Sunday, November 22, 2015
I recently finished the book The Teenage Brain by Francis E. Jensen, recommended to me by our family practice doctor. As a mom of 3 teens and one who will be one shortly, it was a great read. Not only did it explain my kids' behavior, it helped me understand mine better as well. One key concept I took away from the book has to do with neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. (www.medicinenet.com) I found this fascinating! When I develop a habit I carve a new pathway in my brain. It's like the needle on a record player sliding over the grooves. The habit becomes permanently etched in my brain, but because my brain can change in response to my environment I can create a new pathway. I can make my record skip its old groove to create a new one. It takes time to make these new pathways in the brain, and old habits die hard. A change in focus and constant mental reminders can put me on the right track for a positive plan to become a well-worn habit.