Déjà vu, French for ‘already seen’, is a feeling of having experienced something already. A feeling of being familiar with the current scenario as if it has happened to us in the same way before. According to a study, about 60 percent of the population has experienced déjà vu.
What makes déjà vu unique is that there is a conflict between the sensation and the actual awareness, a disorienting feeling that one has been tricked.
According to neuroscientists, déjà vu isn’t a memory error or a sign of an unhealthy mind. It happens as the frontal regions of the brain, which process billions of neurons, tries to correct an inaccurate memory, fact-checking the information it is receiving. This can happen once a month on average, but being stressed out, tired or fatigued may increase the chances of experiencing this feeling.
Dopamine, which is a mood-boosting neurotransmitter, plays a part in déjà vu, especially in people who experiment with dopaminergic drugs.
According to extensive research, the younger population experiences more déjà vu, and as one gets older, the noticing of errors becomes less frequent. This is a natural part of ageing.
There are cases where people are persistently experiencing the feeling of Déjà Vu. The cause can be taking a mixture of medications that can have unpredictable side effects, as in some documented cases.
A lesser-known feeling is Jamais Vu or ‘never seen’. It is essentially failing to recognize or remember a situation that should be familiar to us. This is different from standard forgetting, like amnesia, but is a momentary lapse of awareness of the familiar.
What’s intriguing is that it has the same characteristics:
An experiment to prompt the feeling of Jamais Vu involved writing a familiar word like apple or door, constantly on a piece of paper for a few minutes. 70 percent of the participants began to doubt the spelling or the authenticity of the word.
You have to work on yourself:
When acute stress occurs, the body’s sympathetic nervous system gets activated with a hormonal release. It stimulates the adrenal glands, releasing catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline).
Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate increases, lasting for about 20 to 60 minutes. Outward signs of an acute stress response include a flushed face, trembling, dilated pupils and rapid breathing.
The Fight-Or-Flight Response is an automatic survival technique to preserve our life, and is crucial for how we deal with stress, threats, and danger.
It primes our body to perform under pressure, making sure we are at our best when dealing with life-threatening situations, making it more likely for us to survive.
Since most people do not enjoy visiting a doctor, it can be difficult to know whether your symptoms of iatrophobia is a full-blown phobia.
But there are a few signs that may show if your fear is out of proportion with normal anxiety towards doctor's visits.
It is important that you seek treatment as untreated iatrophobia can cause you to avoid needed medical care and put your well-being at risk.
We all have thoughts going on in our heads all the time, stories, reimagining of the past, beliefs and ideas. Many of these thoughts are not in our direct control and can show up in our consciousness in an intrusive manner, without any effort or intention from our side.
These unwanted intrusive thoughts, which are without our consent, can be beneficial, mundane, disposable, or even disturbing and scary.
Many studies show that thought suppression leads to the mind paying extra and frequent attention to the particular thought that is being suppressed, causing it to ‘rebound’ and become the dominant thought.
Example: Telling the brain to not think of a pink elephant conjures up the image of a pink elephant automatically for most people.
Many psychotherapeutic approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) only touch the surface of the problem, not the origin of the disturbing thought.
Though simply having those unwanted intrusive thoughts does not automatically mean that those will be acted upon, as most people are simply terrified of having such thoughts.
Our sense of smell works in wondrous ways since the chemical composition of our surrounding change instantly and constantly. Our noses pick up volatile airborne compounds that interact with our olfactory receptors.
The information that we get from our surroundings pass through our noses and then to the core cortex in the brain. We, humans have about 400 types of olfactory receptors which is used to identify many different types of chemicals that have varying odor quality.
ASMR is an emotional state that some people experience when they hear, see, and feel certain "triggers," such as whispering, delicate hand movements, and light touch.
The feeling is described as a tingling sensation that starts from the top of the head and spreads down the neck and limbs. Feelings of euphoria and relaxation accompany this "trance-like" state.
ASMR typically emerges in childhood. When people find out that ASMR is a "thing", they often report that they thought everyone had the same experience or that it was unique to them.
Common triggers include soft touch, whispering, soft-speaking, close attention, delicate hand movements, and crisp sounds. Situations that induce ASMR are often a combination of these triggers, such as getting a haircut or watching someone complete a mundane task.
One study showed that periods of ASMR tingling were associated with increased activation in brain regions involved in emotion, empathy, and affiliative behaviors.
Other studies show that people with ASMR have less distinct and more blended neural networks, suggesting that ASMR could happen because of a reduced ability to suppress emotional responses that we obtain from our senses.
Research suggests that people who experience ASMR have a larger tendency to have more immersive or absorbing experiences.
People with ASMR score higher on 'openness to experience,' reflecting imagination, intellectual curiosity, and appreciation of art and beauty. People with ASMR are also more empathetic when looking at compassion and concern for others.
People with ASMR show significant reductions in their heart rates when watching ASMR videos.
These stress reductions were similar to those experienced during mindfulness and music therapy. But research is not clear whether ASMR can and should be used as an effective form of therapy.
Pain tells us when something is wrong. It also protects us. If you shut your hand in the car door, your hand will hurt will swell up. The resulting inflammation is part of the healing process.
Your head is not so different. Pain is an early warning system for danger.
The hallmark of the migraine attack is a wave of excitation across the brain quickly followed by a wave of inactivity.
The neurochemical changes associated with these waves cause the blood vessels to narrow in the head. Since a lack of blood-flow in the head can be deadly, our body reacts with a massive blood vessel dilation in response. The heightened activity in your brain means you will have trouble moving, thinking, remembering things, and photophobia. In effect, migraines shut us down until the neurchemical balance is restored.
You may be able to point to many reasons for your headache: tension, eye strain, lack of sleep, dehydration, sinus, not eating well, alcohol, your environment.
Some migraines are triggered by visual effects. Other migraine triggers are hormones, diet, or cardiovascular origins.
Many sufferers fail to spot the first stage of a migraine: the prodrome phase. It is characterized by pronounced yawning, drowsiness, food craving, sensitivity to light, increased thirst, or blurred vision. These symptoms can happen days or hours before the onset of a migraine.
The best way to recognise the symptoms is by keeping a record of your day: what you ate, your exercise habits, what you drank, how you felt at different points.
The childhood advice of sitting up straight, shoulders back, is incorrect.
Sitting this way takes effort. We end up arching our backs by tensing up our muscles. When we tighten them, we shorten them, and that arches the back, loads the discs in the lower back, and pushes the edges of the vertebrae against each other. Over time, that could alter our anatomy.
If you tend to slump, you need to learn to lengthen your back. Use the time that you're sitting to stretch yourself against the backrest.
For a healthier back, develop the "inner corset" core strength: the group of core muscles that support your spine. Crunches are not the best exercises for this purpose as they also crunch your discs and nerves.
You should engage particular muscles deep in the abdomen and back; then your muscles can take care of your back.
Standing desks can be good, but it depends on how you hold your body. When the average person stands, they lock their knees back, the hips forward and arch their back.
When you stand, adopt a stance of "readiness," maintaining a little bit of spring in your knees. It takes muscular effort but will spare your joints.
It is important not to lie down on your front when you sleep as this position tends to arch your back, and your neck turns 90 degrees.
Instead, try sleeping on your back or side. If you suffer from pack pain, sleep with a pillow between your knees to balance your hips.
A moderate amount of stress is beneficial for us but chronic, and toxic stress has the opposite effect of deteriorating our well-being.
Our current lifestyles provide us with above-average levels of psychological stress, which slowly drains us of our willpower and resilience, and makes us feeling hollow and unfulfilled.
We have a word for it: Burnout.
The long-term effect of chronic stress is described as allostatic load. This is a fairly common form of chronic stress response of the body if it isn’t completely destroyed.
Prolonged stress makes the mind and body function in a different, sub-optimal way called maladaptation.
Many professionals have reported epidemic levels of burnout due to an abundance of stress-inducing activities that are not productive or necessary.
Chronic stress and burnout also result in errors, accidents, disability and even death.
Research in positive psychology shows that setting and pursuing a variety of goals that are meaningful to us is associated with less stress.
This includes being present in the moment and self-reflection activities like writing a journal.
This is about concentrating on your internal motivation, and perceived capability to attain a certain goal. It makes us achieve small goals, as we are motivated towards taking the small steps which eventually lead to our larger goals.
Remember that we are not machines, and we cannot sacrifice our well-being for someone else’s bottom line, or any artificial target.