Do you know what a hydraulic pump, a steam engine, a holographic storage device and a computer have in common? These are some of the images chosen by scientists, from Descartes to Freud, to describe the human brain. In truth, because of its ability to manage the body’s functions, modern scientists have a tendency to call the brain a human computer, even though the comparison is not completely correct. For a start, this is the machine, aka yourself, that controls the computer. But nevertheless, the mystery around the brain remains. It is a fantastic engine able to do so much, and that continues to fascinate. Here are eight of the most surprising facts about the brain, carefully selected for you. Brace yourself to face the most mysterious part of the human body.
#1. You Can Train It To See Positivity
Depression is not a fatality. You don’t even need to rely on a drug treatment for it. You can train your brain to see positivity in your life by actively working on your mood. Simple actions like improving the décor of your bedroom, or taking a satisfying and healthy breakfast, as basic as it might seem, can already help your brain to focus on the bright side of life. Think of your brain as a muscle that needs to be trained to be happy, regardless of the situation in your life. Your ability to keep a positive mindset relies entirely on the training that your brain is receiving.
#2. But It Responds To Chemical Reactions Too
Unfortunately, just as you can train your brain to be happy, so to say, you can also train it to be miserable. Chemical reactions, especially the ones that are linked to the creation of addictions, such as drugs and alcohol for instance. This is exactly why the most effective treatments for addictions rely on dual diagnosis – you can learn more here if you are interested – to deal with the mental health conditions that are caused by the absorption of chemicals. While most therapist focus on dealing with the physical symptoms of the addictions, the dual diagnosis methods addresses the changes that have occurred in the brain to help to treat the underlying psychological disorders.
#3. The Brain Reacts To The Moon Too
There has been a lot of assumptions around the link between the moon and madness. For a start, there is no evidence that lunacy is connected to the cycles of the moon. There are plenty of pieces of evidence of the contrary. But the gravitational force of the moon has a proven impact on the water. The tides of the sea are directly linked to the moon. There’s something else that is mostly made of water, and that is the human body with more than 60% water. While there is no direct proof of a brain disruption, the moon cycle has been shown to disrupt the sleeping patterns, which are controlled by the brain itself.
#4. You Can Eat Yourself Smart
Okay, you can’t eat a magical dish and become a genius. But what you can do is select foods that are designed to boost your brain functions. Avocados, for example, are packed with healthy fat content that keeps your blood sugar low and helps the blow flow more easily to your brain. They also contain vitamin K that helps prevent strokes. Beets are also another blood flow helper for the brain, helping you to maintain a high performance at all times. Coconut oil is a versatile food that helps against memory loss. And there are plenty more, so eat yourself smart!
#5. Your Brain Can Ditch Your Accent For A New One
Brain injuries or minor brain damages have been seen to cause you to switch accents. An early medical case recorded is the one from a Norwegian woman who was hit in the brain in 1941 and was found to develop a thick German accent as a result. The earliest case is actually the one of a Parisian woman in 1907 who developed an Alsatian accent as the result of a stroke. This disorder was labeled foreign-accent syndrome and has so far not been treated successfully.
#6. You Use Your Brain All The Time
There is a myth about the brain that says that we only use 10% of it. The myth is sometimes attributed to Einstein, and sometimes to other sources. In truth, the misconception of the brain has helped the myth to become an accepted fact. It turns out that people use virtually every single part of the brain. The brain is fully active most of the time, even when you are asleep. To put it in statistics, the brain represents around 3% of your body weights, but it uses 20% of your energy. Although not all regions of your brain are active at the same time, imaging technology has shown that most parts of the brain are active over a 24-hour period.
#7. You Can Actively Rewire Your Brain
Meditation is a favorite of yoga fanatics. But there is more to it than a trend. Meditation can actively change the way your brain is wired. There’s a specific region in your brain the medial prefrontal cortex, that processes information about yourself and your experiences. This area is strongly connected to your fear centers and your emotional pathways. Meditation actively loosens the specific connections related to anxiety, fear, and stress in the medial prefrontal cortex. In short, your brain learns to become more peaceful.
#8. There’s No Such Thing As Right- or Left- Brained
Most people have been told once in their lifetime that they are left-brained because they are creative, or right-brained because of their maths performance. In truth, you use both sides of your brain equally. While certain activities occur on one side of the brain more than the other, brain injuries have proven that similar connections can occur on the other side if needs be. Additionally, the brain hemispheres are in constant communication with each other, making it virtually impossible to work only one side – unless you are suffering from a brain injury.