Category Archive: Brain

  1. 8 Habits That Reveal Your Secrets

    Leave a Comment

    Whether you’re picking your nails or simply fidgeting, it all tells a story. Learn what you’re revealing to others and how to read the signs you see.

    1. Brushing Hair Off Your Face: This can indicate either nerves or an unintentional flirtation. Avoid touching your hair and face at work.

    2. Nose Scratching: Lying is associated with an adrenaline rush. This chemical release causes the capillaries to expand and makes the nose itch.

    3. Nodding: If you tend to nod in clusters of three, the speaker will perceive that you are interested in what they are saying and lengthen their response. Nod only once when trying to be polite but also end the conversation.

    4. Lowering Your Gaze: This humble gesture is often an unconscious bid to gain the support of others.

    5. Pursing Your Lips: Pursing, by narrowing the margins of your lips, is a strong indicator of anger, according to Paul Ekman, former University of California at San Francisco professor.

    6. Tilting Your Head: Cocking your head to one side indicates that you are friendly and approachable. Researchers believe that by showing the other person your jugular vein, you are indicating that you are not a threat and wish to build trust.

    7. Smiling: Skip the Botox, because, according to Professor Barbee of the University of Kentucky, the only sincere smile is one that also engages the eye muscles. People who grin only with their lips are likely faking it.

    8. Biting Your Lips: Nibbling or licking your lips suggests that you find a situation to be uncomfortable. When you don’t have to talk, try keeping your teeth together to avoid this habit.

  2. The Brain and Stress

    Leave a Comment

    A fire, your brain, and stress … how are all three of these related?

    Noticing a fire in your school or office building, you would pull the fire alarm (or call 911). The alarm alerts a fire station to send their trucks. In the mean time, everyone evacuates the building because the only necessary business is safety. Simultaneously, this same drama is going on in your brain.

    The brain’s hypothalamus detects a threat (fire) and sounds an alarm, alerting the adrenal glands (station) to send out hormones (trucks) such as adrenaline and cortisol. The cortisol shuts down (evacuates) all nonessential body functions, focusing your energy on survival. This is what we call the stress response.

    Stress effects your brain’s hippocampus (memory), amygdala (emotions), and prefrontal cortex (planning, execution). If your body remains stressed over time, those areas of your brain can eventually suffer damage. The amygdala will become too large, the hippocampus shrinks, and the prefrontal cortex can lose its ability to extinguish the fear response.

    Article by Jacqueline Marshall, licensed clinical professional counselor