Until the middle of the 20th century, it was widely believed that our brains became “fixed” once we got to adulthood, so we were stuck with whatever we had going on inside our skulls. Of course, modern science has known for decades that is not the case. Due to a process called neuroplasticity (pronounced:noor-oh-pla-stis-i-tee), the human brain can continue to develop throughout our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful I didn’t get stuck with the brain I had at 25!
When I say our brains continue to develop, what I’m talking about is that each time we learn something new, we create new connections between brain cells. And, the more connections we have, the better fortified the brain is against degenerative diseases like dementia. So, it’s like a win-win for us and the health of our brain.
10 Fun Ways to Keep Improving Your Brain Click To Tweet
There are so many things we can do to help our brains be stronger, and they can be challenging, satisfying—and fun! Here are 10 great ways to do this:
I must emphasize that neuroplasticity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Like a beautiful plant, our brains need to be in a healthy environment to grow. For example, if I were taking a class to learn a foreign language (another excellent way to stimulate brain growth) but go out for a few drinks and pizza every night after class, I wouldn’t be nurturing the new connections in my brain—it’s more like I’d be spraying pesticides on them.
I think you probably get my drift, but what this means is that we must make good choices to support the ongoing brain development we want, so it’s important to:
And of course, avoid harmful things like nicotine, recreational drugs, and excessive alcohol because they can sabotage your effort to improve your brain.
PS: Your new word of the day is neuroplasticity, defined in the dictionary as: The capacity of the nervous system to develop new neuronal connections.
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