According to Stanford Professor of Neurobiology Dr. Andrew Huberman, brain function entails five things: sensation, perception, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Here’s a brief description of each:
1. Along with the nervous system, the brain is taking in signals constantly from the environment. Photons of light, radio waves and sound waves, heat etc. That is sensation.
2. Sometimes the sensations are conscious or unconscious to us. If we choose to consciously feel our shoe on our foot, for example, we are directing our perception to that sensation. That is perception.
3. Thoughts are pretty self-explanatory. We have them all the time both randomly and intentionally. Both consciously driven and unconsciously realized.
4. Feelings, or emotions, are biological processes in the brain and body that are associated with things like worry, fear, sadness or happiness, excitement, and elation.
5. And the final thing the brain does is action – it moves things like arms and legs. It causes and regulates organ function. It governs biological processes within the body and causes the body to move.
So why is this relevant?
Professor Huberman says (and what brain science shows) if you want to change your life, you need to change and understand your brain function (because your brain governs your life). You need to change what the brain does in order to get a different outcome in life. And if you want to change your perception, or your thoughts, or your emotions, the easiest way and the most impactful way is to change your behaviors. Change your actions. That is the starting point.
If you want to change your narrative or your story and become a better person or become healthier or accomplish a goal or a task, you must take action. Now in my humble opinion, it does briefly start with a thought. You can’t have unconscious unplanned action in a specific direction to get a specific outcome without a specific thought.
But the key is absolutely to take action. Thoughts are futile without putting them into practice and putting them into play. But all 5 of the brains functions are intertwined and they are all interdependent. So start with the thought of changing your story or improving your life or developing a growth mindset. That is the planning, but nothing is going to happen without action – without a new or different behavior.
Take action and, if you need, alter your action to get your desired results. But keep moving forward. Keep persisting in the face of setback, because they will come. Keep improving your thoughts, emotions through actions that promote better thoughts and emotions! How? Check our the Practices on this platform for a good starting point.
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