Brain improve? Who doesn't want to improve their brain? I mean, almost all advertising in our culture implies that with just a bit more mental oomph, another degree, a harder workout, or this or that potion or pill, you too can own the Mercedes, or the mansion, or be a super hero kind of guy.
So we are taught that we should seek out brain improvement tools, among other things.
It turns out that there are some things we can do to improve our brains, but brain improvement actually is not what one would think it is initially.
Brain improvement is actually about neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, concepts about which there was no knowledge perhaps a decade or so ago.
It turns out that my brain actually grows new neurons, which overturns neuroscientific dogma that has been around for decades if not centuries, and that those new neurons can be cemented into existing neural networks if they are challenged by a novel learning experience.
Novel learning experiences help existing neurons grow new dendritic branches which will sprout new synapses, which mean more connections between neurons, which means greater computing power, perhaps fluid intelligence, which is brain improvement, which is now available to help solve problems in the external world in novel ways, which could translate into increased income or fame and fortune.
What does a novel learning experience consist of? Well, if you are a counselor, reading another counseling book will not provide a novel learning experience, but learning a new language will, or learning to play a musical instrument will.
Novel learning also could include using any of a number of commercially computerized brain improvement programs.
Please remember, brain improvement means increased numbers of dendrites and synapses and new neurons.
It does not happen overnight after finding a meteorite from Planet X in your back yard, or taking a potion or pill.
And that brings us to our next topic, neuroplasticity, another of your brain's inherent capacities which can be encouraged.
Learning a new skill invites the neurons in your brain to fire together in new or perhaps subtly different patterns, which is a very good thing for your neurons. If neurons are left idle, the brain, being an energy consuming organ of the highest order, will pare unused neurons and even circuits to be energy efficient.
So doing ordinary things like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand is a good way to disrupt the tooth brushing brain map in a healthy way. Neurons will re-organize quickly which is teaching the brain to re-organize quickly which is a good thing for brain improvement.
If you look at what the scientists are saying about brain improve, (not the marketers), they are saying that for brains to improve, several things need to be attended to on a regular basis, like physical exercise/activity, sleep, nutrition, stress management, and novel learning experiences.
Perhaps the most important of those areas is physical exercise, which does not need to be of the go-to-the-gym-and-get-all-sweaty type of exercise, although that is very good.
It can simply be walking in the neighborhood more, and more briskly, so that some deeper breathing is initiated, or you can take a look at the program Angie and Scott Tousignant have put together for couples, called
More Love, Less Fat. Please do not be put off by the rippling abs and bulging biceps, they did not start there, and their program is wonderfully economical. No potions or pills, just interval training done in ten minuter intervals. Can you find ten minutes to improve your brain this way?
If you are searching for an overarching resource, then you need to look to Brainfit for Life by Simon Evans, Ph.D. or Paul Burghardt,Ph.D. which goes into great detail about the various aspects of brain improve, but in a readable way. They leave the neuroscientific jargon in the laboratory.
However, they do not talk in great detail about any of the brain improvement computerized programs that we can include in our brain improve regimen.
I have used four of them, and really enjoyed all four. Here are links which will take you to their sales sites for further information, or in the case of Lumosity, a free trial.
Would You Share Something That You Are Grateful For?
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
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