What you are...and how?

    You, the reader, are the result of an incredibly magical collaborative effort between the brain and the body. The brain and body are connected by an intelligent ecosystem of functioning information called the nervous system. The nervous system is designed to orchestrate all the functions and processes happening between the brain (central nervous system) and the body (peripheral nervous system).

    Nervous System:

    a highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its actions and sensory information by transmitting signals to and from different parts of its body.

    The central nervous system develops within the spinal cord and the brain (see picture above). It is the "central hub operation headquarters" of the human experience. The peripheral nervous system exists throughout the body (see figure 1 above) as an extension of the central hub, much like "the cloud" is an extension of centralized data storage. Much like an antenna, the Peripheral nervous system receives information from the outside environment via neuron receptors. The information obtained on the peripheral (external layer) is sent to the brain and spinal cord (the central hub) to register and respond. The brain generates instructions on how to respond appropriately. Those instructions are generated and executed in a millisecond. These two dimensions of the nervous system (central/peripheral) are continually coordinating together in a series of inputs (receiving data) and outputs (producing instruction) back and forth continuously all day.

    The nervous system does 5 main thingsSensation :👃🏽 👂🏼 👁️ 👅 🥶 🥵Perception: 🔦 👀Emotion/Feeling 😁😨😤🥺Thoughts 🧐💭Action 🏃🏽‍♀️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ 🏃🏻 🏋🏽‍♂️ 🏂🏼

    #1 Sensation👃🏽 👂🏼 👁️ 👅 🥶 🥵Have you ever been in a situation where you feel that someone is staring at you? Whether it was a false alarm or completely true, the occurrence of sensing another's gaze isn't outside the realm of possibility. The nervous system registers physical events by neuron receptors that exist at the edges of every cell: both inside and outside your body. How does the nervous system detect sensation? The nervous system is designed to extract physical phenomena from the universe as a constant non-negotiable network. The Peripheral nervous system picks up on these physical events via neuron receptor. Neuron Receptors are responsible for converting physical events, such as sound waves , photons of light, pressure on the skin, into sensation. Much like an antenna, Neuron receptors receive physical phenomena from the universe, in the form of electricity. Electrical energy is converted into electrical information for the central nervous system to process and respond. The brain and spinal cord are responsible for generating an adaptive response in the form of instructions. Again, this is a non-negotiable process meaning it's constantly happening regardless of your awareness; it's just apart of being human much like gravity is a part of the physical universe. Our nervous system's ability to pick up on physical events is bound by the type of receptors we have. We can't pick up on ultraviolet light or infrared light because we lack the receptors.Receptors:Protein molecules that receive and respond to stimuliLight receptorsReceptors in the eyes pick up photons of light then convert it into chemicals that differentiate color, allowing the ability to have visual sensation.Skin receptorsAllow for the ability to recognize pressure or temperature on the skin, producing the sensation of touch and feel.Smell receptorsConverts micro molecules into recognizable chemicals allowing for the ability to smell and differentiate the sensations of smell.Sounds receptorsSound receptors convert sound waves and vibrations into auditory sensations and the ability to distinguish different sounds.

    #2 Perception🔦 👀We know the brain is constantly bringing in sensation, a non-negotiable. Perception is negotiable because you have conscious control. Perception is your ability to spotlight which sensations you are conscious of. Think about how your feet feel in the heel of your foot. I'm going to guess your attention was not on your foot until I mentioned it. Your perception spotlights your heel, and now you are conscious of it.
    #3 Emotions/FeelingsEmotions and Feelings are bodily sensations merged with perceptions, conceptualized in mind. They are brain-body states that vary widely and shift at tremendous speeds throughout the day.

    #4 Thoughts🧐💭Thoughts happen spontaneously like pop-ups on a web browser.

    Thoughts can be deliberate much like when your planning or solving a problem.

    #5 Actions 🏃🏽‍♀️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ 🏃🏻 🏋🏽‍♂️ 🏂🏼The nervous system mobilizes the body to move toward or move away from, in response to internal or external stimuli. We call this Action! The brain is constantly predicting what the future might look like (duration, path, outcome) and generates automated processes to make actions more efficient and useful. Some automated processes are expressed in micro-habits such as tying your shoes, biting your fingernails, or simply washing your hands. You might think to tie your shoes, but once you start, it sort of works itself out without conscious thought once you start. If you have a habit of biting your fingernails, you might catch yourself doing it and not remember why or how you started. Actions in the form of micro-habits usually satisfy some feeling, emotion, or significant tasks. Automated Macro-behaviors would encompass how you execute a familiar task with lots of significant variables: your morning routine impacts the rest of your day. Your diet and exercise routines impact your health. How you treat your significant other impacts the exchange of satisfaction. The nervous system prepares the body for action by spraying action related chemicals into the bloodstream (adrenaline, dopamine, cortisol) and the motor instructions for execution.

    What is the Nervous system trying to accomplish?The nervous system is constantly trying to match our internal state with the external environment in an adaptive way. It is continuously taking perceptions of the external environment (the outside world) and merging them with the inside world (your internal state).When the outside world is slow and calm, but your internal world is ticking faster, you experience some level of anxiety. Imagine, you are going 75 mph on the highway running errands, drinking your coffee, and suddenly get stuck in traffic. You get anxious. The nervous system is responsible for signaling a change and producing instructions for that change to take place. Traffic is frustrating, and your nervous system is signaling, " take deep breaths to calm down and reduce stress hormones!." Or you can ignore this signal, panic, and flood your body with stress hormones. On the contrary, when your internal state is ticking at a slower pace, and the outside world is speeding up, you may feel tired or overwhelmed.

    What's next?

    To be self-aware of your own nervous system is to acknowledge how dynamic, complex, and adaptive you could potentially be. The following posts will discuss how we can leverage the nervous system components to improve health, awareness, and overall quality of life.“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”- Carl Jung