1-Sentence-Summary: Super Brain explores the idea that through increased self-awareness and conscious intention we can teach our brain to perform at a higher level than we thought possible.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
At some point in your life you’ve probably heard something along the lines of, “Did you know that we only use 10 percent of our brain power?” Or maybe you’ve seen click-bait articles saying something like, “Play this game and unlock the other 90 percent of your brain power!” It may come as no surprise that this idea is false and has no scientific backing. But it is true that we are not always using all of our brain power.
Our brains are one of the most complex biological creations on earth. Their 100 billion neurons are responsible for everything from emotion and memories to keeping you alive. They deal with all of the complexities of human life and barely even break a sweat. And here’s the thing: your brain doesn’t have a limited amount of battery. It’s constantly growing, learning, and building new pathways. So imagine if you took advantage of the brain’s amazing ability to adapt and learn and helped reshape it to maximize its power?
In Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being you learn how to do exactly that. Medical and spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and Harvard neurologist Ruldoph Tanzi share up-to-date research and time-tested spiritual wisdom to help you use your brain to its fullest potential. They explain that our brains are endlessly adaptable. By taking advantage of this adaptability, you can do everything from helping with depression and memory loss to self-healing and increasing your life span. They also help you use the power of your brain to find balance and well-being in your life.
Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:
- Once you understand how the brain works, you can use it to heal yourself.
- Intuition is an important trait that might even give us the power to predict things before they happen.
- Meditation and altruism are the keys to a long and healthy life.
Are you ready to increase your brain power to the next level? Let’s learn!
Lesson 1: By understanding how your brain functions, you can use it to heal your body.
Sometimes we think of the mind and body as two separate things, but upon closer inspection, their entanglement is obvious. Every cell of your body connects to the brain. It communicates with the body through feedback loops. This is when the brain responds to outside stimuli by sending messages to the body to react in a way that maintain homeostasis. Sure, that’s all fine, but why is it important? We actually have the power to control feedback loops!
An example of this is Tibetan monks, who practice finding a balance between the body and the mind. When they focus intensely, they control what messages the brain sends to the body. When the temperature gets below freezing, through meditation, a monk can send the message to raise his body temperature to a level that is comfortable.
It’s also a technique that has more recently been used to treat survivors of stroke. Trauma from a stroke can sever pathways once used for messages, and therapists have started trying to train the brain by sending messages repetitively to all the areas that are affected. At the same time, the patient does simple tasks with a lot of focus. Over time, and with a lot of focus, the pathways begin to repair themselves from the damage.
Lesson 2: Intuition may actually help us predict future events.
Have you ever had that feeling you should check one more time that you have your keys, or that maybe you shouldn’t stand so close to that person in a crowded room because they seemed dangerous? We call these feelings intuition. Recent studies have shown that snap judgement can often be better than taking the time to think things over rationally. They also show that people are better at recognizing other’s faces when they are just using intuition instead of being analytical.
In a study, the participants were shown faces and asked to identify if one particular face came up. The first time around, they saw the pictures for a split second. The second, they had more time. Surprisingly, people did a better job at recognizing the face they were supposed to watch out for when they just saw it only quickly.
Our intuition can be strong enough it may even help us predict events before they happen. In a study, participants were shown random photos, some of which showed violent images. The researchers monitored the participants’ heart rate, sweat, and blood pressure to measure stress levels. Whenever the participants saw the violent images, their stress levels went up. After doing this for a while, oddly enough, the participants started to show stress responses in the microseconds before they showed another violent image. Amazingly, their intuition seemed to help them predict this.
Lesson 3: If you want a long and healthy life, start practicing meditation and being more altruistic.
Meditation is a great way to rejuvenate your brain and body. In a study, it was shown that practicing intensive meditation can increase telomerase in the body. This enzyme strengthens the telomeres on the ends of your DNA, keeping them healthy.
In addition, the study also showed these participants were happier and more resistant to disease. You want a way to live longer, healthier, and happier? Meditation is key.
Another key to living longer and more healthy is to help others. A study of 10,000 high school grads followed for 50 years found that those who practiced volunteer work lived longer than those who didn’t. So not only with altruism make you a happier person, science said it will help you live a long life.
Super Brain Review
Super Brain makes some pretty amazing claims, but they all come with full evidence. It’s a good blend of both science and self-help, and the advice is easy to apply. If you follow the advice, I think you really could improve brain function, and live happier and healthier.
Who would I recommend the Super Brain summary to?
The 39 year-old who wants the secret to living a long and healthy life, the 51-year-old neurologist who wants to learn more about the brain’s holistic power, anyone who wants to start taking full advantage of the incredible human brain.