Our human brains are a centralized mass of nerve tissue and supporting structures used as the center for thoughts and nervous system control. (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2007). It is an incredible piece of living machinery. According to an article in WebMD (June 2018), our brains can store more information than the Library of Congress and process it faster than a computer. Believe this truth – the better you treat your brain, the harder it will work for you.
So, how do you pamper your brain and ensure that it stays nimble and ready for duty? Well, you give your brain a treat; you excite your brain. Giving your brain a variety of activities to perform is similar to using your body to perform challenging and new activities. Challenging your brain helps existing neurons to form new connections.
Since you are getting ready to stimulate and exercise your brain, you need to nourish your brain. Glucose is one of the body’s main energy sources. When this energy is in short supply the brain grabs it before our muscles. Our brains use this energy source to power impulse control between our neurons. According to Stephanie Watson (Living, WebMD, June 2018), our brains are selfish and always snatch the energy it needs to function at a peak performance level. Obviously, our brain does all it can to prime itself to be ready for incoming stimulus from us.
So, let’s give it a variety of activities to perform. Learning is always at the top of the list. This includes reading, writing, listening to lectures, playing an instrument or trying to learn a new dance step. The brain is instantly alerted that new information is coming and needs to be processed. The ‘primed’ brain is ready for instruction.
Let’s mix up the activity a bit. Add in some mental playing such as sudoku, crossword puzzles, chess, Scrabble or some problem-solving question. Exploring an unknown physical surrounding also promotes intellectual growth. Walk on a different route during your exercise routine, drive down an unfamiliar street when you go to work, invite yourself to explore different directions when going to the grocery store. Your brain is excited, working and making new connections just as your body would be making new muscle tissue if you were physically exercising.
Your brain can hold 1 petabyte of memory. That’s about the same capacity as 4.7 billion books or 230,000 DVD’s. This is supported by 86 billion nerve cells in the brain. All of this activity travels from one nerve cell to another at 268 mph, which is faster than the speed of a racecar. (Upfront, WebMD, June 2018)
Even though you may be tempted to slip into the multi-tasking mode to ensure that your brain is always excited, you may want to wait before taking that road. Just as your body needs rest after an intense workout, so does your brain. Ensuring that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night gives your brain time to repair. Intensely focusing on one task at a time will make you much more productive and efficient. Practicing mindfulness, where you can focus your attention on the present moment, allows your mind to rest, destress, and recharge. (American Nurse, Today – May, 2018 V.13, 5)
The brain uses 20% of your bodies calories for all of its’ amazing functions. Imagine what you can do with an Excited Brain…