Thursday, April 10, 2008

Got Brain?

I have good news and good news - which do you want first?  Okay the good:

                              

This is neat.  Our brains are "plastic" as in malleable, and most people know this, but the extent of their plasticity is far and above what I imagined.  The brain learns all the time, and re-learns way into our dottage.  But not by doing the same thing over and over. 

Did you ever say or hear, "I love doing crosswords, it keeps the old gray cells working."  Or "I do a puzzle a day to keep my brain healthy."  Well that's a myth, all a waste for the brain.  If you do crosswords all the time the brain already KNOWS how to do them.  It's learning nothing.  And when it's not learning, making new inroads and synapses, the brain is not healthy.  It will start to atrophy, get stale, become lazy.  If you constantly repeat an action, the brain isn't learning.   

What the human brain needs to stay healthy is (trumpets)....CHANGE.  NEW THINGS.  DIFFERENT ACTIONS.  If you want to keep your brain working a long, long time, do things you never did before - go skydiving.  Or plant a garden.  Learn sign-language.  Knitting.  Paint something.  Fly a kite, ANY thing that you haven't done before or that often.  The best one?  Fall in love.   

The brain loves new things, it actually remembers how much it "enjoyed" learning this new thing and rewards you with better function - more memory retention, recognition, all the things we worry we'll lose in our old age.  Factually, there's no organic reason our brain can't serve us well into our 90's. 

So if you love someone who's elderly now, introduce them to something new as often as you can.  They'll remember you alot longer for it.      

21 comments:

mutualaide said...

Well.  Well.  Well.  I am going to find something new to learn (and maybe master)

mosie1944 said...

Interesting.  Hey, I saw a REAL plastic brain at "Bodies Revealed".  

treesrgreen78 said...

Painting, gardening and flying a kite that sounds ok, you can do the sky diving.  I am good at flying a kite, many tell me to go fly a kite lol.

attitudeslc said...

Recently I learned that the two best things to keep your brain healthy is to learn another language or a new computer operating system.

:D  Rosemary

pamal3 said...

What a fascinating entry. I don't know about the "falling In love" bit again! lol, but I will definately look at new things for this old sponge to soak up. Thanks cathy. Love Pam xx
http://journals.aol.co.uk/pamal3/almost-40/

princesssaurora said...

Yep... I knew that... it is the process of learning NEW that keeps our brains healthy and happy!

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

shrbrisc said...

glad that this ole dog can learn new tricks
hugs
Sherry

helmswondermom said...

Great advice!  I've been learning world geography lately, and quizzing myself.  I love learning new things.  Another good way to exercise your brain, I've heard, is by using  your non-dominant hand to do everyday things -- like brushing your hair or your teeth.
Lori

sybilsybil45 said...

WELL  now I know what my next challenge is  Fall in love !!  I'll give it a go...wonder where I will find it, thats another problem to be solved, thats two now new things to be doing  wonder how many more I can make out of it !!  Love SYbilx

xxroxymamaxx said...

Cool info!! : )  love, Shelly

aimer said...

There is nothing more exciting than learning something totally new, especially something that challenges you in some way. Very informative post and I love your closing.--Sheria

valphish said...

Neat!  I am itching to try a few new things myself =)!!  Thanks, my Cateri!  Love, Maire xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

rdautumnsage said...

Aha! So now at least I have a reasoning for constantly changing what I do and learn. Works for me as I seldom have patience for monotone droning (which is what doing the same thing constantly resembles to me). I don't know how often I will enjoy something then stop and change gears. After some time has passed I remember the enjoyment I had in the previous task and pick it up again. In this way life remains interesting to say the least. (Hugs) Indigo

mymaracas said...

Hi there,

I found my way in from Flamingo Row ... Since it is unavoidable, it's nice to know that change is worth the aggravation. (So is excercise, but I don't like that either.)

;-)
Vicki

ally123130585918 said...

I love to do new things ~ but I will draw the line at Skydiving :o) ~ I enjoyed reading this all very interesting ~ Ally x

lanurseprn said...

Wow...very interesting!
Pam

libragem007 said...

a very interesting entry!
well..I did something very new today--I made a home video and posted it on youtube :-)

Gem~

http://journals.aol.com/libragem007/collage/entries/2008/04/16/im-live-on-youtube/1826

wwfbison said...

My brain may be stimulated by sky-diving....however my heart may stop in the process.  LOL.  This is very interesting.
xx
Lisa

sunnyside46 said...

thank you
I learned something today
now I can go to bed
LOL
Marti

gehi6 said...

That's an interesting idea about falling in love.  You may be right.  I do think that if we don't try new things we will certainly lose our powers some way or another. Making home movies is new for me.  I love it.  The editing.  Now getting one up to the computer and uploading. I get so challenged by tech stuff and just can't stop if I think there is any chance of succeeding before I have exceeded my strength and energy.  I love talking about how to extend our mind power!  Gerry  

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