Natural History – The Koala

Natural History – The Koala

Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus

Lifespan: 13 – 18 years (In the wild)

Mass: 4 – 15 kg (Adult)

Trophic level: Herbivorous

Gestation period: 30 – 36 days

Higher classification: Phascolarctos

Koala is an iconic symbol of Australia.
Now a rare and endangered species of marsupial, the Koala spend their days in the treetops of the eucalyptus tree, eating and sleeping; and up until recently, rarely descending the safety of their arboreal homes to find drinking water.

The name Koala is suppose to mean ‘No Drink’, and comes from the Darug people, from the coastal area of Sydney. The once abundant marsupial, with rounded fluffy ears, grey, brown and cream downy fur, little brown eyes, black leathery nose and two opposable thumbs for each hand, was first written about by white settlers in the early part of the 19th Century. The first record was in 1798 and the first published image of a Koala was in 1810.

 

Koalas are one of our national emblems, and they are fast becoming extinct and we don’t seem to be doing enough to stop it.

‘No Drink’

It seems as though the Koala was doomed from the time white colonists settled the Australian shore. Plagued by habitat destruction, disease, predation from introduced species, mass slaughter and now global warming – which has resulted in extenuating drought. The Koala is now on the way to becoming extinct in the wild, the forecast is bleak.

Koalas limited food supply has altered due to drought and the quantity and  quality of their food source diminished. The Eucalyptus leaves no longer provide the adequate nutrients or hydration aKoala needs to survive. Koala, now against their namesake of “no drink”, must descend from the trees to look for groundwater, putting them at risk of predation from dogs or being hit by cars. 

Most recently Koala habitat and numbers came close to total extinction in the 2019 – 2020 bushfires in some areas of NSW entire population of Koala are now gone, burnt to death in the fires that ravaged 18 million hectares of bushland, destroying homes, wilderness and eliminating at least 1 billion animals and insects.

 This catastrophic disaster has highlighted the danger of global warming to the entire planet, not just Koalas. Scientists say we are in the beginning of the sixth mass extinction on earth, which means that plants, animals, fungi, corals and microbial life is dying off at a rate 1000 times faster than what is normal, and the main culprit is us.

 

We are losing our natural heritage

As it turns out Australia has the worst rate of mammalian extinction of any other country in the world and our deforestation habits are worse than the Amazon. Every year we clear around 500,000 hectares of bushland – that’s about equivalent to an area the size of the MCG every two minutes.

Our Aussie icons are losing their homes & their lives

URGENT APPEAL: Across the country, over 15 million hectares of Australian land has been burned to the ground. Over 3 billion animals have been displaced because of these fires, and over 1.25 billion animals have lost their lives. Your support towards WWF-Australia’s Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund is urgently needed to care for injured wildlife and restore their homes.  

WWF is one of Australia’s most trusted conservation organisations. At WWF, we work in Australia and in our Asia-Pacific backyard to protect endangered species and habitats, meet the challenge of climate change, and build a world where people live in harmony with nature. This would not be possible without financial support from our community. Thank you! If you would like to help us, please make a donation.

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

The End of Emotions

The End of Emotions

The End of Emotions

Have you ever wondered what emotions are and where they actually come from? I have. In fact, the very reason I researched this article was because I wasn’t sure myself of how I feel, what I feel and how I am supposed to define my changing states.

 It was a week or so ago where I sat on my couch baffled at my state of nonchalance. I was unbothered – not flat, just present, still and curious. What do I feel? What should I feel? , and where to find the answers?.

Where are my emotions I wondered?. What are emotions and how do we know which ones to pay attention to?
I searched high and low for concrete answers to my plaguing questions, and still, it seems a little unclear as to what goes where.

Theory of Emotions

Theorists suggest that emotions – the ones that are said to be universal are a part of the survival package we get handed from birth. Experts say we have five to seven universal emotions, shared by man, woman, child and beast and that everyone understands these to be the same.

These fundamental emotions according to Dr Paul Ekman are; Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Anger, Contempt and Surprise. Dr Paul Ekman pioneered the field of micro- expressions and mapped the 43 facial muscles used in emotional expression. Dr Ekman has influenced politics, governments and  popular culture through his research. 

Confident in his work the Dalai Lama commissioned Dr Paul Ekman and his daughter Dr Eve Ekman in a brand new interactive virtual platform called ‘The Atlas of Emotions’, where you can explore the complex dimension of feelings and their intensity.

http://atlasofemotions.org

Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.. (https://www.paulekman.com/blog/atlas-of-emotions/)

And Then, There Was Lisa

Experts say emotions are energy in motion – that emotions cause us to  make actions and that each emotion has its unique physiological thumbprint. Research says that there are 35,000 different emotions and each is unique. If we embody emotions and there are so so many, how would we cope with so many physiological changes?. This bothered me – imagine if there are 35,000 different available emotions, how many variable chemical cocktails, muscle movements and behaviours would we make all day?.

It also bothered me, that I could not find a reliable source to where all these emotions arise from, how we make them or even make sense of them. The information I had so far accessed seemed to be very wishy-washy, and hard to make sense with. Still, the answer remained, what is an emotion? where do they come from?, and are the ones I have real or just made up?. 

And then I came across Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett and bit by bit the elusive construct of metaphor and allegory started to make sense. Dr Barrett in her research literally annihilates claims made by contemporaries in the field of emotional sciences and psychology, by stating that most of the published works rely on unsubstantiated evidence and bogus claims. 

Lisa Feldman Barrett is a university distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University, where she focuses on affective science. She is a director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory. Along with James Russell, she is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Emotion Review. Wikipedia

She has written a book called –  How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of The Brain.

In The End

In my quest to uncover the reality of emotions I discovered a lot of different theories, emotional charts and diagrams, character stereotypes and contradictions.

In the end, understanding your emotions is a skill, emotions are difficult to define, how we feel is unique to us and sharing emotions at the right time, is magic.

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do To Change It

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do To Change It

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do About It.

ADHD as described by world authority Dr Russell Barkley – a clinical psychologist and clinical professor of psychiatry at the VCU Commonwealth University – is not a disorder of inattention – but an inability to self -regulate and an executive function disorder. The brain regions designed for higher cognitive function are faulty and underdeveloped.

Written By – Emily Rack

 

ADD OR ADHD?.

 The definition of ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder and ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder are not distinguishable from one another. ADD is no longer used as a label for the disorder; there is only ADHD. The diagnostic name ADHD is under scrutiny from Clinicians and experts because it limits the perception of the disorder, which is much more than a deficit in attention.

ADHD is often mistakenly believed to be a behavioural problem in children that is characterised by an inability to concentrate, disruptive behaviour, aggression, inattentiveness, and emotional instability, as well as difficulties socialising and maintaining relationships.

People with ADHD are labelled lazy, careless and unreliable, and the added stigma that ADHD is a bad thing to have increases the anxiety and shame that sufferers feel.

Kids with the disorder often have trouble keeping up with classmates and are prone to emotional meltdowns which often isolate them socially. Parents often feel judged and insecure about their parenting, blaming themselves or being blamed for their child’s uncontrollable behaviours.

ADHD is a very distressing condition to have whether you are a child or an adult. Rarely understood and regarded as a trivial mental ailment, the disorder needs to be recognised as a severe impairment and treated with the respect other major psychiatric disorders are.

Widely Misunderstood

ADHD is one of the most misunderstood neurological disorders, says Dr Russell Barkley the world authority on the developmental disorder. He says that ADHD is a severe neurological condition that has enormous impactions on the lives of people who have it.

ADHD impairs the self – regulatory systems in the brain, so someone that has it finds typical day to day tasks difficult to achieve and more complex planning near impossible. The goals and aspirations of someone with ADHD are often inaccessible to them – not because they aren’t intelligent enough, but because they can not activate their acquired skills.

With an ADHD brain, there is a gulf between one hemisphere to another. Somehow the information from the back of the mind needs to leap into the front. Goodluck. That is why people with ADHD take stimulant medications. The medication boosts the neurotransmitters – dopamine and norepinephrine so the brain regions that struggle to adhere to each other – communicate.

 

The Emotional Roller – Coaster

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is that of emotional dysregulation – the inability to control one’s emotions or respond to situations appropriately. Most of us can self- regulate from the inside out, but someone with ADHD can become dysregulated by external factors, meaning their mood and behaviour is subject to the outside world.

Anger, aggression and destructive behaviour are often a result of intense emotional fluctuations and overload – and without the hardware inside their head to maintain equilibrium someone with ADHD can turn feral and lose their temper very quickly. These impulsive out-of-control bursts of fury, rage and tears are what defines the disease in the eyes of society.  

People with ADHD can not self soothe, and just like a newborn baby, require the nervous system of another human being to help regulate their own. The anger we see is coming from pain and fear triggered by an overactive fight and flight reflex. They are prisoners to their primitive mind, and losing control comes with embarrassment and shame – followed by guilt and resentment.

That is why someone with ADHD should be given adequate support from teachers, friends, colleagues and family to learn how to manage emotions and self – regulate behaviour. Helping someone with ADHD manage their time and priorities, identity goals and make plans to achieve them significantly reduce the sensations of anguish and frustration they feel.

There is No Cure

There is no cure for ADHD, and it doesn’t disappear as you get older – you might be less hyperactive, but the restlessness becomes internalised, and it creates anxiety.
Having the right support from doctors, clinicians and the community as well as learning how to self manage the condition makes a difference.

If ADHD was understood in more detail and respected as an acute developmental disorder, more interventions at an early age could be in place offering the sufferer and families are more significant opportunity to thrive in school, relationships, working life and the community. Cognitive and behavioural disorders are socially and emotionally isolating, so it’s important to share the facts, change our perceptions and create the right kinds of environments for everyone to thrive.

Mindfulness Practices Are Awesome for People With ADHD

Mindfulness is a blanket term for different brain training activities like meditation, mindfulness breathing, and yoga. The skills taught in mindfulness are designed to enhance one’s ability to stay focused and aware of the present moment. The strengthening of concentration and attention through mindfulness is fantastic for people with ADHD, and it helps when it comes to making the right decisions and planning for the future.

Mindfulness helps with mind wandering and unwanted thoughts, which free our mental space for more creative pursuits. Practising mindfulness improves our overall wellbeing. It encourages compassion, kindness, and self -care and with that a gentler approach to life. Understanding is the key to living a healthy and happy life.

We are all set with strengths and limitations, and it is through our experience and understanding of them that we learn compassion and acceptance of ourselves and everyone else.

Resources and References

(FYI how someone with ADHD experiences time is different from ordinary people and regular planners and diaries will not work in organising their life)

Check out Ryder Carrols Method in personal planning designed for people with ADHD. 

https://bulletjournal.com/pages/about

Bullet Journal® (or BuJo® for short) was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer and author living in Brooklyn, NY. Diagnosed with learning disabilities early in life, he was forced to figure out alternate ways to be focused and productive. Through years of trial and error, he developed a methodology that went far beyond the simple organisation. Now he focuses on helping others learn what the Bullet Journal method is truly about: the art of intentional living.

 

http://www.russellbarkley.org/about.html
Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (VCUMC), Richmond, VA.

Dr. Barkley is a Diplomate (board certified) in three specialties, Clinical Psychology (ABPP), Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, ABPP). He is also a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. A clinical scientist, educator, and practitioner, he has published 25 books, rating scales, and clinical manuals now numbering 43 separate editions. He has also published more than 300 scientific articles and book chapters on ADHD and related disorders. He founded The ADHD Report (Guilford), a clinical newsletter in its 28th year and on which he serves as Editor. He has created seven award winning professional videos on ADHD and defiant children. – 
https://youtu.be/sPFmKu2S5XY

 

 

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

The Intelligent Breath – Part 1

The Intelligent Breath – Part 1

Daily Relaxation and Deep Breathing

Learning to relax and reset the mind and the body is essential for your everyday health and wellbeing.
Deep breathing and mindfulness meditation are proven and effective in relieving stress, anxiety and depression.
Learn how to breath deeply to boost your mood, re-focus the mind and get a good nights rest by learning this easy and effective tool. Only a few minutes a day of mindfulness and meditation has been proven to change your chemistry, balance your emotions and help you to think more clearly.

Find out more on deep breathing here –

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar or the platform that this content is provided on.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and authenticity.

We, however, do not necessarily hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

Frogs

Frogs

Frogs

Everything in nature has its place. We have arduously learned, after savaging every last wilderness on the earth- if you disrupt even the tiniest of things, you set into motion a spiral that unravels the whole tapestry of life on this planet.

Frogs have lived and thrived on mother earth for 250 million years, dwarfing the timeline of nearly everything else living in today’s biosphere – excluding dragonflies, sharks (450 million years), and cockroaches. With such a robust history of survival and the tenacity to thrive through millennia of changes, frogs everywhere are now going extinct.

A species of incredible endurance and mythological status; amphibians such as frogs, salamanders and lizards and crocodiles, outlived the dinosaurs, meteors and the ice ages to greet humanity onto the earth’s stage some short time ago.

Frogs and toads are incredible little creatures, their diversity and habitats just as broad. Frogs live on every continent, except Antarctica and live in almost all environments, including arid deserts that have no water and in places that turn to ice in the winter.

Frogs have an incredible range of adaptations that have helped them live and thrive on the planet for eons, and yet, we see now nearly all frogs are at threat from extinction.

In the early 1990s a plague called chytrid, a bacterial infection (Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease in amphibians caused by the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans), decimate rare populations the world over.

Approximately 1/3 of all frog species have already died in the past decade, and it is only getting worse. The stress of a dramatically changing landscapes, global warming, and unsustainable agricultural practices have shouldered with a nasty amphibian disease called – chytrid have pushed the frogs to the edge of existence.

In a panicked attempt to save some of the world’s rarest species scientists have begun collecting frogs from their habitats to keep in captivity in the fear the new disease and the concerning ecological disruption will wipe out all frogs everywhere, forever.

Already in the jungles of Panama, South America, where frogs were abundant, forests chirped and racketed with the songs of many different species, are now dead silent. Scientist predicts that the frog population of Panama will be gone forever in the next ten years. This harrowing sentiment echoes across the world, with frog colonies in Australia dying out because of global warming, habitat destruction, pollution, predators, and the deadly chytrid fungus.

The last vestibule is to collect as many specimens as possible and keep them in safe seclusion from the outside world until either we clean up the global mess we have made or find a cure. Sadly as the world’s populations of frogs disappear, we learn of their incredible gifts. Frogs, we have discovered they are the keepers of miracles. Compounds and toxins that frogs secrete and create hold the potential to cure cancer, HIV and provide potent pain relief that has no side effects and is not addictive. 

What Can You Do?

The first thing you can do is make frog friendly gardens and stop using chemicals cleaners in and around the home!.

  • Frogs need water to breed, and shady, leafy areas to keep themselves fresh. Ferns, grapevines, tropical plants and grasses are great for frogs to hide in. Plant frog friendly plants in and around your home. https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/get-involved/do-your-part/frog-friendly-garden
  • Some plants are toxic to frogs so be careful not to put your pond near these.
  • A frog pond only needs to be a few inches deep. Having areas raised by adding rocking or logs will help frogs in and out of the pond.
  • Frogs start their lives in water, as tadpoles and develop into full-size frogs.
  • Frogs live up to 15 years.
  • Frogs eat insects, snails and mosquito larvae.
  • Choose earth-friendly cleaning products in and around the home
  • Frogs skin is sensitive to chemicals; any household cleaner will kill your frogs.
  • If you are lucky enough to have frogs inhabit your backyard be kind to them. Frogs are so delicate that your skin can cause them harm.
  • The chemicals you use every day inadvertently end up in the environment and the food, air and water we rely on to survive. What poisons frogs also poisons you.
  • Keep fertilisers and pesticides well away from any plants and water sources your frogs inhabit these dangerous chemicals will kill them.

 

PEACE GIANTS – Thich Nhat Hanh

PEACE GIANTS – Thich Nhat Hanh

“You Must Love In Such A Way That The Person You Love Feels Free.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh-

A global Peace Giant, Thich Nhat Hanh has revolutionised our way of seeing the world through his prayers, philosophy, activism and teachings.

Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 books, including classics like The Miracle of Mindfulness and Peace is Every Step.
– Plum Village

Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, renowned for bridging Eastern and Western spirituality, is the 2015 Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award recipient.

Thich Nhat Hanh Receives the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award