It has long been known that your brain’s chemistry can have profound effect on your thoughts and behaviors and therefore, on your overall health and well being. Just ask anyone who suffers from bi-polar disorder or someone who is chronically depressed. Although not all symptoms are the result of an out-of-wack chemical balance in the brain, some are.
In this recent post from Psych Central, Candida Fink considers the question of whether or not that same equation can work in the reverse, meaning, can your thoughts and behaviors have influence on your brain’s chemistry. According to Fink, who references a recent study published in Neuroimage, by rewiring the brain through mindfulness techniques like meditation, the answer is yes.
Our feelings and behaviors are the results of complex and constantly evolving interactions of our genetic patterns and the environment acting on those patterns. The environment includes all things that affect us – physical and social/emotional stresses are all part of the story. What we need to keep in mind is that the environmental effects on our systems are just as “biological” as any medication or surgical procedure, and they may affect the brain in positive ways as well as negative.
Nurture is nature; our biological makeup evolves as we interact with the world around us. So the work of helping ourselves feel better involves looking at all the possible ways of creating beneficial changes in the nervous system – from medicine to food to exercise to light to various types of therapies and practices such as mindfulness and beyond.
Read more from Fink on using meditation to affect your nervous system here.