Fooling The Brain

Dr. Glassman discusses why the brain dreams and what parts of your brain go "off-line" when you sleep.

Ever wonder why dreams seem real? It's because they occur at a time (during sleep) when deductive reasoning is suspended.

Consider this. If your deductive (logical) skills were in tact during a nightmare, should the nightmare frighten you? The answer is no, it wouldn't. Why? Because you'd be using reasoning while you dream to conclude that you're just dreaming! But, as we all know, dreams do indeed appear to be real precisely because reasoning, logic and deduction have no part in the dreaming process. That dreams appear real is proof that the part of the brain where reasoning takes place is asleep.

During a dream, the brain is actually being "fooled" into thinking the experience is real. In fact, the dream process is so effective at this that very real physiological changes take place when we dream. Example: if we have a nightmare, blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, the body heats up, muscles tense up, breathing becomes fast and shallow, we might yell or scream, flail or arms, kick our feet..... and the list of symptoms goes and on. Of course, once we awaken, all these physical responses return to normal. Why? Because logic is back on-line and we now know that we were just dreaming. Pretty amazing.

Remember, the brain is never completely off-line. If it was, we'd be dead. However, during sleep, some of the brain is off-line. It's getting a well deserved rest. The part of the brain that's at rest includes the logic center. After all, do we need to do mathematics and other logical skills while we're asleep? Certainly not.

The brain doesn't have to be asleep to be fooled. This can happen when we daydream. While daydreaming, though we're awake, our attention is diverted. If it's diverted to a pleasant memory --  say, your favorite spot to go fishing -- you'll feel good. If your daydream diversion is amusing --  maybe you recalled a really funny joke someone told you last week --  you'll find yourself smiling or even laughing aloud. In both cases, the brain is being "fooled" while you're fully awake.

As amazing as the brain is, it can be convinced of things that aren't actually occurring. Amazing, right? This is at the heart of The Neuro Immersion Method. By replaying to the brain an image during sleep, it gets used to it. In fact, with enough repetition, the brain expects the message to be true. It's conditioned to expect a different outcome. This is how The Neuro Immersion Method is able to help people overcome distressing situations.

To learn more about fear, phobias and anxiety, visit the Fear Phobia and Anxiety Blog

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