Did you know that we have an estimated 86 billion neurons in our brain? These neurons help us process and act on a thought in 150 ms, and some have suggested we have as many as 50,000 thoughts per day.
The brain, in short, can give us superpowers if we use it in the right way.
Unfortunately, many of us aren’t. Even with this amazing capacity to think, feel and do, not everyone is using their brain to the best of its ability.
For example, research has found that when we multitask with social media (like you popping on Facebook for just a few seconds), we reduce our ability to take in new information.
This may be because we are only processing information “shallowly” rather than giving an in depth consideration as we may have done prior to the rise in technology.
Reading these facts can feel defeating, we know. Our brains have so much potential, and yet we only use them to scour Facebook and endlessly scroll through Instagram.
Luckily, there are ways to use our brain better.
Dr Jo Mitchell, Psychologist at The Mind Room, suggests that there are some ways to use your brain to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to maximise your mind’s potential.
“Sometimes your brain needs a little guidance, to help navigate through all those thoughts and feelings. Clarifying your personal values or being really clear about what you stand for in life, can really help deal with decision making and problem solving.”
Dr Jo suggests that this can be easier than you think.
“First you need to get good at tuning-in and noticing what your thoughts and feelings are telling you. This is where mindfulness can really help out – by helping you notice where your attention is, prioritise where you want it to be, and then guiding it there.”
According to Dr Jo, the most important thing is being aware of just how much we are able to achieve for ourselves if we simply use the right tools to unlock our mind’s capacity.
“To paraphrase Osho, the Indian philosopher, the mind is a beautiful servant and a terrible master. Sometimes we think that we are at the mercy of our thoughts and feelings, but actually you can be the boss. We can all learn how to harness your mind’s potential and make it work for you.”