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Mind Body Connection In Relation To Learning

Connection between the Body and Mind in Learning

          Human minds have this tremendous capacity to learn, to store knowledge and to acquire new skills. Learning is a normal result and a positive sign of mental and intellectual development. People can learn both consciously and unconsciously. Learning has become an important part of everyday life and activity. Although learning is a natural capacity, people still vary from one another in their learning abilities. There are some who are fast learners or quick learners while some are poor or slow and still others have serious learning disabilities.

          Recognizing this similarities and differences will lead to the investigation of the connection between the mind and body to learning. Learning is a cognitive process as it involves the use of our brains and mental processes. There is a strong connection between our minds and body for us to learn effectively. The brain or mind is the control center and processing unit of the human body making it obviously as one of the vital organs. Body and mind affect one another in many processes. Together they work simultaneously. The body, mind and learning therefore are interrelated to one another. The condition of the mind and the body affect our ability and speed to learn. When the body is healthy and in good conditions the mind also works properly. When the activity of the brain is normal and in a healthy state it is reflected in the body also.

          A healthy body precedes a healthy mind and a healthy mind will help a person to accelerate in his learning. With these connections, people will recognize the importance of sound mind and body condition to achieve optimum learning potential and boost one’s capacity for learning.

There are many factors that affect the overall learning capacity of an individual. It is an advantage to understand the framework of the brain and how it functions. There is also a need to understand the different external needs of the body to function well.

Physiology of the Brain and Body Connections

          In understanding the mind it is first important to identify the physiological components of the mind or the brain. The brain as a part of the Central Nervous System is an extension of the spinal cord of the body which is made up of interreconnected nerves and tissues. The brain has been responsible for sensory perception through the signals being transmitted by the nerves to the brain. The brain is the processing unit of the signals or messages coming from our five physical senses like the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. These nerves include the optical, olfactory, facial, auditory, glassopharyngeal and other sensory receptor nerves.

          The nerve cells or the neurons are the fundamental elements of the Central Nervous System. This Central Nervous System is made up of about 100 billion neurons. Neurons possess unique features that are crucial to the functioning of the nervous system. A neuron is built of three parts; the cell body, the dendrites, and the axon. A neuron may both receive and send out signals to neighboring neurons in the form of electrical pulses. The operation of the cells depends on both electrical and chemical properties of the neurotransmitter molecules. The overall functioning of the brain is strongly influence by chemical balance and imbalances inside. The human brain consists of three parts or segments namely the brainstem, the cerebellum and the forebrain. The forebrain is further divided into many component parts due to its complexity. The areas in the forebrain include the hypothalamus, the cerebrum and the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is again subdivided into 4 parts namely frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe. The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain and the part responsible for intelligence and creativity, and also memory. The “grey matter” of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, the center that receives information from the thalamus and all the other lower centers of the brain. This part of the brain deals with almost all of the higher functions of an intelligent being.

Rest and Exercise

            Rest is important to recharge the body after a stressful activity. Rest is important to our body as well as to our minds. Rest involves slowing down from your activity or calming down yourself. Exercise on the other hand requires us to be active physically. Rest and exercise should be both monitored and keep in balance. Too much or too little rest or exercise is both bad to our health. There must be balance between the two.       Rest can be done in different ways. People can rest by having a leisure time, a vacation and most commonly adequate hours of sleep.  If people are often short of sleep, it will result into poor concentration and effectiveness. It increases stress and reduce our energy levels.

Physical exercise can make people more alert during the day, improve concentration, lower anxiety and help one to feel calmer and sleep more soundly. It helps improve the person’s health and overall outlook in life. When the person is physically active the body releases “endorphins” which are proteins in the brain that act as a body’s natural pain reliever. When this endorphin is release the person experience a feeling of euphoria or a feeling of natural high.

Proper Nutrition

          Both the body and mind need proper nourishment and nutrition. Good health is a sign of good nutrition. Proper nutrition is obtained by regular food intake and choosing the kinds of food you will take inside your body. When we are hungry we find it hard to do our activities. Also our nutritional intake affects our physical well being. It is important that we are wise in the food we eat because some foods are really not beneficial to our bodies. Maintaining balance is the key. Processed or man-made foods with too much additives and refined sugar are of low nutritional value. Natural foods like whole grains, fresh vegetable and fruits and fish should be taken regularly to ensure good nutrition. Adequate and balance intake of nutritious foods is required for a more stable body and mind.

External Factors

          A conducive and stimulating learning environment is beneficial for accelerated learning. The external factors should be considered to promote learning. These external factors would pertain to the visual, auditory, touch and scent stimulation available in our environment. Visual stimulation is important since the eyes are the most influential in all of the senses. Visual distractions can block effective learning. Color for example has effect on the mood and mind, so must be selected carefully.

          Auditory stimulation also has impact on one’s learning. Loud and distractive sound gives confusion to the mind and restlessness in the bodies. Soothing music or classical music has said to promote and accelerate learning. Touch stimulation involves the materials in the surroundings that can affect our learning. Soft, round objects instead of sharp and hard ones help keep the mind at ease.

          Scent stimulation suggests that the surrounding should have a pleasing and engaging aroma to encourage learning. Foul odor distracts one’s focus and attention and can cause a headache. On the other hand using essential oils like frankincense, rosemary, peppermint and vetiver helps soothe the senses therefore improving learning condition

Conclusion

          In order to have optimal learning, the mind and body should be in sync. The body has needs that must be met first in order for the mind to be able to learn effectively. These needs must not be neglected to prevent the mind and body to suffer. Balance and harmony in the mind and body is essential to increase learning. The role of the body and mind to learning cannot be ignored. They have to be maintained in good shape and condition. Both the external and internal factors must be considered to achieve good results in improving the learning capacity of a person. So to increase learning, the mind and body should be kept healthy and in harmony all the time.

References

“Brain Operation and Processes” (2005). Intelegen Inc. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from http://brain.web-us.com/brain/biology2.html

“The Human Nervous System” (2000). Biology-Online.Org. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from http://www.biology-online.org/

“Physical Fitness.”(2007). Free Health Encyclopedia Retrieved September 23, 2008, from http://www.faqs.org/health

“Rest, Relaxation and Sleep.”(2008) Mind Tools Ltd. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from http://www.mindtools.com/

“Your Children’s Accelerated Learning Environment and Ways to Enhance the Learning Experience” (2008). Accelerated Learning Methods.Com.

Retrieved September 23, 2008 from http://www.acceleratedlearningmehtods.com

 

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