The centre of every human
The brain is the most powerful part of our bodies, yet the least studied. Our brain is what makes us such amazing creatures.
This week we’ve collected 3 WHYs for you and your brain to live happily ever after:
1) WHY it’s important to make memories
Experience is something that makes our life more exciting and keeps us curious, other than that it can boost our brain in many ways. Memories do a lot:
they store information (the more you learn, the better you remember)
let you relive past experiences (that’s why they say “if your heart is broken go on a trip”)
they make you more stress-resistant (when you change your environment you leave your comfort zone, which makes you more fearless to new things even if these new things are stressful)
they boost you EQ (when you experience different emotions you learn how to feel them)
your motivation increases (processing in the brain’s “reward system” drives our motivated behavior)
they simply make our life happier (new experience activates hormones of happiness in our system)
Life is full of opportunities to explore! Do it today, take baby steps: change your normal route when you head to work, try a different coffee this morning, cook breakfast, and do it as if it’s a piece of art.
2) WHY sleep
Healthy sleep is a key element of a healthy brain. If we don't sleep enough we can’t be productive enough — it’s physically not possible. Our brain needs to recharge its batteries. Another part of being mentally healthy is the ability to let our mind wander. Progress requires time for rest: when we do any sport we need to take breaks so that our performance could go next level. What sleep gives us:
focus and memory (remember the time at university when before the exam you would read all night, you thought you were ready to answer all the questions your professor asked you, but in fact, you could barely say anything on a topic? This is because you didn’t sleep)
perfect body (you can’t lose weight if you don’t sleep enough because your body doesn’t process necessary hormones)
energy and good mood (lack of sleep ruins our hormones of happiness and thus intoxicates us with anxiety, the best option we can take when we feel stressful — take a nap)
creativity (when our REM sleep is good enough it boosts the creative part of the brain and we are full of ideas!)
happy romantic relationships (well-rested individuals are judged as more attractive, a study on married couples confirmed the links between sleep trouble, self-control, and aggressive behaviors (Keller et al., 2019))
Sleep well <3
3) WHY read about brain
The more you read about something the more you understand the topic — simple as day and night. Here are a personal experience and review of a book on the topic. Meet my dearest friend and colleague Sasha with the ideas she got from “The Brain” by David Eagleman.
Have you ever wondered who we are? What makes us humans?
These are my favorite questions to ponder over when I have a philosophical and mysterious mood. On such days I keep thinking about the ways how we perceive information, come up with ideas, make decisions, plan things, realize them. I do it not only because I am curious. I believe that when we examine structures and objects around us when we understand how things work, we can develop them, make them more profitable for us.
Once being in such a mood, I bumped into a compelling book that helped me enlarge my knowledge about human beings, answered some of the questions that I could not find answers to and was just outstanding source of information about the most mysterious part of our bodies — and the world — the brain.
This book reveals lots of features of our brain that I could not even imagine! The author of this book is David Eagleman, an American neuroscientist from Stanford University, and he explains why we behave in a certain way using the data that he and his colleagues literally gathered from experiments on brains. This book gives an observation on us from biological, chemical, physical, and psychological points of view.
For example, he starts the book with an explanation of how our brains work when we are newborn. We know that our brains are rather different from our “adult” brains. We learn how to see, feel, walk, speak, we do not have these settings “by default”. Why so? The answer given by the author is our brain is “unfinished” because we’ve got to adjust to the environments around us to thrive, so we need to have the life experience to become a man, not just a human being. But … we know it already, don’t we? Why read something when you already know such things? Here goes my favorite part – David Eagleman explains why it happens this way. Why we are not capable of these things from the very beginning and does it from a neurological point of view. He explains how our brains develop new skills and what happens when we are learning something and how important it is to give our brains various pieces of training, especially in childhood. The whole procedure in detail! It’s amazing how our brains work, what a system!
After revealing the functionality of our brains a little bit (you know, it is still the most enigmatic object in our world), he comes to the logical question – we are our experience and we are the functionality of our brain, well, but who exactly are WE? Where do WE begin? To answer these questions the author explains the way how our memory works – and I’m not going to spoil the impression by my retelling. I just say that there were some things that really astonished me.
Having unmasked some tricks of our brains, David Eagleman starts considering the fact of reality, and what it is for us. By giving examples (from op-art, by the way), he explains and proves the way how reality appears in our brains. It turned out that the process of perception is a way more complicated than I thought. For instance, do you know that in order to see things we need not only our eyes and brain? I didn’t! Anyway, the brain still calls the shots, of course. It does work hard to show the reality as it does, as we have it. So does it mean that we are in control of our brains?
The author gives answers to this tricky question and not like “it is the brain or you”, but explaining the decision-making process, the phenomenon of consciousness, our social nature. I couldn’t stop reading those parts and literally had sleepless nights sitting and reading.
He finishes up the book with his ideas about our future. Our brain is incredible and almost limitless. So, David Eagleman believes that with the help of technology we will be able to explore the world in a much effective way.
All in all, you see, I am super excited about the book and just cannot help sharing it with you, so here it goes!
P.S. Also you can check out David Eagleman’s program on BBC – I loved that, too!
See ya! Stay amazing! ☺