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We get up in the morning, turn on the phone, type the pin. “Incorrect PIN”. Impossible, we think. We type it again. “Incorrect PIN”. impossible, we think again. We type for the third time. “Incorrect PIN”, and the phone hangs! But how is it possible to forget a code that we type every day? It’s easy to say: our brain has gone haywire! There are times when we are overwhelmed by information to be archived, notions to remember, until the space available in our head seems to run out, just like it happens for an overflowing drawer. Our brain needs a holiday.
We Need a Holiday!
Several studies have shown that rest helps memory. The information and the first memories are formed in the hippocampus and, through a process of consolidation, they are fixed in the cortex where the long-term memory is located. When we relax the communication between these two parts of the brain improves and the neural connections increase facilitating this process.
The Two Planes of the Brain
Imagine that our brain works on two different levels: one can be called “active function,” and it carries out daily activities, the other one is a “default” function that is activated when the brain is at rest. At this moment the brain re-elaborates the information previously acquired, fixes the information it considers to be useful, processes unresolved questions, and assumes an emotional distance necessary for greater objectivity. Thanks to this work we are able to connect different ideas that seem to be strange to each other but that, once connected, become intuitions and creative processes that are the basis of moments of genius. Again, thanks to the default function, we can reach the solution of the most complex problems through insight, that is the immediate and sudden understanding of the useful strategy to arrive at the solution of a problem.
The Benefit of the Holidays
The holiday, therefore, makes us more creative and stimulates the birth of new ideas, helps us find the solution to the problems that torment us and, decreasing stress, enables us to make better decisions and to increase concentration and productivity.
But that’s not all, sending the brain on vacation also has significant benefits for our health: removes depression, improves sleep, reduces the risk of heart attacks.
And If We Can’t Go on Holiday?
It may console us to think that it is not essential to leave for a long journey to send our brains on holiday. A day or even a shorter period may suffice, what is important is to do it the right way. The holiday is essentially a state of mind, it is not enough to change the environment if we are not able to grant ourselves a real period of detachment by removing our mind from the usual thoughts. Let’s get rid of everything that concerns our work or the activities that engage us every day, including emails and work messages on mobile phones, and we leave the mind free to wander where our unconscious will want to take it.
About the Author
Annalisa Balestrieri – I obtained a master’s degree in Modern Literature with a psycho-pedagogical specialization at the State University of Milan (with a thesis discussion in “Maturity and immaturity in the experience of young adults”, subsequently published). I am interested in theoretical psychology, I published a book: “L’amore (I’m)perfetto” (Edizioni Psiconline), which deals with emotional dependencies, relationship with idols and reference models. I collaborate with trade magazines with the aim of promoting knowledge of the subject even among non-experts.
%%focuskw%% | Let’s Send Our Brain on Holiday