Life changes regressing to the mean

She says, “I am not mean”. He responds, “Yes you are.” Are you mean?

Mean is average and average is mean. Mean is a statistical term that defines average. It is often used in academic studies in finance, psychology, and medicine. Regressing to the mean is one of Sigmund Freud’s early psychoanalytic defenses. Regression is like a retreat. Average people often seek self-improvement to lose weight, quit smoking, become better educated, improve appearance, and many other things. There’s lots of advice that seem simple and sensible. Action is easy but, following through the course, regressing to the mean seems to be a powerful force.

Weight loss is a often sought and some go to extremes to lose weight. One of my early internships involved following obese people and their results after bariatric surgery for weight loss. Bariatric surgery is an extreme surgical method to help obese people lose weight. One method reduces stomach size to reduce capacity of food intake. The goal of these patients include dreams along a menu of life changes. Tracking results, many were happy initially. Over longer periods, weight slowly returned. Imposed post-surgical lifestyle changes fade as individuals start regressing to the mean. It’s their average lifestyle and, slowly, the weight returns. Many patients felt hurt and found that the surgery did not provide the life changes they fantasized about.

Basically, if you can stick with a healthy diet and exercise, experts say you’ll enjoy extremely satisfying results. That means, of course, a long-term lifestyle approach. A normal deviation in motivation, regressing to the mean of your normal pre-surgical behavior, confounds all you went through in pursuing bariatric surgery in the first place.

Dentists caution patients that routine examinations, twice a year, are recommended. They advise frequent brushing and flossing in between. Many dentists tell me that many patients who have had gum disease surgery may follow instructions for a couple weeks. On their follow-up, many show retreating gum disease evidence and admit that they stopped flossing. Surgery is treatment. It is not a cure. People don’t realize that an after-care success means a lifestyle change. Regressing to the mean may financially drain you.

When it comes to weight loss, there are hundreds of methods to follow. Most try and succeed in the short term of weeks, months, or a couple years. Once they go back to “normal”, the weight returns.

Following through with life changes requires mind over matter. It sounds easy, very logical. It isn’t. Matter is constant. It follows strict rules and balances. Mind, as thought, fluctuates and shifts as moods and ideas conflict with what you focus. Inconstancy obstructs the concentration needed to follow through thoroughly with a life change. Selecting a goal to pursue wellness requires tricking your body’s constancy to maintain homeostasis – matter’s balances. Lifestyle changes require slow methodical shifts and new enduring habits to make matter respond to your mind. Whatever your individual goal might be, you are battling against thousands if not millions of years of life sustaining matter that instinctively survives. Regressing to the mean means matter is often stronger than mind.

Your body is a finely tuned system. There are many organic cells that make up all your body parts. Some seem simple. Others, like brain neurons, may be more complex. Then there are germs, like bacteria and fungi, lurking between them all. Each cell has a key functional lifestyle and needs the fundamental nutrients. If it doesn’t get them, it can die. If it gets too much, it can grow or die. While each cell may seem independent, what each does is integral to body functioning.

As you age, cells (with genetic coding) change. Skin and muscles waste. Neurons in the brain may lose certain connections. You seem to be fatter than before and have less energy to make those life changes. If you are over 40, you have to work harder and harder to try to win over losing elasticity and appearance. Yet natural aging induces hormonal changes and those affect your performance on several levels. As you age, engaging significant life changes seem more challenging. That’s because matter is winning over mind.

The concept of aging is not linear. Several factors contribute to age but they are more guesses than facts. They are variables. Becoming senile or getting dementia when you are older may be attributed to aging but neuroscientists find that long-term stimulation may restore lost memory pathways in normal brains. More studies show that http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428163639.htm muscle development, energy, and mood in an aging population. Exercising these variables may pay off with better, longer lives. Might be a gamble. Is it worth it?

Enduring lifestyles require the tenacity and stubbornness to follow through that mind can control matter, at least in some ways. Both mentally and physically dietary changes mixed with exercise cite evidence that (while you may not live longer) you may live better. Those stubborn people are still a scant minority. Most are constantly regressing to the mean.

Fortunately, technology doesn’t require playing tennis, polo, swimming, and running through years. Playing computer games provides mental, social, and physical exercises that, as a lifestyle, may help keep your cells stimulated. Supplemental use of massive multiplayer online games may stimulate coordination, imagination, and dexterity. One must remember that games alone aren’t the answer. Overuse may lead to game addictive behaviors that may harm more than support. Various sources of lifestyle stimulation are necessary.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) contributes toward brain research and cites evidence that lifestyle brain stimulation helps promote healthy longevity.

Mind over matter has been an eternal conflict and it is much simple to submit towards regressing to the mean. Your body is a machine that requires to eat for energy and will stimulate hunger. The basic idea is to expend those calories into physical and mental activity. Thinking uses calories too but doing both help longevity considerably. Your body wasn’t made for eating potato chips in front of the TV, after a full meal.

Changing lifestyles for life changes may be hard. Any change from the mean meets difficulties. There’s a lot of peer pressure and advertising against alternate lifestyles. You’ll reach points when you can’t cover the fat, or iron your wrinkles and you may resort to invasive measures with vague results. Slow, methodical lifestyle changes push your body to slowly adapt to those changes. The sooner you choose and endure a lifestyle, over time, you’ll see changes that might make you smile.

Implementing a lifestyle change may be a difficult challenge. The results are often painfully slow. Your body will bother you to regress. If you persist, and monitor your health, results will come. Persisting is hard but results may satisfy.

Regressing to the mean is easy. Most people are mean. Living better requires some sacrifices. It is tough to live long, healthy, and happy (let alone prosper). Choosing and accepting a life changing lifestyle over time is a positive move. If you can endure a chosen lifestyle, mind over matter become one synergistic power. Are you mean?

Life is habit forming

Life is habit forming and people develop habits as strategies to help cope with daily living. People develop habits throughout their life span. Contrary to all those weight-watchers and 12-step programs, habits are also very difficult to break.

There’s a lot of discussion about bad behaviors. Texting on the street or while driving is a dangerous behavior, if not to you than to others. Habitual behaviors aren’t even part of our consciousness. They just happen. Habit formation may be nature, nurture, or environmentally associated. A study at MIT explores how habits form and reside within the brains of laboratory rats. Can it help us understand how life is habit forming and how we can form new habits?

A study posted in Neuron explores the neuroscience aspects surrounding habit formation and problems with revising or changing habits. Although breaking habits can be hard, MIT neuroscientists have now shown that they can prevent them from taking root in the first place, in rats learning to run a maze to earn a reward. The researchers first demonstrated that activity in two distinct brain regions is necessary in order for habits to crystallize. Then, they were able to block habits from forming by interfering with activity in one of the brain regions, the infralimbic (IL) cortex, which is located in the medial prefrontal cortex.

The medial prefrontal cortex has been implicated in a variety of cognitive and executive processes such as decision making and working memory. The medial prefrontal cortex of rodents consists of several areas including the prelimbic and infralimbic cortex that are thought to be involved in different aspects of cognitive performance. Despite the distinct roles in cognitive behavior that have been attributed to prelimbic and infralimbic cortex, little is known about neuronal network functioning of these areas, and whether these networks show any interaction during fast network oscillations.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers’ ability to optogenetically block the formation of new habits in rats suggests that the IL cortex not only exerts real-time control over habits and compulsions, but is also needed for habits to form in the first place.

The study suggests a new way to look for abnormal activity that might cause disorders of repetitive behavior. Now that the researchers have identified the neural signature of a normal habit, they can look for signs of habitual behavior that is learned too quickly or becomes too rigid. Finding such a signature could allow scientists to develop new ways to treat disorders of repetitive behavior by using deep brain stimulation, which uses electronic impulses delivered by a pacemaker to suppress abnormal brain activity.

This sounds exciting but Michael Crichton’s novel The Terminal Man shows what could possibly go wrong

People become addicted to the habits they form and developing new habits, even though they may be intuitively right, seem nearly impossible. The validity of these rat studies don’t take into consideration that human prefrontal and limbic systems are far more sophisticated and employ language coded cognition factors. Humans have will power and willpower is a tool that can help use remove and change our habits.

With all those ads and articles that show how cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs are habit forming, and other articles that show you how to break those habits, we must be mindful that habits form in the mind, as this research helps indicate. Life is habit forming and breaking or developing new habits throughout a lifespan may need huge amounts of self-control. If you believe in monism, where the mind and body are one, habits are crucial to living and bad habits may lead to dying.

Forming the right habits are individual-specific but habits do help maintain survival and they are carved in our brains. Every new year that passes, people make lists of resolutions and some are about breaking habits and making new ones. It appears that old habits die hard and new habits are barely born. How can we change them? What habits would you like to change?