Your Brain Is Like A Muscle. Use It Or Lose It!

brain is like a muscle - carl sagan

“You can tip the odds in your favor and keep your brain healthy. There are simple things you can do. Eat right, avoid chemicals, pesticides and processed foods. Get enough sleep. Get fresh air and sunshine.

Exercise and move your body more than you sit or rest. We were designed to move not to sit in artificial light all day and night. Move more during your day. Take breaks, get up and walk.

Add novelty! Break up your patterns and routines. Try new things. Take different routes to school or work. Do things differently, use your other hand. Play games, work out math problems, put puzzles together.

Cross crawl, do your finger exercises as previously described. Write with paper and pen more. Writing by hand is marvelous for the brain! Keep active!

Improve your concentration. Gaze at a candle or dim light and keep your attention on the light. Whenever you become aware your attention wandered return to concentrating on the light. Do this in increasing time increments.

Start with five or ten  minutes and work your way up to thirty. Pretty soon you will be able to concentrate on what you want to concentrate on with fewer self distractions.

Focus on your breathing. Place your attention either at your nostrils or at your belly. Pay attention to the incoming and outgoing breaths. Relax and keep your attention on your breathing. As with the previous exercise whenever you notice you have wandered or drifted off bring your attention back. These exercises are for training and refining your concentration and awareness.

There is great reward in recognizing when we go astray and gently bringing our attention back to where we first placed it. We  ‘break the wild horse’ and tame it. We learn that we have the ability to determine what we think about rather than living as a victim of our thoughts or feelings. We become the person in charge!

You grow in any ability faster when you encourage and validate rather than criticize what you don’t do right. So whenever you notice your mind wandered or you aren’t doing what you intend to be doing stop, notice it and keep your self talk positive. “Hey, you noticed you were off, good for you!’ and pat yourself on the back. You will make changes much more swiftly when you are positive.

You can look over and reflect on your present life experiences and find all there is to be grateful about. Discover all that you feel truly thankful for. Make a list and enlarge it daily. Celebrate and feel the gratitude fully.

Immerse yourself in the positive wonderful feelings of appreciation. Feel joy! Feel incredible! The feelings are the most important part of this practice so feel them all FULLY!

Reflect on life experiences from the past or present and extract the positive lessons and opportunities. Look these over to find lessons you may have missed. Notice how and where the potential benefit was or is.

Learn from those times instead of feeling less than glorious. Re-code them in light of life lesson’s you can now use. You can re-frame anything!

Memorize something each day. Numbers, names, faces and places. Act, get in a play and memorize your lines. Memorize songs. Keep working your memory. Take dancing lessons. Read more and watch TV less.

Use your imagination to generate images instead of having them provided to you. Utilize all your five senses in imagination. Visualize lots! Consider all the good things you can think of.

Meditate. There are different definitions of mediation. Some approaches use concentration as when you repeat a mantra. Some methods are about aligning with frequencies and vibrations by generating or listening to sounds. Some stimulate the imagination as when you stare at a mandala. Try many different ways and enjoy each.

Some are physical as when you dance with such abandon you stop thinking. Some involve just being the activity you are doing. For example, just wash the dish and do nothing more in mind or body. Sit and gaze at the wall and do no more or no less. There is a wide variety of beneficial meditation approaches you can discover.

Another way is to be the watcher, the witness, the impartial observer. Sit or lie back relaxed and watch your thoughts. Whatever they are just notice. Don’t judge. Look as they come and go. Positive or not. Avoid getting hooked. As leaves float down a stream or river so do our thoughts. Let them float by on the screen of your mind.

Merely watch them flow by. Don’t engage with them. If you get caught up in judging or entertaining any thought when you notice what you are doing simply return to witnessing without criticizing yourself for having gone astray.

Everything is okay. Free yourself from the need to criticize or comment on how you are doing. Let it go and just do the process. Validate instead of negate!

We have the ability to manage our thoughts. We can chose what we want to think about.  This is positive thinking. Keep focused on positive thoughts and affirmations. Keep your self talk and mental images positive.

Whenever you notice yourself thinking less than positive thoughts stop and return to thinking positive. Train your brain to do what you want it to do. Your brain should be your servant! Validate yourself as you succeed in these exercises.

When you notice new things own your observations and awarenesses. Validate yourself for your positive insights and awareness. Learn from these. Keep at it, keep playing with new ways of being and doing.

The mind is like a muscle it grows with exercise. Our muscles grow from repeated regular exercise and so does our brain. AND so does your ability to change easily and do new things.

Many of our abilities fall into the ‘use it or lose it’ categories. So keep at it. Don’t let yourself get rusty. Keep healthy and facile in mind and body by daily devoting time to healthy practices.

The return on your investment of time is well worth it. If you want to enjoy greater health and over all well being then do the things that bring it about. Stay young and energetic!” Rex Sikes

Have a beautiful day!

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