When we perform simple or complex tasks such as writing, eating, driving a car, talking, crying or laughing, who controls when and how we perform these actions?
The answer is simple: We Do….through our brain!
The brain is responsible for thought processes, memory, learning and regulating the body as well as for construction, resurfacing and restoration. The brain analyzes and interprets the received stimuli via the senses, activates the body’s systems and creates feelings and emotions.
The brain is the most complex organ in our body the weight of which is only two percent of our total weight; but it contains approximately 100 billion neurons linked together by trillions of connection points. It is the center of consciousness, the supreme commander involved in all processes occurring in the body…….sending commands, controlling and monitoring the actions, emotions, memories and feelings. All of these procedures are related in the transfer of signals between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. The brain works as one unit coordinated through constant communication between nerve cells.
Our brain is divided into two equal parts. The right half controls the left side of the body and the left half controls the right side. The brain consists of cells called neurons. Neurons have tails that can reach up to one meter in length. Tails are bound into bundles and constitute the nerves that connect the brain to the rest of our body. The narrow margin area between the various nerve cells is called a synapse. Neural signal progression along each nerve cell is made by electrical impulses. An electrical impulse cannot cross the synapse that connects the two cells. When the electrical impulse reaches the nerve cell (the transmitter neuron), it causes the release of a molecule called a neurotransmitter chemical (neurotransmitter).
The diffusion of the neurotransmitter crosses the synaptic space and is absorbed by specific receptors present in the receiving cell which is a nerve cell or any other body cell. The receptor cell response depends on the type of neurotransmitter concentration, synaptic spread and the types of receptor cells. All of these factors determine whether any particular neurotransmitter has a stimulating effect or inhibits the cell collector. When the target cell is a neuron, an electrical impulse will be created in it; and when the target cell is a muscle cell, neurotransmitter binding can cause muscle cell contraction.
According to the estimates, our minds are able to store as much information as 4 Mb (more than 5,000 CDs) thanks to about 100 billion neurons, a number which is 160 times the number of people living on earth. To count all the nerve cells by way of a rough calculation, we would need about 3,000 years to do so. The nerve cells in the brain consist of two types: 60% are called white matter and are responsible for the transfer of electrical signals from the brain and back to the nerve cell and 40% are called gray matter and contain the nuclei cells which process the information and send it on. Transmission speed of electrical signals in the nervous system is amazing and ranges from 20” per second (1.25 mph) up to 0.075miles per second (270 mph). According to estimates, the amount of electrical signals that the brain creates a day is more than all the signals generated on all phones worldwide. The amount of electrical energy that takes place in the brain is so great that it can power a light a bulb of 10 watts. The brain works both chemically and electrically. This activity is reminiscent of the way the nervous system activates the muscles. However, most operations which are performed under the direct order of the command center of the brain remain invisible. Between the command and the operation process there are synapses linked between cells, neurons and dendrites…….microscopic corpuscles. These provide logical explanations for activity which is essentially spiritual. The brain contains emotions, desires, passions, lust and the power to overcome them or to keep them in check…..the free choice available according to one’s spiritual and independent character. There is a natural cause for those actions, but science also admits that the human brain is complex beyond comprehension. The connection is not physical only, but also wireless and invisible to the eye…..as fast as the speed of light. Neurons and dendrites prepare neural pathways between the parts of the brain. The length of the tracks is about half a million miles……12 times larger than an elongated equator line orbiting the earth!
Observing the wonders of the human mind brings us to the realization that it surpasses all human creation and is without doubt an absolute wonder of nature.
The limbic system in the brain stores emotions related to fear, joy, striving for greatness or success in school and so on. This system is largely responsible, along with the ability to think and operate and is located in the brain stem and with the IQ located in the cortex which holds the irrepressible desire to learn, to know, curiosity and the tendencies toward depression and boredom.
Can we affect the way the brain functions? Do we have control over the world’s sophisticated computer system? As we go about our daily activities which involve thinking, figuring, desiring, hoping, planning, can our life and the reality we live in be changed by influencing and controlling the patterns of thinking and brain function?
The unequivocal answer to this is yes!
Studies have been shown that we can change the brain and consequently improve life in many respects. Along with a better brain comes better life. When you do the right things for your brain, you are improving your life. When you do things that are not brain constructive, you actually harm yourself. Your brain is involved in everything you do: thoughts, feelings, actions and interaction with other people.
Research done with over 40,000 brain scans found that the brain determines which ‘type’ you are relative to one’s personality, character, intelligence and spirit. The brain is the hardware of the soul. As long as the brain works well, one performs well. When the mind is not healthy, whatever the reason…..distracted, sad, anxious, angry……performance is not effective. A full and healthy mind makes a person focused, happy, calm, loving, and effective.
The human brain is the most complex thing in the universe.
We have a hundred billion nerves in the brain and more connections (synapses) than the number of stars in the universe. Brain moves information quickly at 270 miles per hour. If you do not treat the brain properly, you lose 85,000 brain cells a day. This causes aging. Can we dramatically slow down aging? A critical fact is that people do not know how .and therefore does not behave accordingly. Our brain is very soft…..soft as butter, pudding or a consistency between that of raw eggs and jelly. It is enclosed within a hard skull bone which has sharp edges; and if penetrated, brain injuries can ruin one’s life.
Steps to train and improve brain performance:
1. Learning new things while constantly creating new connections in the brain. When one stops learning, connections in the brain decay which constitutes brain aging.
2. Healthy Diet & exercise: ‘You are what you eat.’ Every day you should consume vitamins and fish oil. A top priority is to exercise at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes per session; for a healthy mind is in a healthy body. Very important as well is a good night’s sleep since fatigue causes nervousness leading to making wrong or poor decisions.
3. Remain social with people which creates a sense of wellbeing. Be a part of social groups.
4. Encourage Positive thinking and be grateful. Focus on what we love in our life; for when the brain works better, emotional cells multiply because our mind is more active. A simple exercise to improve one’s mood is to daily write 5 things you are grateful for (family, friends, work, etc.) and focus on them.
5. Meditation is very helpful with many people finding it very relaxing. It triggers the thinking part and fosters better decision making as well as raising intelligence level.
6. Make love. Regular sexual activity helps reduce depression and it is pain free. Research has shown that orgasm reduces migraine pain by 50%. A study conducted in England states that having sex three times a week lowers the odds of contracting heart disease by 50%.
You can change your mind and therefore your life.
If you want a successful life, the only question that one should ask himself every day is: What kind of brain do I want?……a brain that thinks inside the box and looks only to my own comfort zone or a brain that is active and likes to deal with new materials and situations.
Your brain has 3 systems that determine much of your behavior:
1. The pre-frontal cortex – ongoing as a boss in your brain.
2. The cingulate gyros – gearbox of the brain
3. The limbic brain – the emotional brain
When knowing how to use these three systems in an optimal way, every aspect in life could be improved.
1. When it comes to humans, the first area of the brain that we have to deal with is the pre-frontal region (cortex). It reigns supreme in people and is what makes us human. The PFC takes up 30% of the human brain’s space.
How can one affect this part of the brain? One way is write down your goals:
A. Write what areas your goals reside in: work, relationships, money, health (physical, spiritual and emotional). Look at the Holy Scriptures every day and say to yourself, “My behavior will get me what I want.”
B. Exercise. It helps blood flow to that part of the brain. Fish oil helps increase energy and concentration.
2. The cingulate gyros seem very interesting. This is actually the gearbox of attention. It helps to move thoughts from one idea to another, from challenge to challenge, fosters flexibility and flow. Be involved as you perceive the various options that is available; and when this part of the brain is working well, a person can see a number of options to eliminate from his head and see the other person’s point of view. In other words, he knows how to to collaborate and clearly distinguish errors amidst the conversation (including visual….for example, if something seems amiss or a lie……not in its proper order, out of kilter, something ‘doesn’t fit,’ etc.).
How can one benefit from and contribute to this mental system? First, if you notice that thoughts are repeated three times or more, you should change your location, get up and go somewhere else……move differently, create a diversion. If one has problems functioning with this system, he should be offered several options for decisions such as, “Do you want to go to Restaurant X or Y?”). Reverse psychology works great as cleverly ask the other person to do the opposite of the desired activity. It’s a bit like a two-year old child. When you want to kiss them and they refuse, you say, “Today there are no kisses.” It immediately works in reverse. Exercise increases the levels of serotonin as well and when dealing with a situation involving the use of reverse psychology, take the person for a walk and after about 15 minutes the mood will be such that important things can be discussed with clearer minds.
3. The limbic brain – the emotional brain. This part is critical to human existence. It motivates us to love. It is responsible for our mood, tone, our emotional bonding abilities, withstanding pain, and regulating our sense of smell + libido (they go together as the perfume industry is based upon this connection).
When there is a problem with the limbic brain, we are sad and depressed, we have a negative attitude and we feel hopeless. The automatic inputs of negative thoughts destroy our day. One must be alert to not believe every thought that radiates from the mind while in this negative mode.
Conclusive ways to improve the system:
1. Exercise is essential.
2. Consume fish oil which has Omega 3 properties.
3. Get rid of automatic negative thoughts. When feeling sad or nervous – write down your thoughts…..especially the automatic negative thoughts….and ask yourself, “Am I convinced that this is true?” Don’t just believe in it, but ARGUE with these thoughts.
Change Your Brain – Change Your Life
Principles for proper maintenance of your brain/consequently having a better and happier life:
1. Protect your head…..i.e. prevent head injuries and headaches that damage the brain activity. Head injuries can destroy your life. To prevent them, you should avoid as much as possible activities that could be followed by head shocks while making sure you have maximum protection in any necessary activity that carries physical risk.
2. Avoid toxic substances such as alcohol, nicotine, too much caffeine, drugs and medicines…whether for pain or anxiety.
3. Make sure to have enough sleep……..not less than six hours a night to ensure adequate blood flow to the brain.
4. NEUROAEROBIC exercise: Physical activity is vital and is considered to be the ‘fountain of youth’ that helps maintain and preserve our cognitive skills which include memory , concentration and the ability to generate neurons and new neuronal networks. Contrary to popular opinion in the past, research has proven that the brain continues to produce new neurons throughout life and exercise may boost growth factor nerve cells in the brain. In other words, it encourages the growth of new brain cells. Excellent exercise are the aerobic coordination exercises (NeuroAerobic) which raise the heart rate and thereby the levels of blood flow to the brain together with the growth of new brain cells. This is not about walking on the treadmill, but learning new aerobic dance steps…..an excellent brain exercise.
5. Proper nutrition: ‘You are what you eat.’
It is recommended that dietary intake of foods be from all colors of the rainbow to ensure a balanced input of all the nutrients and antioxidants and to ensure an informed and intelligent maintenance of proper body/brain/mind function. Such maintenance means keeping the ‘fountain of youth’ over time which means slowing the aging process. Proper nutrition is: a diet with consumption of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (which do not increase blood sugar level), vegetables and fruits as recommended by the FDA, fat from vegetable oils and fish….and never the consumption of trans fat. It is very important to remember that 60% of the brain weight is fat! Omega 3 is required for coating billions of brain cells, the paramount nutrition of which can be found mainly in tuna, salmon, avocado, walnuts and flaxseed. Vitamin D is essential to the correct functioning of the brain and is abundant in broccoli, citrus fruits (+vitamin C) and red pepper. Vitamin B is essential for the nervous system activity, a good source being spinach. As for WATER, the brain contains 80% water and 6-8 glasses of water daily is precious and priceless for the system. Consider taking a multivitamin once a day on a regular basis mainly because the prevailing diets diversify (as in the fast food) and do not meet the healthy eating principles mentioned above. For example, about 80% of us do not consume the five portions of fruit/vegetables daily recommended by the American Health Organization.
Practicing the brain in a different way = BRAINATHON
Using the five + 1 senses.
New learning creates new physical connections between brain nerve cells (neurons). When learning stops, these relationships start to fall apart. In order to be effective, you must do something completely new and different for you such as a new, different and diverse social activity or social games that require thinking outside the box. The benefits are endless if one makes a life project of learning and acquiring tools to understand and influence the ways of thinking and making the right decisions…..and THAT’s NeuroSUCCESSology™
It is very important to use our brain in an accurate, wise and judicious way. It is the beginning of a new way of living, thinking differently about our brain, our mind and our life while realizing that success = healthy brain AND healthy brain = success. This thinking includes the understanding of the valuable principles and the implementation of the right lifestyle.
The good news is that it’s never too late to change our brain, to keep it ALIVE; and as a result, our life improves considerably……….NSy™ – Life-Transformation Academy.