What if I told you that your brain can grow and adapt to change no matter how old you are. Did you know that they did a study, and the London taxi cab drivers have a larger part of the brain (hippocampus) than London bus drivers. Why? The bus drivers drive the same route every day, over and over and the taxi drivers need it for navigation. Nope, not kidding.
Change is nothing more than needing or wanting more of the use of the brain you already have. And your brain will oblige you with anything you ask of it. This is called neuroplasticity. There is a whole science on it now. Neuroscientists have been studying how neuroplasticity (the mold-ability of neural circuits) and neurogenesis ( the birth of new neurons – cells transmitting nerve signals from the brain) work together to reshape how we think, behave and remember.
The brain is flexible and is constantly reorganizing and optimizing itself everyday, whether you are at work, at home, at school or even asleep. It transfers your cognitive mental processes from one lobe to another, particularly as you age. Even if there is damage. Say you know someone who has had a stroke, the brain automatically starts reorganizing itself to move its functions to the undamaged area. Say someone loses their vision, their brain will re-wire itself and open up new neuropathways to enhance the power of your other senses for protection. So you won't walk into traffic or fall over a cliff.
Last week we talked about the differences in a Fixed-mindset and a Growth-mindset. We are going to start to talk about adapting ourselves to having a more Growth-mindset outlook on life. Why is this something you might want to think about? Well, if you have a fixed way of looking at yourself and the world and what you can do. It will hold you back from a lot of positive opportunities. We wouldn't go see a movie where the characters just sat there doing the same thing over and over. We want something to happen. In a Fixed-mindset, if you have something about yourself that you believe is genetic or “just the way you are” - such as a bad habit, your weight, how smart you are – you will avoid situations because they make you uncomfortable. That doesn't sound very fun at all. It actually sounds kinda lonely.
Since MRI's have now proven without a doubt that the brain has an incredible ability to morph itself. To reorganize itself - both through its functions and actual physical self - throughout your life, because of your way of thinking, environment, behavior and emotions. The good news is that the brain makes changes based on the repetitive things you do. The bad news is that the brain also makes changes based on the repetitive things you do. This could work against you (Fixed-mindset) or it could work for you (Growth-mindset). Next week we will talk about neuroplasticity and habits. Good habits and bad habits.
Have a great start to the week my friends. See you next Sunday.