Take a deep breath, now hold it breath it out.
Do this continuously.
But this time take a bubble wand and place it in front of you.
Have you ever noticed how bubbles are so light, and they just float about in the air...Can we think as freely as a bubble floats? Can we think as lightly as blowing bubbles?
The mind is a perplex and confusing bundle of nerves, and the mind can do so much more then we estimate it to do. Our motor neurons form a path so that impulses pass from the brain or spinal cord to our muscles to either flex a muscle or to gland to sweat.
Think about it.
How cool is that? It happens instantly; it’s a quick transition. We don’t notice it day by day because it's habit, but taking a moment and being thankful and aware of our amazing abilities is something to celebrate each and every single day. My question that I would like to explore is if it is so easy to turn on and off impulse why is a negative impulse far more difficult to suppress? For example: Why is anxiety so difficult to suppress? Though there are many different mental Illness topics, I would like to discuss this one in particular.
You cannot see anxiety for the most part; it can be an internal battle between people and their minds. How can something that seems subtle be so aggressive? The reason is there are so many events occurring in somebody’s body such as hormones, the type of brain activation and genetics.
However, we should never blame ourselves for our anxiety. There are many outward sources that can be a factor, such as stress, upbringing, trauma, change and abuse or neglect.
So the first question to explore is can we think lightly and positively as if our minds were bubbles floating?
Yes, we can. We can, for as perplex and confusing our minds are we are able to utilize all of the impulses for the positive. That is a first step, but the most important step is to try. Even if you “fail” it was a step. To have a goal to think of a positive thought throughout the day will greatly enhance your positive attitude, even if it is not the full 100 percent. A simple thought can create a simple impulse.
A study was created to figure out the correlations between a positive thought and a negative one. Effect sizes have positive signs when stress is related to increases in an immune parameters and negative signs are related to decreases -- stress is negatively related to the proliferative responses to lymphocytes (white blood cells). (https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Herbert%2C+T.+B.%2C+%26+Cohen%2C+S.+)Mindfulness is one off the imperative ways to keep calm and bring oneself back in to the present moment.
To entertain you all with more of the composition of the brain it might be a good idea to recognize the couple of the key parts of the brain in synergy with meditation/mindfulness.
In what I have researched about the parts of the brain in relation to the affects of mindfulness, not only does the amygdala shrink post mindfulness practice, but also the functional connections between the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex are weakened. This allows for less reactivity, and also paves the way for connections between areas associated with higher order brain functions to be strengthened (i.e. attention, concentration, etc.) Wolkin, Jennifer. "How the Brain Changes When You Meditate." Mindful.org. 20 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.(http://www.mindful.org/how-the-brain-changes-when-you-meditate/#)
Increased grey matter changes were associated with the anterior cingulate cortex therefore determining functions including the ability to monitor attention conflicts, and allow for more cognitive flexibility.
The Prefrontal Cortex, which is primarily responsible for executive functioning such as planning, problem solving, and emotion regulation.
Hippocampus: Increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus has also been noted. The hippocampus is the part of the limbic system that controls learning and memory, and is extraordinarily vulnerable to stress and stress-related disorders like depression or PTSD. Wolkin, Jennifer. "How the Brain Changes When You Meditate." Mindful.org. 20 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. (http://www.mindful.org/how-the-brain-changes-when-you-meditate/#)
Therefor with that being said, maintaining a balanced lifestyle and understanding the causes behind triggers we are able to be almost a step ahead of the causes of anxiety or other mental illnesses. When the brain is happy, you are happy, it is a cycle that must be continuously practice to attain positive thoughts as if it were habit. Just as if you were sending a signal to you is brain telling it to grab that last cookie in the cookie jar.
Just do it, as Nike’s slogan would say.