Article Originally Published by Haley Arnold on North Texas Daily
In her time at UNT, biology senior Pariya Ghofrani has served on multiple executive boards, maintained a high level of campus involvement and a high 00. She credits her ability to find balance between several types of responsibility with her interest in the concept of neurology and how people can train their brain to achieve success.
“I’m on the pre-medical track to become a neurologist, and so the concept of rewiring your brain and listening to top neurologists like Joe Dispenza — these individuals have guided me on this track of how to optimize every minute of my time [and] how to optimize my approach towards life,” Ghofrani said.
When her friends and classmates started asking her how she juggled multiple roles, she said, she knew she wanted to share what she had learned. From this came her idea for AXIS, a new student organization coming to campus in the fall.
AXIS focuses on teachings about the mind-body relationship and how the mind can be used to redefine life and health through scientific research. The name AXIS stems from the mind-body axis and the idea that by looking through a tilted perspective, people can access new potential and abilities.
“A lot of physicians and top neurologists and researchers in a lab or hospital setting [are] exploring this concept of mind over body, it’s also called mind over matter,” Ghofrani said. “So it’s the concept that through mind over matter and just optimizing your knowledge on your brain and your brain’s anatomy, you can literally take control of your whole life.”
AXIS will share this information and research through workshops, documentaries, TED Talks and discussions. Ghofrani said the organization will approach different topics in an inclusive manner, allowing students from all majors and backgrounds to learn even if they are unfamiliar with the scientific subject matter.
“We look through research that can analyze anything into why someone’s not sleeping, why someone has been facing endless anxiety attacks… It’s about understanding the brain and how important that organ is to changing our own life,” Ghofrani said.
Ghofrani started by assembling an executive board of individuals from a variety of majors whom she described as inspirational. Rather than creating executive positions and finding people to fill those positions, Ghofrani gathered her team and gave everyone equal responsibility and the ability to create their own roles depending on their strengths. She said there is no president, vice president or any role with superior authority over another.
Rehabilitation studies freshman Mark Velasquez became involved with AXIS after reaching out to Ghofrani for insight on the organization and offering a new perspective in regard to philosophy. In the fall, he will serve as the media director, in charge of translating the organization’s vision into video and photography compositions for the student body.
“I read self-improvement and philosophical books in my spare time to help capture a new lens to life,” Velasquez said. “I think [my readings] can equip me to assist the org’s mission to improve the lives of students through realizing their true potential.”
Integrative studies junior Maha AbdelKarim is the co-creative director for AXIS. She will be in charge of collaborating with other members to create events and provide ideas for seminars and programs. AbdelKarim said the organization is important because it emphasizes self-growth in a way not often considered, exploring, “How we work, why we work and how we can work better.”
“I think AXIS is a beautiful mosaic of facts, emotions, life processes and health,” AbdelKarim said. “It elevates self-growth by tying it to factual data that, when taught, can aid in developing the modern human being.”
AbdelKarim said she is most excited to learn about the mind-body relationship from a different perspective.
“I personally have been learning about self-growth through my own lens and [applying] it to my life and hobbies, but being able to see it through a more scientific perspective and then through other members’ perspectives is going to be amazing,” AbdelKarim said. “There’s something really special that happens when motivated individuals come together and curiosity is encouraged.”
Much of the executive board’s planning has been done amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ghofrani said the organization will still come to campus if fall classes end up being moved online. AXIS is currently slated to have its meetings on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and will include a mindful activity and an icebreaker to foster community, followed by a workshop or documentary. Meetings will also include a weekly challenge for members to implement in their own lives based on the research they learned about. If campus is closed for the fall semester, AXIS will move to an online format with meetings taking place over Zoom.
Regardless, Ghofrani said this organization will be vital for mental health and growth because of the impact of the pandemic.
“People don’t know what to do, people don’t know what is coming next,” Ghofrani said. “And that season of lack of control puts people in a state of unease, whether their anxiety takes a toll… So I think this would be the perfect opportunity for individuals to get that motivation that your body can physically do it, and here is proof.”
Students interested in becoming a member can send a message to their Instagram, @findtheaxis.
Source: North Texas Daily