Turn On Your Brain . . . Part I

Brain plasticity (brain fitness) thrives on stimulation but depends on balance.  Complacency, redundancy and everyday routine constrict brain plasticity, but so does the constant beating of over exertion caused by stress and habitually negative influences.  You may not be able to control genetics but you can orchestrate how you live.  What you put in is what you get out.  You have the input so use it! Use it to nourish your brain.  Use it to keep life positive.  Use it to teach the brain new tricks.  Use it to teach yourself some new tricks.  Four brain basics are all you need to start your course for peak plasticity and pave the path to overall good health.  To keep the journal post on the short side, I deliver them in two parts.  Part I:

Brain Balancers: The brain does listen and the squeaky wheel does get the grease, so when chaos starts to take over and things seem to be in overdrive, put an emphasis on balance.  Put the emphasis on good energy.  Think positively.  Think that anything and everything great is possible.  Take a minute to Relax. Set. Go. Tell your brain to slow everything down, especially when you are at the height of stress.  Take a deep breath and direct the brain to process, balance and restore.  Stay away from the negative.  Make a visual for it and push it out the door.  Destructive thoughts are just that, especially when they fuel an already stressful situation.  If you give them weight, so will the brain and its plasticity will bear the burden.  Plasticity is pliable.  Mold your thoughts.  Mold your brain.

Brain Benders: Brain benders are defined as physical and intellectual dexterity exercises.  Dexterity exercises challenge our dominant sides and help break comfort zones.  It’s basically doing the opposite of what comes naturally.  If you are right handed, try using your left hand instead.  Not so easy to do . . . and that’s what makes it so good for the brain.  You have to think about it.  You have to direct the brain to do something different . . . to be flexible.  Learn to play an instrument or a new dance step and you will find the same benefit. Pretty much any physical action that challenges your brain to break a dominant pattern can be considered a brain bender.  And the more variety, the better.

The same goes for intellectual dexterity. Crossword puzzles, educational classes, reading, logic games and quizzes all bend the brain to think differently and stay flexible.  If you tell the brain you can’t do something, it won’t even try.  Push yourself just a little and you will see results.  Switch it up when it gets too easy or routine and always exercise your right to bend your brain. Remember, the brain responds to the direction we give it.  We should be directing it all the time. Keep it positive.  Keep it pliable. Relax. Set. Go.

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