Friday, May 13, 2022

How To Rest Your Brain

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Let The Default Mode Network Out To Play

How To Rest Your Brain Without Sleeping

Taking a break doesnt mean your brain has totally checked out. What we call downtime isnt complete downtime, Dr. Bea says.

Thats because some regions of the brain get more active when you arent focused on processing information. The best known of those brain areas is the default mode network .

The DMN seems to play an important role when youre focusing attention inward, rather than focusing on the external world. The DMN has been linked to things like ethics, memories, creativity and how we define our sense of self.

Theres some science to suggest that what our brains do when theyre not actively processing information is pretty important, he says. When we let our minds wander, it can be replenishing.

Identify Categorize And Address Your Stressors

As mentioned above, Dr. Sherzai says there are good and bad stressors in your life, and that learning how to enhance the good stressors and eliminate the bad stressors is critical to improving the function of your brain.

First, he says, you need to identify all of the good stressors in your life, all of the bad stressors in your life, and then all of the stressors you just can’t do anything about. To differentiate between the good and the bad, Dr. Sherzai recommends using the SMART framework. Within it, good stressors are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant , and Time-Bound .

Some examples of good stressors are learning a musical instrument taking a course that may help you get a raise at work running a marathon or mini marathon if you are a beginner planning a wedding learning a new language learning a particular dance leading a book club writing a book doing the family genealogy building that patio or just that desk you always wanted and volunteering. Dr. Sherzai doesn’t just want you to identify these in your life he also wants you to add more of them to your plate. Then, break them down into small goals you can achieve regularly to make your brain feel its best.

Sleep Helps Your Brain Work Faster And More Accurately

You might already know this intuitively. When you stay up too late or fall behind on sleep, you end up caught in a dense cloud of brain fog. You know, the one that causes you to make mistakes that you know are dumb but cant seem to avoid, or that makes it harder than usual to figure simple stuff out.

Adequate quality shut-eye helps your brain fire on all cylinders when youre awake, so you can think and respond faster and with fewer mistakes. Likely, that could be because sleep is an opportunity for the neurons that youve been using all day to take a break and repair themselves before you start calling on them again tomorrow. Because everythingeven tiny neuronsneed to rest at some point.

But after theyve had a chance to chill, you have an easier time concentrating and remembering stuff. Youll also be less likely to phone it in when it comes time to solving a tough problem, according toone studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourcepublished in the National Library of Medicine.

When City University of New York researchers gave college students a series of math problems after a night of adequate sleep and then again after a night of too-little sleep, the students did equally well after each night. But after not getting enough sleep, students tended to choose less challenging problems.

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It Can Happen To Anyone At Any Age But It’s More Common In People Over Age 40

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Avoid Taking Many Decisions On The Same Day

Give your brain a rest and do better on a test.

According to a very interesting study published in the journal of Scientific American, our brain works in a weird way when it comes to decision making. The study explains that with a very nice example:

Suppose that you go shopping in the morning and then for lunch. After lunch you put yourself the dilemma to eat sweet or not. If in the afternoon you are invited to choose between two job offers, you may choose the wrong job just because you avoided the sweet!

Our will, patience and decision making obviously work in strange ways, so the best thing to do is to separate the decisions we take, or just wait until the next day to give ourselves a chance to think more rationally and calmly.

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When We Shift Into Our Thriving Centre Not Only Do We Protect Ourselves From Depression But We Can Also Regenerate Our Brains

So, by simply completing these first two simple steps:

  • Regularly participating in a creative activity, and
  • Shifting ourselves into our Thriving Centre
  • We can, not only, free ourselves from depression but we also activate two extremely powerful natural brain processes: Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis.

    Get In Touch With Your Inner Self

    People often describe the benefits of meditation for tackling personal problems. What most people dont realize is that spiritual practices may also boost your productivity.

    While more study needs to be done, there is evidence that some spiritual practices such as meditation may help you learn how to rest your mind and otherwise relax. Early studies on the topic of the physical effects of spirituality compiled in this NCBI article show that those who engage in such practices often enjoy physical benefits during their spiritual activity such as reduced blood pressure and lowered heart rate.

    If prayer and/or meditation fit into your belief system, make time to work them into your busy day. Even a half hour a day could help. You could experience a mental reset and productivity boost as a result. Even just a few minutes of meditation to start your day can help improve your ability to concentrate and work through difficult tasks.

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    So Via Simple Creative Activities We Can Quite Literally Rewire And Reset Our Brain

    And, do you want to know the best part?

    We dont need to be any good at any of these activities! We just need to participate, learn, challenge our brains and make some progress. Because, any progress we make is a magnificent sign that our brain is expanding and creating new neural networks and thats what were after!

    New neural networks or pathways which expand and enhance our brain, improve cognitive function and get our brain running on all cylinders!

    Sleep Helps Your Brain Cement Memories

    How to Rest Your Brain (with Green Time!)

    Imagine if every single time you did or experienced something new throughout the day, you had to stop what you were doing to file the experience away in your short- or long-term memory file so you could recall it later when you needed it. Chances are, youd be spending so much time archiving your life that youd never actually get anything done.

    Thanks to the power of sleep, you dont have to do that. Thats because snooze time is prime time for your brain to get busy processing memories. As you sleep, your brain works to solidify memories that you formed throughout the day. It also links these new memories to older ones, helping you make connections between different pieces of information to come up with new ideas.

    Remember the stages of sleep we talked about earlier? Stages 1-4, the ones where you arent experiencing REM, are key for learning and the memory formation that comes with it. In fact, if you skimp out on non-REM sleep, your ability to learn new information plummets by as much as 40%, say experts at the National Institutes of Health. Thats because sleep deprivation interferes with your hippocampus, the part of your brain thats responsible for processing memories.

    When youre sleeping, your brain decides what stuff from the day is worth keepingand whats worth forgetting about so you can free up space for taking in new information tomorrow.

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    Your Brain Doesnt Work When Its Overloaded

    Studies suggest that different parts of your brain work when youre giving your full attention and when youre daydreaming. It can seem like your brain does all the heavy lifting when youre focused, but when you let your mind wander and your creativity and introspection thrive. When youre resting your brain is still hard at work processing new information, resolving tensions or stressful situations, affirming your identities and ethics, and to giving you a deeper understanding of your behavior. Thats why you may feel like inspiration hits when youre daydreaming or zoning out.

    One reason constant work and distractions can burn you out is the tax they place on your insula, a part of your brain that regulates attention. The insula activates when you switch your attention from one task to another checking your phone in the middle of a meeting, for example. If youre working too hard, or attending to too many tasks at once, your insula burns out. It cant regulate your attention well, and you have trouble focusing. Studies at Stanford and McGill suggest that the massive flow of inconsequential information you take in every day taxes your insula and leaves you struggling to focus.

    When To Do A Brain Dump

    If you can manage it, a daily brain dump at the end of the day can prepare you for the next morning.

    You can get this done in 10 minutes or less.

    Its the best way to start your day without thinking too much about everything you have to do.

    At the end of each day, look back at what you accomplished, what you learned, what you want to follow-up on tomorrow, and what you want to pursue tomorrow.

    Aim for 5 to 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to brain dump, ideally the same time every day.

    If a daily brain dump is not achievable, you can commit to a weekly schedule.

    You can do it towards the end of each week, on a Thursday or Friday. Its the best time to review your week and note down everything you were able to accomplish and what need to focus on next week.

    Here are some other times its a good idea to write your thoughts down

    • When you have a busy schedule it helps to prioritize your tasks.
    • When you feel overwhelmed. It pays to take a break and reset.
    • When you dont seem to be making progress.
    • When you have a lot of deadlines for work.
    • When you find a big idea. Its the best time to write down a few details.
    • When youre making plans in life and career.
    • When you start learning something new.

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    Brain Stem Keeps You Breathing And More

    Another brain part that’s small but mighty is the brain stem. The brain stem sits beneath the cerebrum and in front of the cerebellum. It connects the rest of the brain to the spinal cord, which runs down your neck and back. The brain stem is in charge of all the functions your body needs to stay alive, like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood.

    Part of the brain stem’s job is to control your involuntary muscles the ones that work automatically, without you even thinking about it. There are involuntary muscles in the heart and stomach, and it’s the brain stem that tells your heart to pump more blood when you’re biking or your stomach to start digesting your lunch. The brain stem also sorts through the millions of messages that the brain and the rest of the body send back and forth. Whew! It’s a big job being the brain’s secretary!

    This Is The Fascinating Way That Your Brain Makes Space To Build New And Stronger Connections So You Can Learn More

    Why Do We Sleep? » Science ABC

    Theres an old saying in neuroscience: neurons that fire together wire together. This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, practice makes perfect. The more you practice piano, or speaking a language, or juggling, the stronger those circuits get.

    The ability to learn is about more than building and strengthening neural connections.

    For years this has been the focus for learning new things. But as it turns out, the ability to learn is about more than building and strengthening neural connections. Even more important is our ability to break down the old ones. Its called synaptic pruning. Heres how it works.

    Your Brain Is Like A Garden

    Imagine your brain is a garden, except instead of growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, you grow synaptic connections between neurons. These are the connections that neurotransmitters like dopamine, seratonin, and others travel across.

    Glial cells are the gardeners of your brainthey act to speed up signals between certain neurons. But other glial cells are the waste removers, pulling up weeds, killing pests, raking up dead leaves. Your brains pruning gardeners are called microglial cells. They prune your synaptic connections. The question is, how do they know which ones to prune?

    This is how your brain makes the physical space for you to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more.

    Why Sleep Matters

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    Tips For Rebooting Your Brain

    Have you ever wondered at thefact that we cant seem to control our likes, dislikes or opinionsfor example,whether we like broccoli or a certain type of music? Have you ever explainedaway a certain bias, or even a bad habit, by saying, This is just how I am?

    If you have, youre onlypartly right. A certain taste preference or bias may be how you are right now, but its not necessarilyindelibly wired into your brain. The brain is a remarkable organ, the mostcomplex in our body, with a stunning capacity for change. It has a fascinatingtrait called neuroplasticity, a termwhich means new neural pathways gets created in response to our experiences. Theplasticity part actually means we canchange those neural paths. All it takes is repetition for the new neuralpathways to get reinforced. In other words,we have the ability to reboot our brains and make new neural pathways. Letsexplore some techniques to empower your brain to reset itself.

    Sleep Helps Your Brain Think More Creatively

    On days when youre running short on sleep, your thoughts probably go on a loop that sounds something like this: Im so exhausted. I cant do this right now. I just want to go home and do nothing.

    When youve got a one-track mind for crawling into your bed and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation, you probably arent all that concerned about coming up with cool new ideas. Which is one of the reasons why sleep deprivation zaps your ability to be creative.

    Of course, theres way more to it than that. While your brain is busy consolidating memories as you sleep, its also forming connections between new ideas and old onessetting the stage for that all-important light bulb moment.

    Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America backs this up. After a night of restful sleep, study participants were 33% more successful at completing tasks that required them to make unusual connections in their brain compared to people who hadnt slept yet.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stage 5 the part of the sleep cycle that involves dreamingis key to boosting creativity.

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    Its Also Key To Reseting Your Brain After Coming Off Antidepressants

    Why?

    Well, its due to the fact, that when we consciously shift ourselves into our Thriving Centre we activate a natural process within our brains, known as: Neurogenesis.

    Neurogenesis is the growth of new neural tissue or the process by which new neurons are formed within our brain. In other words

    Why You *really* Need A Break

    8 ways to rest your mind and reboot your brain

    Time off is what your brain thrives on. It spends hours every day working and managing the constant streams of information and conversation that come at you from all directions. But if your brain doesn’t get a chance to chill and restore itself, your mood, performance, and health suffer. Think of this recovery as mental downtimeperiods when you’re not actively focusing on and engaged in the outside world. You simply let your mind wander or daydream and it becomes reenergized in the process.

    But just as we’re falling short on sleep, Americans are getting less mental downtime than ever. In a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 83 percent of respondents said they spent no time during the day relaxing or thinking. “People treat themselves like machines,” says Matthew Edlund, M.D., the author of The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough.“They consistently overschedule, overwork, and overdo.”

    This is especially true for active women, who tend to go just as hard in the rest of their lives as they do in their workouts because they’re motivated and driven, says Danielle Shelov, Ph.D., a psychologist in New York City. “They think the best way to succeed is by doing as many productive things as possible,” she says.

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