Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the quality by which the brain can re-establish its links and recharge. The quality is of prime importance since it enables the brain to acquire new abilities and grow into an adult way of functioning. Also, it helps to neutralize injuries to the brain. Therefore it should work as well as it is possible. But can you improve your neuroplasticity?
The brain – all types of brain, not only the human one – can find ways to compensate for faults in its processes by the expedient of choosing different pathways whenever it encounters problems. Whether it is sheer inability to arrive at the required destination because of malfunction or due to an injury, it finds an alternative route and comes up with a result.
The Main Benefits of Neuroplasticity
Good neuroplasticity is so important because it is responsible for the brain’s evolvement and enables it to provide the following benefits:
- it supports the ongoing learning process
- as it learns, it improves its cognitive characteristics
- it allows a healing process following a stroke or other damages
- Improvement of mental health issues, such as depression
- when any cognitive processes are impaired or lost, it recovers them
- constant development serves to increase brain fitness
How to Rewire Your Brain?
If rewiring seems a fairly complicated affair, it is quite easy to set about it. You don’t need any special setting to try it. The brain is strongly stimulated by learning that enhances concentration, brings about intellectual challenge and new knowledge and understanding. Although this kind of stimulation is primarily beneficial from childhood through the teen age, adults also have a lot to gain from broadening their mental capabilities. Here are some simple ways of improving your neuroplasticity
The second great stimulus after learning is regular workouts which amplify memory and make learning easier. Aerobics are known to redound to that in a large degree. Besides, sport provides better motor coordination, strengthens brain interactivity and prevents cognitive stagnation.
As blood flow quickens during workouts, it generates better brain cell development and can help weaken depressive attacks.
As UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center reports, focusing on gratitude and expressing it on a regular basis also results in the activity of neuroplasticity, influencing positively the brain’s molecular structure. The process brings about the feeling of happiness and conduces to stronger health.
Gratitude involves the same areas of the brain that are engaged when people feel pleasure and enjoy themselves in the company of friends. These areas are closely tied with the ones that are responsible for expressing emotions and help cope with stress.
Therefore, since gratitude has to do with the brain areas that are engaged in socializing, experiencing happiness, and diminishing stress, accentuating grateful emotions results in numerous health benefits – more frequent feelings of happiness, decreasing depression, better functioning of the immune system, stronger bonding.
Write down three to five things you’re grateful for every day – and there will be a difference!
Play video games
Gaming helps improve various spheres of human functionality including:
- muscle coordination
- vision ensuring quicker recognition and orientation
- faster reaction and remembrance
- thinking things over, handling problems, finding solutions
- staying power
- collaboration, team work
Putting it together, video games supply you with the possibility of mastering new mental abilities. They are needed to walk through the game with more success, but you can use them in life as well.
As you lose a game and get back to try again, you practice resilience and going round difficulties.
You have to think outside the box as you figure out how to cope with a game’s task.
All this makes allotting a few hours each week for playing games a marvelous incentive for developing your neuroplasticity.
Improve your sleep
As it emerges from studies, good sleep is essential for the brain’s dendritic enrichment. Neurons have these dendrites at their ends through which they pass information to neighboring neurons. The stronger these growths are, the better plasticity the brain enjoys.
Well-known is the fact that sleep is fundamental for a person’s overall health. Sleep studies reveal the role of genetics in the phenomena. In particular, during sleep the brain gets busy with building up the grey matter.
Learn a new language
Those who felt the need of knowing other languages can get round to it when they want to improve their neuroplasticity. As you master a language you expand your cognitive capabilities.
When you begin on a new language brain plasticity becomes extremely active. As you delve in your studies, they make the brain create new connections and fresh ways of transmitting information on a continuous basis.
It is scientifically proven that language learning stimulates the brain to anatomical changes – neuroplasticity begins to alter the brain structure in accordance to the information you have to take in.
Make some music
Music has a multiple effect on people – in particular, it produces beneficial influence on:
- current mood
- learning speed, retaining necessary information
- intensity and length of concentration
Used as therapy with mature adults, music is able to delay or to slacken cognitive decline.
If you play music during exercise, games, doing art, or dance to it, its positive effect on neuroplasticity becomes even stronger.
While such practice hones coordination and makes movements more graceful, it also improves memory. Apart from slackening cognitive decline it removes a great deal of stress. All these make you feel your life is better and happier.
Playing and practicing music is one wonderful neuroplasticity boost.
If you started playing a musical instrument at a young age you gave a good jolt to your cognitive abilities enabling them to work better when you are older, delay aging and decline.
Alongside musical talent people also develop:
- perception, visual as well as audio
- power of concentration
- retentive memory
- motoric skills
Although better in childhood, you can learn to play at any age; there are plenty of online classes to help you grasp the principle.
You can stimulate neuroplasticity just by listening to music if you don’t have a music ear. Your brain will react instantly as your player begins to feed it with musical information.
Apart from change and repose, travel possesses inspirational and creative properties. When you find yourself in unfamiliar territory it is a possibility to immerse yourself in another culture where you employ a different means of communication that is sure to improve your cognition.
Those who are unable to go on a journey in the nearest time can use other means to stir up their brain in the similar fashion.
Worthy options include:
- going to another district and walk around it unhurriedly
- going shopping to the part of town you don’t usually visit or visit rarely
- hiking in a chosen area
- picking YouTube variants for virtual travel
Go for art
Drawing, painting and other forms of art directly involve creativity and cognition and therefore ensure their development. They take you outside your habitual neuro connections, create new ones increasing your cognitive prowess in the process.
Again, you can take it up at any moment in spite of lack of previous experience. As you set your mind to it and it starts developing, your inspiration and abilities will grow along with your skills.
Set forth with a YouTube class; besides, your local library can provide you with manuals, books on art and albums showing step-by-step instructive pictures you can copy.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Staying mindful you maintain attention, remain in touch with your emotions and emotional responses, use your memory. It incites the related gray matter in the brain to grow.
Scientists have established that the practice of regular meditation leads to brain structure changes. Meditation resulting in shifting of brain functions goes to show that neuroplasticity can be very pliant, meaning the brain reacts to mental efforts sensitively.
Easy ways to start improving neuroplasticity
Every new hobby or activity will increase neuroplasticity – just choose one which appeals to you and may be of further use. Then allot time so you can get busy with it on a regular basis. Physical exercises, judicious eating and maintaining quality relationships will support and accelerate positive changes in your brain.
Should you require further incentive, check the list of activities that will ensure neuroplastic development:
- Learn a new language or even a programming language
- Learn to play an instrument or reading notes
- Pick a part of your town, state, country where you have never been
- Attend a concert or get listed for excursions
- Cook new foods or listen to music you’ve never listened to
- Practice mindfulness
Practice special stimulating aerobics:
Comb, brush teeth, make notes with the other hand that is unused to these actions
Close your eyes when putting your clothes on
Pick different stores for your everyday shopping