How To Change Your Brain For The Better

Sep 24


Peter James Field

Peter James Field

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Our brain continues to change even after we have finisehd growing and are adults. Research has now proven that we can influence brain changes and improve our brain functioning on many levels. Here's how.


Your brain is truly remarkable. It influences the functioning of practically every other part of your body. Yet so often we spend more time and energy tending to our bodies than to our brain and nervous system.

This may be in part because our knowledge of the brain's functioning is relatively new and still expanding. It takes time for research to be widely disseminated and distributed in a way that a wide audience can absorb and act on it. As science advances,How To Change Your Brain For The Better Articles the facts are becoming clear. We really can benefit from actively tending to our brain's health.

Until quite recently, experts believed that our brain was completely formed in our younger years and that it changed little, if at all, once we reached adulthood. We now know that the brain is an amazingly pliable organ, changing all the time in response to our activities, our experience and the stimuli in the world around us.

The brain has a wonderful plasticity, continually creating new connections and pathways in the maze of neurons that bundled together create our ability to think, reason, remember and react to new challenges, information and experiences. Most of these changes occur naturally, beneath the level of our conscious mind, at the subconcsious and unconcsious level.

An abundance of research has now proven that we can influence these brain changes and improve our brain functioning on many levels. Several factors contribute to how the brain alters and adapts as we age. We can encourage positive changes by using some of the same strategies we depend on for our physical health, while adding on activities designed for brain health. Here are just a couple of tips to help you treat your brain - and yourself - in the best possible way.

Eat Right: A good diet is as important for our brain as it is for our body. Many of the nutrients needed for physical health also support brain health. We know, for example, that Omega-3 fatty acids have benefits for heart health. Recent research shows that they additionally play an important role in the brain's structure, and also in balanced cognitive functioning. Likewise, vitamin D is needed for bone health, but it also appears to be needed for our mental health. Some experts believe that many people with depression have a vitamin D deficiency. Brain and body really are inseparable. What you put into one you put into the other. Research shows that eating a wide variety of different foods, and focusing on a largely plant-based, whole foods menu, is one of the very best ways to ensure both brain and body health.

Exercise Regularly: Aerobic activity delivers more oxygen rich blood to the brain. This aids its ability to process new information and also improves memory function. Research has also demonstrated that exercise of almost any kind affects brain chemistry, improving mood and alleviating negative mental states such as anxiety. If exercise is already part of your lifestyle, keep it up. If it's not, work it in. It needn't cost money. Go for a brisk walk, jog, cycle, chase the kids around the yard. The research is conclusive; exercise has an ongoing positive effect on brain and body. And don't forget to take time to unwind and relax. Mediation, or self hypnosis for stress reduction and relaxation is an excellent way of doing this.

Challenge the brain: Just like the body, the brain needs to be kept agile. Just like a muscle, it needs to be used in order to develop and remain healthy. Specifically target your brain health by frequently presenting it with new cognitive challenges. Work a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. Memorize a new poem, speech, or passage from a book. Play games that challenge your memory or require problem-solving skills. Research has shown that regular mental challenges produce a healthier brain, and this leads to a slower cognitive decline - even when dementia's impact on the brain is factored out. Think of things that you do every day without really having to think about what you're doing - and do them differently. Instead of moving automatically through your routine, work your brain in order to keep it really healthy and to help improve its ability to change to the constantly altering world. The brain we have depends to a large part on what we ask it to do.

Pay attention to your thoughts: You've probably heard the saying 'Fake it 'til you make it.' In other words, think and behave in ways that make you the person you want to become. Even if it's uncomfortable at first, it will gradually feel more natural. Repeating positive thought patterns, processes or behaviors can foster new connections in the brain and help solidify them as part of your natural response mechanisms. These connections are known as 'neural pathways'. In much the same way that a path through a field might be formed by regularly walking it, the brain's pathways are established and made stronger when you use them repeatedly over time. An excellent way of establishing positive neural pathways is through the use of self hypnosis or hypnotherapy, and also through meditation.

We are still in the process of learning how the brain and nervous system function and what aspects of it we can shape and control. It really is an exciting field of research that is providing fresh ways to impact on everything from mental wellbeing to IQ. As our understanding continues to progress, it is certain to offer us many new ways to improve the health of our brain - and our quality of life.

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