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Re-wire your brain!

Did you know….you can re-wire your brain?

Yes, that’s right !

You know the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, it simply isn’t true!

Right up until the day you die you are capable of creating new connections in your brain which can change the way you think and behave, and help you live longer!

Every new thought we have and every new thing we learn creates a new connection in our brain. Our brain is made up of billions of these connections, and contrary to popular belief, they don’t necessarily decline as we get older.

Imagine the connections in your brain as well worn paths. Just as a pathway going through a lush green field will form and become more obvious the more it is used, the pathways in your brain become more defined and stronger the more you use them. If the pathway is used infrequently, going for long periods of time where no-one walks it, eventually the path will become more difficult to see as the grass starts to grow over it.

If you are a musician, you will know the feeling of practicing the same piece of music or chord over and over and over again until one day you are able to play it without thinking.

If you drive the same way to work everyday, or take the same bus or train, you probably find that you can now get yourself safely to work without consciously thinking about what you are doing.

Those actions, practiced day in, day out, year in, year out, are now strong neural pathways in your brain which create automatic behaviour patterns. If, like me, you learned a musical instrument when you were young but have not kept it up, you will find that your memory of how to play has diminished and it can feel as though you have forgotten everything you learned! When you sit down to play you find that you are not as good as you remembered!

In our everyday life, whatever we do, think and say regularly will strengthen the neural pathways we have developed and the things we don’t do, think or say will diminish. So, one important message to take from this is to regularly do the stuff that is positive, makes you feel good and has a good outcome for you and stop the stuff that doesn’t! It really is that simple!

The other key message I wanted to make is that by consciously focusing on something new….a new skill, new knowledge, new activities, new ways of thinking….we can create new pathways. Which, if practiced more regularly than the existing ones, can become stronger and therefore over ride what went before.

That is how you re-wire your brain!

It takes time and effort and a lot of commitment but it is vital if we are to keep ourselves growing and developing and to keep our brain active and that is the secret to a longer life!

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