“Allowing your body to be your mind helps increase well-being.”

Until 2020, for Estanislao Bachrach – and like many people – the body It was his head vehicle.

It’s no surprise: he has a PhD in molecular biology, is a popular neuroscience subject, and is a book author Graceful, rather forgettableTRUE best seller Which broadly emphasizes the work of the brain to increase creativity, achieve goals, implement changes, and redesign emotions based on thought.

However, that year something changed. The pandemic, which represented its predecessors and its aftermath all over the world, had the same impact on his life, but in a certain way. Quarantine forced him to focus on his body and pay attention to what was around him Senses and sensations.

It was about listening Information supplied by the body. The problem is that we often don’t listen to it, or we arrive at a version that is “tainted” by our own judgment. Learning to listen to it is not an easy task.

“Zensorially” (VR Editoras) has been suggested as a guide and path to Be able to register What happens to the body. Why do I do that? To reach higher levels of well-being. To make better decisions. In short, to feel better.

“Those who can recognize body sensations are healthier,” Bachrach says. Photo by Alejandra Lopez.

Clarion He spoke with Bachrach about how to achieve this and the benefits of embarking on this path, which he cautioned is essential to experience first-hand.

How did I, after years of studying the brain, come to devote so much attention to the body?

– It’s only been 11 years since I wrote the first book, and looking back, I notice that all books represent a specific moment in my life. This was created when at the beginning of the pandemic, more than anything else of quarantine, in the famous case of “being quieter”, in your home, locked down. That’s when I started paying attention to the body. Just a week before I got back from doing something called Vipassana, which is a 10-day silent retreat, where you learn to meditate.

During that solitude, I had the experience of feeling that my body was energy, and this is what physics knows about matter. Matter is basically composed of energy and a little mass.

There I started exploring. As always, I research, read books, and in parallel research Leaves Or scientific articles or people who have been studying the body for many years.

Do we generally have a utilitarian conception of the body, according to which we only pay attention to it when something hurts us?

– It would be arrogant for me to say “people don’t care about the body” because I cannot speak for all people.

But it is true that when one looks around one’s life and one’s friends, one looks at the body first as something associated with the aesthetic, then as something more material, as a means that takes us everywhere and we pay attention to it when it is there. Strong alarm, generally when there is pain or when there is illness, or when there is discomfort or illness.

The work I specifically wanted to do was to search for more precise sensations. This means understanding that the body provides us with information all the time, that is, 8 or 9 times more than what the brain registers. There is much more bottom-up information than top-down information.

And how we must somehow learn to read that information, to discern it, I invented the verb “meaning”: to be able to measure a little bit what’s going on. Because when you have more information about yourself, you have more opportunities to make better choices. The more information you have, the more alternatives you can choose from in your life, in your day to day, minute by minute, and for important actions.

“Context affects less than one might think,” Bacharach analyzes. Photo by Alejandra Lopez.

Beyond my experience – because I’m actually living it, and I’ve changed a lot over the past three years while doing these experiments with myself – there are famous scientific articles that show that people who can sense or recognize their own sensations make better decisions, have greater understanding of each other better, They go through the storms of their lives much more calmly.

– I am a person who experiences very similar things to the ones I went through three years ago, but the tense and uncomfortable moments, the people who bother me, and the situations that stress me out; I deal with it differently, more calmly, with less drama, with less reactivity, with less impulsiveness.

The moment something happens, I don’t realize it, but when this stressful situation is over, I look back and say, “Before I said this, or screamed like this, or ran away, and here I stopped, I stopped, I felt, I gave it some time, I spoke differently, I didn’t send a message, I waited. This gives me a lot of luxury, and I feel like I’m making better decisions.

Be careful, it’s not that I became a Buddhist monk, but I think that in a world that’s so stimulating, so annoying and stressful with what’s going on specifically in this country, for example, that allows you to be a little bit better.

Can we break out of the “mind/body” dichotomy?

– This is still biology, the brain is not in the head, but in the entire body, because even at the tip of your big toe you have nerves, so yes, the idea is to get out of the division, and that is why download the book Let your body be your brain. I let go of the rational and logical part a little bit, and noticed that the things you feel also have an impact on your health and decisions.

And not just those obvious things like “my stomach hurts”, sometimes they are very subtle sensations that give you information, and if you learn to read them, you will get better later.

The topic is complicated to explain, it is based on experience, not theory, you have to go through it, you have to live it, that’s why the exercises exist, and it’s very important to do them.

I equate self-knowledge with intelligence. For me, the more you know yourself, the smarter you become. For me to feel is to understand. This is a book that invites you to feel/feel, and reading it is not enough.

What is sensory intelligence?

But when you combine the three types of senses, those that are outside, those that connect you to the outside (which is proprioception) and those that are inside and your emotions, it will be sensory intelligence. I know it easily, as it is paying attention to yourself without the influence of your critical thoughts, that is, paying attention to your feelings, but without being influenced by what you are thinking.

We are at the end of the year, a stressful time in itself, but also a complex scenario. To what extent can the individual issue of self-knowledge make us feel better in an adverse context?

– Context affects your life a lot. But when you start this path of self-knowledge using the tool you want, and it obviously doesn’t have to be written, you realize that the influence of context is much less than you think. Unless you have a roof over your head, you don’t have a place to live. If you figure out your basic needs, that’s another thing.

But if that is the case, then when you have internal work on self-knowledge, whatever the tool is, you begin to make small decisions in your life, in your day, small decisions, and the most important thing here is to realize them, and it makes you feel calm.

So the very complex context in Argentina will not change. But you can change things internally, so you can move through this context with more peace of mind. That’s all I’m offering: to be calmer.

When you are calmer, you not only feel better, you pass on peace of mind to your family and friends, and you make better decisions because you have more peace of mind to think, reflect, and not get emotional. Reactive, impulsive, compulsive. It’s not magic, but it’s a lot.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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