Is the Internet Destroying your Intelligence?
I can’t focus
I’ve been diagnosed with adult ADD
I can’t sleep at night
I just can’t concentrate anymore
My memory stinks…
These are just a few of the complaints that I hear from my clients daily. What is going on and why do so many people have such a hard time with their minds? We are literally a nation of broken minds. ADD, depression/Anxiety and memory/focus issues are just the most visible problems. The average person is functioning at a much lower level then man did in the past.
First we need to make sure that nutrition is up to par before looking elsewhere. But if someone takes vitamins and eats right and gets a decent amount of sleep, what is the story? Is it possible that we are training our brains to focus shallowly? To simply skim the surface? To never delve deeply into researching and reading since we can find any fact we want by using Google? What an amazing tool, but like any other increase in technology there is always a downside.
There are several studies that demonstrate exactly that. The mind will become patterned by the way it is used. If you consistently move from channel to channel on the TV or from web site to website on the internet you are training your mind to think shallowly. You are not spending time thinking through a problem so much as finding someone else who has done it for you on-line. Rarely does anyone need to spend time in school delving through major amounts of text to find an answer. Instead we jump from idea to idea, concept to concept and maintain a “novelty seeking” mentality to finding the answers we desire. This results in permanent changes in brain function and the size of various parts of the brain. Multi-tasking has been proven to be bad for the brain.
When we engage in thrill seeking or novelty addicted behavior we grow the part of our mind that responds to pleasure. Soon that part of our mind becomes addicted to the brain chemicals being released and needs more and more to get the same feeling. Think gambling addictions, sex addicts or substance abuse. Through using technology in a specific way we are turning technology into an addictive substance that integrates easily into our lives. But the results can be as negative long term as having any other kind of addiction. Shrinking the prefrontal cortex creates behavior problems like ADD, depression and Anxiety.
One of the best ways to change this pattern is to increase the size of the prefrontal cortex which is done by increasing blood flow to that part of your brain. The prefrontal cortex controls executive functions and when you use hypnosis to still the mind or relax the mind into the alpha/theta brainwaves you are supplying nutrition to this part of the brain. You are building mental muscle. Buddhist monks who meditate daily are shown to have a much larger prefrontal cortex than the average person.
So give it a try…take a day off from the Internet. Watch one show at a time on TV. Read a non-fiction book instead of just snapping up information on Google. Turn off your “smart phone” . Stop making calls and texting while driving. Better yet just take some time to simply “be”. You may actually start feeling smarter, more focused and calm then you can remember feeling in a really long time.