The most ambitious leaders have yielded to stopping their countries, the industry has stopped their engines, the culture has lowered the curtain and the world population approves of severe confinement. The reason? We all recognize that the priority is to be well. These days neuroscience can provide recipes for well-being, relying on the evidence that lifestyle sculpts our brain day by day. Situations such as those now lived are a magnifying glass to observe and measure what our well-being is like and an opportunity to learn routines that inseminate a good quality of life. Some of the neuroscientific recipes for wellness (at home) are these:
Take care of your posture. Our body stages our mental states, but the posture of our body also writes the script of our mind. Various research groups observed that when our posture is inclined, hunched, or hunched, our memory and attention span is weaker, we focus more on the negative and somatize stress more. Techniques that can help us account for the posture and correct it are those based on yoga, taichi or chi-kung. Recent scientific studies have shown that performing chi-kung improves neuronal communication, activates the brain areas involved in emotions and the idea of ourselves, and regulates the neuroendocrine system, key to stress management.
Tip: To prevent our brain from focusing more on the negative and creating fearful habits, it is proposed to do at least 15 minutes a day of stretching, or practice yoga, taichi or chi-kung.RELATED
Breathe well and slowly. Our brain knows at all times how we are breathing, but what is new (for neurosciences) is that this information is used by our neurons to enhance or impoverish our attention and memory. The University of Chicago showed that nasal breathing influences the emotional response of the brain, power that mouth breathing does not. Slowing down breathing allows us to enhance our cognitive abilities and establish well-being in our body.
Tip: so that our brain does not amplify the sensation of pain, moderate the emotional response and enhance attention and memory, it aims to breathe through the nose (a trick to achieve this is to accustom the tongue to rest on the palate) and perform 10 minutes of slow nasal breathing (six breaths per minute).
Happy heart. Recently, several scientific articles have been published that show that we interpret reality according to the dialogue between the brain and the heart, to the point of influencing racial bias, pain perception or the visualization of a scene. The music of the heart makes the brain dance. But does he always play desirable music? Our heart writes a symphony with each cardiac pulse, and the more flexible it is (greater cardiac variability it has, in scientific language), greater cognitive and emotional intelligence we will have. The beauty is that this symphony is appropriate when we are happy, or have fun, as a recent study shows. The most avant-garde neuroscience suggests, therefore, that joy harmonizes the dance between the heart and the brain.
Tip: In order for our brains to interpret the world around us in a healthier way and to follow a harmonious heart, it sets out to recreate itself in the happy news, look for the positive side of each situation, laugh at oneself and have fun every day.
Brain silence. One of the most celebrated articles in modern science read thus: a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The amount of memories, imaginations and dialogues that assail our minds is incalculable. Or at least it was until a few decades ago, when the University of Washington measured the energy dissipation of being in such reverie, without having control over conscious attention. We are seldom in the present. The benefits of a present life could be summarized in an improvement of the nervous, immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. That is, in everything.
Tip: so that our brain is calmer and we feel more satisfied, be aware of some of the acts that make up your day (the shower, the sensations of the body when sitting, leaning out the window to applaud or sing) and enjoy the silence (doing without music, television or speech for a while).
We are facing a complex situation that has an obvious dramatic side, although it is also an opportunity to acquire healthy habits, to get to know oneself better, but above all to strengthen the pillars of what matters most: being well.
Nazareth Castellanos is a doctor in Neuroscience