If you’ve hung out with me for even a minute, you’ve no doubt heard my zealous fervor about how your brain is the epicenter of life and how essentially all function of every other organ, tissue, system, and ultimately cell in your body is a reflex of your brain and a reflection of its balance.
Yes, well… in addition to this, there is another important conversation to be had… it’s a conversation of what separates our brain (and ultimately US) from all other animals in the animal kingdom. We are humans, for example, because we have high levels of reason, we can rationalize, we have a moral compass and consciousness, we can regulate our emotions, we can override our reactions to fear, and interestingly enough, we are humans because can stand erect against gravity and effortlessly walk on two feet (one of the most complex biomechanical patterns found in any species).
Ultimately, we are humans because we have a complex prefrontal cortex OR we have a complex prefrontal cortex because we are humans (however you’d like to look at it).
The PREFRONTAL CORTEX is nicknamed the “seat of humanity”. Michelangelo knew this as an anatomist and artist when he depicted the “creation of man” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Here, God extends his hand and gives Adam the “touch of life” through the prefrontal cortex as He, His robe, and surrounding angels are illustrated through the form of the human brain.
Now, you may not know (until right now) that because of the lifestyles we lead, as a human species our prefrontal cortices are shrinking and our sedentary and chronic computer / screen usage lifestyles are fueling this degradation. For example, our reliance on technology is causing our long-term memory to decline (i.e. inability to recall phone numbers or directions), our moral compass, empathy, respect for others, and ability to be connected to each other and the world around us is declining along with our ability to act out of reason instead of fear. We are becoming more primitive in our behavior (just watch to news) and it’s seen in our posture. (Remember your prefrontal cortex is responsible for upright posture).
Now, this understanding can also be our salvation. We know that lives of greater happiness, health, strength, purpose and fulfillment lie within our ability to be more human and our ability to be more human lies within the context of growing our prefrontal cortex function… so how do you do this? Although this would require a deep multidimensional conversation, below are a few simple steps to get going TODAY!
- Look at your screen only as much as necessary (you may want to redefine what is necessary)
- Get outside and play, walk, bike, garden, cut your grass, ski, hike, etc… just get outside
- Look someone in the eye passing you on the sidewalk and say “hello”
- Hold the door open for someone
- Connect/reconnect with your spouse or with family / friends in whom you’ve lost touch
- Bake cookies and bring them to your neighbor (yes, I’m telling you to bake cookies;)
- Take up hobbies with your hands: cooking, woodworking, knitting, writing, painting…
- Find / reconnect with faith in a greater power. Practicing faith saturates and lights up the prefrontal cortex like nothing else and provides a moral compass in which to live
- And… did you know chiropractic strengthens your prefrontal cortex with every correction?
What else can you do personally? Ask me… I’m happy to discuss!