Your brain is simply amazing. It controls each and every function of your body without you even knowing it. It was earlier believed that the adult brain was hardwired, but now it is known that you can rewire it to improve your mental and physical health, resulting in a better quality of life. Because of this reason, the word neuroplasticity has become quite popular these days. It is an umbrella term that refers to your brain ability to reprogram itself physically and functionally throughout your life because of your behavior, emotions, thought process, and environment. Though the plasticity of your brain declines with age, it never ceases.
All types of permanent learning take place in your brain through the process of neuroplasticity. It also enables people to recover from ADD, ADHD, injuries, strokes, birth abnormalities, depression, addiction, and other mental issues. But there are a lot of misleading information out there when it comes to neuroplasticity. Here are some of the fundamentals of rewiring your brain.
Your Neuroplastic Switches Are Turned On Depending On Your State Of Mind
If you want to notice some changes in your brain, it has to be in the mood for it. If you are motivated, alert, engaged, and ready for action, your brain releases neurochemicals that allow your brain to change. If you are distracted, inattentive, or disengaged, your brain’s neuroplastic switches are turned off.
The More Effort You Make, The Bigger The Change
If you give it your all and focus intensely on a task at hand, and if you work hard trying to master something, the change your brain will go through will be greater.
The Strength Of The Connections Of The Neurons Is What Changes
Neuroplasticity does not mean the change in size or shape of your brain. What actually changes are the strengths of the connections among the neurons working together at a particular moment. The more you practice something, the stronger the connections become to include the element of experience.
The Strength Of The Connections Between Neurons Also Changes
Different neurons are activated at different moments of time depending on the task at hand. When the strength among these teams of neurons changes, it allows your brain to predict what happens next and to have a continuous flow of thought.
The Increase In Connections Between Nerve Cells Due To Learning Increases Reliability
When learning is the driving force behind the increase of connections between the nerve cells of your brain, the more powerful and more reliable are your behavioral outcomes.
The Initial Changes In Your Brain Are Temporary
All the changes that happen in your brain are not permanent. Your brain first records a change and then decides whether it should be made permanent or not. A change becomes permanent only if your brain judges the experience to be fascinating and if the behavioral outcome is important.
Internal Mental Rehearsals And Interactions With The Outside World Change The Brain In The Same Way
If you want to change your brain, you don’t always have to go out and do something. Your mental representations of things you recall from memory are also effective in altering the connections in your brain.
Your Memory Controls Most Learning
When you learn a new skill, your brain remembers the good attempts and gets rid of the failed attempts. It then recalls the last good attempt and makes incremental changes and improves itself.
Each Type Of Learning Gives An Opportunity For Your Brain To Stabilize
Each time you try to master a skill, your brain strengthens the connections involved in learning that particular skill while it weakens other connections that are not required at that particular moment. This helps the brain erase interfering activities.
Your Brain Changes In Positive Ways And In Negative Ways
Your brain does not only change in positive ways. It is possible for it to lose some connections too. When you don’t perform certain tasks for a long time and you don’t use particular sets of neurons to perform those tasks, it is possible to generate negative changes in your brain.