Training the Brain

‘ With neuroplasticity, extrordinary change is possible.’

Rick Hanson

Often I have wondered what it would be like to actually take my brain out of my head and have a look at what’s happening inside it. Brain’s fascinate me and I love how complex each of our brains are. We can’t take out our brain in order to try to understand it, but we can still come to know our brains by absorbing knowledge about how they work. Neuroplasticity is the potential of the brain to reorganise and change. We can train our brains to change so they work better for us. Here’s something useful to know……..

Everything that we experience, whether it is a thought, a sound, a sight or a feeling; it all requires underlying neural activity. Neural activity means activity in our brains, between the neurons that are there. The more our neurons fire together and join up in particular ways, the more patterns within or brain activity develop. These patterns become ‘the norm’ in terms of what our brains routinely do. Our brains take their shape and develop patterns from whatever perspective our brains routinely rest upon. If you wake in the morning and rest upon the idea that ‘I am alive, I am breathing, I have another precious day to live’, then this affects the structure your brain will take. If you wake in the morning and think ‘I really don’t want to face what I have to do today, it’s all just so mundane and monotonous,’ your brain structure will be affected. What your brain routinely rests upon can be down to choice, once you become aware of what is happening in your mind and this, in my opinion is good news. It means that once we are conscious of how we interpret our experiences, once we pay attention to what our brain is ‘resting upon’ on a regular basis, we learn that we have choice. Even if the experience is simply waking to a new day, we have choice about how we train our brains to interpret this experience.

The adolescent brain is at a stage of massive development. So much growth and change happens during adolescence which makes it a prime time to gain awareness of one’s ability to train ones brain. Treat the brain as you would any other muscle in your body. Approach it as you would any other muscle, knowing that you can’t control it completely but you can certainly train it to be strong. Step one in this process is to become conscious of how you are interpreting your experiences……….. of your one and only, very precious life.