An Excellent New Year’s Resolution: “Building a Better Brain” By Frances O. Simons
Doctors used to think that brain development occurred only during youth and slowed down as we age. However, new research indicates that humans develop new neurons (brain cells) throughout their lifetime.
Recent studies reveal the many benefits of exercising your brain. Doctors and scientists agree that older people stay sharper when they stimulate their brains with lots of socializing and problem solving. Older adults are better at problem solving and staying calm during a crisis than their younger counterparts.
There are few limitations on how much the brain can absorb and for how long; the key is to remain active. Build your mental strength by energizing your brain daily. Try using some of the following techniques:
Switch Hands – Practice doing things with your non-dominant hand. Research says this can dramatically increase the number of circuits in the cerebral cortex.
http://borntomove.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/muscle-brain.pngFocus on One Sense – Relying on other senses. For example, try getting dressed with your eyes closed or turn off the sound on the television and try to follow the plot.
Change Your Routine – Do the same things but in a different order. Rearrange the furniture. Take a different route to work. These changes activate the cortex and hippocampus (a part of the brain crucial for memory formation) to create new neural pathways.
Take Up a Hobby – Join a book club, enroll in a class, learn how to play a musical instrument, study a foreign language, take up photography, and of course, workout – exercising the body will stimulate all senses.
Think often about important traits, goals and values. Don’t succumb to negative chatter in your mind. Make an effort to become deeply aware of the great and enduring truths as it relates to your spirituality.
Become more social. Interacting with other people is the best single exercise for the brain. This brings all the senses into play, forcing you to think quickly and hones your speaking skills. So cherish the friends you have and make new ones whenever you can.
Improving your mental performance now will promote better brain health for the rest of your life.
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