People often quite wrongly, compare our brain to a computer. But there is a very big difference. A computer’s hardware doesn’t change, the brain does. The size and structure of the neurons and the connections between them in your brain actually change as you learn. We are learning all the time even when we are asleep and so the brain is changing all the time. Your brain is literally rewiring itself as you read these words!!!
So this means one of the simplest, most natural ways to rewire your brain is to keep on learning. What I mean by learning is exposing yourself to new experiences. In addition to book learning, the best way we can learn is by trying out new activities like traveling, learning to play a musical instrument, speak a foreign language, or participating in social and community activities.
Be aware though that because the brain is so good at learning it can easily learn things automatically without you noticing. How many times do you find yourself thinking, feeling or behaving in ways that are not ‘like you’? That’s often because your brain learned something while you weren’t paying attention. The key to rewiring your brain successfully is to learn things on purpose. Plan what you want to learn and do it on purpose – learn with Natural Mindfulness.
You can also rewire your brain by doing brain aerobics like something as simple as searching for famous people whose first names begin with the letter A, doing crossword puzzles or playing board games that get you thinking.
If you want to go even further you could change your lifestyle to boost your brain health by making some or all of the following changes:
1. Take Omega3.
The omega3 fatty acids keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of your brain, and increase brain circulation. Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3.
Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage.
3. Sleep well.
It’s during sleep that your mental energy is restored, and a lack of sleep may cause your brain to stop producing new cells.
4. Eat healthy.
Like the rest of your body, your brain depends on healthy foods to function. While protein is the main source of fuel for your brain, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and veggies are also important, as is limiting sugar intake.
5. Get out into the sun.
This will help you maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Scientists are now beginning to realise vitamin D is involved in maintaining the health of your brain, as they’ve recently discovered vitamin D receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system. There’s new evidence indicating vitamin D improves your brain’s detoxification process. For children and pregnant women, getting enough vitamin D is especially crucial, as it may play a major role in protecting infants’ brains from autism.
6. Turn off your TV.
Allowing children under the age of 3 to watch television can impair their linguistic and social development, and it can affect brain chemistry as well.
8. Avoid foods with artificial sweeteners and additives.
Substances such as aspartame (Nutrasweet), artificial colouring and MSG, which are common in processed foods, can damage your brain. For instance, consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally.
Walking Mindfully in nature improves our mood and exposes the brain to new experiences.There is also growing scientific research that shows significant reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a potent chemical that surges when you are stressed, and is now recognised as a drug that can literally shrink human brains.
Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is passionate about exploring nature and empowering people. Ian combines a wealth of knowledge and experience from his personal and corporate life with intuitive and instinctive insights from his own inner journey, to guide others.
Ian lives in Gloucestershire, UK where he guides Natural Mindfulness Walks and provides coaching, courses, gatherings and retreats, for others who want to deepen their connection with nature and their true nature.
To attend a Natural Mindfulness Walk or event, visit Natural Mindfulness Walks
Want to experience Natural Mindfulness for yourself?
Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection, is AVAILABLE NOW.
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