Like almost everything we are, even cognition and emotions depend on us to be controlled and developed. And, like everything else, they need training. The surprise is that not just therapy helps with the two, but also simple body training.
Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn in Germany conducted a study that proved walking and running to be the answer for inner peace. Walking was shown to stimulate cognitive control and attention and running to boost the way emotions are processed.
A study about body and mind
The Latin old saying “mens sana in corpore sano” seems to have a scientific argument finally. The German scientists asked the 25 participants involved in the study to assess the changes they perceive after the two phases of the study: walking on a treadmill-based exercise for 30 minutes and then running for the same amount of time. The two steps occurred on separate days.
They then used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess changes in brain connectivity after walking or running on a treadmill. The two types of analysis lead to the astonishing conclusion that low-intensity exercises stimulated brain networks involved with cognitive control and attention, and the high-intensity ones improved the networks tangled in the emotional processes.
What are cognitive control and emotional processing?
Cognitive control is pure consciousness. It can be defined as the mind’s ability to act as a pilot for human behavior. That inner judge that tells you what is acceptable and what is not fair — about yourself and the world around you. And it is also your goals driver.
Emotional processing is the intimate internal process in which the human being transforms everything she experiences into meaning. It is essential mainly in distressing events that need time to be overcome. It is also a guide that teaches us to deal with distress next time we encounter it. If we want to learn, and we don’t enjoy pain.