Active Seniors

Changing the brain with five to one

The term neuroplasticity is becoming increasingly more popular than it was in years gone by. Contrary to what was previously thought about our brains being fixed, it is now widely accepted that our brains are continually changing and evolving according to our thoughts and behaviours. This ability to shape our brain gives us the chance to sculpt a path of positivity and happiness.

While this sounds great, like all lasting health changes it requires persistence and understanding. Over time our brains have evolved and developed a negative bias. This is a logical instinct designed for our survival. If we are confronted with a life threatening situation we need to be able to identify it and act rapidly to improve our chances of survival. As a result our brains are constantly scanning the environment looking for possible problems or threats. 

This bias is evident when we reflect on our own experiences. When we take a test and get most of the answers correct but make one or two mistakes, it is usually the mistakes that we remember. This is not always a bad thing as it allows us to learn from our mistakes, however, it is also important to train ourselves to focus on the positives as well.

Because of this negative bias, training our brains to focus on the positives requires us to outnumber the negatives five to one to really promote change. This is best done by being mindful of our positive experiences. When you have something good happen in your day, allow yourself the opportunity to linger on the feelings associated with that experience. They can be as simple as a smile from a loved one.

Can you think of five positive moments that you have experienced throughout the day? 

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