Imagine if there was a way to reprogram the way you think. A way to sharpen your perception and memory, increase your speed of thinking, and help you become more creative. Well there is. It is a phenomenon called neuroplasticity.
In the TV series Redesign My Brain, Australian and Canadian born Todd Sampson set out to the exact same thing. In the three-part series, not only do you watch him improve his brain, but you can also do it yourself! In the series he set out to speed up his thinking, sharpen his attention, and improve his memory.
Why is this important?
Until recently, it was a common belief that the brain developed throughout your teens and then stopped. Once you reached you mid- 20s, that was it – whatever you had, you were stuck with. Until recently it has also been thought that cell loss and structural changes in the brain due to aging or injury were permanent and could not be reversed. We now know that is simply not true!
Every brain, including yours, is a work in progress. From birth and throughout your life, your brain continuously revises and remodels itself. The brain is a muscle like any muscle in your body—if you don’t use it – you lose it. You go to the gym to get yourself physically in shape, why not do the same for your brain?
Dr. Michael Merzenich is a driving force in the field of neuroplasticity claims, “that brain exercises maybe as useful as drugs to treat diseases as severe as schizophrenia; that plasticity exists from the cradle to the grave; and that radical improvements in cognitive functioning — how we learn, think, perceive, and remember — are possible even in the elderly.”
So what? How is this relevant to mental health?
If our brain is able to remodel itself more than we previously thought—this means our brain has the capacity to bounce back from anything. Cognitive function, emotional function and behaviour is learned and can therefore through the process of neuroplasticity, we can re-learn and improve these areas.
So why learn to juggle?
First of all anyone can learn to juggle, it is not just for circus entertainers or clowns! A new study reports that learning to juggle alters the structure of the brain within as little as 7 days!
Thinking quickly and focusing your attention are great advantages in everyday life, and these skills are what makes the difference between a good employee and GREAT one!
If you want to try some of the training and assessments that Todd Sampson used, go to http://www.brainhq.com. You don’t even need to learn to Juggle, learn any new skill and train your brain to keep it healthy and active! To learn to Juggle in 5 minutes check out this great youtube video.
For more information on Neuroplasticity, check out this book: The brain that changes itself - By Norman Doidge.
What new skill will you learn today to train your brain? We’d love to hear from you!