When it comes to the human brain, we have a lot to learn. As the command center for every minute function of daily life, the importance of healthy brain functioning is undeniable. The current understanding of the brain suggests that the different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions. At one point in time, these ideas were only being examined during cases of brain trauma and abnormalities, but new technology allows researchers to watch the brain in action.
The brain is an incredible organ. Without changing size or shape, the adult brain has the capacity to restructure and adapt to changing demand. This ability is known as neural plasticity, and refers to how neurons relate and connect to one another on a cellular level. Connections that are used more become strengthened and made more efficient, while those that are used less recede and diminish. When you think about these connections in your brain as similar to the muscles of your body, you can understand the development and strengthening of the different areas to benefit the brain as a whole. Bodybuilders never just exercise one muscle group, and muscles adjust to meet the demands they are faced with.
When you are looking to improve brain function, you should be looking to exercise all different areas of your brain. One proven way of strengthening your neural connections is through practicing mindfulness. More than just meditation, mindfulness focuses on experiencing things in life directly – becoming fully enveloped by whatever you are doing. Studies show that people who practice mindfulness have these direct experiences more often, as well as higher levels of happiness. Practicing mindfulness can help those dealing with addictions, anxiety, depression and PTSD reconnect to life and the world around them. And for everyone, the benefits go as far as increasing patience and compassion, building a balanced sense of the flow of life and your place in the grander scheme of things.
Read the entire article here: How Does a Mindful Practice Do Anything?
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