Natural History, The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Natural History, The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Natural History
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Scientific nameAgalychnis callidryas
ClassAmphibia
FamilyPhyllomedusidae
KingdomAnimalia
Higher classificationAgalychnis

I hope my frog caught your attention.
This little guy is the poster child of environmental awareness campaigns worldwide, and it is easy to see why.

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog, sometimes also referred to as a ‘Leaf Frog’, is native to central and South America. It has striking features that include, Irridescent orange-red eyes, that bulge from a slender green body, luminous orange toes, and an inky blue underside.

We are Family

Frogs are our distant relatives. Having lived on the earth some 250 million years, these adaptive vertebrates were the first to bridge land and lake and marked the beginning of animal evolution on land.

 Frogs are an important emblem of nature, they represent the finite balance and health of the planet. Sensitive to toxins, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and predation, the decline or extinction of frogs species indicates disease in all other areas of the biosphere.

The natural world and its abundance of rare and gorgeous creatures are fast becoming natural history. We are hurriedly trying to capitalise on the last remaining sanctuaries of rare creatures, plants, microbes, fungi, insects, reefs and wilderness  – documenting, and synthesizing natures wonder market, where compounds, and chemical used in pharmacy – are only now coming to attention as we lose time.

Learn more on frogs here 

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Now

Science says we are now in the 6th Mass Extinctions, the 5th was the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago where it is believed a giant asteroid struck the earth and caused the mass die out. Our extinction is unique to all others, it is the first to be caused by a species of animal wiping out all others.

To capitalise on the earth natural resources for wealth, we have soured the soil, turned the seas to acid and poisoned the air. Sounds a little dramatic, too bad. It would nice to sugar coat this article, but after learning that the entire Koala population of the Kiwarrick State Forest in NSW,( where I am from), was lost in our 2019 firestorm, I have a moral duty to make a point.

As a content writer for education I rarely share my own voice, I try to stay impartial and provide information and resources that help the reader make up their own mind. But today I am sharing a little bit of myself with you in the hopes that the project I am working with, Natural History,  might catch the attention and the imagination of you and spark your interest in saving the planet too.

This article will be one of five that will feature a combination of unique and endangered animals from around the world. The aim is to inspire you to pay attention to what is happening in your own backyard, make better decisions about where you spend your money, what you put into your body, and how you treat the living world around you.

We are totally reliant on each other and all other species of plant, animal, fungi, insect and invertebrate in the world. Tiny changes are still meaningful and your contribution however big or small could help save what precious resources and animals we have left.

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

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Breaking Bad Habits – Mindfulness Changes Your Brain

Habits

One of the greatest developments in contemporary psychiatry and behavioural psychology is the knowledge that the mind and the brain are in fact two separate things and that with the power of your awareness you can change the structure and the chemistry of your own brain.

With the knowledge that you can use mindfulness to rewire your brain, the treatment of behavioural disorders and mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, (a debilitating mental illness that is a result of faulty brain circuitry) can now be undone and managed in a way that may no longer require the use of pharmaceuticals.

There is still so much to be learned on the illnesses of the mind, so much so, that contemporary psychiatry is at least 100 years behind general medicine. Research into mental illness has shown that in 30 years there has been no improvement in the use of pharmacology for the treatment of anxiety and depression, mood disorders or addiction and human happiness has not improved either.

 

Breaking Bad Habits

The more often you repeat a behaviour the stronger the urge to do it again becomes, this is because you are strengthening the neurological pathways that connect the impulse to the action in the brain.  If you stop feeding the impulse the urge will eventually die.

The compulsion to repeat negative behaviours usually proceeds an uncomfortable sensation in the body. Uncomfortable feelings are the result of your body releasing chemicals and hormones that make you feel intense sensations of uneasiness, stress, fear, panic or anxiety. Our natural response to these sensations is to make them go away as soon as possible.

Becoming aware of your feelings and understanding that the physical discomfort you are experiencing is short-lived will help you to overcome the need to feed your beast. Uncomfortable sensations and emotions are a part of being a human and knowing that they come and go will help you to reduce their impact on your life.

Once you are aware of the sensations and emotions that drive your behaviour you can begin inserting a positive action, consciously and lovingly when they occur, actively reframing your focus and rewiring your brain.
Suggested interventions that are simple and effective at the time the negative or intense feelings arise could be; having a glass of water, taking a walk, jumping up and down or practising a breathing exercise.

Giving yourself this little bit of space between the impulse and the action will draw light on your ability to navigate the mind away from your brain. The space created helps you to unlock the brain from the mind and dissolve the patterns that are embedded into your psyche.

Top Tips For Making Changes

  • Recognise the sensation the impulse creates in your body – normally negative impulses make your body feel tight and constricted and good ones make you feel open and relaxed.
  • Make the choice to sit through uncomfortable sensations for 90 seconds
  • Make a plan – have a strategy in place for when urges arise for example – when you want to eat chocolate consciously have a glass of water instead so that over time when you have the impulse to eat chocolate your action will be to drink a glass of water.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness – becoming attuned to your inner self, thoughts, feelings and emotions will help you tackle pre-programmed habits that no longer serve your greater purpose in life.
  • Positivity practices like mantra and mindfulness help to repattern the brain as you manually and thoughtful train yourself to be kind, compassionate, self-loving and aware.
  • Mediation and yoga help you to relax and refocus the mind away from the negative and reframe it to the positive, this repeated practice helps to strengthen the positive pathways in your brain and weaken the negative ones.
  • Deep breathing exercises help you to rebalance and refocus the mind and body and reduce the stress hormones that generate uncomfortable feelings.

Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy19WzkPxE&t=690s

Uncomfortable Feelings Are Short-lived

The urge to repeat a behaviour – or the compulsion only lasts approximately 90 seconds according to Dr Joan Rosenberg a clinical psychologist and motivational speaker.

Dr Rosenberg has the formula to help people with deal with uncomfortable sensations and feelings which she calls the “Rosenberg Reset” – it is 3 steps to approaching uncomfortable feelings:

Step 1. Making a choice

Step 2. Dealing with the 8 uncomfortable feelings

Step 3. 90 Seconds of separation – meaning waiting out the feelings for a minute and a half.

She says the key to happiness and success is our ability to manage uncomfortable feelings and also make accurate and meaningful decisions moment to moment.

Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz ‘You are not your brain’ at Mind & Its Potential 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcrGlUHlu4M&t=1480s&list=PL9uvtvecXuuD8zWM_rpxIccJRmzYfjJa1&index=3

Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and researcher in the field of neuroplasticity and its application to obsessive-compulsive disorder. His research has significantly impacted the treatment of serious compulsive disorders like OCD and confirms that contemplative practices like yoga and meditation change the brain.

In his 20 years of research into the compulsive disorders of the mind, DR. Schwartz confirmed that the mind – the immaterial can change the material meaning that the adage ‘Mind over Matter’ is on point. It confirms that our self actually exists beyond the physical body and is an intelligence that is unseen and immaterial, yet very real.

You are not your body but a spiritual being inhabiting the body just got very real.

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.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

It Took The Whole Universe

It Took The Whole Universe

It Took The Whole Universe…

Part 1: You, me and everything in between

If you ever have that indefinable feeling of loneliness, hopelessness and isolation, just look to the stars and know that you and I are the same as them and it took the whole universe to make you.

Biologically speaking from the smallest microbe to the largest mammal, all the enzymes that make up our genetics are the same as theirs. Just four proteins referred to as, ATCG, (Adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine are the four nucleotides found in DNA ) are what create the myriad of life on our blue planet.

Our DNA which made up of four main atoms; hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen are elements forged in the fire of the virgin universe some 13.8 billion years ago.  Somehow stardust spread throughout two trillion galaxies, coalesced into finite order to create you.

When we pull apart the universe strangely it too carried the equation of four final components; everything that exists within it, including the planets, people, galaxies, gases and stars is made from tiny zipping particles and they are the up quark, the down quark, electron and the neutrino.

Beyond it’s four tiny constiuents the universe is a field of energy which exists where nothing else can. It moves like a liquid, and it cannot be created or destroyed, has no known origin and does not stop moving. This field of infinite possibility is called the Quantum Field, and the physics that confirms it’s existence are our most reliable model for reality ever.

This field permeates everything in the universe, including you and me. Particles that exist within the field bundle together to create matter and this is where you and I and everything else resides as tiny bundles of particles packaged together floating in a field of energy.

The fact that you and I exist at all is extraordinary, given we are just bundles of energy packaged together, conscious, creative and alive. What makes this aliveness is something of a mystery, how it exists and why, an even bigger one and trying to figure it out may never happen so in the meantime – as the once great Sufi Poet, Rumi said, “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment”…

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 and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

In Sync

In Sync

In Sync

Music could hold the key to improving student engagement and learning.
Could listening to music before classroom tasks enhance the social and emotional bonds of students, enhance cognitive function and improve the overall health and wellbeing of our kids?

Music influences our thoughts, feelings and emotions, and it can also increase our ability to consolidate and store memories, learn new things and increase our social and emotional intelligence. When infant children are exposed to music with play, studies show their speech patterns, theory of mind and the ability to predict rhythms are enhanced.

Sharing music, making music and dancing with music makes us closer in physical proximity but it also means our brains are closer too. Science proves that the quality of music we listen to, sharing the listening experience and making music brings us closer together by syncing our brain waves, changing our chemistry and helping us work in unison.

Music And Dementia

In 2014 the film ‘Alive Inside’ chronicled the lives of Dementia patients in care homes that were given Ipods with their choice of music to listen to in an attempt to see whether music can help retrieve memories and stimulate communication.

The result was startling as Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett along with a team of  healthcare mavericks including Dan Cohen, founder of the Music and Mind Foundation watched patients previously locked in the minds, inert and silent suddenly light up and begin singing along to their music.

In the moments after listening to familiar songs the patients were able to retrieve memories long forgotten, sing songs and remember lyrics and communicate verbally after being completely silent and unmoved for years.

This documentary spearheaded research into how music activates areas of the brain associated with memory and emotion. Scientists know that music has the potential to increase working memory and in the case of dementia patients help in the retrieval of memories, the management of behavioural problems and can assist with coordination, verbal communication, cognition and overall wellbeing.

Alive Inside – Alzheimers Documentary
ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music.

https://youtu.be/IaB5Egej0TQ
Dan Cohen, MSW, is the founding Executive Director of Music & Memory, Inc. He combines an extensive background in high tech training, corporate sales and software applications with social work, specialising in vocational rehabilitation and community service organising.

 


Two Minds Really Do Think Alike

Suzanne Dikker cognitive neuroscientist explores the interaction between art, concentration and mental synchronicity to understand our social connections and our behaviour.

Her projects include the use of EEG ( electroencephalogram ) to study the brains of high school students. She discovers that students who’s brain waves are in synch feel a greater sense of wellbeing in the classroom, perform better cogntively and show high classroom engagement.

 

SUZANNE DIKKER

cognitive neuroscience | art | ed

with David Poeppel, Dana Bevilacqua, Lu Wan, Mingzhou Ding, Lisa Kaggen, Ido Davidesco & Matthias Oostrik

We work with high schools to investigate the brain basis of classroom interactions. Students are involved in the design and execution of the research and participate as experimental subjects while we record their brain activity during their regular classes.

http://www.suzannedikker.net/projects

 

Four Ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds

Why would human evolution have given us music? New research says the answer may lie in our drive to connect.

 According to researchers, when we try to synch with others musically—keeping the beat or harmonizing, for example—we tend to feel positive social feelings towards those with whom we’re synchronizing, even if that person is not visible to us or not in the same room. 

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/four_ways_music_strengthens_social_bonds

 

Synchronised brainwaves a sign of positive feelings


A classroom study finds that brainwave synchronisation is a reliable marker of interpersonal feelings and class engagement, writes Andrew Masterson.

Why would human evolution have given us music? New research says the answer may lie in our drive to connect.

In a report published in the journal Current Biology, Dikker and her colleagues establish that brain synchronisation between students is a reliable marker of how well they like each other, and how they feel about the lesson they are undertaking.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/synchronised-brainwaves-a-sign-of-positive-feelings

 

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.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved

The Reasons Why

The Reasons Why

The Reasons Why

The eruption of contemplative practices into our daily lives seems to be in direct response to the amount of stress and mental illness we are experiencing. 
At least 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness which means 30% of the population is affected at some point, by 2020 depression will be the second biggest illness internationally.
(Harris – p.3)

As modern medicine fails to provide the solutions to our systemic health crisis could we find the solution to good health and happiness in our own minds? As ancient technology becomes new-science we discover that within us are all the tools we need to live well, live long and be happy.

Most people come to meditation to escape stress in mind and ailments in the body. Meditation offers a way to decompress tension and quieten the mind while providing a safe space to escape your children.

Along with the benefits of a soothing retreat for mind, body and soul meditation can also help us to face the more significant questions in life like; who am I?,  why am I here?, and will I ever look as happy and relaxed as that girl over there?.

Along with managing the symptoms of stress, meditation can heal the damage stress does, reverse the impact of stress-related illness and can also get to the very bottom of why you are so imbalanced in the first place, (if you stick with it long enough).

Meditation can be beautiful, magical, otherworldly and deeply rewarding and it can also be very confronting, sometimes frightening and confusing as you face life’s biggest obstacle – your mind.

 

It takes courage and consistency to overcome the mind – but the benefits are unlimited- as so it seems. Looking at the science that supports the practices of meditation we are hinging on a door to a limitless reality where the mind can be used to heal the body and change your perceptions.

Whatever your reasons for taking the practice of meditation – whether it be to master your mind or heal the body – the success of your practice lies with your ability to focus and concentrate.

Books

1. Russ Harris, 2007, ‘The Happiness Trap’, (Harris)

Videos & Youtube

These resources are selected from Youtube and we advise parental supervision while accessing this external platform.

Published on May 30, 2017

https://youtu.be/s5Hpm-6Inxc

http://www.healdocumentary.com A documentary film that takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that by changing one’s perceptions, the human body can heal itself. The latest science reveals that we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis.  Featuring Dr. Deepak Chopra, Anita Moorjani, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Anthony William ‘ Medical Medium’, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Gregg Braden, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. David Hamilton, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Rob Wergin, Dr. Kelly Turner, Peter Chrone, Dr Darren Weissman, and Dr Jeffrey Thompson.

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 and platforms content is provided on.

We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved