A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that we have much more control over our minds, personalities and personal illnesses than was ever believed to exist before, and it is all occurring at the same time that a flood of other research is exposing the benefits of humor on brain functioning. The ability to change the structure and functioning of the brain through experiences and the conscious use of directed thoughts is referred to as neuroplasticity.
The latest research indicates that the adult brain not only has the ability to repair damaged regions, but to grow new neurons; that willful activity has the power to shape the brain in new directions far into adulthood.
We hear a lot about the effects of illness and old age on the mind, but in the not-too-distant future, we will begin hearing more about the effects of the mind on the mind, and the power of the mind to direct and master its own fate.
The latest discoveries into how the brain responds to positive stimuli such as humor could open doors to new therapies for depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses. Perhaps by somehow stimulating and enhancing the humor processing regions in the brains of the depressed or anxious we can reverse the chemistry of their conditions. Why not use the positive powers of the brain to counter its negative powers?
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