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Reprogramming - Our brain


Mathematics and the human brain

In one of my math classes, our professor mentioned some interesting studies by John Von Neumann and when I researched further, I found a study where he showed connections and similarities between our brain and mathematics. I have been studying mathematics for 7 years now, and lately, my interest in the connection between the brain and my field of study has increased. Given the complexity of our brain and the large number of calculations it performs in a short period of time, I became all the more curious to look into it more deeply.

How the brain works is still a mystery to many today. The human brain has a complex structure: to grasp the scope of this computing machine, one must realize that the brain is a vast network of densely interconnected cells consisting of about 171 trillion brain cells - about 86 billion neurons and another 85 billion non-neuronal cells. Between the neurons alone, there are about 10 quadrillion connections - that's a 10 followed by 15 zeros.

 

I'm going to give you a little task. 

Imagine biting into a lemon. How does that feel to you?

Even if you just imagine biting into a lemon, you have that sour taste in your mouth, you start producing saliva and immediately remember what it feels like.

 

But how can our brain recall memories and connections at any time?

So I did some further research regarding the connections between our brain and math. In one of his studies, Rick Hugainr, director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience, presented memory as a neural connection. "Memories are who we are," Huganir says. "But the formation of memories is also a biological process."

 

He also mentioned, that even when we learn something as simple as a person's name, we make connections between neurons in the brain. These synapses create new circuits between neurons, essentially rearranging the brain. The sheer number of possible connections gives the brain unimaginable flexibility - each of the brain's 100 billion neurons can have 10,000 connections to other neurons.

 

Surprisingly, researchers are now exploiting the properties of certain types of cortical neurons and processes in the field of deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Our second brain hemisphere provides us with a brief change of pace - this is where emotions are primarily processed.

But how does the left brain perform compared to the right? 

Our brain can essentially be divided into two areas - the rational brain, which is controlled by the prefrontal cortex, and the emotional side, which is controlled by the limbic system. All decisions related to goal setting, problem-solving, and planning are influenced by our prefrontal cortex, which is the rational brain. But the moment you get angry because someone was mean to you is more a task of your emotional brain.

There are some interesting theories about these distinctions.

The theory of the Elephant and the Rider

Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at New York University, compares an elephant to the emotional side of our brain and the rider to its rational side.

It may seem that the rider is usually in charge and controls the elephant, but whenever a conflict arises between the two, the elephant wins. This theory is a metaphor for the emotional and the rational side of our brain.

 

Task: Can you imagine eating a chocolate cake in the middle of the night? Or putting off a confrontation to watch Netflix?

This is our emotional side winning over the rational. Behavioral changes occur when the elephant and the rider move together to achieve the goal. As the saying goes: "Direct the Rider, Motivate the Elephant, and Shape the Path"


Can my brain be reprogrammed for positive change? 

There are so many other examples that confirm that people can reprogram their minds with strong positive emotions. I recently came across the book "The Choice" by Dr. Edith Eger. She was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 when she was 16 years old. Now 94 years old, she is a psychologist and has dedicated her career to treating patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

*Successful psychologist and world-renowned speaker Dr. Edith Eger is one of the last survivors of the Holocaust. Her harrowing story is a deeply moving testimony to the triumph of humanity over hatred and shows us that in life we always have the freedom to choose. In 1944, at the age of 16, Edith Eger was deported from her native Hungary to Auschwitz. There she had to suffer unimaginable things: She saw her mother go into the gas chamber and afterward had to dance in front of Josef Mengele. It's a miracle that Edith survived the horrors of the National Socialist camps. In the USA, she built a new life for herself alongside her husband and became a psychologist and therapist. *

 

"Suffering is universal," Edith says. She adds, "Victimhood is optional. It comes from within. We don't become victims because of what happens to us, but when we choose to hold on to our victimization. A victim would normally say - why me? But a survivor would say, "Now what?". She believes that her mind cannot be controlled by anyone but herself.

There is more scientific evidence that our brains can adapt to change throughout our lives. As the name suggests, neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to adapt.

It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences. 

- Dr. Campbell

When we learn something new, we can establish new connections between our neurons. In this way, our brain becomes attuned to new situations. Studies have shown that we can also stimulate the process of rewiring ourselves. The term was first formulated by Polish neuroscientist Jerzy Konorski in 1948 to describe observed changes in neuronal structure and to reconnect the circuits in our brain.

 

Now the next big question is: Can we rewire our anxiety-related memories or traumatic experiences in life and form new connections in our brains? Research on neuroplasticity has shown us that our daily behaviors can have measurable effects on brain structure and function, which can enable healing and recovery from psychiatric disorders (Hellerstein, 2011).

A combination that makes the difference 

The Emotional Training Program consists of various elements: Harmonies, Affirmations, Relaxation Exercises, and Negative & Positive Scenes (for addiction programs only).

 

The Harmonies are powerful emotional exercises that reduce anxiety and stress, boost self-confidence, and stimulate metabolism. The spoken visualizations and the film music composed especially for them trigger strong emotions in the listener and lead quickly and permanently to a positive change in behavior. 

 

Why does this combination work? 

There is a lot of scientific evidence that visualization, affirmations and music have a great impact on our brain, and our thoughts. 

Affirmations: 

 

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale 

 

And here are additional important rules for formulating your personal affirmations;

Formulate the affirmation only in the present. Because the subconscious understands formulations in the future accordingly - as something that should happen in the distant future, but not now and today.

Wrong: I will succeed.
Right:I am on the road to success. Or: I am successful in everything I do. 

Do not use negations. Because the subconscious mind is not able to classify a negation.

For example, if I say: Don't think of a pink elephant now, you will immediately see a pink elephant in front of your inner eye ...

Wrong: I am not afraid.
Right:I am strong and confident. 

Wrong:I am no longer sad. 

Right:(for example) Happiness lies only within me.

To learn more about this, you can buy Dagmar Herzog's e-book on "The Power of Emotions" or "Mental Slimming Training".

 

Visualization 

"What you imagine, you create." -Buddha 

 

Your subconscious mind responds well to images. Visualization is a great way to program your mind with positive, encouraging images. Try spending 10-15 minutes a day imagining positive scenes that show you and your life experiences.

 

Here's a quick visualization you can work with: 

I imagine pictures that mean the absolute joy in life for me, e.g. walking along the beach, breathing clean air, perceiving the colors of the water, feeling the sun on my skin, moving freely and safely, eating a salad on a beach café and drinking a sparkling cool glass of mineral water, liberated, elated, happy. With these positive scenes, the subconscious is reprogrammed, because in the positive scenes, drinking tea or moving in nature is experienced in connection with feelings of happiness. 

Music

According to studies, music has various positive effects on our brain, such as the following.

 

We have for you a fragment from our emotional sleep training: 

You can listen to it before you go to sleep, lie down in bed with your eyes closed, and try to listen to it for 15 minutes. 

 

To learn more about how music affects our brain and how it is integrated into our training. Read our article - The Power of Music to get a better understanding.

 

Finally, I would like to share with you the experience of one of our users, Gabi. P.K. She has worked with the Anti-Anxiety & Depression Training and used its elements to improve her habits and her feelings to reprogram her brain in the long term.

Katrin (00:00)

Now I think at the beginning I would very much like to know what was your personal situation when you decided to start the anti-anxiety and depression training. Maybe you can tell us a little bit of the background story and how it actually happen that you then discovered the Herzog method.

 

Gabi (00:17)

Well, I came across the Method 26 years ago and lost 18 kilos in 4 months through mental slimming training and within one weekend my self-confidence increased so much that friends and acquaintances immediately talked to me about it. So that was quite a crazy experience. I was nervous before and had no self-confidence and after that weekend I was a completely different person. I changed my life completely at that time. It was perfect for six years. I had incredible energy, was very happy and content. And then within a short period of time so many things happened that completely knocked me down. Then I started eating uncontrollably again, just wanting to suffer and be pitied. So I think everyone knows the situation. And although I would have known how to get out of it with the Herzog method, I preferred the suffering path at that time. Now, two and a half years ago, I was in such a situation again. My husband, the love of my life, passed away after 12 years of serious illness and I cried an incredible amount, I was totally desperate and would have preferred not to get up in the morning.

 

Gabi (01:45)

After almost a year of intense mourning, motivated by a conversation with Dagmar Herzog, I started again to listen and especially to feel the Harmonies.

 

Katrin (01:56)

I find that quite exciting and let's start with the program itself. How did you incorporate it into your daily routine? How often did you do it? Is there a ritual for you? Maybe we'll start with that.

 

Gabi (02:07)

So I then did the program every day, although I actually mostly preferred to listen to "Walk in the woods" Harmony. In my head, I did this walk with my husband in spirit. So he was always there and I still imagine that when I listen to it. I see him, I feel him and I am unspeakably happy.

 

Katrin (02:33)

Would you say that this feeling that he is still there with you is the anchor that doesn't let you slip?

 

Gabi (02:41)

Exactly, I then just simply believe he is always with me and feel it very intensively in this exercise. And I know that he is always with me and that is just an incredibly beautiful, reassuring feeling that lets me simply live life again the way I used to.

 

Katrin (03:07)

Yes, I can understand that. And is it that you do it once a day? Or do you do these exercises several times? Is there something you still do in the evening? Or do you say that once a day is enough for you?

 

Gabi (03:20)

Yes, well, once a day was enough for me. That's because I did it extremely intensively 26 years ago. And I really did it properly then. And I actually did it for six years, because I didn't want to miss it anymore. It was just such a great feeling and that always put me in such a satisfied and happy state and brought so much energy that I really did six years always. And that was now of course, even if there was a long time in between, very helpful because I got back into it extremely quickly.

 

Katrin (04:00)

Yes, well, once a day was enough for me. That's because I did it extremely intensively 26 years ago. And I really did it properly then. And I actually did it for six years, because I didn't want to miss feeling well anymore. It was just such a great feeling and that always put me in such a satisfied and happy state and brought so much energy that I really did for six years always. And even if there was a long time in between, it was very helpful now because I got back into it extremely quickly.

 

Gabi (04:23)

Yes, well, once a day was enough for me. That's because I did it extremely intensively 26 years ago. And I really did it properly then. And I actually did it for six years, because I didn't want to miss feeling well anymore. It was just such a great feeling and that always put me in such a satisfied and happy state and brought so much energy that I really did for six years always. And even if there was a long time in between, it was very helpful now because I got back into it extremely quickly.

 

Katrin (05:21)

Okay, das war sehr schön. Eine schöne Überleitung zur nächsten Frage, die ich hätte, undzwar hast du ja bei dem zweiten Programm gesagt, dass nach einem Wochenende da schon von außen Feedback kam, dass irgendwas anders ist. Dein Mann hat dich geweckt, aber die Veränderung zur Umwelt, die Veränderung. Also auch vom Verhalten anderen Menschen dir gegenüber. Vielleicht fangen wir mal an mit dem Programm vor 26 Jahren, weil du da einfach neu angefangen hast. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass es jetzt beim zweiten Mal sehr schnell ging. Aber damals erzähl mal wie das so war, wann die Leute angefangen haben, auf dich anders zu reagieren bzw. dass ihnen das auch aufgefallen ist, dass irgendwas sich an Gabi verändert hat.

 

Gabi (06:05)

So it was after the first time listening to this harmony I was already so deep in the emotions that already the next day I felt only a fraction of the sadness. That happened very quickly. I found a way for me to cope or deal with the sadness. And through the feelings of happiness, which I experienced through the harmony, and through the belief in life after death, I have found a wonderful way to deal with grief in such a way that I have completely turned my life around again, as I did 26 years ago.

 

Katrin (06:45)

And then, did the program have a lasting impact on you?

 

Gabi (06:50)

Yes, so my work fulfills me totally again. And despite or because of Corona, I see that I am doing well, that I am doing the things that bring me joy, like good conversations with dear friends, singing, laughing, dancing, making music, seeing and feeling nature. And because I am very happy and content, it is also possible for me to help people around me. I do that whichever way I can and that is an incredibly nice feeling. I am constantly asked about it and also I have learned to let go again. It is a very important part of the method and through it, I could lose weight from the beginning of the training. And then one kilo every month. At the moment I lost twelve kilos already. That's not as fast as the first time, but I'm not 35 anymore.

 

Katrin (07:48)

It is also not necessary that it happens so quickly. Very nice! And that is visible to people around which is somehow the best proof.

 

Gabi (07:59)

Ja aber auch die Ausstrahlung und die, die es in sich wohnen und das glücklich sein und das merken alle um mich herum. Das ist wirklich, das ist wieder unglaublich toll geworden und das hätte ich selber nie gedacht, dass ich wieder so Freude am Leben habe.

 

Katrin (08:18)

That's a really great story. Do you believe in the effect of the emotional training program?

 

Gabi (08:30)

I do not believe it. I know it.

 

Katrin (08:33)

The best answer to the question I think. And would you recommend the program to others with similar problems like stress, anxiety, who are also struggling with a similar background?

 

Gabi (08:49)

Yes, what a question, of course. It's an incredible feeling when you manage to get better with the help of this method and yet always have the feeling that you've done it yourself. Yes, it is different from when I go for weeks, months, years to a therapist who pulls me out of the bad place. But with the method, I then have the feeling that I've done it myself. Yes, with the help of this method, it's quite incredible feeling. And it is also the other components of the method, such as the affirmations, a different evaluation of situations and finally, the letting go, that have brought me to the point where today I can look back with gratitude, but without sadness, on the wonderful time with my wonderful husband and still be able to love the people who accompany me again.

 

Katrin (09:49)

I would still like to know: was there a moment when it was difficult to convince yourself? Did you have many moments in which you somehow had to, let's say, persuade yourself to do something? Or was that relatively quickly, that it was so deep inside you emotionally, that it wasn't necessary at all? So these moments, sometimes you know that you still have to pull yourself together to do sports from time to time. Did you have that too, or was that never the case?

 

Gabi (10:20)

Wenn es jetzt um die Sache geht, was was das Essen angeht, dass man da wirklich loslässt und einfach wirklich das macht, was man möchte, das hatte ich ganz schnell drin. Ich kann mich erinnern. Ich hatte an einem Sonntag vor 26 Jahren, waren wir nach dem Training noch im Café und ich habe mir ein Cappuccino bestellt. Dann sagte die Dagmar, "die hat es kapiert". Ja, ich habe mir nie was verboten. Und ich habe auch jetzt in dem letzten Jahr, in dem ich diese zwölf Kilo abgenommen habe. Ich habe wirklich ein, zweimal in der Woche abends so eine Phase, da will ich noch das und das und das ja, dann mach ichs halt. Aber im Großen und Ganzen läuft mein Tag wirklich so, dass ich nur esse, wenn ich hungrig bin. Das ist meistens erst um 2 Uhr mittags oder sowas immer es ist, zwischen zwei und sechs was mir über den Weg läuft. Und ja, es ist einfach: ich vertraue meinem Körper und der macht das.

 

Gabi (11:27)

Und wenn ich mal einen Tag habe, was nicht so toll ist, dann ist es halt so. Und trotzdem funktioniert es. Das ist einfach ganz wichtig, dass wieder das Vertrauen zu einem selber, zu seinem Körper und auch zum Leben zu finden. Dass man weiß das Leben meints einfach gut mit einem. Man muss es nur sehen. Und ja, dann kann man auch diese Übungen machen. Ich habe die am Anfang so eisern gemacht. Ich habe sie nachts um zwei gemacht, wenn ich spät ins Bett gegangen bin. Es war einfach, vorher war der Tag nicht abgeschlossen, bevor ich das nicht gemacht habe. Und das hat mich in der Früh wieder fröhlich und energiegeladen aufstehen lassen, aufstehen lassen. Das gehört einfach auch jetzt wieder zu meinem Leben dazu. Und ich bin sehr dankbar darum. Immer wieder. Ich habe das auch schon vielen weiterempfohlen. Eins fällt mir vielleicht noch ein, dass ich immer ähm, was ich immer in den Jahren wirklich mir immer gedacht habe. Es ist so schade. Eigentlich gehört diese Methode in jede Grundschule oder Anfang Gymnasium, dass die Kinder schon am Anfang lernen, wie toll sie mit dem Unterbewusstsein arbeiten können. Und das ganze Leben würde ganz anders und viel leichter verlaufen.

 

Katrin (12:52)

Ja, wir glauben es auch, wir haben tatsächlich schon oft den ersten Kontakt zu Schulen gesucht, weil jetzt auch ein Kinderprogramm haben. Ich glaube, auch das ist eine ganz wichtige Generations-Aufgabe ist. Wunderbar. Gut, dann  noch mal vielen herzlichen Dank, einen schönen Mittag.

 

Gabi (13:08)

Danke dir auch

 

Katrin (13:09)

Ich würde mich tatsächlich, wenn irgendwas noch ist, einfach gerne melden. Wissen ob alles in Ordnung ist und prima. Danke für deine Zeit.

 

Gabi (13:16)

Danke Katrin.

 

Katrin (13:18)

Tschüss!

 

Gabi (13:19)

Tschüss.

Simran Talreja

Simran Talreja

Simran ist zuständig für Business Optimization & Intelligenz bei LUMEUS. Studiert derzeit M.Sc Mathematik an der TU München.

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