More has been discovered about the brain in the last 50 years, than in the history of mankind. Neuroscience has given us incredible insight into how our minds and brains work. There is still so much that is unknown, but what is known is mind-blowing.
We are not our brain. We are just the users of it. – Dr Deepak Chopra
The greater our understanding of how our brain works, the better we can use it.
Take neuroplasticity for instance. Simply put, it is the brain’s ability to learn and develop at any age. This is great news for us because it means that learning isn’t exclusively for the youth (but perhaps only for the “young at heart” then).
Neural pathways develop by the constant firing between the synapses, or connections, in the brain. These are electrical charges that send information across the nervous system. When these changes happen continuously, a permanent link is formed, much like the way a river is carved out through the land by the consistent force of water.
The opposite is also true. If there is a link that remains unused, the ‘river’ dries out and the connection is broken.
We can thus physically change our brains through learning and creating habits. The old adage that it takes 21 days to instil a habit is possibly where this came from.
What then does it mean to be able to change our brain?
Well – the possibilities are endless and completely determined by what we want and what we’re willing to do for it.
In terms of health, well-being and longevity, try incorporating some of these activities into your routine, and by doing so, you’ll start to notice a difference in your thinking, attitude and energy levels.
- Brush your teeth with the opposite hand
- Learn how to say “hello” in 5 different languages
- Stand on one leg while waiting for the kettle to boil. Building physical balance is key to a healthy nervous system
- Stir your coffee or tea in the opposite direction
- Read, out loud
- Re-develop fine motor skills by throwing and catching a bouncy ball.
- Learn to play an instrument
- Do some exercise
- Hone your sense by focussing on 1 sense at a time, i.e. close your eyes when listening to music
- Use your imagination
The more we can constructively utilise our brain, the better our overall health and vitality will be and the more youthful we will feel.