Neuroscience refers to the study of the functioning and structure of the brain and nervous system. It includes several branches of biology including biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, neural circuits and anatomy.
Neuroscience techniques can be used to influence behaviour, improve memory and confront fear.
The following 7 hacks can be used to wire your brain for integrity – integrity here referring to brain integrating, where all the parts of the brain work optimally to achieve the most potential. Brain integration occurs both vertically and horizontally.
1) Work on Instinctive Reactions
Vertical brain integration refers to the cooperation between the three layers of our brain that work within our central nervous system.
The first layer is the primitive brain, more commonly known as the brain stem that connects the brain to the spinal cord. This part of the brain works with instinctive reactions, as well as unconscious functions such as heartbeat and metabolism.
The first neuroscience hack to wiring the brain for integrity is to work on controlling instinct and only acting on instinct when it is appropriate to do so. There are many instances in which suppressing instincts that lead to bad decision making is key to obtaining brain integration, especially as this part of the brain does not control emotion but is paramount to emotions also being kept in check
2) Learn to Manage Your Emotions
The second layer of the brain that is important to understanding and achieving vertical brain integration is the limbic system.
The limbic system, also referred to as the emotional brain, controls emotional reactions. The ability to regulate emotions in stressful situations where impulse threatens to take over is often associated with success, especially in professional spheres.
Brain integration is thus achieved to a greater extent in circumstances where emotional responses are managed.
3) Practice Rational Decision-Making
The third and final component in achieving vertical brain integration is the neocortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for self-awareness, self-control and our beliefs and outlook.
The adult neocortex can experience neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons. This implies that the brain can be retrained to make rational conscious decisions when faced with difficult situations, even in adulthood.
This article provides helpful tips to strengthen self-control, thereby aiding in complete vertical brain integration.
4) Exercise Your Right Brain
The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creative and intuitive functions.
A careful balance of both the right and left side of the brain is necessary to achieve horizontal brain integration. Most people are dominant in either the left or right side of the brain, and with an educational system that often ignores the creative right side of the brain, doing exercises such as these can help improve visual and intuitive tasks.
These neurobic exercises can help balance the left and right side of the brain for better horizontal integration.
5) Exercise Your Left Brain
The second aspect of horizontal brain integration deals with the left hemisphere of the brain, which controls logic, mathematics and problem-solving functions.
This article explains the importance of vertical brain integration in more detail, and suggests four exercises that practice the ability to shift between both hemispheres, while these exercises can help strengthen the left side of the brain.
6) Find a Compassionate Coach
This study found that students who were coached with compassion instead of criticism and negative feedback showed better cognitive functioning, with increased perceptual openness and heightened activity in the visual cortex that is associated with positive conditions.
By finding a compassionate coach – whether it be for academic purposes, sport, or even life-coaching – you will be able to reap the benefits of optimal brain integration that comes with positive support and motivation.
Counselors can also be a huge help – check out https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/get-free-online-therapy-should-you-use-free-counseling/ for more
7) Think Positive
Positive thinking has proven benefits for the brain such as the creation of valuable new skills and resources. Dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions contradict brain integration by allowing one area of the brain – often the area that controls emotion that is fuelled by anger, hurt, jealousy and similar experiences – to remain dominant.
This not only hampers vertical and horizontal brain integration but also closes the mind to new experiences. If you can’t think of a way to be more positive, this list of 100 positive thinking exercises is sure to give you a better idea.
Brain integration in both horizontal and vertical terms is key to building new skills that in turn allow better control over emotional responses, biases, irrational thoughts and bad habits.
By applying the above hacks to wire your brain for integrity, you will be able to unlock your potential and become the best possible version of yourself.
Marcus Clarke has a degree in psychology, a master’s degree in health psychology and has worked within the NHS as well as private organisations. Marcus started psysci – a psychology and science blog in order to disseminate research into bitesize, meaningful and helpful resources.