Robert F Mullen, PhD
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The distinction between social anxiety disorder and social anxiety is a matter of severity; reference to one includes the other. The recovery tools and techniques provided are applicable to most emotional malfunctions including depression, substance abuse, generalized anxiety, and issues of self-esteem and motivation. These malfunctions originate homogeneously, their trajectories differentiated by environment, experience, and the diversity of human thought and behavior.
“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)
“The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away.”
– William Shakespeare
Self-appreciation is the byproduct of self-esteem. It is self-esteem paid forward. The Mindfulness of our capabilities and potential motivates us to share them with others. Self-appreciation is the natural evolution of self-esteem.
There is appreciable ambiguity when it comes to distinguishing self-esteem from self-appreciation. Ask a colleague to define them and their response will be as heterogeneous as human experience. Let us identify self-esteem and self-appreciation as they apply to recovery, because they are consequential to our emotional well-being and quality of life.
Self-esteem is mindfulness of our character strengths and attributes as well as our shortcomings. It is how we think about ourselves, how we think others think about us, and how we process that information. Healthy self-esteem tells us we are of value, consequential, and desirable.
Space is Limited
Cumulative evidence that a toxic childhood is a primary causal factor in lifetime emotional instability has been well-established. This could be precipitated by minor childhood disturbance or issues of neglect, abuse, or exploitation. It could be hereditary, environmental, or the result of trauma. Additionally, it could be real or perceptual, intentional or accidental. Whatever its cause, our physiological and psychological development is impacted.
The consequent onset of emotional malfunction impels us to undervalue or repress our character strengths, virtues, and attributes. Our symptomatic resistance and repression of healthy memories and emotions continue to negatively impact our self-beliefs and image.
The primary goal of recovery from social anxiety is the moderation of our irrational fears and anxieties. In self-empowerment, it is the rebuilding of our self-esteem and motivation. We achieve this through a three-pronged approach.
- Replace or overwhelm our negative thoughts and behaviors with healthy, productive ones.
- Produce rapid, concentrated neurological stimulation to overwhelm the negative abundance of our neural network.
- Regenerate our self-esteem through mindfulness of our assets.
The successful realization of these objectives compels us to recognize and celebrate the extraordinariness of our lives, confirming we are desirable and consequential.
Our lacuna of self-esteem is predicated by negative core and intermediate beliefs. It subsists on our negative attitudes, rules, and assumptions. This deficit compels us to subvert our abilities and potential by concealing them in the recesses of our minds – forgotten, disputed, and undervalued. Fortunately, properties of self-esteem are not obliterated, but latent and dormant due to the disruption in our emotional development. Disruption interrupts productivity, it does not destroy it. Underutilized self-properties atrophy like the unexercised muscle in our arm or leg can be regenerated.
The obstructed and repressed properties of our self-esteem are retrievable, The circuits or neural pathways that hold this information are easily reconstructed. Our hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, basolateral amygdala, and other cognitive processes are activated and reactivated by will and determination.
Our emotional malfunction and subsequent low self-esteem provoked feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, undesirability, and worthlessness. As we regenerate our self-esteem, we become less helpless and hopeless, but we still feel undesirable and worthless until and unless we share our recovered assets with others. There is joylessness in self-satisfaction for its own sake. Our regenerated self-esteem is only the beginning of our reconnection to the world.
Neuroplasticity is scientific evidence of our brain’s constant adaptation to information. Human neuroplasticity happens in three forms. Reactive neuroplasticity is our brain’s natural response to things over which we have limited to no control – stimuli we absorb but do not initiate or focus on. A car alarm, lightning, the smell of baked goods. Our neural network automatically restructures itself to what happens around us.
Active neuroplasticity happens through intentional pursuits like engaging in social interaction, creating, yoga, and journaling. We control active neuroplasticity by consciously choosing the activity. A significant component of active neuroplasticity is our altruistic and compassionate social behavior – teaching, volunteering, and caregiving.
Proactive neuroplasticity is rapid, concentrated, neurological stimulation to change the polarity of our neural network from toxic to positive. This is best consummated by DRNI – the deliberate, repetitive neural input of information. Consequently, by acting proactively, we compel change rather than responding to it after it has happened.
Our Neural Hemispheres
Both proactive and active neuroplasticity assist in the positive transformation of our thoughts and behaviors. Proactive neuroplasticity is centered in our left-brain hemisphere – the analytical part responsible for introspection and rational thinking. Reactive neuroplasticity is right hemisphere activity – intuition, emotions, and imagination. Proactive neuroplasticity taps into the mental and the rational as we consolidate our self-esteem. Active neuroplasticity complements altruism and social interconnectivity – elements of self-appreciation.
Proactive and active neuroplasticity work in concert as do self-esteem and self-appreciation, each supplementing the other. Proactive neuroplasticity is self-oriented; active neuroplasticity is other-oriented. They are the gestalt of our humanness. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our activities engage both hemispheres simultaneously.
Proactive neuroplasticity is the most effective means of unlearning the irrational thoughts that annihilate our quality of life. What is significant is our ability to accelerate and consolidate the process by compelling our brain to re-pattern its neural circuitry. Through proactive neuroplasticity, we consciously and deliberately inform our neural network to replace decades of negative self-beliefs, creating healthy new mindsets, skills, and abilities. Accordingly, we compel change rather than reacting and responding to it.
Active neuroplasticity supports our social interconnectedness. Beyond healthy activities like jogging, crafting, and listening to music is our ethical and compassionate social behavior. Altruistic contributions to society are extraordinary assets to neural restructuring. The value of volunteering – providing support, empathy, and concern for those in need, random acts of kindness – is extraordinary, not only in promoting positive behavioral change but in the mindfulness of our value and significance to others.
The Onus is On Us
We are in charge of our emotional well-being and quality of life. We are responsible for the regeneration of our self-esteem. We rediscover our value and significance. We are inherently driven to pay it forward. Self-esteem is the catalyst for self-appreciation. In reciprocation, self-appreciation consolidates self-esteem. We take care of ourselves to take care of others. We embrace our worth and potential to champion them in others. There is a cause and effect, however. Self-appreciation does not flourish without self-esteem. The seed must germinate to flower. We cannot share what we don’t possess.
One final note: Appreciation can be defined as recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities, efforts, and achievements of an individual. Self-appreciation, therefore, calls for you to give yourself the same recognition and enjoyment of your own contributions. For every positive act, congratulate yourself. You deserve to fully experience the pride and satisfaction that generally complements such efforts. Moreover, it dramatically boosts your neural influx of positive electrical energy. Every moment of self-appreciation accrues all the neural benefits of a positive personal affirmation.
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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 self-modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to regenerate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.