10 Amazing Facts About Brain Part I
You can artificially boost your willpower by drinking an energy drink packed with sugar and caffeine, but a good night’s rest is a much more useful and healthy option. Well, that and also having enough awareness not to put yourself into situation where you will need lots of willpower when you know your resources will be low.In other words if you’re trying to quit drinking, avoid bars. If you are wanting to lose weight, don’t drive down fast food alley every day and if you want to stop smoking, avoid people (wherever reasonably possible) who do smoke.
2. A thought is a physical pathway in the brain. The more you have that thought, the more you groove and strengthen that path and the easier it is to have it again and again. That’s why having the thought “Why do I suck?” is never a great idea because you start to create a self fulfilling prophecy as it becomes harder and harder to shake the belief that you suck.
Your brain hates holding two contradictory opinions at once because it creates cognitive dissonance, so when you tell yourself you suck, your brain seeks out information to back up what you are saying. And trust me, it will find it and ignore contrary evidence.
And by the way, you don’t suck.
3. Speaking of which, you have approximately 70,000 thoughts per day, although many will be the same ones looping round and round on your grooved cranial superhighway. And that is why we know that the quality of your thoughts is highly correlated to the quality of your life.
Think great thoughts and you’re way more likely to lead a great life; it really is that simple if sometimes difficult to actually implement. As the great William James once said, “The greatest breakthrough in my life time is the realization that man can alter his life by altering his thinking.”
4. Even if you consider yourself a creative right-brained person, your brain will increase blood circulation to the left of your brain side every 90 to 120 minutes, giving you a greater ability during those times to think linearly. That’s why even left-brained people can have times of the day when they are more creative and right-brained people can sometimes get their taxes in order.If you want a fascinating tip on how you can tell which side is in control at any one time do this (unless you have a cold, in which case it probably won’t work):Close your mouth and take a deep breath through your nose.
Did you notice how your breath flowed up the nasal cavity more easily on one side than the other? If not, do it again, only this time hold down one nostril and breathe in and then do the same with the other. One flows in easily and unencumbered, but the other probably feels like you have a bit of a cold. That is due to vascular constriction and the side where the blood vessels are more constricted will allow air to pass through it much more easily. Vascular constriction is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which is one of the few parts of the brain that doesn’t cross over. In other words, if your right nasal passage has constricted blood vessels, then so has the right side of your brain. Which means you that you are predominantly using the opposite hemisphere of your brain.
5. Reading out loud to kids under the age of 5 accelerates their brain development and helps build neural connections. Those connections can then help with further learning as they grow older. So don’t throw your kids in front of the TV and turn on Sponge Bob Square Pants. Read them stories if you want them to grow intellectually and provide for you in your old age.
6. Scientists have proven beyond any reasonable doubt using fMRI’s, that reframing negative situations literally rewires your brain by creating new neural pathways and can make you a happier, more easygoing person.
Very briefly and in case you are unaware, a reframe is where you decide to look at a negative situation in a more empowering light. It doesn’t involve changing the actual event (that would be delusional) just adjusting
your view of it. If you want to get good at reframing, simply ask yourself the following two questions (or whichever is most pertinent at the time) when things aren’t going to plan.
What else can this mean?
What can I learn from this?
7. Your brain is approximately 75% water, but you should never drink it, even if you’re really thirsty, and anyway it probably wouldn’t taste very nice.
8. Your brain only weighs about 3lbs, yet the greedy bastard uses between 20% and 25% of your energy supplies each day, so make sure you stay hydrated and eat high quality food.
9. There are approximately 10 to the power of 60 atoms in the universe. Your brain laughs in the face of that figure however, as it has 10 to the power of 1,000,000 different ways it can wire itself up.
That’s the number 10 followed up with 1 million zeroes, which is to all intents and purposes (for anybody not called Stephen Hawking), is an infinite amount of ways.
10. Speaking of large numbers, there are approximately 1.1 trillion cells and 100 billion neurons in the average human brain.