Modes of Thinking & How Environment Plays A Role

With new technology comes new opportunity for neuroscientists to investigate the physical make up of the human nervous system.

Scanning the heads of some of the most enlightened monks, gurus and regular people is being done more and more, and we are beginning to uncover some of these new insights into brain and mind optimisation.

When you think about the life of a monk or guru, if you are like me you picture someone who is in touch, spending most of their days in natural settings.

There is new research to suggest that being out in nature can improve our well being – but how?

Scans reveal that when you are out in nature and your eyes are gazing towards objects that are far distances away, the parts of the brain responsible for clarity, peace and balance were activated.

It’s thought that, perhaps being in enclosed environments for too long leads to mental clutter – the reverse of peace and clarity.

Through online course work on a topic titled – “learning how to learn”, designed by an American engineer professor, we learn about the different modes of thinking – the focused mode and the diffused mode.

Both modes differ in their structure and function, both biologically and in your pattern of thought.

Focused mode is when you are in the middle of solving a problem. In this mode, you can hold a few items under your awareness, but that’s it. You can’t access the deeper parts of your brain that can give you some of the answers to your problems or understanding of something.

It’s in diffuse mode where you can take the foot off the accelerator and allow the mind to wander into deeper parts of its psych where helpful memories and links lie that can aid you in solving problems or understanding a concept.

It’s said that in diffuse mode, it’s great to get out into nature and exercise.

It’s only when you walk away from your enclosed environment and into a natural setting where you give your brain a chance to switch its modes, allowing you to make new connections in that more relaxed state of mind.