Focusing on physical health is easier for many because it yields tangible results. You can look at the scale, look in the mirror, or check your mile log on your step counter. Mental & emotional health are more difficult to outwardly see, which is one reason why these areas can be challenging to improve.
New technologies are hitting the markets faster than we can keep up. New areas of the brain are being discovered, and new ways to image the brain have become reality. The idea of an elaborate lab or medical setup to monitor brain activity is obsolete and using technology to better integrate the mind & body is now available.
SCIENCE HELPS US UNDERSTAND HOW TO INTEGRATE BRAIN AND BODY
To learn to integrate the brain, we first have to understand what the brain is doing. Neurofeedback devices are not the clunky, room-sized machines of the past. Now they are small, sleek, and easy than ever to access and use.
Routine check-ups for physical health are already part of most people’s care regimen. We visit the doctor regularly to check on the health of many body parts, from our hearts to our eyeballs. Now that neuroscience has advanced, regular brain check-ups will soon be possible, allowing physicians to assess and treat brain conditions before they become a problem.
One recent research paper found that neurofeedback training could potentially treat various disorders and improve cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease alters the neural networks associated with memory and other brain functions, and neurofeedback training sessions can increase alpha and beta activity, strengthening the cognitive deficit associated with the disease.1
“For us to sustain mind and body harmony, and function as whole human beings, we need to discover the actual nature of the mind’s characteristics.”
Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation
3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR INTEGRATION
When you work out, you don’t always have leg day. You have to focus on other parts of the body. The brain also needs to be stimulated, and the same routine over and over just won’t cut it.
- Learn to juggle and live a little. Juggling requires mental and physical acuity. Next time you’re at the tennis court, give a few balls a toss in the air. Unless you’ve practised, they will likely bounce all over. By changing your routine and daily habits, you can train your mind to do things like juggle, improving integration between your body and brain.
- Consider a neurofeedback device. You can now watch your brain in action. Neurofeedback devices can give you information that was once only possible in a hospital. This information can help build more balance in your life and hone your mental and physical health.
- Get feedback about your performance. Giving others an opportunity to leave honest, constructive feedback can help develop leadership skills and better integrate the body and mind. We have to be aware of our deficits before we can work on them, and we can spotlight strengths that are identified, as well.
Learning how the brain functions when we operate in a leadership capacity can help us optimise that function. Physical health and brain health are equally important, and now science is helping us understand what is really going on inside our minds.
1. Menezes R, Kacker P, Mukundan CR. Neurofeedback & Memory Functioning: Rehabilitation & Enhancement. The Internation Journal of Indian Psychology. 2017;4(4). DOI: 10.25215/0404.002