How the Mind Heals

Have you ever heard the term, “It’s all in your head”? From the time I was in grade school till the present, that phrase is used daily around me. Why do people say it? Do they have neurology backgrounds that allows them to explain each step of how the brain handles a thought? I can’t explain how every thought is processed, and I deal with neurology every day. There appears to be a predominant, stable idea around the world that if an individual continues to experience a problem, even after all medical intervention fails, it must be “in their head.” It’s surprising that after all other systems fail that society gives the brain the complement that it can create a problem-and sustain it. How can they make such a statement without clinical proof? Well, there is proof that can be proven clinically, but each individual has the power to recognize these problems without being trained in neurology.

What are some of the evidences?

Have you ever seen a persons’ facial expression, and within a moment you knew they were upset? They didn’t say a word, they didn’t make angry hand gestures, they just looked at you. What is your first thought? You and I would think, “It’s written all over their face.” Why do we use the term written? As if I had taken a pen and wrote lines all over that persons face which described their mood. That is exactly what happens, except I didn’t use a pen, their brain did all the writing. Did you know that the nerve that controls your facial expressions splits into 34,000 different branches all around your face? That same nerve is connected to an area of your brain called the amygdala, which helps determine how much stress enters the brain. Think of it as a light dimmer switch. When stress enters the mind, it literally is written all over your face. Have you ever noticed the differences between the left and right side of your face, nostril size, lines on your face, angle of the corners of your mouth, or better yet, have you noticed it in others? Your face shows the condition of your brain. And your brain shows the condition of your mind- your true self or personality, the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious part of you.

Those who operate in the left side of the brain are the planners, those who love to execute plans and see them come to fullness. They are the driven people, happy without cause, always smiling and charismatic. The angle of the eyes show smiles with passion. But at their low times in life they can become the angry individuals. They are so passionate, that if something doesn’t go their way, they become resentful, angry, and ready to use force to get what they want. Those who operate on the right side of the brain are the dreamers, visionaries, the artists, writers, creative. They create on their own, lock them away in a room, and they will create all day. This brings them joy, but when they smile, it is a smile that won’t last long, it doesn’t even touch their eyes. The right sided individuals have a tendency to be depressed, and think negatively on life, especially when they are left alone to think, which they often do. We can think of them of the natural pessimist, “this is great, but it won’t last long.” So, if you are right sided, at your lowest times you can feel worthless, that life isn’t worth living, you can’t contribute. However, if you are left sided, at your lowest you take out your anger on others.

The brain can be thought of as a muscle like any other muscle and organ in the body. You have probably heard that if you don’t use the brain, you lose your mental quickness. That is true. The brain is a squishy, pliable organ that has neural networks-bundles of brain nerve cells-running all through the organ itself. Think of each neural network as a city, or better yet a city telephone system, i.e. Chicago, Atlanta, etc. The more people that talk within that city, the more telephone lines need to be laid out. So the more communication, the more wiring is required, make sense? In the brain, if you think or say something numerous times, you lay down the wiring that only communicates that message you keep telling yourself. So if you say or think anything bad about yourself, you will create neural networks that only communicate negative messages. And if you keep thinking those thoughts, the neural network(city) gets bigger and bigger. The more you think a thought, the more space it occupies within the brain.

The cool thing is that these neural networks are not bound by borders. We’ve been taught that there are parts of the brain that only deal with particular parts or organs of the body. And if an area of nerves in the brain dies, it can never recover. For instance, the part of the brain that controls the foot was thought to be only for nerves of the foot and nothing else. That is partially true. However, research has shown that the brain can grow nerves of any type throughout the whole brain. An example would be stroke victims who have had such extensive scarring(nerve death) in the area of the brain and brain stem responsible for arm or leg movement, gaining full recovery. The area of scarring was still present in the brain, so how did the person gain full recovery? The brain grew the nerves around the scarring and made new neural networks to create movement in the arm and leg. In this particular example, the thing that brought movement back to these patients was the repetitive attempt at movement with their limbs, which repetitively created the THOUGHTS of movement. These patients continuously worked out the brain like a muscle, and demanded the brain to react. So then, how did the brain react? By growing new nerves. I hope this makes sense. Your brain can heal by your decision to perform new habits. It can heal by thinking or saying something positive over and over again. They work hand in hand, you need to think and do.

If you are stuck in sickness or fatigue, there could be numerous things that have created the condition. You must remember however, that what thought your mind thinks or continuously worries about will grow in your actual brain. Can you imagine that? You worry about money all the time, and as a result, your brain is programmed to grow nerves that worry about money. Those nerves then tell your body what actions to perform. And those actions will be detrimental financial choices. So take a look in the mirror, do you look happy or sad? You can tell best right when you wake up. Do you operate in the left side or the right side of the brain? If you feel like you could “strangle somebody” then you have too many things you are trying to plan out. If you don’t like yourself and feel that no one else can understand your problems, then you need to look outside of yourself for inspiration. The brain requires habits to create new nerves. If you want peace, then pray and meditate for peace daily. If you need rest, schedule rest everyday. If you tear a muscle, strengthen the muscles around that muscle everyday to give it rest. The brain and body heals only when the mind has made a decision to want to. The brain will not grow new nerve pathways for healing if your thoughts or actions do not demand it. The brain will only believe you if you do something.

Be well,
Dr. Chris

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