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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Brain Food

(reading time 1:44)

A few years back, I attended a lecture by a psychologist from the University of Arizona. The topic centered on keeping one’s brain vital and healthy.  It didn’t involve eating certain foods or anything like that. The bottom line from the lecture concerned engaging the brain by learning something new. It didn’t need to be rocket science or the study of ancient Mesopotamia. She stressed the importance of learning. The act of learning fires up the brain. That got me to thinking about the whole process of learning. I remember once someone saying to me that one of the important aspects of going to school is …to learn how to learn. Good teachers can instill that concept.

When we first start a new undertaking like knitting or woodcarving, there’s a certain amount of excitement and trepidation, but the brain seems to be energized either way. It’s ready to rock. Dig in and eat it up. As we progress in that new hobby or venture, we gain experience and enjoy the time. I bet those neurons are just firing away … happy as clams.

Every time we pick up a book or magazine and read, I believe the brain is heading down the learning road. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, we discover new places, new characters, and new situations. There go those neurons again, dashing to and fro building up strength, staying full of life.

As we get older, it is imperative to keep all the parts healthy and well oiled – like our arms and legs, etc.  And the brain is no exception. We can’t just retire it to the couch day in and day out. That old saying, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” sure seems applicable.

As I said above you don’t have to study rocket science, but I am fascinated by astrophysics. Time to get back to reading Neil Degrasse Tyson’s new book, Welcome to the Universe.  My brain is eager to gobble it up. The neurons are ready.

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