Tell me about my brain
A brief tour of your amazing brain
You have an amazing brain, our mission is to help you learn all about it so you can get the most out of it everyday. Our brain generates our mind and everything we are and do emerges from the operation of this amazingly complex organ. There are 86 billion neurones with trillions of possible connections. We have learnt more about how the brain works in the last 10 years than we have in the last 10,000. In delving into the inner workings of this incredible biological machine we are touching the very essence of what it means to be human.
The brain has a range of different modules and circuits which do a range of different things. Brains were built for survival, not learning and sometimes the way the operate can actually get in the way of our progress, development and growth. From the front - where the best version of ourselves sits, in our pre-frontal cortex - to the older sub-cortical areas we are living in a dynamic, interconnected grid. To build the best version of ourselves every day we have to understand how it works. When we do, and when we work, learn and play going with the grain of the brain we are unstoppable.
Our brain's neuroplasticity provides an opportunity for change that is uniquely human. We can carry out activities that help us build the kind of connections and pathways we need to live a full, focused, engaged and productive life. We have some choice over our actions because of our relatively large pre-frontal cortex (PFC), something animals don’t.
Anxiety and what we can do about it
Being a Neuro-Ninja doesn't mean worry and anxiety will be expunged from your life. That isn't possible. But it does mean you will be able to develop a different and more flexible relationship with these unpleasant (and unfortunately necessary) parts of living inside a human brain.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Anxiety is an emotion, it is the way the brain and body respond to uncertainty. Anxiety is part of our natural spectrum of emotions and we will all feel anxious from time to time. We can’t stop that feeling of anxiety, but we can stop reacting and start responding instead.
Anxiety is defined as; a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
Life is uncertain. Our brains evolved as prediction engines, constantly trying to second-guess what might happen next. They draw on banks of stored sense impressions (memories) to make guesses. So, right here and now we can see the problem clearly. Brains like to predict what’s going to happen, anxiety is the emotion our brains experience when they’re unable to predict what happens next. This uncertainty leads to feelings of anxiety in our mind. Via our Build A Neuro-Ninja programme you’ll learn what anxiety is and how to respond to it in a way that means, slowly, but surely, it loses its power over you so you can go out into your life and do all the amazing things you have always dreamed of.
These two videos, (part of our Build a #NeuroNinja programme) that may help.
Procrastination and how to tackle it
Why Do We Procrastinate?
Our brain is a complex organ, different circuits and networks evolved at different times to do different things. There is no boss circuit in the brain that drives the actions of all other areas. But there is a part of the brain that can call the brain to order - like a speaker of a parliament calling MPs to order. This is the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
Procrastination occurs because calling the brain to order requires a lot of energy and bandwidth in the PFC. When we’re stressed, tired, hungry, under emotional duress, worried or struggling with frazzlement, the ability of the PFC to call the brain to order is compromised.
What Can We Do About Procrastination?
These videos (part of the Unleashing Learning Strand of our Build a #NeuroNinja Programme) explain what you can do to manage procrastination in the brain. To build flexible responsiveness and improved will power you can use our Build A Great Plan Everyday Net.