So if you were wondering what happened the past couple of days, here is a start as I play catchup and finally post these drafts. Starting with these not so silly conversations between my brain and brawn and me……Honestly, I really said that first statement out loud to myself (well, my brain), and then the second thought popped out in response. And then I just went with it…
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Not so Silly Conversations: Brain and Brawn and Me
Me: Seriously, brain! Can’t you think of one single decent idea for today’s blog post?
Brain: I need some ‘me’ time… just leave me alone!!!
Me: Why are you acting like a teenager? I have enough of them already in my life without needing to deal with one more… (not that I don’t love them, but you know that already… after all, you are my brain and you do my thinking… but you are not doing enough of that right now…)
Then a new voice piped up. It was Brawn: Come on, give brain a break! It’s been working non-stop, processing information, solving problems. Even powerhouses need to recharge.
Brain chimed back in: Thank you Brawn! Yes, even powerhouses need a break. Besides, creativity doesn’t just flow on demand. It requires inspiration, relaxation, and sometimes, a bit of randomness, some absurdity.
Me: Randomness? Are you telling me I should just start writing gibberish and hope it turns into a brilliant blog post?
Brain: No, not exactly. But you could try taking a different approach. Step away from the computer, go for a walk, or do something completely unrelated. Sometimes, the best ideas come when you least expect them.
Brawn: (nodding; an aside: and now I am trying to visualize Brawn nodding its head!) Yup, listen to Brain. A change of scenery will do wonders. And hey, I need some ‘me’ time too. All this physical labor is taking a toll on me.
Me: You too? What’s going on here?
Brain: Your body and I are connected, you know. All that work that Brawn does tires us both, and similarly, mental and emotional exhaustion impacts both of us. I’m not just a floating entity in your head.
Me: Hmmm.. I guess so! OK, I’ll take a break. And hopefully we can come up with something good when I’m done.
Brain: Trust me, a change of scenery and some rest will do us all good. Giving each of us ‘me’ time will inspire and motivate and help with those aches and pains.
Me: Off on a break…. 🙂
Connections Between Brain and Brawn
Of course, just like a lot of mental work can tire our body and brain and physical labor can lead us to mental exhaustion, similarly, exercising our brains and bodies can positively impact the other. Scientists have long studied the connection between mind and body, between the brain and brawn.
In addition to the basic connection between our brain and brawn, here are some more examples on how they interact with each other. A different kind of dialog than my imagined one earlier 🙂
The Placebo Effect
We have the placebo effect, where our beliefs and expectations can influence physical outcomes. And it has been shown that in some cases, individuals may experience improvements in physical performance due to the placebo effect. This is because the belief in a treatment or intervention leads to real physiological and physical changes.
Mental and emotional health issues, like stress, anxiety, and depression, for example, can bring about physical symptoms like fever, an upset stomach, and even affect the immune system leaving us prone to a range of infections, from the common cold to something more severe.
Conversely, physical stress can impact our decision making and thinking capacity.
From stress to health.
Physical activity, like aerobics, has been linked to improved cognitive function, memory, and mood. Regular exercise helps with the release of neurotransmitters and growth factors that support brain health.
Likewise, some conditions affecting brain health, such as neurodegenerative diseases, can impact physical strength and coordination.
Cognition and Motor Skills
A couple of months ago, I was watching a TED talk that mentioned neuroplasticity. It is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself through neural connections. This plays an important role in learning and acquiring new motor skills and improving muscle memory.
Like I mentioned earlier, physical exertion can impact mental processes. Similarly, our mental processes, including attention, memory, and decision-making, can influence physical performance.
For example, focus and concentration are crucial for activities requiring precision and coordination. Mental imagery and visualization can also help enhance physical performance. Athletes often use mental rehearsal to improve their skills by vividly imagining themselves executing specific movements successfully.
Related Reads and More
- I loved reading this interview with Daniel Lieberman that talks about the brain and brawn connection.
- Also, this article titled Brain versus brawn: the evolution of humans and other animals
- Bookish Summer Smarts: Puzzles, Riddles and Brainteasers
- 5 Things to do in 5 Minutes to Make Our Day Better
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk (Neuropsychology)
- The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health by Emeran Mayer
- Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep by Jennifer Heisz
- Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them by Louise L. Hay
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, hope you enjoyed reading about these connections between brain and brain. How has this connection impacted you recently? In my case, I was in a zombie state of mind and body after trying to do a massive clean up these past few days in our home. Which is why this post took a while making its way to the world:)