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Good morning, dear readers, and welcome to our corner. Did you folks happen to watch the PBS program “Brain Secrets, with Dr. Michael Merzenich on Maintaining Cognitive Fitness”?

It was amazing and I think it just might change my life, and my way of thinking.

Dr. Merzenich spoke on brain plasticity. He emphasized the fact that we are in charge of our brain, that we can train our brain the way we train our bodies, to think of our brain as a continuation of our body. It takes hard work and dedication to make our bodies strong and healthy. The same thing applies to our brain. We can regain much of what we are beginning to lose by hard work.

Dr. Merzenich takes long walks in the morning. He “pays attention”; he notices people and acknowledges them. He’s aware, similar to the way young children do. They notice things, are excited about things, and they are learning, by observing.

Like many of you, I am beginning to forget names. I’ll remember them later when it’s too late. I don’t like it, but figured it’s just part of getting older. After watching Dr. Merzenich’s program, I learned that, in part, we are allowing this to happen and making excuses about it, but doing nothing to change it. We must take charge of our brain. Work very hard at learning new things, enlarging our brain with new information. We need to become very dedicated to this as it is being proven in several studies that we can change our brain.

We should think of the brain as a learning machine, to never stop challenging it. We need to keep it healthy, involved.

Let’s not be lazy about this, let’s prove to ourselves that we can make the changes to becoming more alive and eager to learn and grow.

Let’s pretend that we have much to learn, we are little children and everything is new and exciting. Break away from the TV, get out and walk, really notice everything you see. Come alive.

It’s so thrilling to me to know that we can change our brains, largely by changing ourselves. Gain the joy and enthusiasm of children learning new things, and being willing to work very hard at what we’re trying to do.

To hit Dr. Mezenich’s high points:

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1. Accept that we have the power.

2. Always challenge ourselves to do better.

3. Celebrate ourselves.

4. What’s good for the body is good for the brain.

5. Focus our attention.

6. Do good deeds.

7. Train your brain and change your life.

And, remember: You are in charge! Mastering any skill changes your brain!

I’m very excited about taking this journey. I’m always happiest when I’m busy and learning new things. Come on. Join me. Let’s start changing our brains.

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Share with me what your experience is like while working on changing your brain. bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net

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