It’s a common belief that our brain is the center of our consciousness, where your free will and your soul lives. We also think that the brain is a closed system when it comes to our thought process. It feels like our brain is a special little organ that works in isolation, producing thoughts, mulling them over and then turning them into bodily action.
That may not be the case.
Think of your brain as a computer. What kind of results would you get from your laptop if the user interface responded only to random inputs from the environment, such as wind, temperature, and other unplanned events? Your computer would be useless. The inputs would be random and the outputs wouldn’t make sense. That’s why we consider the user interface to be an integral part of the computer.
One interesting hypothesis likens humans to robots that respond to programming. If you aren’t intentionally programming yourself, the environment and other people are doing it for you. Luckily you have a user interface to your brain. And that interface is your body. Your body is collecting inputs from all over and feeding them to your brain to reprogram it. The theory is- give your body the right inputs and you can reprogram your brain.
This concept is both obvious and radical at the same time. On one hand, we know from experience that our thoughts are directly influenced by what your body is experiencing. But because we also believe our brain is the special vessel of our free will, consciousness, and soul, we might believe the brain can also make its own independent decisions. It can’t. It is a computer that responds to inputs. Give it the right inputs and you’ll get the right outputs. And your body is the user interface.
This hypothesis suggests another framework for viewing your brain. This framework gives you the means to program your brain with intention instead of letting the environment do it randomly. All you need to do is reframe your body to be part of your brain.
In the old worldview, where the brain is its own user interface, you may find yourself feeling sad, grumpy, tired, angry, and other negative emotions. And you probably feel a bit helpless to stop it. Your brain is determining your mood – seemingly on its own – and the rest of your body simply responds to it like a puppet on a string. This is the most common worldview, and it can be debilitating to many people. They go through life in continuous mental anguish, feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Use hunger as an example. You know from experience that being hungry can make you cranky. But if you’re not aware of that mind-body connection – and often we are not- it is easy to assume the brain is operating on its own to make you cranky. All you needed was some food to reprogram your brain to more positive thoughts. In this case your digestive system was the user interface to your brain.
If you think of your body as the user interface to your brain, you can manipulate your environment until your thoughts change. This process can help stop your brain from thinking whatever it randomly wants to think. When you do something to stop negative inputs into your brain via your body (the user interface) your brain responds by not producing negative thoughts.
Take an inventory of the people in your life who are unhappy. Ask some questions about what they are doing about their unhappiness. Rarely will the person say they are working on their body to fix their minds.
Now take an inventory of your more well-adjusted friends. Watch the degree to which they manipulate their bodies to manage their minds. Once you see the pattern, you will start to see it everywhere.
The brain likes to focus on one thing at a time. So make sure it is focusing where you want it.
It’s possible that the source of your thoughts just might be your body, and by giving your body the right inputs, it may help to reprogram your brain.