Or maybe watched a movie or read a book and felt so engrossed during it that when it was across, you had trouble re-orienting your self in your regular surroundings?
And the chemistry of the brain is a major habit-former. It keeps and strengthens that connections that we use the many and extinguishes the internet connections we don’t use. As Ackerman puts it. Behave within a certain way often enough – whether it’s using chopsticks, bickering, being afraid from heights, or avoiding
closeness – and the brain should get really good at it.
While this may sound strange, it can also be a huge help. For example, this sleight from mind is why visualization can certainly help athletes hone future shows and why it is assumed that people who concentrate daily on regaining health following major surgeries on average go about doing experience faster and more complete recoveries.
The mind doesn’t always know the difference between real and make-believe, at least on an power level. In her attractive book An Alchemy of Mind, author Diane Ackerman writes about an experiment she participated in. fMRI imaging showed that if she looked at pictures of assorted objects or simply thought about these objects, the same parts of her brain were activated. With the brain, the line around reality and imagination is very thin.
As with our habitual actions, our habitual thoughts occur at the level of the synapses and tend to be just as subject to the “Use it or lose it” principle. When we make a position of dwelling on positive thoughts rather than ingrained poor ones, we are teaching our brains something new.
Plus they respond by growing and making new connections – which in turn makes it easier to teach our brains on the truth of the matter the next time we are faced with the fact that same difficult thought or simply situation. It takes time, surely, just like everything. But eventually, the brain establishes a known habit; the line between what we have imagined and what is real begins to dissolve.
Ideal for knowing how to protect oneself, equilibrium a bike, or disk drive a car. Not great when it comes to defense mechanisms still in use long after the threat that established them has vanished.
It is well known how difficult it can be to break a bad habit. Although one thing we also be aware of is that the brain has an amazing capacity to change and in many cases heal: “When shocked, rested, or just learning something, neurons grow new branches, raising their reach and have an impact on, ” writes Ackerman.
What would happen if, say, we basically picked one area 4 weeks, and every time we had an automatic negative thought in that vicinity – “I’m ugly” or simply “I’m a failure” and also “I am unlovable” – we stopped, picked out that positive truth, and just invested in five minutes dwelling there? What would be possible? Just imagine.
And, Ackerman points out, it is why we are thus profoundly moved by beats and art and reading, why we are scared foolish when we watch horror flicks: the brain processes all that info as if we were definitely there, so even if at some cognitive level small children it’s not real, we’re always at least partially transported to those moments, situations, areas and emotions.