- Learn new skills, regardless of how basic these skills are, if you want to keep strengthening the circuitry of your brain: “”The act of experiencing something new — or even doing something that’s typical for you, but in a different way — can all generate these new brain cells,” says Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. “We want to constantly be using new paths and trails and roads within our brain.”
- Recent research shows that our brain can continue to grow throughout our lives – well beyond childhood: “What we’ve come to understand over the last decade is that even outside of those two conditions — just a normal life without an injury or as an adult — you can still grow new brain cells. That was a really pretty significant thing.
- Sleep plays a very powerful role in how we retain and edit memories and we need 7-9 years of sleep if we want to do justice to our memory: “The brain is not at rest the way people might imagine it to be when we’re sleeping. … There are several important things that are happening. … One is, that is the time when we really do consolidate memories. So, you’ve had all these interesting experiences throughout your day — people that you’ve met, conversations you’ve had, experiences you’ve had, whatever it may be. You have these things in part because you want to remember them and add them to your life narrative.
- The pandemic hurts our brains by removing the cycles of stress that our brain was accustomed to when we were living pre-pandemic lives: “…stress is not necessarily the enemy. In fact, we need a certain amount of stress. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, makes us perform well on tests, hopefully, all that sort of stuff. But it is that second adjective you used — unrelenting — that is really problematic here. We need these breaks from stress. You need that constant sort of ebb and flow, and that’s what’s missing. Again, you don’t want it to all be good all the time, but you need to have that sort of up and down to some extent. …”
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