The brain is an amazing organ. There is much that is unknown about the workings of the brain, but research helps us learn more.
Here are just a few things we do know about the workings of the amazing brain:
1. Have you ever noticed that you often come up with some of your greatest ideas while you are taking a shower after a long day at work? This is because your thought process is a bit fuzzy, and your brain is not working at its peak. Creativity involves thinking outside the box. When your brain works properly you have no trouble connecting concepts and ideas. A fuzzy brain has trouble making connections, which is ideal for creative thinking. This actually allows your brain to wander off and find new solutions to old problems. So, next time you take a shower, let your mind seek out alternatives to those problems. You just might learn a new trick or two.
2. The function of the brain can change in relationship to the amount of stress in your life. Stress can actually change the size of the brain – making it smaller or larger. Lower your overall stress level to improve daily brain function.
3. Our brains are not designed to multitask. What most people think of as multitasking is actually called “context switching”. We don’t do two things at the same time, instead we switch back and forth between tasks. This means we are using half the brain for one task and half for another. Unfortunately, the brain can only work one thing at a time; the second task simply overloads the brain and neither job is done at 100% efficiency. Instead of trying to juggle two tasks at once, tackle one, then the other; in this manner, you will actually accomplish much more than you ever will if you try to multitask.
4. Taking a short nap every day will help improve your memory. This is because when we first learn something it is recorded in the hippocampus and can quickly be forgotten. When we take a nap these memories get pushed into the neocortex, which is the permanent storage area of the brain, where they remain forever. When we are asleep the left side of our brain relaxes while the right side cleans up and pushes information into the neocortex for long-term storage and memories.
5. Despite having five senses that each affect our brain in some way, vision is the king of them all. If we hear something today, then tomorrow we may only remember 10% of what we heard. However, add a picture to that sound and our memory increases to 65%. Pictures work better than words to increase memory because our brain needs more time to process each letter and then form each word. Our brain sees a picture as a whole.
6. Being labeled an introvert, or extrovert has nothing to do with how outgoing or shy we are. Instead, it refers to the way the brain works. The extrovert loves to gamble and take risks, while the introvert prefers things run along a level course. Stimulation into our brains depends a lot upon our personalities: extroverts have a short pathway to touch, taste, auditory and especially visual processing centers; introverts weave through a long pathway to areas devoted to remembering, problem solving, and planning.
7. Most people would rather be friends with someone who makes mistakes, rather than someone who refuses to make even a tiny mistake. We see those who make mistakes as more likable than those who don’t. Making mistakes makes someone seem more human, more real. Perfection is seen as phony. Our brain can tell the difference.
8. Meditation is a great way to rewire your brain; it helps focus your mind and keeps you calm as you go through the day. By meditating just twenty minutes you can lower the agitation and anxiety levels in your brain: this weakens sections of your brain, while strengthening others at the same time. We can take our fears, face them while meditating, and banish them for good. Meditation also helps increase compassion levels, improves memory skills, and increases the gray matter within your brain.
9. Exercise is not only good for your body, it is great for your brain. It helps you boost willpower as it reorganizes your brain. We also feel happy when we exercise; this is due to a release of endorphins – stress fighting chemicals – in the brain. Endorphins block pain, making exercise less of a hassle, and gives you that “rush” that sees you through your workout.
10. You have the ability to slow time, with just your brain. Daily routines make time go by faster because there is nothing new to process. Start a new hobby, take an art class, or a class pertaining to a subject you want to learn about. Learning new things slows time as your brain needs time to assimilate what you are learning, and then process it for long term storage. As you learn, the whole brain is taking in this new material. The longer it takes to process, the longer that period of time will feel.
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