Your brain is amazing. Simply amazing. In fact, the key to living an extraordinary life is having a healthy and vibrant brain that is beaming with vibrancy, energy and joy.
I’m going to take you on a brief tour of your brain so that you can understand how incredible it truly is.
Your prefrontal cortex sits directly behind your forehead. It's the seat of your personality and what makes us all truly human. The prefrontal cortex is the area of your brain where you grow brain cells through practices like meditation and mindfulness.
The more you practice meditation, the more present you become. The more present you become, the more mindful you become. And the more mindful you become, the more you are able to connect to yourself and others.
Next, we have the temporal lobe, which is where you perceive and process music. You can exercise it by listening to music.
Sound waves travel into your ear and vibrate your eardrum, which triggers an electrical impulse that travels along nerve pathways, that are then processed by your temporal lobe.
Incredibly, if the song you hear is one that you love, it isn’t only processed in your temporal lobe. There's another pathway that the signal travels to which activates your limbic system, coloring the sounds with feelings and emotions.
Next, we have your parietal lobe. This part of your brain allows for body awareness. Think about this– if we're not grounded in our own bodies, then how can we ever deeply connect with others?
You can stimulate your parietal lobe through massage or gentle, intentional touch.
We then have your occipital lobe. Your occipital lobe allows you to appreciate the visual arts– paintings, sculptures, and movies because it's through this lobe that we perceive vision, images, and color. Just like with the temporal lobe and music, the occipital lobe makes it possible for us to see and connect with the visual arts and beauty.
And when there is a piece of art that we really love, or when we stumble across something that truly moves when hiking through nature, it flows through another pathway to our emotional limbic system.
And when this happens, we have that deep and emotional experience that our brains will want more of, and so our memories kick in. And we remember that moment, that piece of art, that peaceful yet powerful waterfall, for the rest of our lives.
The amygdala is part of your limbic system and a core part of your survival instincts.
When you sense danger, your amygdala becomes activated and can intensify and heighten the sense that something is wrong. The thing is, your amygdala is always scanning the environment, making sure that you are safe and out of harm's way, and always ready to turn on the fight-or-flight response at the drop of a hat if needed.
If your prefrontal cortex is working properly, it calms and quiets the amygdala, allowing you to respond to life's stresses with grace and poise.
But if your prefrontal cortex is NOT working well, you become overreactive and constantly feel on-edge, even in the absence of threats or danger.
The good news is, through the miracle of neuroplasticity, you can learn how to heal and strengthen your prefrontal cortex through very specific nutrients, brain training exercises, and lifestyle strategies.
To Your Total Health,
Dr. Titus Chiu