We tend to think of the brain encased in our skulls as our only brain but did you know that your body has a least two locations that contain a collection of neural cells just like the brain in the skull? The heart and the gut are the locations of two other brains we have. Neural integration is the way these brains connect and communicate. And yet, so many of us go through our days and our lives unaware of this connection and how much less energy it takes to use three brain instead of one. Mindfulness, Resilience and Self-Regulation are key strategies in connecting our three brains.
Using only one third of our intelligence is like playing baseball with only three people on the field; there’s no way to compete. So how do we self-regulate to gain access to our full suite of intelligence?The most recent research on mindfulness and meditation shows that it helps reduce anxiety and depression, has a positive effect on the brain’s limbic system (the area where we process emotions and emotional response), and even changes the brain’s structure. This effect on the limbic system specifically, is the key to connection with our other brain centers. Through neural connection and communication, the body sends more signals to the brain, than the brain sends to the body. This body (somatic) information tells the brain how to respond by sending a report to the brain based on information from our thoughts, our biological function and our beliefs. The brain decides whether to activate alarms (fight or flight) or calmly stay the course.
The more we activate the alarm course in our brains, the more our nervous system activates this course; the pathway is literally “burned” into our nervous system by electrochemical means. Self-regulation and “down-regulation” are ways to re-train the nervous system and activate a calm response so that all centers of intelligence can respond to the myriad bits of information we receive from mind, body, and spirit. Meditation done in a “mindful” way, from a point of awareness, helps us slow down and monitor the inputs, self-talk, and habits that flow to us day and night. Awareness meditation can be done for just one minute; that’s all the time that’s needed to shift. When this meditation minute is done several times a day, you can literally change your brain and your nervous system and create a calm and peaceful way to face your day, one that allows you to conserve your energy, gain clarity, and use your whole-body brain for optimal functionality.“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine, food.” –Hippocrates We so desperately want to go to the doctor for that one pill and that one surgery that will make everything better. And while that magic pill or magic surgery doesn’t exist, we do have some pretty good supplements at our disposal. Food, mood, and neuro-fatigue are very closely linked and we can make some small changes that can have some big results.
A new study published March 19, 2014 in Psychopharmacology found the first evidence for the generally regarded health effects of green tea on the working memory. In fact, the researchers found that green tea had an effect on the neural system as evidenced by changes in short-term plasticity of the connections between the parietal and frontal lobes of the brain. Some of the ingredients in Neurolon have the exact same effect on the brain. This is good news for people on the go or for people who do not particular like the taste of green tea. Keeping mind that most green tea’s need to be consumed without milk or sugar to get the maximum benefits.