#MUNIonThis: We often think of our fitness regimen in terms of our physical strength, flexibility or endurance. However, there is an area we often neglect in this world of overstimulation and overworking that leaves us with little time to really think about things and train arguably our most important organ: our brain.
According to a study conducted on “Brain mechanisms on conditioning and learning” as early as 1966 by R.B. Livingston, and validated in subsequent psychological studies, many aspects of the brain remain changeable well into adulthood; it does not stop developing in formative years as some believe. This describes neuroplasticity, or the lasting change that occur to the brain throughout an individual’s life course. 
A lengthy discourse can ensue on the complexities of the human brain, the influence of upbringing, one’s environment, and so on, but to encourage you to explore this idea without risk of excessive nose bleeding, let’s just say that the brain is like a muscle, one that we can “work out” on our way to mental, emotional and physical health.
What do we train our brain to do? What thoughts do we feed it?
They say practice makes perfect, and in a sense, this is true, but what practice is good for you?
“With mindfulness, we can choose what we’ll strengthen and bring into action, and we can choose what we will gently let go of. We don’t have to be at the mercy of old habits, or old ways of thinking, or old ways of being. We are empowered. It just takes PRACTICE,” shares meditation guru Sharon Salzberg in the animation below.
“Which wolf will win the fight? The one we feed.”
The inconvenient truth is that there is no quick-fix, no genie, no magic panacea pill for you to suddenly wake up balanced, focused, creative, inspired or happy.
Living more mindfully isn’t something that happens overnight, but a constant conscious choosing in our day-to-day, moment-by-moment existence. Like any athlete who aims to excel at his or her sport, the task of mastering your mind takes practice and perseverance, a willingness to keep learning, trying, doing, and exposing yourself to other people who can support and empower you to live more mindfully as well.
Join our upcoming MUNI Meetup on Brain Training on October 5, 2016, 6-9PM at A Space Makati. We’ll hear from award-winning art director & brain-hacker JP Cuison, clinical psychologist-Psychology professor-meditator Dr. Seann Tan-Mansukhani, and entrepreneur-brand strategist-mindset design proponent Gov Daswani. See the Facebook event page here and sign up to join the meetup here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Horn is a wanderer, writer, and founder of MUNI, a community for mindful living. She encourages people to think critically – to ask questions about how they shop, eat and travel, to explore more socially and environmentally mindful ways of living and working, while remaining kind to one’s self.
She writes about psychology, wellness and the environment, and loves diving and bike-commuting. Follow her at @nomadmanager.