The average human brain a weighs around three pounds and has about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons. It is thought to be capable of storing about 1,000 terabytes of information (a terabyte is 1,000 Gigabytes). That’s five times as much information as is contained in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. So, it is believed that your brain may be able to store everything that you will ever experience in your entire life.
Of course the analogy of the brain as being something like a super-computer is a product of the present age. In times gone by, people have compared the brain with many other types of system, for example, hydraulics. So we do need to bear this in mind. The brain is clearly much more than a super computer, as we understand the concept. That said, it is believed that we utilise less than 10% of the brain’s computing capacity (staying with the analogy for the moment) and probably a lot less.
In other words, your brain has the ability to solve all of your problems. Yes, every one of them. You can’t control other people of course. But you can control your own actions and your brain can determine what the most effective actions are for you in order to reach your goals. You do have goals don’t you? If not, see here.
So in this post, I would like to explore what we might think about doing in order to maximise our brain’s ability to do its work. I came across this excellent list of things you might like to try to boost your brain power that includes many of the things I recommend to people who attend my workshops.
However, here is something I have decided to try for myself. This might sound easy, but if you give it a go you might be surprised how difficult it actually is. By the way, don’t even attempt this if you are at all unsteady on your feet. Use your common sense and consult a doctor first if you think you may fall into this group. OK, here it is: stand on one leg with your eyes closed. Try it and see how long you can maintain the stance.
The exercise is a suggestion I first came across at a forum. The explanation given as to why the technique is beneficial was that it forces the brain to compensate for the demanding challenge of maintaining balance by releasing proteins to reinforce neural pathways. This apparently results in better processing capability. Now, I found that comment not only a little surprising, but also very interesting and quite intriguing, so I started to do a bit of research.
Amongst other things, I found out that the technique is utilised by some formula one drivers as a method of improving their brain processing capability:
We work a lot on the cerebellum – the hard drive of the brain. A simple test of its effectiveness is to stand on one leg with your eyes closed. Most people can’t do that, but an F1 driver should be able to do it for minutes. Using your eyes just to balance isn’t the best use of their functionality; we need that to be automatic, so that the eyes can take in the information that is important to a race. It’s like taking the brain from 1meg to 10meg broadband. We do all kind of protocols to work on the cerebellum, but standing on one leg with your eyes closed is both a good test of its effectiveness and a way of training it.
Further exploration revealed that the exercise has been used, as a means of improving balance, in various schools of martial arts for centuries and it has also been used in academia as a method of exploring brain deterioration in older people.
In addition, it may be beneficial for conditions including:
- High Blood Sugar or Diabetes
- Neck and Spinal diseases
- Prevention of Dementia
So there is certainly enough evidence, even if some of it may just be anecdotal, for me to believe that this exercise might be very beneficial indeed and I wonder what the effect of doing this for thirty days might be. It is something I am going to try over the coming months.
If you decide to try it too, I would be very interested in hearing about your results.