It’s Fantastic and Elastic!
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity is a term used to describe lasting change to the brain throughout the course of an individual’s life. We already know that the brain can adapt following trauma or disease but recognising that the brain is an elastic organ that can be retrained, grown and repaired now challenges the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’.
How amazing to now know that we can literally think ourselves happier, into being better, nicer, more adaptive, more supportive, resourceful and content, enriching both our environment and ourselves. In this age where business and creative challenges demand that we become more adaptive and brilliant with our solutions this is surely momentous.
We don’t always succeed first time and not all of our learning will be permanent unless our brain judges the experience to be worthy of retention and only then when we have fine tuned, made small adjustments and improvements. Our brains are more receptive when we are in the mood for change, when we are most motivated and try hard and when we are alert and focused. We must also maintain our brain health and practice our learning.
Unfortunately, as many people age, the natural loss of brain cells and neural connections happens faster than their formation, resulting in mental decline.
But it doesn’t have to be this way…
Physical exercise keeps our bodies and our brains in shape. Neuroplasticity is physical exercise for the brain, it promotes new brain cell formation and new neural connections, while protecting against mental decline.
It is proven that people who meditate have stronger neural connections throughout the brain and one study even demonstrated that meditation can reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activity. So mindfulness really does matter and, you don’t have to be a monk to meditate!
Have you a fixed or a growth mindset? One believes that talents and intelligence cannot be changed and one understands that we can continue to develop abilities and increase mental capacities throughout our life. Simply ask yourself this question and consider accepting the concept of brain plasticity and ‘growth’, it will make a difference.
So do you fall into the “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” camp? Why not go for ‘growth’, learn some new tricks and start your journey to building a better brain. Lets leverage neuroplasticity!
Use it or loose it? It’s never too late to change your mind!