Slow Your Aging! Learn How To Evolve Your Brain

John J. Stathas, Ph.D., LMFT

If you are of a certain age, or advanced wisdom, you will be concerned about how your brain functions. Slowing cognitive decline, managing negative emotions, stifling brain cell death, while maximizing brain capacity and efficiency are worthy efforts for those aware of the possibilities available. If you are one of those people, Respected Reader, continue on this journey that fascinates me and could be additive to your life.

I have read books, been to conferences, and used myself as a “guinea pig” to better understand the ability to evolve the brain. Some salient points follow.

Evolving your brain contrasts with static activity that gradually erodes the capacity of the brain to function. This evolution, or creation, of new brain cells involves the Hebbian learning theory which is “neurons that fire together, wire together.” In other words, use it or you lose it! Get “fired up”!

Through the process of creativity, association and repetition new neurological pathways are developed and strengthened. You must actively seek new knowledge and ways of thinking and acting, as well as repeating and using current knowledge, to energize the brain. The brain, acting like a computer, is the processing center for all you think, feel and do.

Most people as they age, hopefully not you, Respected Reader, continue to think and act in comfortable familiar ways. They are stuck. By not being creative the brain, like your body deteriorates. The brain develops “hardening of the categories.”

Let’s be practical and realistic. As you look around at many older people what do you often see? Do you see increased negativity, complaining, criticizing, struggling to adjust to new information (“back in my day”), holding on to irrational beliefs, etc… . These people are stuck in static auto pilot thinking which has reduced the telomeres in their brain. (Read up on telomeres!). These people have a greater probability of dementia. Choose not to be such as these as you gracefully and actively age.

It is truly amazing how you can create new brain cells, neuroplasticity, by actively changing the way you think, feel and do things. Heightened awareness, positive thinking, seeking knowledge, optimistically seeing possibilities rather than expecting disappointments, “changing the channel” from depressing or negative thoughts, having loving and fun experiences, etc… can energize your brain to operate more efficiently and growfully. The brain is a powerful tool that can be manipulated by a person with cultivated awareness of what is going on inside the brain. One more time, cultivated awareness.

Certainly there are other complementary components to maximizing optimal brain and body health over the ages. Reducing stress, exercising, meditating, eating healthy, plenty of sleep, taking certain supplements, nurturing and being nurtured, etc… all are beneficial elements for slowing the erosion dimension of your life cycle.

Two authors that have impressed me relative to this subject are Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Joe Dispenza. Both eloquently write about neuroplasticity, changing the brain. Dr. Amen has done incredible work in brain imaging. It is amazing to see what the brain looks like when depressed, anxious, suffering from ADD/ADHD, and other brain states!

I know this is “heady” stuff, Respected Reader, but it is important for you if you want to do all you can to slow the aging process and live a vital energizing seeking way of life. It’s worth it!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

Leave a Reply