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The Brain on Default Mode:


What’s more, pausing literally changes the brain’s structure. Silent moments of mindfulness actually enables the formation of more folds in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The process is called gyrification. This is really important because the PFC is the executive branch of the brain – it aids in processing feelings, regulating emotions, cognitive flexibility and decision making.

Our brain is said to be in the “Default Mode Network” during the process of self-reflection – the psychological task of reflecting on one’s traits and characteristics. This self-reflection aids in what is called “Autobiographical Planning” which takes a note of how we tell ourselves stories of our past and our future – in a way to connect different experiences to translate them into ideas for our most persistent problems.

Frequent and consistent brain breaks give our brain a chance to shift its focus away to something low-stakes and fun for a few minutes. They are also shown to boost productivity and creativity once we return to our learning tasks. What’s more, seeking refuge in silence allows us to give grace to ourselves and to others around us.

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