It’s a statistic that is often repeated over and over again, the notion that we “only use 10% of our brains.” It’s the premise for many Hollywood films and television series; that if we could only somehow channel the rest of our brain’s power we would be superhuman or possess some sort of psychic ability. But the truth is that this stat comes from very early studies on the human brain that found that the brain is made up of 10% neurons and 90% glial cells (which are supporting or connective tissue). Neurons were thought to be the “functional” cells of the brain, whereas glial cells were viewed only as supportive cells, thus stems the idea that we only use 10% of the brain.
Now, after numerous more years of research on the brain, we have discovered that glial cells actually influence neurons much more than previously thought, meaning that we do use more than 10% of our brains. But do we use 100% of our brain all the time? Not necessarily. Because humans are beings of ritual and comfort, we will often find ourselves doing the same things and thinking the same way over and over, which means that we’re only using neuronal pathways that are familiar and that have been used before. In this sense we are not using all of our brain, but only the necessary amount to achieve patterns and behaviors that have already been done before.
ving whole-brain functionality can be done, but it requires you to excite and activate neuronal pathways that might be seldom used. Most people have learned by now that there are two sides to your brain: the left brain and the right brain. But what you might not know is that your left side of your body is regulated by the right brain and your right side of your body is regulated by the left brain. In the center of your body there is the midline of the central nervous system (CNS), and research has found that when you move your extremities across this midline, the opposite-sided brain will start to help regulate its movement, meaning both brain hemispheres are now activated and functioning simultaneously.
Because the right hemisphere of the brain is largely associated with emotion and creativity and the left hemisphere is associated with logic and detail, bringing both hemispheres in sync with one another allows you to achieve a sort of “super learning” state of being where you are able to think with both logic and emotion. This is important because we will typically use only one hemisphere of the brain starting around the age of seven or eight; right brain or left brain dominance continues into adulthood.
But there are methods and exercises you can do to achieve full-brain functionality. These exercises include yoga and what is called “brain gym.” Brain gym exercises promote improved binocular vision, spatial and listening skills, hand-eye coordination, whole-body flexibility, and the learning and recalling of information. Pretty much any activity that requires you to perform movements with your arms and legs that cross the CNS midline will be beneficial however. So, remember to take a minute or two out of your day to practice crossing your midline, it might just give you a new perspective on the things happening in your life!
Originally posted @ Expanded Consciousness
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