Lose it – or is it better to keep using it?
Let’s consider this question in relation to the way our brains function and their capacity, their ability to focus, their productivity and ease of learning, etc. This is based on work that’s been done (please see the reference in the blog) studying the brain and what happens when we’re in learning mode (namely when we’re engaging our brains, rather than coasting and doing the same things repetitively). 1
In particular, Dr. Michael Merzenich has found –
“The basic concept is simple. The brain changes physically, functionally, and chemically, as you acquire any ability or skill”.
You may be able to relate to my experience. I’ve definitely noticed that when I actively use my brain (for example at the moment I’m learning mandarin each day and as I write this I’m up to 600 consecutive days on Duolingo!) my brain goes through spurts where it seems more able to take on new information..
Dr. Michael Merzenich continues –
“You know this instinctively. Something must be changing as your abilities improve, or as new abilities emerge. You are actually remodeling your brain machinery by ‘practicing’ the skill; those physical changes account for your learning.”
It used to be thought that once we were born with a certain number of brain cells then that was it – and we’re discovering that’s not the complete story.
It can really help to find ways to stimulate our brains and do things that we enjoy, for example, a sport that involves some coordination. I certainly find this with my recent stand-up paddleboarding, and my hiking, as I need to be really sharp whilst going over a lot of very slippery roots and rocks.
So your mission this week, should you choose to accept it! is to take one thing that interests you and actually put a little bit of time aside and go for it – even if it’s once a week. It can make all the difference.
In fact, if you’d like to know more about a specific Nutraceutical I’ve discovered that acts as a brain-optimising nootropic that’s been shown to literally increase our mental efficiency, accuracy, and response time, then just reply to this email or PM me.
I’d love to know if this has been useful and I look forward to seeing you on this week’s #AlivewithFi.
Till then, ciao for now:-)
1 ‘It was once thought that any brain function lost was irretrievable. Today, research into what’s referred to as “brain plasticity” has proven that this is not the case. On the contrary, your brain continues to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.’
“Use It or Lose It: The Principles of Brain Plasticity”