What I understand about the default mode network in the brain is as follows. When you see a picture, the part of your brain that understands pictures lights up. And when you see words, the part of your brain that understands words lights up. And when you see nothing, the default mode network of your brain lights up.
This is where we daydream and marinate thoughts and ruminate. It’s when you drive somewhere you are used to going and suddenly arrive and wonder how you got there. It’s where we may regret the past which for some can be labelled as part of depression or where we worry about the future which for some can be labelled as part of anxiety.
Sometimes we end up in the default mode network when there are parts of life where we just follow the path. If you are skiing down a frozen hill and several people have gone down before you, it’s hard not to get into the grooves in the snow from the earlier skiers. Whereas when we ski on freshly fallen snow, we must form our own path. Basically, our goal in life is to try to get ourselves out of the default mode network and some things that can do that include meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, or even being mindful while making your meals or pouring a cup of tea. That awareness of the now. Continue reading