Greetings everyone! This week I would like to go deeper into the mind and talk about the brain and how it functions. Understanding the mind better will help one improve the quality of their thinking which can improve the quality of one’s life. The Brain is a gift, but it is also a tool. Learning how to use this tool could change your life.
My mind use to be like a playground for a ping pong ball. I would think of this and then that would lead me to think of something else, and then that something else would lead me to a new tangent and so forth. You get the picture right? Sound familiar? One thing and ten minutes later you’ve thought of 30 different ideas problems etc. At one time I thought this multi-tasking brain was awesome, like a super brain. But after much research I have learned how it takes a negative physical toll on the entire body.
Let me break down the process for you. The Neocortex is the brain’s walnut-like outer covering and it allows you to learn, remember, reason, analyze, plan, create, speculate, invent, and communicate. With the help of the front part of the brain, the Frontal Lobe, the neocortex helps you log sensory data like what you see, hear, smell, etc, it literally plugs you into the external reality. This part of the brain not only takes on new information but learns it and organizes it. Take a moment and think about how much this special part of our human body does for us and how we take it for granted. Take a deep breath in and give thanks to your brain.
Then you’ve got different brain waves:
Delta (deep sleep mode)
Theta (sleep / daydreaming state)
Alpha (awake but chill / creative imaginative thinking / child-like)
Beta (logical thinking / stimulated fast brain / conscious thought / multi-tasking mode)
Gamma (cognitive functioning / elevated states of consciousness)
After looking at this list, can you tell what brain wave you are normally on? Today’s society are in the Beta brain wave most of the time. From the time they wake to the time they go to sleep at night. We are constantly thinking of the things we need to get done, how we are going to do them, when we are going to do them, who we are doing them with, where we are doing them, etc. We use the Beta wave for working, and most of us use it when we are not working. We might be using it to worry about the past or the future. Too much Beta brain waves leads to excessive stress and/or anxiety. We overthink and we even overthink about our overthinking. Have you woke in the morning to the brain going immediately? It’s like opening the eyes turns the Beta switch On.
Moving on to the middle part of the brain, the limbic, also known as the emotional brain. The limbic brain is responsible for creating chemicals, maintaining the chemicals, and organizing the chemicals in the body. The limbic brain is located under the neocortex. As the neocortex is taking in the information, categorizing it and logging it, the limbic brain starts making and releasing chemicals to the body.
Let me explain a possible scenario: In the past you had someone in your life that always put you down and made you feel bad about yourself. Your brain has a specific neuro-network to this memory. So one new day (present time; note that it’s not the past) your boss comes to talk to you about something you messed up at work. You start taking it personal, the brain starts recollecting the past neuro-network, it creates the chemical cocktail inside of your body that reflects that past experience. You start feeling down and depressed and your body is reacting as if you are in that past moment with the person who always put you down. You react to your boss instead of responding from a clear slate.
Emotions are the end product of an experience and our body memorizes these emotions to certain situations/memories. That is just one example of how the mind can rule us and how we live in the past instead of being in the now, being mindful of our conscious presence. That example if played out over years becomes a habitual pattern. Many people revisit the same thoughts and feelings and then wonder why they keep creating the same reality in life. I will tell you that one seriously has to WANT to look at themselves for real change to occur.
Now let’s talk about these chemical cocktails that our brain releases. Neuro-peptides and neuro-transmitters travel from the limbic brain into the nervous system, into the bloodstream, and into the cells of our tissues. Some of you have probably heard me say “Your Issues are in your Tissues.” Our body can become addicted to certain chemical cocktails. You may not like fighting and yelling with your spouse, but your body got a chemical reaction last week and now it wants another one. Your brain starts picking up on all the little things that he/she hasn’t done or has done this week and it all starts replaying in your mind, building up. Before you know it you’re snapping at your partner over something very small and silly. How many have experienced this? Before you know it your body and mind are ruling you and creating your reality. Day to day eventually becomes a lifestyle. These chemical cocktails of Anxiety, Anger, Rage, Sadness, Victimhood, have horrific long term side-effects on the nervous system. When the body is responding in anger the blood pressure might go up, when it is responding in anxiety the heart might start pounding, the breath becomes short and shallow. And you may be reacting because of a past neuro-network that needs rewired, instead of responding to the present situation.
I can talk all day about the brain and it’s functions, it fascinates me, but my main focus today is to share the awareness and give you hope. ANYONE can change this. Practicing meditation increases Mindfulness. Mindfulness helps to keep one in the Present moment, the Now. Neuro-networks that wire together, stay together. When you become the observer of yourself and your thoughts you can catch yourself and start re-wiring your thought patterns and then changing your reactions and behavioral patterns. You can RE-WIRE your brain!
When we become conscious of our thoughts, behaviors, patterns, and such we can change what we don’t like. Most importantly we can change the quality of our reality and the quality of our LIFE! When you start responding to people in the present, instead of reacting out of old issues, your relationships will improve. The relationship with your self will improve. The way you look at yourself, others and even the world will start to improve.
Thank you for your time! I send love & light to each & every one of you on your journey.