Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
Making sense of life can be difficult for anyone. We are the only species that comes into the world unable to look after ourselves. All of nature arrives ready to fulfil their purpose and know exactly what to do.
We on the other hand are learning as we go. Our brains are developing as we do. We are learning on the job as it were. The way we learn is through the experiences and opportunities we have that allow our brain to evolve naturally.
From studies done it was shown that natural brain functioning can be interrupted in early childhood if we are not in a supportive environment. It has been reported that if a child is neglected but ‘rescued’ before the age of 2 years old, it is possible for them to recover from the trauma of the neglect and for the brain to achieve normal functioning process’s.
If however, the child is not ‘rescued’ until after 2 years, the damage can be irreparable as the brain did not have the receptors to create the ‘normal’ functions necessary. When the brain does not use the available functions they get lost to the ones that are favoured instead.
We all develop differently and we are continually adapting our brains due to their plastic and pliable nature. When we are constantly learning new things, seeking out ways to improve ourselves we are changing the way the brain functions.
Taking on new activities creates new neural pathways in the brain that then changes the structure of the brain. However, when we are so used to being a certain way and acting in certain ways we re-enforce the current patterns that are established; which is why change can seem impossible.
Making changes does not have to be a huge and overwhelming undertaking. Taking small steps by introducing tiny changes everyday will help to instil new habits and can help you to learn new skills and rewire your brain to create new behaviours.
When you want to learn something new, for example how to play an instrument, make a point of picking up the instrument every day and playing one chord. Build on the one chord slowly until you naturally progress to two chords, or more. When you feel confronted with learning a whole song it can feel too much, so learn it note by note and play each one until you are ready to move on to the next one.
The trick is to make the changes so slowly that you are not even aware that you have made them. Before you know it you will have a new skill.