Written by Steven Giammarco
For Brain Energetics
Are we aware and conscious enough to know what’s right in front of us? Or is God separate from us? Maybe we created the idea of him, and God exists as our own image or maybe it’s the other way around…
The brain doesn’t know the difference between what it sees in its environment and what it remembers, because the same neurons are firing. All ideas are conceived in our perception and all are interwoven through the same thought processes confined in the space that is our brain. This is an idea that I brought forth in the last article that outlines how most everything that we know is formed inside our brain, without a lot of help from the information that our senses give us. We create models of how we view the world, but after all the external information is relayed back to the brain and then filtered, the model simply becomes refined. The information becomes a story that we tell our brain, which is colored by our emotions and thoughts and preconceived notions. If you are constantly suffering, this suffering becomes associated more strongly with all of the other thoughts inside your brain and thus, you become more and more a product of your suffering. This becomes your identity. If you don’t reinforce certain thoughts in your brain, your nerve endings in your brain break contact and their relationship becomes interrupted and eliminated from your perception. This also means that if you think positively, but it’s not really positive because you’re consumed by an entire mass of negative thoughts, then the positive thoughts are just disguised negative thoughts.
So is it God who created your perception and all of your negativity and positivity, or is our awareness what God actually is? Is your identity (how your brain retains and filters its information) where God actually comes from? The truth is. It’s impossible to KNOW what God is for sure, since we simply aren’t AWARE enough to comprehend it. Realistically, we must transcend what we are aware of right now to even begin to take steps into finding out what the idea of God really means.
Your brain controls your addictions. What are they really? A simple definition of an addiction is something that you can’t stop because you just can’t help yourself. Your brain creates bridges to certain areas of your brain to reinforce what you need. That’s why associations are born. That’s why when something happens to frighten you, your first reaction might be to get angry in order to resist it. Your brain as created a bridge (an ASSOCIATION) to the part that says fear and the part that reacts to it with anger. Consider when the last time you had an emotional outburst was. Didn’t you feel some sort of compulsion that drove you toward saying the last word or simply to raise your voice to get your point across? Do you remember pushing that fine line of emotional balance when you just HAD to get that next sentence off your own enflamed chest? If you can’t control your emotional state, you must be addicted to it! We act out because we create situations that meet our chemical needs, even if it’s because we wine and cry. We instigate the bad situation to get more of a rush of what we need chemically, even if it’s lashing out with more anger. What is love? Is it just that someone is in love with the emotions that come along with the feeling of love that causes them to want to be close to someone? How about altruism? “There’s no such thing as true altruism,” we’ve heard that all before. Is it because we’ve associated our actions to whatever makes us feel good that creates the best things in life? Does that mean greed is good? Those are some heavy questions, but my personal recommendation? Life is a balance!
So after relating emotions to an addiction so heavily, does that mean emotions are inherently bad? Or do they just define the richness of life? Maybe it’s just the addiction (lack of control) that is bad. When we lose complete control and give into our addictions, we strengthen the associations that were created. Our mind creates our body. How we think we look becomes how we look. The cells literally receive signals from your brain before they divide and shape themselves in the manner that our brain tells them. Arguably, aging is the product of years of emotional abuse. It’s up to us to move to a new pattern of thinking. If emotional addictions are there because we don’t dream outside of what we think our limitations are, then that is because no one has ever taught us what our potential is. You must create associations with what you WANT your identity to be. If you do not take this action of self-discovery, then you’ve made an insignificant attempt to gain the knowledge and information that will inspire you. Have you made this effort and still don’t know your identity? Then your efforts were simply an insignificant attempt. Our mission is to resist being jaded by media and our environment, forcing us to conform, and instead rise above our own expectations. The key is to use your ideas of success to “get by” in this world just enough to support your ambitions to experiment and flirt with who you REALLY want to be. The only thing stopping us from transcending our own limitations are the addictions that we’ve become accustomed to and the fear of the chemical withdrawal of losing those addictions.
The only way to overcome addiction these addictions is to change the associations we make in our mind. Where do you start? Imagine looking at yourself through the eyes of God or a presence that can analyze you without its own addictions and perceptions weighing them down; a sort of “ultimate observer.” This will help you become more objective and less biased. This is the path to becoming more conscious.
Consciousness is the foundation of our being. We must find a way to pursue knowledge without any interference of our addictions, and only then will we will have the ability to comprehend more than what we think is our current potential. Is the idea of Heaven the concept of complete control of our surrounds and feelings and ideas? When we are able to take the chaotic energy around us and mold it into a form and call it matter, will we become Gods?
These ideas are here to challenge your usual way of thinking to push the boundaries of your consciousness. Only then can we help each other walk the path of enlightenment or as I like to call it, “self-betterment.” It all might be just IN YOUR HEAD , but no one ever said we couldn’t help each other rise above what we think is in there in the first place. Keep up with me next time when we focus on how to be better people, and how to overcome what holds us back!
Last week’s article highlighted how neuroscience can influence how we act and how it affects our outlook on life. If you want to get some tips on how to be more creative, how to stay motivated, and even CONTROL PAIN, check it out! Now are you ready for some more awesome associations that can directly impact how you live and FEEL every day? Like last time, let’s identify these benefits and use them to better ourselves! Let’s learn to use this science to help us control depression, become more kind, and bridge the gap between those crazies from Mars and those strangers from Venus! How? Because neuroscience studies the nervous system, and that controls the information to your brain. That’s a lot of responsibility!
6. The Neuroscience of kindness
Say “Thank you.” (and mean it), and karma might just be returned to you. New science dives deeper into the meaning of being gracious and kind. In fact, it states that a small act of kindness triggers a neurobiological Ferris wheel in your brain that causes good things to keep happening in a big loop. When you give, it feels good. When you GET, it also feels good. When you give, it not only INSPIRES people to be generous as well, but the feeling of giving becomes reinforced in your mind and actually causes an increase in thankfulness!
This idea even goes so far as to counter the “survivor” or “lone wolf” theory that suggests that the strongest will always have more than others. Instead, the act of giving becomes contagious, and actually reinforces a SOCIETAL mentality that states that there is strength in numbers and that it is GOOD and NATURAL to care for your neighbor. Interestingly, there were studies done that track the brain’s activities as the participants receive gifts. The areas that light up are in the prefrontal and anterior cortex, which are areas known for rewards, morality, decision-making and fairness. These are all natural feelings that reinforce social behavior. This means that being social is in our biology and are a significant part of how we’ve survived for so long. Next time your neighbor needs some milk, give ‘em some sugar while you’re at it. Your kindness might grow exponentially and be returned to you in short time!
7. Stay Healthy, Stay NeuroHappy
How do you keep your brain (the thing that uses your nervous system to control your entire body) healthy? Well, what do you think of if I told you to go adopt healthy habits? Eat right? Exercise? Those things are just for your body right? What if those things had a direct impact on your brain as well? A neurological study has highlighted that your brain’s performance (and matter) increases the more physically fit the individual is. This means their brains work better and have more potential for what we need in every day modern society, creativity and multitasking abilities! In fact, the more physically fit you are, the better oxygen your organs (yes, including your brain) receive. This directly affects the brain’s AGING as well as its capabilities.
To find this out, researchers grabbed one hundred adults older in age and used a fancy Wii remote to measure the physical activity of these participants over seven days. Participants had oxygen levels tracked as well as the amount of matter the brain showed. If Grey Matter houses the vehicles that transmit data through your nervous system, then White Matter is the highway. Participants that were more active showed much better oxygen circulation and a whole lot more “highway” than their lazier counterparts! If that isn’t motivation for a healthier lifestyle, I don’t know what is!
8. Don’t let depression hold you down!
Don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning? Don’t know how to fight it? Let’s understand why so we can DO SOMETHING about it! We talked in a previous article how meditation can actually boost creativity and motivation. Don’t have time to meditate? Find somewhere quiet for a certain amount of time each day to just think through anything and everything. How does that help you get out of bed? The brain waves that are activated by meditation have been found to correlate with not only an improved capacity to be creative, but lower stress as well! These electrical brain waves that hold so much power over you actually control the release of chemicals that make you feel good (such as dopamine and endorphins).
What comes from letting more of these waves out to do their job? The result of this electrical communication is literally your feelings and control how you behave. When you are depressed, your thoughts are being restricted, constricting these electrical currents. Thinking at a lower (more calm) frequency and letting more thoughts bubble and ease their way across your brain can literally change your outlook on life, so the next time you don’t feel like getting out of bed, sit down, puff your chest out (to increase oxygen) and let the thoughts flow through you.
9. Put yourself in their shoes. Understanding=less stress
It’s so tempting to think about those “rich people” or those “poor people” being the cause of all of the world’s problems. It causes fear, anxiety and even hatred! Racial problems anyone? No Bueno! The greatest thing about neuroscience? It shows how similar we are to each other, and how easy it can be to commune with each other. We can actually neurobiologically teach ourselves to relate to others, a study highlights. Findings reveal universal truths between you and your fellow man (or woman) that when understood, actually decreases conflict and fear. What is the act of relating to your neighbor? It’s actually your brain LEARNING. When it learns about an unknown, the idea is shelved and releases chemicals that comfort us. This reaction is what we call EMPATHY. What happens when we learn about an unknown? We begin to RELATE to it, thus enabling a pathway for compassion.
The study that describes this reaction took participants and zapped their hands. They were then told that a member from another group could give money to stop the participant’s suffering (Jeezus…Joker conundrum anyone?). What happened was that the part of the brain known for empathy slowly lit up every time a stranger spared them from pain. The stronger the zap (and being spared from another zap afterwards) the faster and louder that empathetic part of the brain responded. Soon, the entire group surrounding the participant that was getting shocked had a better appreciation for the stranger in the other group. So not only was empathy triggered in one person, it was contagious! Now go out and learn something about someone or group of someone’s that makes you nervous. It might just be a game changer.
10. Mars and Venus, is there a difference?
Would it surprise you that a male and female brain are incredibly similar? Before in-depth study, casual observations told scientists that how well an individual remembers something (as well as spatial skills) differ between men and women. The hippocampus would be the culprit, so that means one hippocampus would be larger than the other right? Actually…not at all! One would think that one’s capacity for emotion, being social and how well one remembers something that was said (traditionally believed that women are better than men at these things) would show some sort of difference in either side of the hippocampus, but the more data that is gathered, the differences become insignificant or completely non-existent. One thing that IS consistent is that the more fit an individual is, the larger their hippocampus is, REGARDLESS of their sex. I guess that means we’ll have to find out why men tend to “go to Jupiter to get more stupider” and women “go to college to get more knowledge” (I couldn’t resist) through some other means. Maybe it’s Jupiter’s atmosphere?
Another list come and gone and what fun it is to explore why the world is how it is through our own perceptions. As always, I hope you found this list useful and interesting and remember our theme. It’s all in your head! Your brain can control your happiness, pull you out of depression, make you happy, and make you less stressed! It just can’t yet explain why women will eventually rule the world, but when men discover the secret, we might just stand a chance!...to become smart enough to flee. I kid, I kid! Now let’s ACT to keep our brains on a positive track! Knowledge is power, and it’s fun!