Excerpted from the book, Activate Your Brain, by Scott G. Halford
Learning something new needs to be a yearly goal, an every-few-months goal, or even a daily goal you need to set for yourself. It can be something big like learning an instrument or a language, which is excellent for brain strengthening as an ongoing goal over a year or more.
Every time we are learning something brand new, we change the shape of our brain, and that new growth actually feels a little uncomfortable as our brain works to make new neural connections. The more we repeat the new activity, the thicker the neural connection becomes and the less effort the brain has to expend in executing the task.
Learning or trying new things grows confidence, and our brains delight more in the first time we do something than any other time, like going to a country we’ve never been to. There’s always a first time experience, and the first time is usually one of the most precious to the brain.
Tips to keep your brain strong:
- Every six months, research a topic or skill that interests you but in which you have no experience. Start small, but start now.
- Do something completely novel once every year. Ballroom dancing, playing, taking a trip to the North Pole… whatever it is, do it now.
- Remember that it is alright to look like a beginner.