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Mind Tricks to Improve Focus and Calm Your Brain

Learn what science has taught us about the benefits of mindfulness, play some brain tricks, and practice a few types of mindfulness in this ADHDKC talk with parents and teens.


Watch here or listen on Spotify!




AI Generated Transcript - excuse the errors!

I didn’t change my name each time it’s listed, but I wanted to explain why it is “Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream” because it does look odd. I teach a class that teaches about ADHD to kids through a detective theme, so I’m Detective Livinthedream - for any of you who know me, I always reply “living the dream” when people ask how I am, so I chose that as my code name. You can learn more about it from TEACH Me ADHD.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Cool.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Let's wait another minute or 2, and then we'll get going.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: if anyone wants to put in the chat box, just if you know where they're from, part of Kansas City or if this is the 1st time, or if they have been here before, maybe how they found out about this, if this is the 1st time, just to kinda Jeremy and I are really on this mission to

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: awareness of this organization. So.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Us.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I would love to hear some of those comments.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Yeah, definitely.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I have never had a request to

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: record the meeting. We are recording it, though, so we will be posting it on our

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: website. Youtube channel things like that.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So,

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I don't know that you need to record it on your own.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: So you don't want me to record it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can record it.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Oh, I see!

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Then it will

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: if you record it to the cloud, I should be able to.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Got it going to the cloud.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And take it.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Okay. Should we go ahead and get started, or you would wait another minute or 2.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: either way. Start on time so we can finish on time.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Good point. Okay, so welcome, everybody. My name is Jeremy Didier, and I am the co-founder of Adhd, Kc. Which is Kan, Kansas city's award winning. Chad chapter, and Chad stands for children and adults with Adhd and our presenter. Tonight is the fabulous Dr. Kristen Steppy, who also happens to be the co-founder of Adhd, and she's absolutely

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: phenomenal. She I I there's not enough amazing things for me to say about her in the short amount of time that we have available. But she's a fabulous pediatrician. She's an incredible marketing. Guru. She's a mom, she's a friend. She's a teacher. She's an advocate. She's a pioneer, and she is a passionate about helping people with Adhd. And so I'm just gonna let you take it from there. How's that sound?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And it sounds like next time you ask if you want to introduce me, I'll just say no. I'll do it myself. I just need to like.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: That was a good introduction.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Does. But you know just that it's weird.

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Jeremy Didier (she/her) KC: Oh, it's on!

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright. So I would love for everyone to participate tonight. I am a big believer that if you just sit there and listen, you're gonna start

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: just getting distracted. So I want everyone to participate a little bit. And one of the 1st things you can do to participate would be to put in the chat box. How you heard about here, because we would love to figure out what marketing strategies are working, and I know someone already put in the chat box that it was from pediatric partners, social media so welcome. And I do that as well. So all fun.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So we all want the magic bullet that will fix everything.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And tonight we're going to talk about some of the ways we can change our minds. That might seem too good to be true. There's really science

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: behind.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: how we can change our brain and the way it thinks.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So this can help when we're anxious or depressed. It can help us when we need to focus, can help us learn to sleep better all the things

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: they're it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So 1st and foremost, Chad disclaimer. Hang on. I have to get rid of the faces. They're over the disclaimer. So I can read them. Chad does not endorse product services, publications, medications, or treatments, including those advertised in any Chad publications, webinars or podcasts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I am not going to talk tonight about anything, that is

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: selling anything. But I would never do that.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Adhd, Casey is a chat chapter. So we talk about the disclaimer every meeting.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then for those of you who joined a little early I did comment that I am going to ask for comments anytime. You see that little comment box icon? Then I'm going to ask for some participation. So if you want to change your name so that it just shows up with initials or something, you can change your name.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: we'll go on.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And another way you guys can let us know if there's a Yes or a Me. Response is to use the emojis under the little reactions button. If you hover down towards the bottom you can find all these things. But I would appreciate that you stay on mute unless you ask to unmute, because if everybody starts getting off of mute, it gets really distracting with all the background noise

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. And if you see this, it means we're gonna play a mind game of sorts. A bit of magic tonight.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright. So we're gonna start with a mind trick a bit of fun.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you guys to put in the chat box. How many triangles you see.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you guys can just try to put in how many triangles

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I remember. It's all about tricks, so I don't expect a whole lot of right answers.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: That's the votes for

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 5, 8.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: He's accounting a lot 2,

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 7, 8

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: big variety here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if you guys look at it really carefully

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: that we've got people answering here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I don't know how many people are on this call, so I'm not sure how many numbers to anticipate.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but we've got everything from 2,

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 1011

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: oh, 11 on the call.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but from 2 to 10 triangles.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Huge variation here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: There's not actually a single triangle in the whole thing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It looks like there's a triangle like a white triangle pointing down a brighter that's kind of brighter than the rest of the background. But it's just an illusion.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Our brains create an outline that isn't there in what's known as a phantom edge phenomena.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Sometimes our brains are convinced that things look one way, but if we step back and look at it from another perspective, we can see their perception isn't always right.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if you look at each part of this, it's more obvious that there are a few partial circles and some lines that form angles. But there is no actual triangle.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if you're very aware of each part, maybe even if you cover up the other parts, you can see it more clearly, or the lack of it more clearly. And that's a lot like how we can break apart situations that we're ruminating on and worried about, or having a

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: discord with another person trying to look at other angles of things, trying to see what other people are seeing. So we're going to talk tonight about something that has a lot of research to back it up. But a lot of people kind of dismiss mindfulness. They think they can't do it. It's too hard, or it's just silly. It's not going to do anything.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But I'm gonna try to start with some science, and then we'll practice some mindfulness techniques to sprinkle in some more tricks, too.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So for thousands of years people have practiced meditation for spiritual, emotional, physical well-being. In nearly every religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as a tradition of using meditative practices.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's been used for thousands of years, which means

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: it persists over time. There's probably some value to it. And now, recently, scientists have been studying it. So we can actually show why it's working, how it's working

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: during meditation. Brain scans show increased activity in areas of the brain that are correlated with decreased anxiety and depression along with increased pain, tolerance. So regular meditation can allow people to have improved memory, focus, self-awareness, empathy and goal setting.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and it also changes brain waves. So it's much beyond my understanding. But scientists can measure these frequencies, and meditators have higher alpha waves which has been shown to reduce feelings of negative mood, tension, sadness, and anger.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if that wasn't enough, it also physically changes our brain, shape and size. So studies have shown that after 8 weeks of meditation, gray matter was more dense in areas that were associated with learning, memory, processing, and emotion and regulation.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if any of you joined me last month when we talked about anxiety. The amygdala is like the watchdog of our brain. It looks for dangers. It's like the dog that barks at everything, though it's not very smart.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and unfortunately, when it barks it scares away the wise old out part of our brain. That does all our thinking. So we can't think. And you guys have probably all been there before where you're just so emotionally either angry or sad, or worried, or even happy. You can't think straight because

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: your brain is just like frozen. It can't work. And that's because that amygdala is barking so loud that you can't hear anything. And so

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And the amygdala deals with stress, blood pressure, fear, and has.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: when you do the meditation, it's been shown to have decreased gray matter in that section of the brain. So it's really impressive that meditation increases the gray matter in areas of learning, memory processing and motion regulation and decreases the gray matter in the area of the amygdala, and that shows how it can really improve the mental wellbeing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And when we look at the entire body, not only do we see decreased blood pressure, but it also can increase the variability of our heart rate, and while that doesn't sound very exciting or harmful or helpful. It actually plays a critical role in properly transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So there's a new study. Actually, I read last month sometime that shows with Covid.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: They can predict

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: if someone is going to have Covid using heart rate monitors on a smart watch

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: sooner than you can have a positive, rapid strep test or rapid Covid test. Rather.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So just that heart rate variability

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: shows sooner than the actual testing. So pretty impressive. Maybe one day. We'll all wear heart rate monitors, so we can tell if we're getting sick or not. I don't know. But with this mindfulness you can help to change

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: this response. So pretty cool. There's actually a study with meditators who were given a flu

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: virus, and I don't know who would ever volunteer to get the flu.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but both meditators and nonmeditators were given the flu virus, and the meditators were better able to produce antibodies to fight it off. So they had increased immune function and improved symptom control.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Even going deeper than this. Your chromosomes have something called protective protein complexes called telomeres, that help reduce damage to your DNA and lower cell death

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and a shortened telomere length has been linked to severe diseases, things like cardiovascular disease diabetes, Alzheimer's cancer.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And amazingly they did a study with cancer patients, and if they

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: were active with a meditation program, their bodies showed better response

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: to the chemotherapy and increases in that telomere length. So

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: meditation is not a substitute for cancer therapy by any means. These are people who were all getting cancer treatment. But the difference was, either they were in a mindfulness program or not

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: doing mindfulness.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So it's really impressive how this simple thing can change you down to your chromosomes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright, we're gonna play another mind trick because these are kind of fun. I want you to kind of look at this and go gradually from side to side. Just let your eyes softly rotate across.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and you might start seeing some of these shapes move.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: This is called

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: the rotating snakes, and some of them will rotate clockwise some counterclockwise

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if you stop and you just focus on one part, they stop rotating.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Anybody. See this

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: or not see it, I guess, in the chat box. If you're not seeing it yet, put an N. Or something.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: let you look at it for a minute longer.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Some of you are seeing it

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: like the trick is to let your gaze naturally go over the figure, and just once in a while stop.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: kind of move again.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: No.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. So back to mindfulness, mindfulness, meditation is when you notice the present moment without judgment.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's not something people with Adhd can do very easily right?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: it's hard to just focus on one thing for anybody. Anybody with anxiety. Adhd. Our minds tend to wander back to the things we're ruminating on, and those are usually negative thoughts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: we get distracted, and thoughts come into our minds without permission.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and we often then make judgments about the thoughts, and then keep ruminating about the thoughts. And then, whatever it is we're supposed to be thinking of

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: goes away because we're thinking on these other thoughts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And the good news is, we can change our brains, and we should never forget that our brains aren't always right, just like seeing a triangle or seeing the moving snakes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Sometimes our brain tells us something that's not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And understanding this can help us see those other people's perspectives, or even step back and look at a problem that we're having from different angles.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: because we know that what we're thinking and seeing isn't the only thing that's there.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And this can help us with communication problem solving skills.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So mindfulness might be better understood with the help of some metaphors.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The 1st one. Here is a river, and imagine a river is like your stream of consciousness, thoughts, sensations, emotions, all kind of just flow downstream.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and rather rather than trying to control the river. You're going to observe it with curiosity.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Just kind of let things pass

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: without getting carried away by the current.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: or you can look at mindfulness like a TV remote. And think of your thoughts and emotions like different channels on a TV.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Mindfulness is like holding the remote, and instead of just mindlessly flipping channels.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: the mindfulness allows you to consciously choose the channel that you're going to focus on.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Another way is to look at it as if you're a mountain.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Mountains are not movable during changing weather patterns, but thoughts, emotions, sensations, are like the weather, they can be stormy, they can be calm, but the mountain just is the mountain

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright, and then finally, look at your mind like an ocean. Thoughts and emotions are like waves. The waves rise and fall, but under the surface the ocean remains calm and still. So, even though things are going on up here surface.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: there's things down here that are just calm.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So no matter how you look at it, long term, consistent mindfulness practices help change your brain.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So we know this through science. We're gonna practice a few of these techniques tonight.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But 1st of mind game.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: because these are fun.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you to look at this and in the chat box. Try to describe what you're seeing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Someone sees a spiral.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: a cone, or a tunnel

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: pattern.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's hard to describe, isn't it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Mark?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Sometimes it looks flat. Other times it looks like a tunnel.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and someone just put in an address and things I don't know if you wanna remove that from the group chat.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: A checkered pattern with licorice going around it. I like that. You're gonna make me hungry, though

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I haven't eaten dinner yet. But spiraled and spinning. Someone sees motion. Yeah, I actually see motion, too.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Actually, this is called Fraser spiral. But it's not really a spiral.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It is actually a scent of concentric circles, and the background just makes it look like it's a spiral. So the illusion is a bit easier to see with the circles outlined in different colors. If you just look at the innermost red circle, you can follow it all the way around. There's no spiral there. They all just look like a spiral

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: because our brains play tricks. And again, because I need to prove things to myself. I had to sit there with a piece of paper and like circle it with my finger. It's really hard to convince our brains that we're not seeing what we're seeing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and that's just like in life. Sometimes it's really hard to convince ourselves that we're not right, that there are other options, or that we need to change the perspective of how we're looking at things because we want to see that spiral.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But sometimes it's not really a spiral.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and the good news is, mindfulness can help you learn to accept your thoughts without judgment which can help you not ruminate on the negative thoughts and

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: maybe start to see things in other lights.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you guys all to think about

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: the things that repeat in your head all the time. We all tend to have those thoughts that ruminate up there, that you know

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: things we, you know. I wish I would have done this, or Oh, I have to remember to do this. Think about those thoughts that you have, and in a general way, you don't have to disclose too much, but if you're comfortable with it, put in the chat box some examples of things that you ruminate on those negative thoughts that take up space in your brain.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you can think of some of those.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Oh, the museum of illusions!

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: That's kind of fun.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright so. But what negative thoughts are the Ocd, so like anything that you're thinking of with Ocd, that just keeps going.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Rejection, sensitivity, stuff definitely all the negative thoughts come with that.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Anyone else?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I'm going to fail.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Yeah, sometimes I'm not good enough

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: mistakes you made.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So can you guys think of what these things have in common with one another, even though they're all different things, the overwhelm not getting enough done, not enough time. What do these things have in common.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Just kind of think about that.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: This might be more of a reading, my mind. Kind of thing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Oh, anxiety. Yeah.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Negative thoughts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: one directional thought.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Most of us feel the same. Yeah, that's true. Most of us do have these internalized negative thoughts, and people might not see it on the outside, because we might come off, as you know, very positive or

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: just in charge of what we're doing. But we might have those negative thoughts just like everybody else.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But the reading, my mind part is, we tend to ruminate or fixate on things in the past that we wish would have had different outcomes or things in the future that we're not sure of the outcome.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Our minds are wired to remember those negative thoughts and to worry about the bad things that are going to happen.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and we tend not to worry about the here and now.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: because we're all fine right now, right? We're just sitting here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: We're looking at a screen.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: We're fine, so we don't worry about the here and now.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and mindfulness is a way to help ground yourself to the here and now.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So where do you start with mindfulness, and the easiest way to get started is to just breathe.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Just sit down in a comfortable place where you don't think that people will bother you and spend 5 min. 2 min doesn't matter. Just spend a little bit of time focusing on the sensation of breathing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Paying attention to how it feels when it enters your nose, how it hits the back of your throat, maybe what it feels like as it expands your lungs or moves your chest moves your belly. Just really think about. There's a lot that happens when you breathe and just focusing on the breathing. It doesn't have to be bigger breathing than normal. It doesn't have to be any special kind of breathing, but just focusing on the breath itself.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And we're going to practice that here in a minute.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But during meditation it's normal to have thoughts enter your mind, and you might realize that you're thinking of something else.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: something that you need to do, something that happened that that day, some noise you just heard. You're gonna label these as thoughts, and you're gonna refocus back to your breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Just say thought to yourself, and then get

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: push the side away and get back to your breathing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Don't beat yourself up about it. We all have thoughts. Our brains are designed to think, and they're especially designed to have those worry thoughts. There's no judgment here, though. You're just gonna breathe. And mindfulness. Awareness is not about staying with the breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's about returning to the breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if you think about it, that's 1 of the ways that mindfulness helps train your brain to refocus back on what you're supposed to be doing, because mindfulness has been shown to help with focus, even for people who have Adhd, and it's not going to be the only thing you're going to do. But it can help train your brain to get back to whatever it is you're focusing on. And there's different mindfulness techniques. But with this example it would be return to that breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so you're gonna create a difference between the thinking about the thought and the letting the thought pass by.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: because most of the time when we have a thought, we spend some time with that thought, this, we're just going to label it as a thought and push it away.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Okay.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so remember to focus on the breathing. You can think about the temperature of the air, what it feels like in your nose, in your throat, in your lungs, how it moves your chest, or how it moves your belly. So we're going to focus on some breathing

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if you have feelings like pain or an itch, some kind of discomfort just labeled it as a feeling, and then return to the breathing. So thoughts and feelings. You could just put labels on

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then go back to the breathing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But this is why chronic pain sufferers do so well with mindfulness. They learn how to just not focus on whatever their chronic pain is.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright. So I want you guys to watch this circle and breathe in as it expands

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and breathe out as it gets smaller.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: as you breathe in, just say in to yourself, and as you breathe out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: say out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: maybe the N.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: If a thought comes into your mind, just label it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: get back to the breath

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: over time. This does get easier, and it can improve your ability to monitor your attention and keep it directed to the task at hand.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Breath focus has a very calming effect.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so that can reduce symptoms, anxiety, lower stress kind of channels, your attention to your breath, which gives you space from that negative self-talk

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: it lowers cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so that lowers the feelings of anxiety in your body. So if you do this when you're triggered by anything that causes anxiety. That is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to decrease anxiety.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: just breathing. We can all do it for free every day.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright! Here's another brain trick. I want you to

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: look at the picture

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then close your eyes and slowly open them

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and put in the chat box what you see.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if you don't see it sometimes changing your angle and looking from the side a little bit.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and people are seeing Jesus or a man.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Our minds can make up these images.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The picture isn't changing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's a picture of 3 girls with an altered truck in the background.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but it is a mind trick

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: we try to see

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So for those of you who just see the 3 girls close your eyes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and open just a little bit.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: just a slit.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And does that help

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: hopefully, you can see it then.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. So meditations

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: just about creating a practice like a training program for anything. If you're going to go run a marathon, you can't just go out and run it. Tomorrow.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You have to start slow, build endurance over time and

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: training experts for marathons recommend a minimum of 20 weeks before you're ready to run that Marathon.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and to learn mindfulness. You start slow as well. Maybe just 2 or 3 min.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then every day is the key.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So it's okay not to do it several times a day. But you can do it several times a day, but the key is to consistently do it at least a few minutes every day.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And you can increase the time that you're mindful over time, because, as you get better at it, it's easier to maintain that level of mindfulness longer.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but just with any

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: like anything you have to practice it to get better.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and I'm glad that you saw the mind the man afterwards.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: All right, so you can start your day before you even get out of bed and do a few minutes of mindfulness, or you can use it to help fall asleep at night. You can pair it with something you do every day to help set that routine that will help remind you to do it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can also do it at other times, when you think you need it like. If you're anxious about something you can do a couple of minutes of mindfulness at that point. But the key is to try to do it at the same time every day there are a lot of apps that will send you a notification whenever you set for your notification to happen. So you try to have it sent

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: when you can do the mindfulness, activity, cause. It's important to do it a few minutes every day just like brushing your teeth. It's better to do it for 2 min every day than it is to do it for an hour, twice a month.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: If you just brush your teeth for an hour twice a month, your teeth are not going to be very healthy, and the mindfulness works best. If you do it for 2 min every day much more than

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 2 h once a month.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright. So we're gonna stay up.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I'm gonna talk. We're gonna take brushing teeth as an example.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I like it because you should be doing this twice a day, and you can double the mindfulness experience if you do it with every time you brush your teeth, and usually we kind of do it on autopilot. We might be thinking about all kinds of things as we brush our teeth. But we can use all the sensory things that are experienced during brushing teeth as part of the mindfulness. So while you're brushing, you can focus on sensations.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So just like you would concentrate on breathing during breathing exercises. You can focus on what you see.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: what the color of the toothpaste is. What do you hear? Notice the smell, the flavor? Be mindful of your arm physically moving from side to side. The sound and the feel of the toothbrush against your teeth, feel the bristles and your gums feel the bubbles in your mouth, the tingling feeling that the toothpaste gives

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: There's so many sensations that you get just from brushing teeth. So tonight, when you guys all brush your teeth, I want you to try to be mindful as you do it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Don't sit and think about all the things you have to do tomorrow.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Think about what you're doing at the moment.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And then it's a great activity, because again you do it twice a day.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So it's not the only in this only mindfulness, activity that I would recommend doing every day, but it is something that could get you started, and in a routine to start

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: all right. And then our minds also tend to go on autopilot for things that we do over and over again. So when we look at certain actions like eating, or even our relationships with other people, it's possible that these become a matter of routine. And so the practice of bringing our attention back to the things that are routine can help make things new, and our attention then can

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: see it from a new light

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so that might help

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: relationships or the boring things we have to do on a regular basis.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so yeah, give people the full attention they deserve. Be very mindful of your conversations. Be mindful of

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: whatever it is that you're doing throughout the day.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Let's try another mind trick.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So this one actually is hard for this one. I don't want you to look at the screen. I want you to turn away and look at your hand.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and I want you to stare at your hand, and actually not your whole hand, but focus on one part of your hand one little line, and just really focus and lock your eyes in on that one little line on your hand.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and once you have your eyes locked, then move the hand suddenly away. But don't move your eyes. Keep the lock in your eye, so your focus is right there, right there, right there and then when you move it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And did any of you guys see anything weird? Maybe put in the chat box if you can see it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And this one might take a little bit. This one took me a while.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but it's something you can do when we're all done. If you can't see it here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: anyone able to see anything

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: double vision. Yeah.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: your eyes are really focused on something up close. And then suddenly, you move that away. Your eyes are focused here. But the things out there

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: look different.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Sam.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Yeah, for those of you who can't see it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can maybe try it again later tonight.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It is kind of fun when you make yourself do weird things.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It'll be a double vision kind of blurry thing, because your eyes are focused here. But the things that you're looking at

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: or further out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's kind of like if you have the camera in the bad focus.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: All right. So mantras are words, phrases, sounds that are said over and over again to help us meditate, or to find a positive mental state.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so repeating a healing mantra can calm the mind, help, relieve anxiety, help calm you when you're triggered, a mantra can be silently recited in your mind or whispered under your breath to help with stress, management, anxiety, relief.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The phrases used with intention can influence our thoughts, emotions, and our even our physiologic responses to stress can help regulate your breathing, lower your blood pressure and all the other responses to anxiety. So repeating mantras can help prevent your mind from wandering, which makes it easier to stay present, and the more focused your mind is during a meditation, the more you can experience calm.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and so make time for mantras. Write them down. Keep a journal of your personalized mantras writing these helps reinforce the memory, and can help make your intention stronger, but also putting your mantra on post-it notes in places that will serve as reminders, you can put it on your binder. You can put it on your computer. You can put it on your mirror wherever you might see it, in places that you're gonna need to see whatever it is you're going to make into your mantra, help. You have some positive thoughts with this

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and use routine to incorporate it into your daily life. Repeat it every time you brush your teeth, or every time you go to the bathroom or maybe every time you pick up your sports bag if it's geared towards having confidence on the field. Whatever your mantra is, it's to reflect the qualities you want to have, like a calm mind, strength, resilience. You're programming your mind to have these quantities. There's a

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: saying that survival of the loudest or something like that, whatever those thoughts are in your head that are the loudest, you know I'm not good enough, and I can't ever do this. I'm not going to have enough time. All those negative thoughts that we have all the time. If they're the ones that keep taking up space on our brain.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: that's what we're gonna believe. But if you flip your thought

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: to something positive. I am capable. I can do hard things.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: With every breath I feel stronger. Whatever you need to hear, you can take up space in your brain saying those things, and if you repeat them enough you'll start to believe them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So Mantras could be very powerful for some positive thinking.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and that can help you. Talk to yourself like a friend. If you've been to any of my talks before, I frequently talk about how we are so mean to ourselves. We are the biggest beliefs to ourselves, and we need to be our own best friends, so much more so start with a positive affirmation or mantra

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright, and then a loving kindness. Meditation is a popular self-care technique that can also be used to boost well-being, reduce stress, increase capacity for forgiveness and connection to others, and also to gain self-acceptance. Some studies indicate that loving kindness, meditation, can be useful in the management of social anxiety. Interpersonal conflicts, anger, chronic pain, coping with strains of long-term caregiving.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So let's try a short loving-kindness meditation. I want you to look at the phrases on this slide

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and choose one to use for this exercise, or, if you have one, something like it that you want to do, you can choose it

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then close your eyes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: kind of, relax your muscles

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and take a few deep breaths.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you to imagine yourself experiencing complete physical and emotional wellness

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and inner peace.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Imagine feeling perfect love for yourself.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: thanking yourself

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: for all that you are

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: knowing that you're just right, just as you are.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Focus on this feeling of inner peace, and imagine that you're breathing out tension

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and breathing in

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: feelings of love.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Now repeat the phrase you chose to yourself.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It may be 3 or 4 times, either silently or out, loud.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: as you're repeating this phrase.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: feel the warmth of the words

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: self-compassion in them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if your attention drifts gently, redirect back to the feelings of loving kindness.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Let the feelings of loving kindness overcome you

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: when you feel that you can open your eyes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and remember that you can revisit the wonderful feelings you've had throughout this day.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: next day, and beyond

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and as you grow in this practice, you can bring feelings of love and acceptance to others, strang those closest to you, and then expand and extend even to people that you don't know, just like groups of people, or

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: maybe even people that you struggle with relationships try to build that feeling of compassion, and understand

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: or feel less angry towards them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: to relieve interpersonal conflicts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And there is a comment in the box that the inner peace makes you sleepy, and I suspect that's because so often our brains are so wired that we can't calm down, and when you finally feel calm, that's going to feel tiring because you're just relaxed. And that's 1 of the reasons. Mindfulness at bedtime is one of the best times to do it

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. Another brain trick in the chat box. See if you can describe what you're seeing here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Obviously they're real road ties from a toy train set.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: What do you think are rubber tracks? Not ties.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Kind of describe

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: the shape, size, color, something in there? What do you see?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Got someone saying that one railroad track is shorter than another?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: One looks sure someone's getting the hint here. Look, they suspect that they're the same.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Yeah, this is one that a rainbow shape, wood color. Puzzle.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 2 curved train tracks. The top top looks more curved.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: This is actually called the Jastrow illusion, and it makes it look like the bottom track is longer than the one above it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: they're actually the same size.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And Joseph Jastrow discovered this in 1889, and scientists still don't know why our brain perceives one object is longer or shorter than the other when arranged this way.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so I had to measure them, because, of course, I can't believe it, and even after measuring it I still can't believe it. And this is a lot like anxiety sometimes when we're anxious about something, even when the facts are given to us

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: that we don't need to worry.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: we still worry, and even though it makes no sense. We can't convince our brains to think any differently.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: This is how we or why we can train our brain to think differently with a little patient's

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and practice

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So somebody understands why it's the same.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Maybe you can explain that because the rest of us I don't know.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I don't know. It is shifted over correct, but it still looks

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: longer to me. It looks less curvy. But

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I've actually seen this happen when my kids used to play with train tracks. If they were laying on the floor this way one would look different size. And then when you pick them up, it's obvious they're the same.

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Shauna - Kansas: If you match the top art of the arc on each end.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: -

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Shauna - Kansas: Like if you pulled it over. So they, instead of lining up and coming down if you pulled it over. So the top of the arc on that left side were even, it would maybe look like they were the same size.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Right. I can remember doing this quite literally. With my kids. Train tracks like they would look different sizes, and I'd hold them up. And they were exactly the same. But if you put them arranged this way where they're lined up on the one side, one just looks longer, so

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: our brains are tricky things.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: all right, moving on to another type of mindfulness. Activity called body scans and body scans are not a sci-fi thing, or even an expensive medical test. In the context of mindfulness

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: we can all learn to do body scans, body scan meditation involves paying attention to parts of the body and the bodily sensations in a gradual sequence from either head to toe or toe to head. Some people will go both. They'll go down and then back up.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and this method can help people become more aware of their physical sensations, emotions, and feelings, and you can learn about the needs of your body.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So body scan meditation is an excellent way to release physical tension that you might not even realize that you have.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Sometimes you can be so caught up in your stress that you don't realize the physical discomfort that you're having. Like headaches back aches, shoulder pain, tense muscles.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's connected to our emotions, but we don't recognize it for what it is.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so, by mentally scanning yourself, you bring awareness to every part of your body, noticing all the aches and the pains, the tension or general discomfort, and the goal is not to relieve the pain, but just to get to know it and learn from it, so that you can better manage it

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. So we're going to try it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: We're gonna just do the head and neck in the interest of time.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: which?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Yeah, we've got like 20 min left. So I want you guys to find a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then close your eyes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then start with a deep breath in

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then another big breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and if you notice any uncomfortable sensations during the scan, focus your attention on them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: breathe into them, and see what happens.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You're gonna visualize the tension, leaving your body through your breath

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and evaporating into the air.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Maybe take one more big breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and as you do that focus on the very top of your head?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Do you feel any air moving on it?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: What's the temperature of your scalp?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Your hair moving, or is it pulled tight against your head?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Then move on to your forehead.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Does it feel hot or cold?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The muscles tight relaxed.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Maybe you don't notice anything, and that's okay.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Move down to the eyebrows. Are they in a neutral position? Are they scrunched up.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: your eyelids closed?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And if so, are they tightly or loosely closed.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Can you see any light through them?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Are your eyes steady or moving?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: What do you notice about your lips and mouth?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Your jaw tight or loose

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: moving down to your neck. Do you notice any tension?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Can you feel any loose hairs? Maybe the shirt collar.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: your shoulders very tight

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: hanging most?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Do you feel the weight of your shirt on your shoulders?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: True, body scan, you're gonna keep going down. But again, we only have limited time.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so you can open your eyes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: after taking, maybe a big breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And how do you guys feel after that?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Did you notice any tension?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Maybe give a thumbs up or thumbs down with the

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: icons, or you can try to.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Just put in the chat.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And sometimes you don't notice much, and that's okay

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: to relax afterwards.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: be very relaxing.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: thumbs up

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. I think this is the last of the brain tricks. This image is called confetti sphere 5. It demonstrates something called the monker White Illusion. I want you guys to put in the chat box. How many colors of balls that you see

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: someone's catching on to these mind trick things, just putting one.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: 3, 3

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: technically one.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Oh, people might have seen this one before, either that, or they're more smart than me.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Cause some of you have gotten it right.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: David Dove is the creator of this image and professor of engineering and engineering education

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: in El Paso, and these spheres might look like. They're red, green, and blue, but they're all the same shade of beige.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So if you get really close in and zoom in, you can see that the colors of the balls are the same.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: We perceive the spheres as different colors, because our visual ability for shape is better than our acuity for color.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: which means that we perceive the shapes with more detail and the colors with less detail.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Rashana put like the bags they put oranges in.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: not sure with.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Oh, like the holes in it

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: are the the bags, not orange. I can't even picture what the bags are. Are they green

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: to make them look, really. Oh, I see what you're saying to make the oranges look orange.

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Shauna - Kansas: Right. That's like when you see the oranges, and like you, see them through the clear plastic, they're not as desirable looking, but when you see them through the back. It's kind of got the orange lines, and it makes them look like they're really good.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I hear what you say in there. Yes, that probably is something that somebody thought through and made happen. But yeah, that's a really good point. So you're thinking outside the box there?

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So anyway, when we look at the outlines of the spheres, they look identical. The color kind of bleeds in over the spaces. So the color of the sphere gets pulled closer to the color of the stripes that cross over them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So I want you guys to all remember these brain tricks. When you and somebody else have a different opinion of something, because sometimes we're really stubborn about our perspectives. And we think we're right, and we just know the other person's wrong.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But we need to remember that there are other ways to look at things, and while we can believe all that we see with our own eyes, that's kind of that saying, I saw it with my own eyes sometimes. What we see, isn't the whole story.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And so I want you to remember that our brains aren't perfect.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: especially when emotions are strong. We remember things not as they are.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Have you ever seen a child tell their parents to stop yelling, but the parents not yelling. The Kid really does think that the parent is yelling at them. The child feels like they're being yelled at, despite the fact that nobody's yelling.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and you can't tell them any differently

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: while they're upset.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You just have to wait until they're like calmed down

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And sometimes even eyewitnesses like in a crime scene. They recall the scene differently based on how they stored the memory.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: They're not lying on the stand. Their memory is just different, based on what they recall.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So our brains

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: work in mysterious ways. Sometimes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. Mental imagery is another one of the mindfulness techniques. It's a multi-sensory process that draws on senses to create this biggest mental image of whatever we're looking at

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: visualization is really popular with people who need to relax popular with athletes. It's been studied a lot, actually, with athletes, and, interestingly enough.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: in studies, athletes who practice mindfulness.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: improve how they perform almost as well as if they actually are practicing, so they can think about practicing running through the plays, and they will get better at whatever their sport is

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: almost as much as if they actually exercise and do the practice.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so by enhancing your relaxation skills with visualization. You can lower your fight or flight. You can help your anxiety. You can use it for performance anxiety before you have to talk in front of a crowd. If you have social anxiety, before you go to events or do things you can practice in your mind, and that has really been shown to help decrease your overall anxiety in those situations.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So during the time you just mentally rehearse it, showing yourself doing everything right.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you breathe easy. You close your eyes, and you use the mental imagery to just kind of visualize yourself, performing well or doing a good job and succeeding in whatever it is you need to do.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And this positive self-talk can change your attitude.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Alright. So we're gonna practice one. I want you guys to close your eyes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and take a nice, big, deep breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and imagine that you're sitting resting on a white sandy beach.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You feel really safe and calm.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: really relaxed.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You see the turquoise water

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and a clear blue sky.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you hear the sound of soft waves.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The trees are rustling gently in the breeze.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: could smell the salty air from the ocean waves.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you feel the weight of your body just sinking into the beach chair.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can feel the warmth of the sand on your feet.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can feel the warmth of the sun on your legs.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and the cool of the shade on your face under the umbrella

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: which is to relax your face and let go of any tension.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Relax your neck, muscles your shoulders.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: soften your eyes, and just rest.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Allow your breath to slow down.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: match the waves.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's just effortless to be here.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Spend some time just taking it on.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Once the relaxation feels complete. Imagine that you get up and slowly walk away from the beach.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: But remember that this beautiful place is here anytime you want to return.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You take your time and slowly open your eyes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: How do you all feel now

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I do see that someone has to go.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So thank you for coming.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Do you feel calm? Yeah, this is so relaxing. This is a good one to do if you're worried about something, or you can't sleep at night.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And then, of course, this was just a relaxation one. But you can also put yourself in the position where you're scoring the goal, or you're giving a talk, or you're doing anything that you need to do to

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: show yourself that you can do it.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You can

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: use it. If you have social anxiety. You're nervous about going to a friend's party because of how many people are going to be there, but you want to go. So you visualize yourself at the party having fun talking to people enjoying yourself.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and the key is to really set the stage. So you feel like you're there. Think about all of your senses, what you're going to see, what you're going to hear, how you're going to feel, smell, taste.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: think about what it feels like to be comfortable in the situation. There's no anxiety in the scenario.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: You're gonna consider how your mind is less focused on the worrying

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and is enjoying the moment

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then, when the time actually comes to actually attend the party.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you might find it easier, less anxiety inducing because you've already visualized it, going well.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So you can keep those memories.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So this can work for test anxiety. Public speaking sports performance, many other situations that you're nervous about, because you can practice it in your head before actually going through it. And the more you practice the more relaxed you'll be

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. One final type of mindfulness that we're gonna practice. It's called progressive muscle relaxation.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So this involves a step-by-step

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: kind of tensing and then releasing of muscle groups.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It can help to reduce tension and stress. It's a really popular sleep game.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: so you can do your whole body. But again, in the interest of time, we're just going to do one part.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you to start by either sitting or laying in a comfortable, comfortable position

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and close your eyes.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then, as always, take a deep breath in

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: in through the nose and out through the mouth.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: repeat another big breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and as you inhale

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: want you to tense your toes, press them into the ground

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and release the tension as you exhale.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Take a deep breath in and out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I'm gonna repeat.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: tensing the muscles of your toes

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: as you release

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: as you breathe out.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I mean, take a final deep breath.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: is in an actual session you would move up to your calves, then your thighs, then your other body parts.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: If you're not sure how to tense body parts. I'm going to send a video later of

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: a way to help recognize the video or the muscle groups and how to tense them.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And I'll also send some mindfulness

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: that can help with some of these, too.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: but practicing this, can build it into your toolbox of resources to manage emotions and stress any new meditation style you learn, you need to practice for several days in a row to learn them well.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And one thing that's great about the progressive muscle relaxation is, after a bit of practice you can adapt it to fit your needs. So if you're sitting at school or at the desk at the work and you feel stressed. You can tense and relax your legs. No one's going to notice you're doing it, but it helps to regulate and relax your body

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: alright. So in summary

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to be effective, to help calm the mind improve focus, and those things really help for anxiety. Adhd, all kinds of things.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and long-term consistent use is what's really needed.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: It's got the science backing up. So even if you feel like it's not gonna help you. You have to just give it a try. Start with a minute, a day, 2 min a day, whatever you can do and just focus.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And again, there's lots of resources online. And in apps

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: that you can use

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: common headspace are 2 of the common apps, but they have very short trial periods. So when I was choosing an app to try, I chose something called balance. I chose it solely because it had some decent reviews, and they offer a 1-year free trial period. So

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: if you choose to do that, and you're a teen, you will need a parent's credit card. Even if you're a parent or an adult, you will need a credit card, so I always recommend, if you're going to do something like that, put an alert in your calendar to remind you to cancel the subscription before they're going to charge you. And especially since it's a year away.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: you're gonna need that reminder. I'm sure they will send you reminders, too, but those tend to get buried in emails. So if you want it on your calendar, so you don't miss it or, if you like it, you can pay for it. But

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: a year of the balance app gives you time to really get into a habit, because you're going to get into it for a couple of days. Then you're going to fall out of favor for a while. Then you're going to get back into it. Then you're going to stop it for a while, but a year gives you the opportunity to do it every day for a while, because if you do a new skill. For a month or 2 you will build that into your daily routine.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: So again, tying it to things you do, setting a timer or notification to have it show up at a time that you can do it most days I think that will really help

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: and then for those of you who have littler kids common sense. Media is one of my favorite resources. I used to use it when my kids were little to look up movies and games and things like that to see if they were age appropriate. But they also have

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: these apps

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: reviewed. So you can see suggested ages and

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: choose one that might be good for your family, and then cosmic kids. Yoga is one of my favorite things for kids to do as well. Yoga is a form of mindfulness. And for younger kids who need to move.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: The cosmic cancer, Yoga and other kid, Yoga is really good.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: And then, finally, if you change the way you look at things.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: the thing you look at will change.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: I want you guys to remember that

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: any questions looks like I even ended up right on time. So we do have time for questions.

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Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Det Livinthedream: Jeremy. I don't know if you want to stop the recording, so people can unmute and just talk, or do you want to keep it in the chat box, and then we can keep the recording going.

[recording stopped for Q&A]

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