As you are aware, the brain is your most powerful and useful tool in your wellbeing toolkit. It knows how to assess each environmental factor you are exposed to and prepare you to respond. But did you know that when you concentrate on one topic, it can double the neural connections in your brain?
There is no limit to your brain’s power when you learn more about how to use it effectively. When you focus on a new problem, equation, concept, etc. a physical network of neural connections are created in your brained. Your learnings are stored in the frontal lobe which acts as the brain’s coordinator in charge of problem solving and judgement.
During an experience, for example a learning experience, all of your five senses are activated to take in your environment. The neural networks in your brain form patterns of electricity so the limbic system can move in creating your emotions. Your limbic system is integral to the functioning of the autonomous nervous system to adapt to both positive and negative emotions you experience each day. Emotions such as stress which are controlled through the release of cortisol and epinephrine.
These stress hormones help maintain a balance in your autonomous nervous system whenever you experience flight or fight reaction. You may spend many hours of your day shifting focus from one thing to another, one person to another or from task to task.
Your brain creates neural pathways for all these activities in life, but when these pathways are constantly in operation it impacts on the effective working of your brain and body. You become incoherent to the point where you are no longer able to function well. As a result, it can lead to illness or injury.
One solution recommended by medical practitioners is to prescribe pills and medication to temporarily relieve your symptoms. While this may work initially, once they wear off you are left with those negative emotions again.
This is where meditation and mindfulness can assist you understand the root cause of what is happening within you. Meditation allows you to learn techniques which train your brain to recognise an imbalance in your emotions, your experience and what you know.
Over time, through your meditation practise, you will teach your brain how to use those emotions, experiences and knowledge to observe what goes on in your body. You teach it to recognise the reactions you have daily and create new habits to better respond to future events – both positive and negative.
Through meditation, your brain will soon understand that emotions are for the body while knowledge remains in your mind. Ultimately, you train yourself to respond effectively to stressors and maintain a healthy mind, body and soul.