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The Bendy Brain

In the spirit of a new month, we want to invite you to try something new in this season...

Why? Not just because it’s fun to change up our routines but more and more research is showing that engaging in novelty actually changes our brains and builds neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity deals with how our brain creates new neural pathways (think of them as highways for our brain’s synapses) when we learn or relearn something and we are finding out that it is a very important element when it comes to healing.

These brain-healing interventions are now being used for a range of symptoms and situations: from anxiety to dementia to chronic pain. These practices not only offer restorative experiences but also, provide hope to people and professionals who long believed that the brain is limited in its recovery.

At b'well, we encourage the idea of psychological flexibility and now, we've started talking about the brain in terms of flexibility, jokingly calling it the "more bendy brain!" One’s capacity for for this kind of flexibility is influenced by the area of the brain affected, a person’s age, and the time spent practicing new behaviors/skills.

If you’re wondering how to begin rewiring your own brain try…

  • Adding more mindfulness practices into your day (oh c’mon, you saw this one coming!)

  • Getting artsy: Abstract expression activates a part of the brain many adults don’t often stimulate.

  • Learning a new language, instrument or sport- you don’t have to master it. Practice some beginner’s mind as well!

  • Taking a new route on your way to work, school, the grocery store, the museum. Then, take a different way back!

If you would like to learn more, check out The Brain that Changes Itself or The Brain's Way of Healing, both by Norman Doidge.

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.- Dr. Seuss
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