21 Apr The Mind
The mind is one of our the most complex tools and is an essential part of wellbeing. Its faculties include memory, thought, imagination and sensation. Through these channels the mind is directly responsible for perception, belief, desire, emotion, intention and pain experience. To help the mind do its job at high standard, we must aid cognitive function. Research is showing that there are multiple factors which we can implement for higher cognitive function. Here are a few factors which may help
Of course, this was going to be the case. In order to maximise brain connectivity and neurogenesis (growth of new cells), we must engage both hemispheres of the cerebrum. This can be done by exploring the three-dimensional world and letting your brain soak up all the information. So, when you are outside running or participating in fitness classes, your brain is automatically upgrading ever so slightly. Physical exercise has been known to boost memory in multiple studies. Our memory and learning are inhibited through brain degeneration. However, endurance exercise has been shown to increase a counteractive hormone called Irisin.
Curiosity & Creativity
One of the ways in which we can create a more positive and healthier mind is through curiosity and being more creative. Neuroscientists have hinted that learning musical instruments was linked to higher brain plasticity, when the brain adapts to new stimuli. It doesn’t necessarily need to be learning an instrument, but pushing yourself to learn something new, physically or mentally, and being interested in the subject will help.
Now this one is big! Through the pandemic, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that many of us have become more introverted. This is something that we should aim to overcome for a healthier mind. Through feeling more isolated from others, our sleeping pattern and effectiveness, blood pressure and stress hormone levels can be affected. Research has shown that elevated stress hormone (cortisol), alter gene expression in our immune cells which is related to increased depression and disrupts optimal brain connectivity, reducing out cognitive function. Broaden your social circle when possible and even if it is just complimenting someone or producing conversation related to the experience at the time, you never know, you could be the cause of positive mental change in yourself and others.
There is no “quick fix” to a healthier mind but accumulating lots of different techniques and implementing them into your lifestyle might be the key that unlocks a positive mind. A lot of us deal with problems that we believe we can’t overcome. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provide informational guidance to our NHS and highly advise Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has been prescribed nationally for a number of mental health concerns such as negative thoughts/depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), health anxiety and schizophrenia.
How does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy work?
Professionals describe it as education on understanding thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours triggered in certain environments and situations. Initially, the participants automatic negative thoughts are looked into and core beliefs.
What techniques are used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
There are a number of tactics which CBT explores including keeping thought records, relaxation and breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, identifying and challenging your style of thinking and behavioural experiments.
CBT may not work for absolutely everyone but there is no denying that this method may certainly help towards a healthier mind in a growing population who are dealing with a negative mind. These workshops can be performed on the telephone, through emails, text messages and face to face. Have a look online if you think you are someone who would benefit. Hopefully from reading this, you have learned something new. There are many techniques used in order to strive for a healthier mind and we should promote all when possible.