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Reshaping the mind


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Jame Ellermeyer and the students discuss the science behind Mindfulness and Meditation as they perform a mindfulness exercise writing left handed, the results and why.

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Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Reshaping the mind

  1. 1. Neuroplasticity  Reshaping brain pathways  Having the ability to consciously change the way the brain processes  This is a new uncharted area of science, the reality is we are only on the tip of the iceberg to understanding how brain growth works.
  2. 2. IS There a Magic Brain Work Out?  We know using your muscles makes you stronger.  Is that the same concept in the brain? Does using your brain make you smarter?
  3. 3. Neural Pathways  Our nervous system is wired with millions of neurons that run in pathways that connect like a complex road. When we learn new behaviors we make new paths.
  4. 4. Neural Pathways  The more we use a certain pathway the more efficient that neural path gets.  Our thought or action becomes faster and requires less effort.
  5. 5. Forging New Roads  However…to make new pathway it requires more than the repetition used to build muscles.  It also requires attention.
  6. 6. Does it carry over?  It seems that the brain works by building efficiency of one neural path at a time. Only the one you give attention too. That basically means there is no crossover.  For example, doing crossword puzzles won’t make you less likely to remember where you put your glasses but it will make you better at crosswords
  7. 7. Common Attitudes to Meditation  I am going to do this and must get it right.  I should focus 100%.  I am going to try extremely hard.
  8. 8. Meditation  It is about getting somewhere you already are.
  9. 9. Some Benefits of Meditation  Your mind gets stronger and faster.  Increases connections between brain cells.  Gyrification-linked to processing information quickly.
  10. 10. Aids in emotional stability
  11. 11. Pain may be less of an issue
  12. 12. Dealing with stress
  13. 13. STRESS Internally caused  Fears  Repetitive thoughts  Worrying about future events  Unrealistic expectation  Habitual behavior patterns  Overscheduling  Failing to be assertive  Procrastination
  15. 15. Is it easy? No it isn’t easy to pay attention to our brain operations. Instinctually we like to use a very automatic portion of our brain – the one that tells us what to do when we feel threatened. To form new pathways we have to use a more complex portion of our brain called the prefrontal cortex.
  16. 16. Activities that help This is a very new area of study where everything is uncharted waters. Very few things claiming to help the brain show any evidence in scientific studies.
  17. 17. Except….  However there are a few activities that show promise to improving overall brain function and control  Physical exercise  Meditation  Video games?
  18. 18. Evidence  Studies have shown Monks can control their body temperature through meditation!
  19. 19. Confidence is key  Dopamine is the pleasure drug released by our bodies. It is released when we are happy or confident.  Studies show that generating new pathways is more effective if attention is given to the activity as well as dopamine is present  If you believe you can do it you will.
  20. 20. Take home points  You are already making the effort.  Continue to pay attention to the pathways you want to create, not the ones you want to remove.  Build your confidence to aid inn neurogenesis.