As a Hypnotherapist I talk a lot about neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change with learning. No matter what age we are, we can literally re-wire our brains and even cause them to grow. I don’t know about you, but I find this really exciting!
For instance, did you know:
- London taxi drivers have larger than average memory centres in their brains? They’ve grown their brains by learning all the routes around London!
- A study into Nuns and Dementia found those who continued to learn throughout their lives (such as by studying languages or music) were less likely to experience dementia than those who didn’t? It’s suggested this is because they’re continually re-wiring their brains so if one part stops working another can take over.
- People who have had a stroke can re-learn to move and talk by creating new neural pathways.
I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve had a bit more free time in lockdown so I’ve been taking the opportunity to do more learning. The first thing that I learnt was that I can actually bake. After years spent telling myself I can’t, I’ve now discovered I make great banana bread, cookies and flapjack. There’s a lesson in there about being careful what we tell ourselves! As much as I loved the baking, my waistline didn’t so I moved onto technology! Anyone who knows me will know I’m always saying how rubbish I am at technology (another self-fulfilling prophecy?) yet this week I’ve been on a linked in course and learnt how to add subtitles to a video I’ve recorded. Go me!
Not only is this challenging a pre-conceived idea I had about myself but it’s also making me feel pretty good! Every time I learn something new, I get a great feeling of accomplishment and I’m literally growing my brain. How amazing is that? And I’m not the only one. Lockdown has forced many of us to get better at technology, I’m currently trying to teach my parents how to use zoom!
As a hypnotherapist I use this knowledge of how the brain works to help people make positive changes in their lives. After all, if you can re-wire your brain to learn all the roads around London it stands to reason that you can re-wire it to stop smoking, get over a fear of flying or reduce chronic pain. The mind is a wonderful thing!
So, my challenge to you this week is to focus on that thing you tell everybody you’re rubbish at and learn something about it. Then amaze everyone with your new-found knowledge and skills!
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a few great resources I’ve come across:
https://www.bt.com/tech-tips This is a series of videos designed to help us all during lockdown!
https://www.udemy.com/ Great variety of online courses on just about anything
https://www.youtube.com/ There’s nothing you can’t learn how to do on youtube!