplasticity + meeting ourselves with warmth and understanding. Much of the research is still buried in research papers, but a new book by neuroscience educator Sarah Peyton, Your Resonant Self: Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain’s Capacity for Healing offers a tour of the relational brain and unveils a pathway to healing from the scars of neglect, cruel words and other traumatic childhood experiences.

Your Resonant Self by Sarah Peyton

#neuroscience shows contempt and harsh words ruin immune systems and leave brain scars. Solution: resonant language.

One of the newest branches of brain research, relational neurobiology, shows that being met with warm understanding creates resilience, while being received with neutrality shortens our lifespans, and being received with contempt negatively impacts our immune systems and harms our neural connections, making self-compassion and self-acceptance nearly impossible.

#neuroscience shows contempt and harsh words ruin immune systems and leave brain scars. Solution: resonant language

Peyton explains,

"The way we use language with each other shows how much we value the relationship, how much we respect the other person, and how closely we are listening to each other. Our language will also reveal our contempt, our impatience, and how little energy we have for connection."

Using brain scans, scientists can now see the scars in children's brains from the use of dismissive or cruel language, not to mention the aftereffects of neglect and more physical abuse. Though the childhood chant, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” has been comforting to generations of children, scientific evidence now knows that, in fact, the opposite is true.

#neuroscience research shows brain scars in children from cruel language and #trauma. Heal your words, heal your life!

Being physically abused leaves marks on the body, but abuse of any kind also leaves marks on the brain, impacting trust and the capacity to relax. Many people struggle with anxiety, PTSD, low self-esteem and depression without having any idea that it is the result of a kind of relational starvation. People can use substances like alcohol or marijuana and activities like shopping or playing video games to manage brains that have never been supported by warm understanding.

Peyton continues:

"The way we talk to ourselves has an effect, too. People will say to themselves something like, ‘Sarah, how could you be so stupid? You’ll never learn,” and believe that they have kept this inner contempt and cruelty hidden. People believe that this use of language, because no one else hears it, is okay. But just as contempt from others makes people get more colds and flus, and makes it harder to heal wounds, self-contempt tears away at our health and shortens our lives."

Luckily the latest neurobiological research also shows that human brains are neuroplastic; they can grow and change regardless of age, genetic predisposition or adverse childhood experiences. When humans use warm and understanding language with themselves and each other to put their brains into a neuroplastic place, it is possible to heal relational trauma, improve immune systems and develop a profound sense of meaning and self-acceptance. Over time, the warmth transforms the way humans respond to their upset selves and they become increasingly more effective and resonant "inner parents", increasing resilience and enjoyment of life.

#neuroplasticity is real! #neuroscience shows brains can change at any age, no matter their genes or #trauma history

Much of the research is still buried in research papers, but Peyton’s new book, Your Resonant Self: Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain's Capacity for Healing, translates the latest research into how human brains affect one another into a clear, accessible and usable blueprint to awaken people's capacity for self-love and well-being.

Asked to summarize the book, Sarah Peyton compresses her writing about how the brain is transformed by the language we use into six words: “Heal your words, heal your life.”

For a sneak-peek of what you’ll learn in the book, watch the trailer and check-out YourResonantSelf.com.

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Sarah Peyton
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