What are the benefits of cordiality meditation
Your brain and you
Our brain is a fascinating and complex living machine. Understanding how it works and how it can change can give an insight into who we are and how we can live with aliveness and health.
Even after years of research, we are still discovering new properties and functions of the brain. Some of these discoveries have drastically rewritten what we believed possible for ourselves and our communities.
We can empower ourselves to use the information that is now available to us while remaining open to new discoveries - to support us on our common journey to deeper self-image and well-being.
Our brain and how it works
Think of the brain as a three story house to help resolve the different parts of the brain and their unique functions:
The top floor right? The projector?
The top floor, that of the Cerebral cortex, is divided into two structurally identical halves and is represented by the left and right sides.
This area focuses on the regulation of voluntary actions (such as choosing to click this article), sensory processing, learning, and memory.
This floor is also responsible for the construction of our perception of sensory reality. The brain regions shown here accept information directly from the sensory inputs in real time - eyes, nose, skin, mouth, ears, muscles, organs - but they can also be modulated by the brain's memory and emotion centers.
Hence our perception of "reality"? is heavily influenced by what we have experienced in the past and this enables us to experience our own versions of reality all the time.
This phenomenon can explain why eyewitness accounts vary so much from person to person, and why your friends are so much better at helping you find your keys when they are right in front of your face.
The cerebral cortex is divided into four different sections:
- Frontal lobe right? The decider.? Think of this as the front room on the top floor. The frontal lobe plays a role in planning, decision making and movement including language.
- Parietal lobe right? The Feels.? This is one of two adjoining rooms and is responsible for somatic sensory processing.
- Temporal lobe right? The microphone.? This is the second of the two adjoining rooms and is responsible for the auditory sensory processing (feeling and hearing).
- Occipital lobe right? The areas.? Finally there is the back room or the occipital lobe. This is responsible for processing visual information (seeing).
The middle floor right? The first responder?
The middle floor helps us harness memories and emotions in our experience of reality and how we respond to our reality.
Saving memories, as well as building habits and patterns, helps us complete repetitive tasks without using significant mental energy.
Think about how much more tired you are after first learning something instead of doing something that you are incredibly familiar with. We would be constantly exhausted if we weren't able to learn and store memories.
Similarly, memories and emotions help us make decisions based on the outcome of previous experiences. Research has shown that the more negative the experience, the more stable the memory becomes and the more influence it can have on decision-making.
These circuits play a role in enjoyable experiences, rewards, and dependencies.
The? Middle floor? is divided into the following sections:
- Basal ganglia right? The habit former.? This group of structures is known to play a role in the control of voluntary motor movements, procedural learning, habit learning, eye movements, cognition, and emotion.
- Amygdala right? The processor.? This is involved in memory processing, decision making, and emotional responses including fear, anxiety, and aggression.
- Hippocampus right? The Navigator.? This portion of the middle floor is known for its role in consolidating information, from short-term memory to long-term memory, and in spatial memory that enables navigation.
The lower floor right? The survivor?
This section of your brain will affect your general feelings of physical wellbeing and balance and is divided into two main rooms.
The back of the house: Cerebellum right? The athlete?
This is involved in the coordination of motor and some mental processes.
Some have described the cerebellum as a source of body- or movement-based intelligence. For example, some studies suggest that people trained in dance or athletics have larger cerebellar regions.
In addition, a recent study used a brain-training software program called Interactive Metronome to improve subjects' overall rhythm and timing. Using this software improved the user's golf performance and increased connectivity to the cerebellum.
The front of the house: Brain stem right? The survivor?
Think of the brainstem like the front door. It connects the brain with the outside world and all incoming sensory impressions and outgoing motor commands.
In addition, the brainstem contains many different structures and is essential to our basic survival.
Regions control functions such as breathing, eating, heart rate and sleeping. As a result, brain injuries in this area are typically fatal.
There are two other areas within the brain stem:
- The hypothalamus right? The Fundamental.? This is involved in the regulation of hormones and controls experiences such as hunger and thirst, body temperature, attachment and sleep.
- The pineal gland right? The third eye.? This is involved in hormone regulation; it produces melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in sleep and modulates our daily and seasonal rhythm. The pineal gland receives information from the eye about the amount of light in the environment because the production of melatonin is sensitive to light. This could explain why some have considered it the "third eye". There have been a number of stories about possible roles the pineal gland plays in mystical experiences. However, modern science has not yet confirmed such claims.
How can I use what is known about the brain to improve my well-being?
As we continue to learn more about the brain, new products and services are being developed as possible ways to improve brain performance.
People have a long history and fascination with psychoactive inputs. These range from natural psychoactive substances like betel nut, nicotine-containing plants and coca to psychoactive processes like rhythmic drumming and meditation.
Recent advances offer new products and services that claim to modulate awareness, perception, mood, and perception.
A nootropic is a substance believed to improve cognitive function. The most commonly used nootropics are caffeine and nicotine, although recently developed drugs are used to treat ADHD.
These developments have sparked an interest in natural nootropics called adaptogens. Some people report that these are helpful for improving focus, reducing stress, and improving mood.
Some of the most popular adaptogens used today are:
- Green tea
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Maca root
There are a number of new electronic devices on the market touting the use of the electrical and magnetic aspects of signaling in the brain to either read how the brain is working or to apply external signals to modify the brain.
Although more research will be needed to validate their claims, electronic devices include:
This Fisher Wallace device applies electrical impulses to the brain by attaching electrodes to the temples.
The patterns used have been shown to help create a relaxed state of mind and have been linked to the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Apps and videos
Many people find cell phone apps and videos to be useful and practical tools to aid in meditation practices.
Some of these include:
- Headroom. This CBT app offers a series of guided meditations that many people find easier to follow than meditating without guidance.
- Insight timer. For those who prefer silent meditation, Insight Timer offers a timer that plays the sound of a meditation bowl at the beginning, at the end and at selected intervals during meditation. The interval bells help keep the focus on the present moment throughout the meditation.
- Cordiality meditation. Use this short video if you want to learn how to relax anytime, anywhere.
There are a number of courses that claim to improve memory and skills.
- Interactive Metronome. As mentioned above, the interactive metronome is a learning-based therapy that claims to improve cognitive and motor skills.
- MindValley Superbrain Course. This is also a learning-based platform that claims to improve memory, focus, and productivity.
While there is little or no definitive research showing that diet supplements can directly affect brain health, some still swear by them.
There are a number of supplements to choose from. These include:
- Banyan Botanicals: Focus. This herbal mixture of Brahmi leaves, Bacopa herbs and gingko is said to help promote calmness and concentration.
- Qualia mind. This product is designed to help you focus, increase creativity and give you more energy and mental clarity.
- Bulletproof: NeuroMaster Brain & Memory. This supplement claims to aid memory and contains extracts from Arabica coffee fruit.
Resources and organizations
There are a number of online resources and organizations that sponsor brain research. These include:
- Brain Research Foundation. This is a not for profit private organization that sponsors and supports scientific research in the brain field.
- International Brain Research Organization. The IBRO is a learned society that improves communication and collaboration among neuroscientists around the world.
- American Brain Foundation. This is an organization focused on curing diseases of the brain by connecting researchers, donors, patients and caregivers.
Healthline and our partners may receive a portion of the revenue when you make a purchase using one of the links above.
Sarah Wilson received her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focused on touch, itching, and pain. She has also authored several primary research publications in the field. Her interest now focuses on healing modalities for trauma and self-loathing ranging from physical / somatic work to intuitive readings and group retreats. In her private practice, she works with individuals and groups to design healing plans for these widespread human experiences.
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