How to Optimize Your Brain for Better Brain States
Posted On July 7, 2021
The brain’s default settings can cause us to feel bad about ourselves, and for some people, it can even be the cause of problems.
But a new study suggests there are a few ways you can improve your brain’s arousal.
Cutlist OptimizerOptimizerOptimal arousal is a theory developed by psychologist Michael J. Schwartz that argues that our brains are more prone to problems when our arousal level falls.
The theory goes that when we get stressed or anxious, we tend to react by overstimulating our brain.
But when we’re relaxed, our brain is naturally more focused on other tasks, like thinking about the present moment, or performing a task that requires less effort.
To test Schwartz’s theory, researchers conducted a study on volunteers who were asked to read a list of 10 positive and 10 negative adjectives and then rate their arousal levels on a scale from “very relaxed” to “very stressed.”
The results showed that the people who rated themselves as more relaxed tended to have higher arousal levels.
In other words, people who reported themselves as being “very anxious” were actually more likely to be more relaxed than those who rated them as being relaxed.
But the researchers say there is a difference between being stressed or stressed out and feeling “alert,” or in other words feeling “high.”
They hypothesize that this difference in how the brain processes anxiety and stress may be linked to a brain state known as “optimal” arousal.
The study found that “optimally relaxed” people were also more likely than “very tense” people to report a positive mood and to be feeling more positive about their lives.
This suggests that if we want to feel better, we should not be feeling stressed or tense, but rather in “optimum” states.
So how can you increase your brain “optimize” for optimal arousal?
In a study published in Current Biology, Schwartz and his colleagues suggest that the key is to take advantage of our natural brain states.
In a previous study, Schwartz suggested that we may be able to help ourselves relax by focusing on our breath, but he said the key was to focus on the “feel” of the breath, and to make sure that the breath “feels good.”
When you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to relax because your brain begins to think more positively about the breath.
In the new study, the researchers tried to find ways to make it more pleasant for our brains to process stress and anxiety by using breathing exercises and focusing on “the feel” of our breath.
The participants were asked three sets of questions:One set asked participants to read an online survey asking them to rate the “pleasantness” of each of 10 words, such as “breathing,” “thinking,” “feeling,” and “feel.”
The second set asked the participants to write a short description of each word, including the word’s “feel,” “tense,” “calm,” “pleasant,” “alert” and “optical” meaning.
The third set asked for participants to complete a survey about their moods, focusing on their “feel of the body” and their overall “feet-type.”
The participants who had read the online survey were then asked to rate their “feasibility” of completing each of the 10 words.
In other words: did the participants think they would be able, in fact, be able?
The results showed, however, that the “optically relaxed” participants tended to score higher than the “trying to relax” participants.
This indicates that their brains are responding to their emotions more efficiently, which could be helpful if we’re looking for ways to calm ourselves down.
The researchers suggest that our natural human “feel-type” for the word “feel”—in other words the “body type” that we associate with our emotions—may also be a useful way to regulate our emotions.
We should always be looking for a way to increase our brain’s capacity to process positive emotions, and we should be looking to our breath and breathing to improve our state of mind.
This study suggests that we should focus on our breathing and focusing more on the feelings and the sensations of the breathing may help us do that.
The new study has several limitations, but one of the biggest is that it doesn’t include the participants’ actual “feelings” or “tenses” in the survey.
So, for instance, people might feel a certain way about “feelin-types,” or even that they are “feel-types” or that they have a particular “feating” response.
Another limitation is that Schwartz and colleagues only tested how people responded to the “Feel-Types” questions, not the “Optimally Relaxed” questions.
This means that the participants might not be aware that they were being tested on “feel and tenses,” and that they may not be using a tool that allows them to accurately judge their own arousal levels, so it’s possible