Robert F. Mullen, PhD
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“Dr. Mullen is doing impressive work helping the world. He is the pioneer of proactive neuroplasticity utilizing DRNI – deliberate, repetitive, neural information.” – WeVoice (Madrid, Málaga)
Dealing with the Loss Generated by Change
By definition, transformation produces both gain and loss. Recovery and self-empowerment regain what has been stolen, misplaced, or lost. For social anxiety, it is our emotional well-being and quality of life. In self-empowerment, it is our self-esteem and motivation. By regaining these things, we lose their negative attributions. When we transform our adverse habits and create healthy new mindsets, skills, and abilities, we concurrently experience the loss of the old.
In our renewed self-appreciation, however, we often fail to consider the emotional consequence of loss, which can be in the form of bad habits, addictions, or negative neural energy. We are impacted by an absence in our prior gestalt.
Replacement Creates Loss
To replace is to take the place of something. That something is, ostensibly, no longer extant. It is important to appreciate the sense of loss we experience, for example, when we moderate our adverse thoughts and behaviors. Even though we compensate with healthy substitutions, we are impacted by the residual effects of that which has been replaced.
Why is it important to be mindful of this loss? Because it affects us psychologically and physiologically. It is human nature to experience the loss of things that have been part and parcel of our being for years. In early recovery, this can have adverse emotional consequences. We are still fragile to change. Awareness of this inevitability, no matter how inappreciable, can help circumvent any potential recidivism.
Space is Limited
To recover is to transform – to effect a rigorous and dramatic change in form and nature. Transformation changes our sense of identity, compelling us to reevaluate our attitudes, rules, and assumptions. It causes a readjustment in our behaviors and our perspective. It refocuses our cognitive efforts.
Through proactive neuroplasticity, we change the form and configuration of our neural network. It loses and gains synapses, causes neurogenesis, and rewires circuits. We experience loss when we replace or overwhelm our negative thoughts and behaviors with healthy, productive ones. In regaining our self-esteem, we lose the negative self-qualities that disrupted its growth. Hence, our form and nature change. This metamorphosis is evidence of the power of transformation. We are not the same entity. It is natural, however, to miss the former.
Our Resistance to Change
We are genetically hard-wired to resist change. We are physiologically structured to attack anything that disrupts our equilibrium. Experiencing loss produces changes in our heart rate, metabolism, and respiration. Inertia senses and resists these changes, while our basal ganglia oppose any modification in our patterns of behavior. A key part of our neural network, the basil ganglia is also involved in processes like emotions, motivations, and habits, so we are psychologically impacted by change as well.
We know that our neural network does not distinguish healthy from toxic information. It provides the same benefits whether the stimulus is negative or positive. It reciprocates the energy of that information in abundance, It activates the same long-term potentiation, provides the same BDNF proteins associated with improved cognitive functioning, and the same fifty or so chemical hormones that support us physiologically and psychologically.
Loss can also provoke confusion and depression, generate feelings of guilt, and cause us to withdraw from friends and activities. Mindfulness and preparedness effectively moderate any adverse reactions. As the godfather of positive psychology Abraham Maslow assures us, “…the loss of illusions and the discovery of identity, though painful at first, can be ultimately exhilarating and strengthening.”
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WHY IS YOUR SUPPORT SO IMPORTANT? ReChanneling develops and implements programs to (1) moderate symptoms of emotional malfunction and (2) pursue personal goals and objectives – harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Our paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to regenerate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.