Wise Up! Simple Strategies to Re-Model,
Re-Fire and Re-Gain Your Brain
By Dr. Dale Anderson
years, people have believed that we are born with a certain number
of brain cells, and that those brain cells die off as we age, with
no hope of ever getting them back. Today, scientists are proving
that not only can we generate new brain cells, but we can also
branch them out and make new pathways in our thought and learning
processes. What does this mean to the average person? That anyone at
any age can continue to build brain strength, and that being
mentally “sharp” isn’t something reserved for the young anymore.
of building brain power is called “neurobics.” And just like the
name implies, it’s all about doing aerobics for your brain.
Fortunately, these types of aerobic workouts don’t involve 6 a.m.
gym sessions or buying workout gear. Neurobics is something anyone
can do anywhere in just minutes a day. Consider making the following
neurobics principles a part of your daily routine to help your brain
Act happy: Method acting is an acting
technique in which actors try to replicate real life emotional
conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to
create a lifelike, realistic performance. Whether you are an actor
or not, everyone’s life is a stage play. So bring a bit of the
theatre onto the stage of your daily life and purposefully act happy
… get your brain’s ACT together.
Method actors who play happy roles have a
chemistry that keeps them more active and more involved in life.
Scientifically, acting happy has a chemistry that is measurable with
such things as T-cells, gamma globulins, serotonins, endorphins,
melatonin, and cortisol, just to name a few. We can even do a PET
scan of the brain and see what the emotional map of the brain looks
like, because there is a physiology that goes with the emotions.
That means we can actually see what anger, sadness and even
happiness looks like. Even more important, acting happy, whether
through deep belly laughter or a simple smile, activates positive
chemicals in the brain that keep us alert and physically healthy. So
act happy in order to keep your brain more alive and functional.
Sharpen your senses: In our modern society with our
technological breakthroughs we have lost so much of our senses. For
example, when you go to the grocery store, you don’t feel your food
anymore. You don’t smell the meat. You don’t feel the grains.
Everything is boxed and wrapped and covered. Such modern
conveniences dull our senses, which shrinks and ages our brains.
Therefore, doing simple exercises can help refresh your senses and
keep your memory strong. Here are few suggestions:
Brush your teeth with the opposite hand
Sit at a new place at the dinner table
Eat a new food – differentiate and identify the spices
Get dressed with your eyes closed or in the dark
Wear earplugs around the house for an hour
Sit outside with your eyes closed and identify sounds and
Balance on one foot, and then on the other foot, while doing
Play a card game with friends
Read out loud and listen to someone else read
Look and stand up while saying the word “down” and visa
Take a new route to work or some other usual location
Try to guess the denomination of coins by simply feeling
Welcome new, novel and challenging encounters
these activities may seem simple or even silly, they actually help
your brain make new pathways. When you use both the left and right
spheres of your brain, you put little twigs onto the branches of the
brain cells, which are called axons. The more of these little twigs
you get on the axon branches, the more they start connecting with
neighboring cells. The more “growth” of the underbrush, the more
chances you have to make new brain connections.
the brain alive is all about making new connections and branching
out. If you’re right handed, you use your left brain a lot. If you
can bring some of that brain activity over to the right side by
using your left hand for the same task, you’re exercising your brain
and developing new pathways. Later in life, should one of your
brain’s pathways get destroyed, you’ll now have another small
pathway already formed and ready to be built up that can take over
the lost function.
Make physical connections: One of the worst things for
the brain is for the person to become a loner. When you’re alone,
you’ll always do things the same old way. That means you’ll rarely
exercise your brain and make new neural connections.
connect with others through a club, association, church, or any
other type of group activity. Simply being in a crowd, such as a
sporting event, enables you to connect. Growing plants is a way to
connect, as it brings you closer to nature and brings something
living into your life. Pets, especially dogs, are another wonderful
way to connect. People talk to their dog. They pet their dog. They
walk their dog. As they walk their dog, they associate with others
who are walking dogs. In fact, studies have shown that people who
are over age 65 who have a dog and live alone visit the doctor 16
percent less often than their counterparts who don’t have a dog.
become skilled at something, consider teaching as a way to connect.
The act or ritual of teaching and mentoring is a powerful one that
fosters long lasting connections and enables you to impact many
generations. Remember, any celebration or ritual can bring
connection into your life.
Healthy Actions for a Youthful Mind: Exercising your brain
doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity that causes you to sweat. In
fact, practicing neurobics can be a fun and enjoyable experience
that adds brain power every day. So commit to making these neurobic
activities a part of your daily routine. As the old saying goes,
“You’re only as old as you feel.” Give your brain the tools to feel
young and vital – it’ll pay off for years to come.
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