The brain does not see the difference between reality and imagination
Five facts about the peculiarities of his work that can change your life. Neuroscientist Jeremy Bennett talks about them.
1. The brain does not see the difference between reality and imagination
The brain reacts equally to whatever you think about. In this sense, for him there is no difference between objective reality and your fantasies. For this reason, the so-called placebo effect is possible.
If your brain thinks that you are taking a pharmaceutical drug (and not a sugar pill), then it responds accordingly. He drank a placebo, thinking it was aspirin, and the brain would tell the body to lower his body temperature.
The nocebo effect works in the same way, but in the opposite direction. If a hypochondriac watches the evening news and hears about an outbreak of a new disease, then he may even begin to physically feel its symptoms.
If you do not believe that all this is true, then you can experiment. Close your eyes and imagine that someone close to you is involved in an accident. Imagine all the details of a terrible accident. Over time, you will begin to physically feel a aching pain in your stomach – the first sign of acute anxiety disorder. This is because the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for fear responses, triggers the adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol.
The good news is that if you look at the world with rose-colored glasses, you probably feel happy more often due to abnormally high levels of serotonin (the hormone of joy) in your blood. Any constructive thought or dream about a bright future can improve your physical condition right here and now.
2. You see what you think about the most
Whatever you think about, it becomes the basis of your life experience. For example, if you buy a new car, you will more often notice cars of this brand in the city. The thing is that after buying you think about your car more often than you thought until now.
Why is it important to know? The fact is that you can get out of any stressful situation simply by reprogramming your thinking. On the other hand, if you are trying to analyze the political situation presented by different media in different ways, then you will only believe those that reflect your own point of view.
There is something else. Have you ever noticed that people are pretty quick to group by interests? Positive people are more likely to be friends with the same positive, and hypochondriacs – with hypochondriacs, right? This is not a coincidence. So if you want to change anything in your life, start by changing your thought patterns.
3. Your brain is on autopilot most of the time
On average, the human brain generates 60 thousand thoughts per day. But more than 40 thousand of them will be the same thoughts that you drove in your head yesterday. This is why it is so easy to slip into a tailspin of negative perceptions of life. And that’s why we often need to change the familiar environment to an unfamiliar one in order to “clear” our brains.
Negative thoughts create stress and anxiety on their own, even if there is no real reason. And they REALLY destroy your immunity, which is forced to react to it (see point # 1).
Train your brain. Get him to register positive thoughts more often. The more you try, the faster and easier it will be. Consciously treating life is trying to take all these unconscious processes under your own control. The ultimate goal of practice is to ensure that most of your default thoughts are positive.
4. Shutting down periodically is vital
You can literally drown in the thousands of negative thoughts that get stuck in your head throughout the day. Therefore, you need to “shut down”: it will give breathing space for the immune system, it will make you healthier and happier.
The easiest way to turn off your brain for a few minutes is through meditation. It allows you to turn your mind into a convenient and effective tool.
And further. About the vacation. Choose an active holiday: skiing, diving, hiking in the mountains. The easier it is for you to focus on an exciting process, the more effectively your head is cleared.
5. You can change your brain. Literally. Physically.
When you focus on some kind of mental activity, your brain is actively generating new neural connections at that moment. Biologists call this process neuroplasticity.
This is how it works. If you think that you are not able to lose weight, then over time you will only become stronger in this thought. But if you replace this subconscious belief with the thought: “I am in excellent physical shape,” then your brain will build new neural connections to it every time. You will begin to increasingly notice new possibilities that will allow you to transform this subconscious mindset into a new reality.
You have the ability to subjugate your consciousness and change. You have the ability to achieve whatever you want. The main thing is to believe it. After all, any physical process begins with thoughts that arise in your head.
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