Thursday, November 24, 2016

Have you ever wondered how that voice in your head came to be independent from your actual brain? You know; your mind, your consciousness. It’s a mysterious piece of humanity that countless people have been trying to solve for centuries, and while we’ve been able to figure out quite a bit about it, there’s still much more that eludes us.

Here are five things about your mind that you probably didn’t know:

01. No one knows what it is or how the brain manifests it

We know that the mind is created by the brain, but we don’t exactly know how. After all, the brain is three pounds of mushy tissue resting inside of an extremely hard protective case. But, those three pounds of tissue influence a great deal of our lives in almost every way. The mind may be generated by the brain, but the mind often functions independently from it. Not to mention, the mind has the ability to change the brain.

02. You are able to “watch” your mind as it works

How often do you reflect on the things that your mind is constantly churning up? If our thoughts are the mind speaking to itself, then you can easily listen to what it has to say. This is called the “observing self” and it’s separate from emotion. It allows us to objectively observe the thoughts that are constantly being spoken.

The best way to achieve an observing self is by reflecting on your thoughts with as little judgment as possible. When you do this, you can start to make changes to the mind and brain because you are capable of monitoring what’s being said.

03. The mind goes wherever it pleases

Have you ever noticed a particularly disturbing or bizarre thought pop into your head? Maybe you have them all the time. It’s completely normal and due to the fact that our minds are basically circus shows without limits. Rest easy knowing everyone’s mind is like this. We all have crazy thoughts, fantasies, stories and images appearing at any moment.

Some are good, some are bad, and while we might not be able to control where the mind goes, we can manage how it affects us. By learning to recognize our random thoughts as random thoughts we can label them as such, or tell ourselves not to worry about them.

04. Your mind is capable of rewiring the brain

If you’ve ever heard of neuroplasticity, you know what I’m talking about. The brain’s wiring can be altered and changed based on the mind’s habits, meaning you can (and will, if you’re not careful) literally change it by thinking certain things. The more you think a certain way, the more your neurons get used to firing in that way. When you repeatedly use certain neurons and not others, you build patterns that your brain gets used to and starts to prefer.

05. The brain is naturally inclined to be negative, but the mind can help promote positivity

Biologically speaking, it makes sense that the brain would have stronger reactions to negative stimuli than it would positive stimuli. Things like danger, threats, mistakes and problems all cause disruption in life. They also make it very difficult for us to relax and be content in our lives.

But, we can use the mind to focus on the positive things in life. And by doing so we build new thought patterns in the brain that it will routinely go back to. The best way to do this is by remembering happy, positive experiences. Bring those to the forefront of your mind and really think about them for at least five seconds.

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