Is it too late to learn?
No matter what phase of life you are in, your brain is still growing and learning.
Whether you are a baby learning to crawl or speak, a child going through school, an adult going through university, a new mum, operating your own business, starting a new job, or just plain living, your brain is constantly learning (i.e. changing).
Long ago researches stated that once you damaged parts of your brain you can never train those parts again. This has been proven wrong. How exciting. This means you can actually change your brain!
Neuro plasticity is the terminology that neuroscientists use to explain how experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain (i.e. how your brain communicates). So this means that long lasting functional changes in the brain occur when we learn new things or memorize new information. Simply put YOU can change YOUR brain. Gone is the saying….you can never teach a dog old tricks….well only one that wants to.
In order for our brains to grow and change with ease, it requires three important ingredients, stimulation, oxygen and fuel.
- Stimulation: Our brain gets stimulation from our sensory world, i.e. from touch, sound, sight, smell, taste, balance and proprioception (where we are in space). Research states that 90 percent of stimulation to the brain is generated by movement of the spine. We require movement for our brains to grow and learn.
There are some specific exercises you can do to stimulate different parts of your brain which include specific movements patterns, balance, reading, sequencing and the list goes on.
- Fuel: The fuel comes in the way of nutrition. Eat a well-balanced diet packed full of vegetables, good quality water, fruit, lean meats, nuts, seeds and good quality fats. Most of all cut out or, at least cut down packaged foods.
- Oxygen: Deep diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing allows you to take normal breaths while maximizing the amount of oxygen that goes into the bloodstream. It is a way of interrupting the “Fight or Flight” response and triggering the body’s normal relaxation response. Why not give it a try?
Sit in an upright position looking straight ahead. You can close your eyes if it helps you to concentrate on the process.
Put one palm on your upper chest and the other over your navel. (Your objective is to have the lower hand rise first when you breathe in.)
Breathe out gently and effortlessly. Now wait for a second or two until the body spontaneously begins the inhalation – this will occur naturally and of its own accord.
Allow the air to naturally flow in again until it stops of its own accord. Make no effort whatsoever to in any way deepen the inhalation. You are allowing your body to find its own natural rate of breathing and, through relaxing into the process, allowing your breathing to slow down and become more and more shallow. Continue doing this for about 5 to 10 minutes.
It’s never too late to learn. The best part about it is that it can be fun and easy. Now you know the ingredients your brain requires to grow and learn (i.e. change). You have to start to be aware of how much, or how little, stimulation you are getting from your sensory world, what you are eating and drinking, and how you are breathing.
If you would like to know more about this, I am running 2 workshops on how you can change your brain. The first Workshop is on 17th February at 7pm – brain training – adults. The second workshop is on 24th February at 10am – baby brains. book now!