Table Of Contents
Chapter 1: Unpack Your Mind
Chapter 2: What The Brain Loves
Chapter 3: The Mind Needs Sustenance
Chapter 4: Reward Learning
Chapter 5: Reflect
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It’s helpful to appreciate some of the precepts that underlie the operating systems of your mind.
The Brain Loves…
The brain enjoys exploring and making sense of the world. You’re brain is constantly seeking to build new networks, to process and store knowledge. Your mind is ceaselessly seeking to make sense of what it goes through. Your brain is continually looking for fresh data, for fresh experiences. It’s very determined. A crucial outcome is that, to see to it that your brain is powered up; you have to give it as many fresh things as possible, as well as the time to make sense of them. A different practical outcome is that, like any adventurer, your mind tends to do better when it has a map or at any rate knows where it’s going!
The mind likes to make connections. The brain learns is by creating connections. Axons and dendrites link together to enable meaning and learning to flow from one nerve cell to another. As a matter of fact, your brain is so great at making connections that it will frequently attempt to fill in the gaps even when it’s missing data.
You watch a cat moving along behind a fence and, while part of the cat’s body is hidden by the spots in the fence, your brain fills out the rest and believes it’s watching a complete cat. Or when somebody tells us a half-truth or merely gives us partial information, our mind immediately begins to make up the omitted bits. If you’re attempting to solve an issue, this propensity is a positive one.
But if you’re attempting to communicate to your co-workers or loved ones and only provide part of the story, it may lead to distrust, gossip, and disquiet for others as their brains attempt to fill up the gaps.
The mind flourishes on patterns. As your neurons build the same or like connections with one another over time, so patterns are instituted. Pattern making is at the heart of your minds file system, its power to make sense of what it’s learned. If you’ve never watched a lion, the first time one charges at you might think it’s some sort of horse. Assuming you come through this ordeal, the next time one lashes out you’ll make yourself scarce.
Your mind has observed that an animal with a tawny mane and a concerning roar isn’t going to be friendly. A pattern has been constituted. All lions coming along in the future will be “filed” in the part of the mind marked “unsafe beasts.”
Our power to make patterns is at the heart of our culture. We arrange our communities into homes and streets and towns. We set up road networks. We produce languages and systems of numeration. Interestingly, this really positive attribute may also restrict our potential when particular patterns become deep-seated and we therefore become resistant to change.
The mind loves to copy. Allied to pattern making is the minds capacity for imitation. Till a synaptic connection has been made there’s no “knowledge,” except what we’re born with. The most effective way for connections to be founded is by seeing what other people do and imitating them. So, we learn to speak and talk when we’re young by observing and listening to other people. We learn a lot of social traditions by watching.
The capability of the mind to mimic other people is crucial.
The utilization of role models and modeling particular behaviors at home and at work are potent methods of passing on learning. In the workplace, coaches help to quicken this process of intelligent imitation. In most households, much of the learning takes the form of Imitating other loved ones.
Stress isn’t good. Your brain has developed from the bottom up. The crudest functions are at the base of your brain, the brain stem. It’s here that speedy decisions of life-or-death are taken, those normally named “fight or flight.” If your brain perceives a major menace to your survival, it has to act fast. In practice, it triggers the release of chemicals like adrenaline and noradrenaline (a.k.a. epinephrine and norepinephrine), which place your body into a state of enhanced arousal. Either your arms and legs start to fight your attacker or your legs begin to move quickly as you flee the scene. Once your brain is under grievous stress, it may only think about survival. Blood and energy that would differently be useable for higher-order thinking and learning brain is merely diverted into seeing to it that you live to fight another day.
This isn’t the same thing as stating that all tension is bad for you. To the contrary, without the challenge on which your mind also thrives, you merely wouldn’t grow and evolve. However, few individuals find it simple to consider complex issues when they’re staring calamity in the face. For effective learning to happen there has to be a balance between elevated challenge and depressed threat.
If this were a user’s guide to a piece of electric equipment like a PC, then early on there would be a little advice on setting it up and looking after it. So, what about the mind? How you ought you feed and care for it?
Learn To Take Care
There are 2 kinds of revolutions taking place today. The 1st is the explosion of wellness and fitness centers and gyms, the growth of healthy, frequently organic food, and the bearing of water bottles as a life-style item. The 2nd is the flourishing empire of cafés and the ever-increasing sum of packaged food with elevated levels of sugar and salt. While the 1st of these is plainly positive for your brain, the 2nd may be unhelpful.
You might be questioning if there’s a magic, brain-friendly meal or diet that will heighten the way you utilize your brain. Unhappily this isn’t the case, but there are a few useful precepts that you are able to apply. Your brain, like the remainder of your body, flourishes on a balanced diet.
The 3 key principles with respect to food are:
3 small and frequently.
The first precept is that your brain requires to be fully hydrated to work effectively. You have to drink several liters of water daily for your brain’s “circuitry” to act well, more if you’re also consuming food that’s diuretic. Many individuals are, in fact, living in a state of partial dehydration in which their brains work well below their capability. It’s hard to power up your brain if its circuitry lacks the H2O it requires to function effectively.
Secondly, you require a balanced diet. Not amazingly, different foods have different effects. Proteins like egg, yogurt, fish, poultry, and pork bear the amino acid tyrosine. This is broken up to produce 2 useful chemicals called neurotransmitters, norephrine and dopamine, which both raise alertness and the effective performance of memory. More complex carbohydrates like veggies, rice, and fruit produce the amino acid tryptophan, which slows up the brain. Fats bring about acetylchline, which, in fair amounts, is good for your memory and for the overall wellness of your neural networks.
We tend to eat too much fat. We likewise eat too much sugary food. Simple carbohydrates like sugars give you a prompt burst of energy, while, as those who take care how they blend their foods will recognize, it depends what you have with them as to precisely how they affect you.
Salts are crucial to the healthy functioning of all cells. However, most individuals eat too much sodium.
Caffeine, taken from coffee or tea, is widely loved the world over. It’s a stimulant. The brain becomes awake over a short period, explaining why coffee helps to keep you awake. Too much coffee, nevertheless, stimulates dizziness, headaches, and trouble in concentrating. Coffee is likewise a diuretic, so for each cup you drink you need at least 2 of water.
Assorted additives commonly found in processed food impact the brain adversely. This is most marked when you’re young: for instance, there’s sizable research to connect additives with unhelpful levels of hyperactivity in students, at an age when their brains are much more requiring of energy and must have great food and drink to produce this.
We require a balanced diet of all the ingredients above. For a lot of us this means eating lower fat, less salt, and less sugar, and drinking less coffee. For a few of us it might mean reviewing the amount of protein we eat. And for many of us it means eating more fresh fruit and veggies.Other Details
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