Have you heard about neuroplasticity yet? How about a growth mindset? These two buzzwords, when put together, can actually add up to big changes in your brain. And we all want to keep our brains healthy and happy.In this article, we’ll be talking about things you can do to increase your neuroplasticity with certain exercises and how, when they are coupled with a growth mindset — you can change your brain for the better.
So, what exactly does neuroplasticity mean?
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change, grow, adapt, and essentially re-wire itself in response to certain stimuli.
While at one time, it was believed that the brain couldn’t change after adulthood, we now understand that you can most certainly keep your brain developing later in life.
Neuroplasticity + Growth Mindset
What’s really interesting is that it appears your ‘mindset’ has an impact on your capacity for neuroplastic change.
So, what exactly does mindset mean?
Your mindset is essentially the way you think about the world. The framework through which you work through things. The lens through which you see things.
This is a term that’s gained popularity in recent years. And it’s not uncommon to hear the word mindset being used everywhere, from business to education.
In many ways, evaluating your mindset can have a huge impact on your life…and on your brain.
In studies, it’s been shown that students who embrace a ‘growth’ mindset over a ‘fixed’ mindset are able to improve their academic performance, and thus, their neuroplasticity.
A person with a fixed mindset says things like, “I’m just not good at math” or “I’ll never master a cartwheel, so why keep trying?”
An individual who embraces a growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that they can achieve things with dedication and hard work. They believe that their natural abilities are just a starting point, and that resilience can produce the results that they are trying to achieve.
How To Rewire Your Brain
So essentially, practicing a belief in possibility and nurturing the motivation to keep trying if at first you don’t succeed can actually help keep your brain growing and developing.
And while it may be a task to start re-arranging your mindset, once you get the hang of it, you’ll start to feel the difference in your life.
There are several great ways to put that shiny, new growth mindset to work and increase your neuroplasticity, too.
Here are some of my favorite ways to keep that beautiful brain healthy and create new neural pathways.
Learn A New Skill
Learning is a lifelong adventure. Keep trying new, challenging things regularly. Bonus points if you’re particularly curious or engaged in the idea. Some lovely things to learn that seem to have a reputation for increasing brain power include: Art, Music, New Languages.
You may already know that exercise is great for your brain and boosting levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). But it bears repeating: exercise, both aerobic and strength training, can help improve cognitive function. According to studies, it may even help delay Alzheimer’s disease. It also appears that intense bursts of cardio activities, like sprinting, may be extra beneficial for brain health.
Don’t forget the importance of play for keeping your brain sharp. Even the oft-maligned video game has cognitive benefits. Other games like puzzles are great for the brain, too. If games and crossword puzzles aren’t your thing, dancing is another activity with playful roots and brain supportive results.
Don’t Forget The Basics
When thinking about brain health, don’t forget those pillars of health that are important for just about every part of your well-being. A solid regular sleep routine, minimizing stress in your life, and eating lots of plants as part of an anti-inflammatory diet are keys to neuroplastic change.
Taking Care Of Your Brain Should Be A Priority
Brain health has always been at the forefront of integrative medicine. And as more studies emerge and science continues to explore ways to increase neuroplasticity, the brain gets even more fascinating — and more important to nurture.
Sometimes, it seems impossible to take a step down that road to healthy living…but if you think about all of the benefits that a proper diet and exercise can bring to your brain, one of your most valuable assets, navigating that path just may become easier.
Another great way to start is to think about why you’re not feeling your best and start evaluating your symptoms. My quiz is a great way to help you unravel what area you may need to focus on — so you can kick start those healthy, brain lovin’ habits. Check it out below!
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