Mental Health Month: Know your Brain Better

Mental Health Month: Know your Brain Better

One of the things that amaze me the most in humans is the perfection of our being; body, brain, and mind. You probably already know that the brain runs all body functions. If the brain dies, every organ needs to be hooked up to a machine to keep it alive.

What is not so well known is the fact that the brain has many levels of performance in every human, depending on each situation. Let’s say when we are in fight or flight mode, our brain performance gets reduced to survival. When we are in love, everything is wonderful. When we work, the brain knows how to stay focused. When we enjoy a hobby or a good conversation with a friend, the brain relaxes and performs very differently. All of this happens because our chemistry changes in every situation depending on the intensity of that specific situation.

The brain is a very complex organ. It’s the most marvelous, mysterious and perfect gift our physical body contains. Our brain doesn’t think, but helps to create thoughts. It doesn’t dream, but makes dreams come true. It doesn’t contain learning, but retains it when it is in your mind. Your brain reminds your lungs how to breathe, your heart how to beat and your eyes how to blink and cry.

It messes with your emotions when out of balance and even it tricks you into eating certain things when those emotions flare up.

All these things happen in a closed box, our head. We can check-in and we can reach out. It might seem like we have no control over what’s going on inside our heads, but we do have complete control in doing our best to give the brain all it needs. It is our responsibility to know what those needs are.

Your brain creates a pathway per action you are taking. Whichever is important or insignificant, that pathway will become stronger every time you repeat that particular action turning it into a habit and furthermore into a behavior. Changing behavior is not easy. It takes brain strength, willingness, choice and the right chemistry to make it happen every time the situation requires it. Often, our mind and our thoughts want to do something and our brain caves if it is not strong enough. We need to think about the behavior we want to change and fit the brain with what it needs to make a choice towards the action to enforce that. This will create a new pathway that will get stronger every time. As long as you repeat the same, correct behavior, let the old pathway lose strength until the day the new pathway gets established and the old one is forgotten. The path will dissipate as long as we don’t repeat it anymore.

When we are creating and reinforcing a new pathway, we often relapse to the old one. That doesn’t mean you failed, but it means the old pathway is much stronger. You just have to go back to repeat the new one as often as you can until one day you will realize you don’t have to think about it. You are doing it without effort. The new pathway or behavior is established, you won!

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