Mum had dementia. Dad has Alzheimer’s. My big brother had Multiple System Atrophy. Pardon me, but when I think about brains, it is often negatively.
Listening to Radio 4’s recent words on the ‘elastic brain’, I was intrigued in a positive way. Neuroscientists have been into this for some time, but it was new to me, and I enjoy the novelty. Neophilia, it’s called. Novelty is good for the brain. Keen on crosswords, try a sudoku. Cereal every morning, have toast. Challenge yourself and your comfort zone.
When I taught sociology, social change was one of the big social issues. Very generally, it is thought that people do not like change as it leads to uncertainty. However, change also leads to progress and improvement, which is wonderful. Think of all the things we would not now have if no change occurred. We’d be stuck doing the tedious stuff of our forebears.
I like the idea that we can rise above conventional ways of thinking and be creative.
I like the idea that we can look beyond the existing order, thereby challenging it.
I particularly like the idea that we can think in non-linear ways that sometimes defeat logic.
I begin to feel excited at the thought of challenging existing ideas and questioning assumptions. Let’s have a paradigm shift (taking me back to Kuhnian sociology).
Stretch it and shape it by:
- trying new things/foods/activities
- making mistakes by doing the above
- living your passion – alway
- moving outside your comfort zone
- changing life in positive ways
And yes, I also like the idea of brain downtime, when you can stop thinking, giving your brain creative space. Maybe that’s why I enjoy reading in the bath so much.
This article goes into much more interesting detail.