Don’t Like Your Brain? Change it!
Many of us have heard of the fact that it is possible to improve memory and concentration through exercises but how far can such improvements go? Can you actually physically change your brain? The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, almost everything you do on a day to day basis works on changing your brain for the better or worse. This is an important concept to embrace for all of us but particularly for those who struggle with letting go of habits we know are damaging our health and overall future potential. Our brains ability to change is referred to as neuroplasticity.
For this Issue of Brainy Mondays, we want to take a closer look at how reading and/or thinking about things will make changes to your brain.
In tests, it has been shown that subject who read have heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, the area of the brain associated with receptivity for language.
In addition, readers can experience something called “embodied semantics.” This means the brain connectivity during a read and/or thought-about action is similar the connectivity that occurs during the actual action. For example, reading and thinking about horseback riding can trigger some of the same neural connections as the physical action of riding.
HOW YOU CAN USE THIS FACT
To get better at something you want…
Make sure you only dwell on repetitive thoughts that are positive and supportive to what you would like to achieve. Set time aside to day dream of yourself performing an activity you want to get good at.
To give up an unwanted behavior…
Envision yourself in the situation in which the unwanted habit is likely to occur. Then see yourself in your mind’s eye making a better choice and performing a more desirable action instead while feeling lighthearted and good about it. Envision the scene in as much detail as possible and try to feel it as if it were actually happening. Even better yet, write it down and later read it to yourself. This can be particularly helpful to overcome addictions.
Build the brain you want to have…