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I’ve been taking both of my parents’ dogs out for walks the last few days.
I’ve found it a lot more challenging to take two dogs out rather than one.
Yesterday, it felt clumsy and awkward as I tried to deal with two leashes and two dogs who wanted to do different things at the same time.
But this morning, I noticed it felt easier, smoother. I was better at it. I still felt slightly awkward using my left arm, but I’m right-handed, so it makes sense. At one point while I was walking, I said to myself, “My brain is learning.”
When I came inside, I watched this TEDx Talk by Dr. Lara Boyd and learned more about how my brain was learning this.
It’s due to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is basically the brain’s ability to adapt and evolve due to life experiences. Essentially, our brain is constantly changing due to every one of our life experiences. It changes structurally, functionally, and chemically.
This is incredibly cool because it means our brain has the capacity to change. This means that we have the ability throughout life to shift, change, and learn new things.
We can use this knowledge to create positive changes in our lives or break habits, patterns, or actions that don’t serve us. We can learn new skills or habits. Challenging ourselves and trying new things literally changes our brain.
If there’s something we want to learn or do or stop doing, we can learn it or do it or stop doing it. It might not be quick or easy—because this change happens over time, with practice—but it is possible.
It’s one thing to understand we have the ability to change our thoughts, patterns, and actions because we’ve done it, or to know that we can learn something new by practicing, but it adds a depth of understanding when we learn how this is happening within our brain.
As Dr. Boyd says in the video, the best driver of neuroplasticity change in our brain is our behavior. It takes practice and repetition. Everything we do, learn, or experience is changing our brain.
We can use this knowledge to change our brain in positive, empowering, and fulfilling ways.
After watching this, your brain will not be the same: