Keeping our mind flexible, informed, and engaged is as important as our physical health. More than just a concept, intellectual wellness actually improves the physical structure of your brain. Neuroscientists have discovered we can develop new neural pathways and rewire our brain. These new neural pathways are created in the brain based on our behaviours and habits by tapping into all of our five senses as we learn,and the ‘stickiness’ is increased.
When the activity is repeated, the pathways strengthens – just like weight training for your mind. The belief “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” has been disproven!
Learning new things, being open and flexible in our thinking, also keeps us younger at heart. Bobbie Burdett, a wellness pioneer and Co-Founder of the Wellness Resource Centre back in the 70’s, talks about learning versus protecting mode and how they both work for us.
In learning mode we are in the flow – we are curious and open and experience positive emotions. We are evolving and integrating new learning as we go.
In protect mode we are defensive and judgmental and closed to new learning. We are attached to our thoughts – often blocked and in resistance, controlling and tend to feel negative emotions.
We switch between both of these places throughout the day, and must do, for our survival. Both serve us and the key is to raise our awareness as to why, or when we enter either state. Then we can choose what will serve us best for personal growth.
Never have we had more information at our fingertips – from e-books and podcasts, to TEDx talks, webinars, online courses or the array of social channels. The learning opportunities are limitless. Don’t forget the good old fashioned book – unplug and take to bush, Bach, beach or backyard.
As 2020 draws to a close, the holidays present an opportune time to reflect on the year that’s been, and to set your sights for the year ahead. I came across this booklet at YearCompass to help you close your year from a personal perspective, and to start planning for the next one.
Maybe you are ready to make a positive changes, with fresh ideas and thinking to your workplace wellbeing in 2021?