Boosting your mindfulness is the key to keeping your brain healthy and flexible – let me show you how!

Learn how to keep your brain healthy and flexible with this insightful video on boosting mindfulness. Discover the concept of brain plasticity and how your beliefs shape your experiences. Explore the importance of maintaining mental wellbeing, developing intellect, and continuously upgrading your belief system for personal growth. Dive into the dynamic process of mental development and understand the impact of your mindset on your outcomes. Uncover the pyramid of awareness and the role of body, emotions, mind, and accountability in decision-making. Find out how to develop a smooth thinking process by keeping an open mind and nurturing curiosity. Enhance your mental health with practical tips and insights on maximizing your brain’s potential. Watch now to unleash the power of your plastic brain and cultivate a mindful approach to life. Presented by Sahar Huneidi-Palmer.

Brain Plasticity

Brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the ability of the brain’s neuronal networks change through development and re-organisation. It happens when the brain gets rewired to function differently than it previously did. How fast can your brain adapt? Our beliefs create our life experiences to attract their validity. Attracting experiences can happen consciously or unconsciously- depending on how self-aware you are. Being mindful of what happens in your life includes looking after the wellbeing of your brain, your mental wellbeing, and developing your intellect by opening up to new horizons.

The mindful process of mental development means having to continuously “upgrade” our belief system. We need to ‘delete’ or replacing beliefs that have outlived their purpose, beliefs that no longer serve us because we want to create more desirable  experiences that are conducive to our personal growth and with beneficial outcomes. In a way, it is just like getting rid of old furniture that are no longer fit for purpose yet taking up space!

Smooth Thinking

Developing a smooth thinking process demands keeping an open mind. Having an open mind means that your perspective and thinking process are not blinkered by, or limited to, what you already know. I will explain why blinkered perspective hinders arriving at the solution later on.

Moreover, remaining aware and curious are essential for mental wellbeing. Both aspects help maintaining our brain’s natural function. For instance, reflecting on both, good and bad life experiences, as opportunities for self-growth allows us to modulate our responses and behaviour in real time; with little ‘down-time’. Being mindful of the present, as well as reflecting on past experiences, helps us understand the dynamic that lead up to current struggles and success. We can then avoid the former and create more of the latter.

Furthermore, changing the mindset, creates a different outcome. However, the decisions you make are a products of several interdependent aspects yourself, what I refer to in Unbox Life mentoring as BEMA, the pyramid of awareness: Body, Emotions, Mind and Accountability to actions.

What’s your thinking process?

Are you aware of how you think? Our thinking [process is such an inmate dynamic. It reflects not only our mindset, but also how we identity with ourselves at any given moment or phase in life. I was not aware of mine until I met my late former mentor and friend. That moment changed my life! When he described how I think, I began to see reasons behind making such decisions: the beliefs I held, how I identified with myself, and my personal emotional and mindset.

Furthermore, it inspired to dive into exploring the brain as a ‘processor’ and how it functions. I was fortunate that a cousin of mine was a neurosurgeon in London at the time. he came to visit with me one day and asked how I was. Jokingly, I replied “I am so stressed. I am about to have a nervous breakdown”. Suddenly, he looked serious and said: “stop! Your brain is not a joke. It is like and elastic band. If you stress it too far, for too long, it never goes back to what it was”. I started considering how I process information and arrive at decision. ;

Our Thinking Process

Our brain is entrusted with our survival by solving problems. It does that by  predicting future outcomes based on past experiences. For example, if you got burnt by putting out a candle flame with your fingers, your brain learns that direct contact with fire is hazardous and will help you avoid repeating such an experience. However, we need to help it along and guide it through self-awareness. When you are away of what beliefs are standing in the way of your desired goal, replacing those old beliefs with new goal-oriented ones will attract favourable experiences instead.

For instance, by being self-aware of what beliefs are standing in the way of a better future. Maintaining our brain’s flexibility, or plasticity, can aid it providing us with the best solutions we seek. One of the best books that I have come across  a few years ago is, Consciousness Explained, by Daniel C. Dennett (Amazon UK , Amazon USA). In it he explains how nature evolved from ‘darkness’. Then, as nature needed to replicate itself, boundaries and reasoning developed.

Plastic Wiring

The next stage was the evolution of the brain, where individual brains developed in such a way ‘that they are not entirely hardwired, but rather variable or plastic’ in behaviour. This allowed the brain the ‘means of learning from the past’ and predicting or anticipating the future, a process known as ‘post-natal design-fixing’; in other words, dealing with new and unexpected changes in its environment.

He explains that ‘the fundamental purpose of brains is to produce future’; that is to learn from past experiences in order to ‘develop methods of getting out of harm’s way’. What made the greatest impression on me was the statement he made about the brain’s ability to adapt to new changes; and how the nervous system also evolves in a few seconds to support the brain. Moreover, he states that plasticity is a capability of the brain’s behaviour and is ‘almost certainly a mechanical process… that is itself genetically installed in the nervous system’. He then explains how even the brain of a ‘lowly toad’ is designed to deal with changes in the world.

Your Mind is Your treasure

This design ‘evolves at a pace and magnitude faster than natural selection, with “generations” lasting seconds or minutes, not years.’ But, for ‘truly high-powered control’ where adjustments take only few milliseconds; he says, ‘for all our foolishness, we human beings are vastly better equipped for that task than any other…it is our enormous brains that make this possible’.

Your mind is your treasure and “deposit account”, the more you invest in it, the more returns it will offer you. This needn’t be an enormous task:

  • Feed your curiosity, as a child would! Stay simulated by nurturing your curiosity about things such as: how “things” are made, or how people live in other countries, or find out more about ancient civilization. Whatever you have been putting off for retirement – action now!
  • Always learn something new: pick up a hobby and develop it or read a new book about a subject you’ve never about before or learn a new language.
  • Play a game regularly, such as Sudoku, or crosswords.

Stay (mentally) healthy!

© Sahar Huneidi-Palmer (an extract from my upcoming self-help book)

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