When Rational Brain Shuts Down
   Date :26-May-2024

Brain Shuts Down 
Neuroscientists are of the opinion that the human brain is not wired to be happy. Since the beginning humans have been struggling hard for survival. They have been facing constant dangers, threats, challenges and problems. So the human brain has got habituated to be always on the alarm mode and stressful. The survival and emotional parts of the brain have always been dominant over the thinking or rational brain. This is the reason that in the fit of rage and anger serious crimes are committed because the emotional part of the brain overshadows the rational brain and one is not able to think reasonably. Across the ages and all over the world humans have been inventing methods and skills to calm down their nerves and elevate their consciousness from the survival and emotional parts of the brain to the rational part. The evolution of Yoga in the Indian subcontinent is a great step in this regard. The basic purpose of Yoga is to calm down the mental waves so that the human brain is able to think rationally and experience bliss and tranquillity. The entire science of Yoga is based upon the discovery that the only way to be happy is to be in a state of mental calmness and serenity.
The concept of the Chakras or bio energy wheels in the body is a forward step in this direction. The spiritual practice of Chakra meditation is to raise the consciousness from the lower limb of survival and emotions to the highest limb of evolution. Other Yogic and Tantric practices are also aimed at the evolution of consciousness from the lower parts to the upper ones. Until the nineties of the nineteenth century it was invariably believed by neuroscientists that the wiring of the brain cannot be changed. But with more research and studies in the fields of neuroscience and psychology the concept of neuroplasticity evolved. According to the concept of neuroplasticity ,the human brain is plastic and keeps on changing. Brain cells undergo functional and structural changes. Human brain has the capacity to change and adapt. New neural pathways are created and older ones are altered. This was a revolutionary discovery and this led to the birth of positive psychology.
Positive psychology believes that the human brain can adapt to positive changes . As a result lots of cognitive and behavioural skills and techniques are developed to make the human brain more positive. Indian traditions have always believed that human consciousness may evolve or devolve. There are numerous examples of bad people becoming good or vice versa. The tools and techniques of Yoga are the instruments through which our consciousness evolves. Amongst the other practices, meditation has been found to be very effective in rewiring the brain and generating new neural networks. Many studies in the fields of neuroscience and psychology have corroborated the fact. This is reason that in the field of correctional services Yogic practices have been adopted on a larger basis. All the path breaking books either on mental health or emotional intelligence invariably recommend practices of breathing exercises and meditation. (The writer is Former DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra) ■