Did you know… that your brain is plastic?
Okay, not the plastic compound used for bottles and bags, but plastic as an adjective, which means the ability to mold and change- it’s called neuroplasticity. The old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not really supported scientifically.
The brain is a really cool muscle that we take for granted.
Did you know …
- The brain’s storage capacity is virtually unlimited- 86 billion neurons firing with 1,000 trillion connections at 260 miles per hour.
- The brain can adapt and create new neurological pathways in response to experiences in life.
For years scientists thought that the brain was fully developed and unchangeable by the age of 25. However, that has been proven to be incorrect- or at least incomplete, with vast evidence both at the molecular level and the daily evidence level. Adults in their senior years are learning to play musical instruments and mastering new languages. Stroke victims are repairing damage with unprecedented recovery outcomes. The reason?
Activation of neuroplasticity through repetition. Lifelong Neuroplasticity
So, it seems that practice is the key. That also means that what ever you practice will begin to make stronger connections. Those will be like deep tracks in the brain. Think of it as if you are skiing on fresh powder snow. The first imprint is noticeable, but not deep. The next time you take that path, the skis follow the grooves and over time the grooves guide you without you even being aware.
That can also become a problem.
If those grooves become ruts (like bad habits) they can be hard to get out of- but not impossible!
Awareness is key to strengthening your brain’s agility and for stimulating new neuropathways. If you want to increase your mental stamina, start with something you enjoy or have always wanted to do. Remember the key is practice. Select something that will be a reasonable starting point for you to build momentum on and carve out time to make it happen regularly.
Tell me what things you have learnt to do in your adult life.
Watch for future blogs on best ways to support neuroplasticity.
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