Or simply watched a movie and also read a book and felt so engrossed for it that when it was across, you had trouble re-orienting yourself in your regular surroundings?
And, Ackerman points out, it is why we are so profoundly moved by new music and art and booklets, why we are scared absurd when we watch horror cinema: the brain processes all that info as if we were truly there, so even if concerning some cognitive level we know it’s not real, we’re always at least partially transported to make sure you those moments, situations, landscaping and emotions.
The brain doesn’t always know that difference between real and make-believe, at least on an electrical level. In her fascinating book An Alchemy of Mind, author Diane Ackerman writes about an experimentation she participated in. fMRI imaging showed that if she looked at pictures of numerous objects or simply thought about all those objects, the same parts of her brain were activated. On the brain, the line concerning reality and imagination is very thin.
And the brain is a major habit-former. That keeps and strengthens that connections that we use the the majority of and extinguishes the connections we don’t use. As Ackerman puts it. Behave in a certain way often more than enough – whether it’s using chopsticks, bickering, being afraid in heights, or avoiding
closeness – and the brain will become really good at it.
What would manifest if, say, we merely picked one area a month, and every time we had a computerized negative thought in that spot – «I’m ugly» and also «I’m a failure» and also «I am unlovable» – we stopped, picked out all the positive truth, and just put in five minutes dwelling now there? What would be possible? I mean.
As with our habitual actions, this habitual thoughts occur at the level of the synapses and they are just as subject to the «Use it or lose it» principle. When we make a stage of dwelling on great thoughts rather than ingrained bad ones, we are teaching our brains something new.
While this may seem to be strange, it can also be a huge support. For example, this sleight in mind is why visualization can assist athletes hone future performances and why it is thought that people who concentrate daily on regaining health after major surgeries on average really do experience faster and more entire recoveries.
And respond by growing and making new connections — which in turn makes it easier to practice our brains on the actuality the next time we are faced with that same difficult thought or situation. It takes time, surely, just like everything. But ultimately, the brain establishes a known habit; the line around what we have imagined and what is real begins to help you dissolve.
We all know how difficult it can be to break a bad habit. Nevertheless one thing we also find out is that the brain comes with amazing capacity to change and heal: «When shocked, rested, or just learning something, neurons grow new branches, raising their reach and sway, » writes Ackerman.
Great for knowing how to protect oneself, equilibrium a bike, or travel a car. Not great in the case of defense mechanisms still in use very long after the threat that established them has vanished.