Can you really boost your brain?
If you mean to make your brain better than it is, then no, but if you mean to get your brain working better, more efficiently and to its full potential, then a resounding yes!
The next question is, what is your purpose for boosting your brain? Is it to look good at remembering a long list of random items, the dates of all the Kings and Queens in Britain, to do well in the mental test, and the list goes on?
For me, it’s about being able to learn. As a Primary School Teacher, I believed that it was more important to get children to know how to find and use information than just learn data by rote. The data is always there, and it is only of value when accessed, understood and used.
Learning requires memory. The ability to remember is there in our brain, an inbuilt system, but if you think of it as a basic starting system, you get the idea that this can be built on, developed and improved!
Our brains are very efficient in all aspects, be that using energy, maintenance, and brain cells. If brains cells are not used, they are redundant, and the brain will shut them down. Why waste resources when there is no need? I think then people get to a point where they have a ‘Basic Brain Set.’ A working brain for the life that the individual is living. However, this means that most will not be using their brains to the full ability! This may not seem important; ‘I’m ok, my life seems ok, and I’m happy enough.’
It may be easier to think of the physical you and me. I guess at around 20; I was at my physical peak. I suppose I would call this our Basic Body Set. This is most likely true for you too. Our bodies were in the best shape and able to cope with the life we were living. We feel invincible in those early years. Our bodies adapted to the life we lead.
Now, as those lives changed and we got older, our bodies change. This is obviously due to our bodies’ degeneration, which nature insists on, but it is also related to how we look after our bodies and maintain them. We can leave them be and just carry on using the same Basic Body Set, which will definitely show signs of wear the older you get, or you can look after it and keep it running at its peak at any given moment in life. This would then mean you should live, barring any unforeseen incidence, a complete genetic set life.
Now, back to the brain bit. As I said, our brains are very efficient, but as we age, that degeneration we experience in our bodies is also taking place in our brains. The brain cells age too. We have billions and billions of brain cells, so the death of these brain cells due to ageing isn’t a significant problem, but as more and more deteriorate and fail, and I’m talking decades, we will start to notice the signs.
At first, this may feel a bit like doom and gloom, but two areas of study show us the light to maintain our brains in the same way we should keep our physical bodies. The first is Neuroplasticity. Our brains work by passing messages from one cell to another in a vast array of a network of interconnecting brain cells. It was thought that this was a fixed and rigid system, but study now shows us that our brain cells are not hard-wired in a limited network, but the message highways are flexible and adapt to changing circumstances and use. It also seems that the more we encourage this Neuroplasitiy, the more our brains benefit.
The second area of importance is Neurogenesis. It was once thought that we were born with a certain amount of brain cells, and after about the same time as our physical peak, the brain cells started a slow and inevitable decline. However, research now proves that new brain cells generate throughout life. The studies also found that if those brain cells were not used, they would die quickly.
So, we can see that if we boost our brains to encourage Neuroplasitiy and the uptake of those new brain cells from Neurogenesis, we should be able to maintain our brains at optimal performance throughout life.
I’m sure most of us want to live a long, healthy life, including full mental faculties.
I believe that our physical and mental beings are dependent on how we treat our physical and mental faculties throughout life. If you have always used and maintained yourself in peak condition, it makes sense that you should live an entire and able life. I know many factors can affect this situation, but that doesn’t mean that to do nothing just in case is an option.
Our brains and bodies, which I think of as one unit, not two, which is often the case, need tender loving care and continual maintenance. Study now shows us that the great thing is, it is never too late to start and never too early too begin!
The next question is, how?
I want to know you thoughts and ideas? What do you do?
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