There is a common myth that we only use, or can access, 20% of our brain (some say 10%, others say 13%). Yes, a myth.

We actually use all parts of our brain as most of our brain is active at all times. Brain activity happens without us actually having to do anything. Like breathing. It just happens.

Our brain works a bit like a computer hard drive. Everything we have seen, heard or done is stored away in neat little files that we don’t access at all times. I am imagining colour/date-coordinated labels here, a bit like in Stephen Kings ‘Dream Catcher’ where the character Jonesy has a secret ‘room’ in his brain with organized ‘memory’ files, where he can hide the information the alien possessing his body wants access to. But I’m digressing.

As with a computer we only pull out whatever file, or files, we need at any given time. Memories from our past, with some information more important that others. We only use what we need.

The brain never stops, it never rests, thoughts go round-and-round in circles, worries, problems, what-ifs, and bad feelings leading to more worries and problems etc.  There is always so much to do, things that needs to be done and it all needs to be done right now.

We are bombarded with information at an alarming rate, and can access the world at our fingertips.

Sometimes, it just gets a bit too much. Like any computer, the brain could do with a ‘defrag’ sometimes.

De-fragmentation in computer language is a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation. Creates larger areas of free space.  De-fragmentation for your brain can’t be found in a systems file, but you can however have some time-out from your busy mind. You know the busy mind I’m talking about: the’ 3-am-in-the-morning’ busy mind, the ‘trying-to keep-it –all-in your head’ busy mind. And the ‘growing -to-do-list’ busy mind.

Three suggestions to calm the mind: The One-minute meditation

This can be done anywhere. All you need is One Minute.
Stop what you are doing. Set your mobile phone or whatever device is handy, to count down one minute.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Think about your breathing.
Listen, but don’t actively follow any of the thoughts popping up (and they will, believe me).

Just breathe.

Note: If you do this in your car while driving, please keep your eyes OPEN. Just saying.

Change your perspective

Get up from the chair, take a walk. Move around. Look out the window, just observe what’s going on.

Go to the movies. Exercise. Read something new or old. Go to the beach. Stare at the sea. Breathe.

Eat chocolate, buy an ice-cream (but don’t stress about it). Paint. Laugh. Cry.


Take a nap. Rest. Often we feel better after a sleep. Can’t sleep? Take something kind to your body, like a 5-htp supplement (serotonin).

Wake up in the early hours of the morning? Your brain is processing. Let it. Pay attention to what is actually going on. Write it down, but don’t worry about it just now, wait till the morning.


Susy Egneus is the Director of Bodyworkz and part of the VitalSure team. Susy is a registered Massage Therapist (MNZ) with a Diploma in Therapeutic Massage and a Diploma in Clinical Sports Massage and has been working in the health profession with massage since 2003.

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