How to change your brain and nervous system? How to get your vitality and strength back?
My name is Sari. I am a self-awareness researcher (PhD student), certified Mindfulness Instructor, author and entrepreneur. I have practiced awareness skills for a decade. On this site I want to share with you easy, daily, tips to increase your self-awareness.
We have learned to behave in a certain way as we grow up. Our nervous system, connected to brain and every organ, is reacting to people, emails, voices and so on all the time, in a way it has learned. This is called autopilot mode. Many times, our system has learned to shallow our breathing and tense all our muscles like we were threatened by our emails and social situations, e.g. talking to angry boss or colleague. If you want to get rid of these habitual ways of reacting, you need to practice inner awareness. For me the decision to get my “head right” has been the best decision I have ever made.
Inner awareness will increase your self-knowledge as well as acceptance and compassion towards yourself. It will ultimately lead to a more balanced, harmonious and abundant life, because we can learn to live align with our bodies and not against it. Self-knowledge will help us to understand other people and life better, which will accelerate our spiritual growth and lead to more empathic and appreciative behavior towards others, animals and ecosystem.
Who is doing?
“What should I do?”, people often ask, when they confront a problem. You could prefer to ask yourself, “Who should do: empowered or powerless me?” If you are in a stress mode, powerless me is responsible of your decisions and nothing will be enough. When your nervous system is balanced, powered me can take over and then you will do, what is reasonable in every situation.
You can ask yourself during the day, who is doing the things you are doing (walking, raising kids, using computer, paying bills, having free-time). Is the one in charge stressed me, who lashes you forward, or empowered me?
In every situation, it’s important to become to your senses. That means that you guide your attention to sensing. You can try to notice, what you are hearing right now? What you actually see and feel right now? Learning to guide one’s attention is a very powerful tool. Usually our attention moves around, following whatever stimuli, and we follow with our actions, reactively. If you can learn to focus your attention on senses and breathing always, when you are making a decision and talking to people, you can notice the difference in how you can be in charge of the situation and make more conscious choices. Otherwise our habits and feelings lead our actions. You do want to listen to your feelings but not be driven by them. You want to be more aware to make best choices. Lifestyle changes begin from very small steps.
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If you appreciate scientific research, the links below might interest you!
EOC Institute has examined why we need meditation and how it effects human brains and health. “Thinking back, when were your happiest times? For most folks, those precious, magical moments with beloved friends and family quickly come to mind.
Whether we are playing games, eating, drinking, talking, or laughing with our loved ones, the natural human connection we feel anchors our awareness firmly into the present (instead of worrying and obsessing when alone).
While the very best cure for loneliness is a strong “in-person” social network (i.e. not Facebook) and a loving family, this isn’t possible for everybody. Unless we go back to tribal living like our ancient ancestors, a more realistic solution is ideal.
Luckily, neuroscientists are on it. When we feel isolated and separated from the “whole,” one particular brain region (the “parietal lobe”) becomes overheated.
To prevent your car engine from burning up, you need a good radiator. To ensure loneliness doesn’t roast your brain, you need to keep your parietal lobe calm, cool, and collected. Thankfully, meditation is up to the task.
Meditation Balances The Brain, Brings Big Benefits
A 2012 UCLA School of Medicine study found that the “corpus callosum,” the grand central station-like cable of nerves cross-linking the brain hemispheres, was remarkably stronger, thicker, and more well connected in meditation practitioners.
For those of us looking to maximize our potential, what does this monumental neuroplastic “healthy brain” discovery mean?
By constructing a “hyper-connected,” “ultra-efficient” bridge between our brain halves, meditation puts an abrupt end to our “Neuro-Cold-War,” integrating our “east” and “west” brain hemispheres after a lifetime of separation.
Harmonizing both brain hemispheres opens the door to a smorgasbord of benefits, with better focus, deeper thought, super creativity, excellent mental health, enhanced memory, and clearer thinking just the start.” To read more, click the picture below.
Social connection improves physical health and mental and emotional well-being.
We all think we know how to take good care of ourselves: eat your veggies, work out and try to get enough sleep. But how many of us know that social connection is just as critical?
One landmark study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
On the other hand, strong social connection:
- leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity
- strengthens your immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by loneliness also code for immune function and inflammation)
- helps you recover from disease faster
- may even lengthen your life!
People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.
Unfotunately, the opposite is also true for those who lack social connectedness. Low levels of social connection are associated with declines in physical and psychological health as well as a higher likelihood for antisocial behavior that leads to further isolation.” To read more, click the picture below.
How to Release the Stress stored in our Bodies
“Do you spend much time sitting in front of a computer, on a plane, in a car? If so your hips may be locked up which effects your ability to dance, but worse than that it may be causing you undue stress and fear. The Psoas Muscle, is a long muscle located on the side of the lumbar region of the vertebral column and brim of the pelvis, that is also known as the “muscle of the soul”.
It is one of the largest muscles in the body and it is a place where we often store stress or trauma that can literally influence our mood and our outlook on life.” To read more, click the picture below.