Confession: I’m a bit of a brain science junkie. I love seeing the amazing ways God has put us together and our minds are the most remarkable of all. Scientists used to have a theory that went like this: Once you’re an adult, your brain is done growing and changing. New research has proven that simply isn’t true. As long as we’re alive, our brains have the ability to continue to adapt. But here’s the catch: just like you work your body, you gotta work your brain.
Here are five of my favorite ways to train your brain…
– Take risks. Yep, at the edge of your comfort zone is where new brain pathways develop. Even if it’s as simple as driving a different way home from work, your mind needs novel experiences.
– Learn something new every day. Reading, doing word puzzles, and other mental challenges have been shown to keep our brains sharper as we age and also help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s.
– Sleep. When you rest, it’s serious work time for your brain. While you’re not consciously aware of it, your brain is completing important tasks like converting experiences into memories and organizing thoughts.
– Stay calm. Stress flips your brain into panic mode but the flight or fight response is intended to be an emergency only system. Using it when it’s not truly needed is destructive to our minds and bodies.
– Socialize. Our brains are created for connection. We grow mentally and emotionally as human beings through relationships with other people.
It’s easy to do the same things over and over, sit in front of the TV or choose to stick to ourselves. But a healthy, happy, thriving brain needs our help–especially as we get older. As you think about how to take care of your body, don’t forget your brain too. It will show its gratitude in all kinds of wonderful ways like increasing your happiness, helping you figure out solutions to life’s problems, and keeping you alert and engaged for a lifetime.
Now that’s something to think about.