The myth of “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is based on the false belief that the brain stops changing after a certain age.
Our brains are constantly forming new connections. Neurogenesis (creating new nerve cells) and neuroplasticity (nervous system restructuring) continue throughout your life.
A straightforward way to rewire your brain at home is through creative art activities. Painting, music, drawing, dancing, or any craft – these tap into the general principles of brain change: novelty, challenge, concentration, and passion.
Break out of your routine and try something new. Novel stimuli activate the brain and encourage it to form new connections.
Start a new hobby, learn a new skill. Go on an adventure. Travel to somewhere you’ve never been.
Taste new foods – healthy eating is vital for brain health, and getting stuck in a rut eating the same things is not suitable for nourishment.
You can also try simple things like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, listening to unfamiliar music, or taking a walk or drive in a different part of town.
Activities are incredibly transformative when they push you toward the edge of your comfort zone.
Not too easy, but not too frustrating – you want to feel the joy of that “aha!” moment and know that you are overcoming problems and mastering something.
Find new exercises or activities that challenge your body and mind and force you to use muscles and thoughts differently.
Solve puzzles, read more challenging books, play strategy games.
Learning a new language is a wonderful challenge and can open up new worlds of opportunity and possibility for you.
Focus and Repetition
Concentrate on something for an extended period of time.
Find an engaging activity that gets your full attention on the task at hand. This process can be a great stress reliever.
Meditation, yoga, and prayer are great ways to slip into a relaxed focus and can provide extraordinary benefits for your overall health and wellness.
Repetition leads to more repetition. This process can be harmful if you are repeating negative patterns, but understanding this principle can empower you to establish new habits and thought patterns by focusing and repeating them over and over again.
Long-term habits shape our brain structure, which in turn controls our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Love Changes Everything
Passion and enthusiasm make any activity more effective and easier to continue doing.
Find something you genuinely love – and more importantly, find people that you love to be around.
Make an effort to spend more time with them and get involved in their lives.
Your connections with other people will deepen your relationships and keep your mind fresh and alive.
Meeting new people, and discovering new ways to keep your existing relationships fresh, is a great way to keep your brain stimulated and growing.
Change is an essential part of getting better. It’s never too late to enrich your life with a healthier, happier brain.