I’m sure you’ve heard the quip, “it’s not brain surgery”, implying even understanding the brain is beyond most brain owners. Just to help you feel more at home in that cerebral atmosphere, consider the names of some parts of the brain.
“Hippocampus” has a lot to do with memory. Apparently that part of the brain is shaped like a sea-horse, and “hippocampus” is Latin for sea horse!
The “amygdala” triggers very powerful survival emotions. The amygdala is shaped like an almond. So you guessed it, “amygdala” means almond!
In Brain Byte #1, I mentioned how effective Cross Patterning is in facilitating communication between your right and left brain hemispheres. I also included the Special note: “a child isn’t brain-ready to do Cross Patterning until they lose their first teeth. So don’t push them into it if it doesn’t come easily yet!”
Well, when a baby is born, the right and left hemispheres of their brain are not connected. That’s because the “corpus callosum” connects those hemispheres, and it starts growing in infancy, and is completed be about age 4. The young one’s brain is busy mastering more survival-oriented skills, so it doesn’t need the intellectual skills of the right and left brains yet.
Now here’s why this is interesting for older people. That corpus callosum (which literally means “white body”, because it’s a bundle of white nerve cells, as opposed to the “grey matter” that makes other parts of the brain) is a perfect neural bridge UNLESS you’re stressed out. When you’re stressed, it “turns off”.
You know how a few hours after an argument, you get the “if only’s”? You start coming up with alternative solutions that would have been much more creative and productive. That’s because during the argument, you were stuck on one side of your brain. Later, when you calmed down, the corpus callosum reopened and with your integrated right and left hemispheres, insightful solutions popped to mind.
What’s the moral of this story? Remember that Cross Patterning (Brain Byte #1) is a quick, simple way to speed up reintegration of your brain. Hey, even visualizing an “X” can help. Or make an X with your two index fingers and look at it while you take a few leisurely breaths.
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Thanks for reading, and stay Brain Fit!!
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