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Neuroplasticity

1 Jun 2016   Shanti Gowans
Do you sometimes wonder why, in spite of there being millions of cars on the road, there are so few accidents?
At any given time there are millions of tired, angry, distracted, impatient and drunk or drugged people on
the road. Yet, for some reason, the roads are not littered with automobile wrecks.
 
This is because driving is largely an unconscious process, and while a person may drift off, their brain is still behind the steering wheel. All a person has to do is learn to drive, get some practice, and then it becomes largely automatic. And the reason why a person can do this is because of something called neuroplasticity, which basically means that your brain has the ability to learn, grow and adapt. This is also how we form habits and master new skills, such as driving.
 
The more “plastic” your brain is, the faster you can learn things, and the more control you have over your focus
and attention. Conversely, the less plastic it is, the more your brain acts like a thick dark cloud, causing memory loss, a noisy, hectic and anxious mind and even depression.
 
However, it does not have to be this way. A landmark study at Harvard university discovered something incredible…namely, that your brain can develop brand new, neural pathways at any age. And the key lies over here. Meaning you can maintain its “Plasticity” for a lifetime, and there is no reason why you should develop degenerative brain illnesses.

But what the study also discovered was that, as time passes, your brain actually becomes crusty and rigid…destroying neuroplasticity. If you look at brain scans of people with Alzheimer’s, you can literally see this for yourself.

Another thing this study learnt, is that there are four main factors which destroy your brains plasticity. Discussing these goes far beyond the scope of this article.

However, let's start with coffee. Many people believe that this "alertness" substance is actually a good thing because it helps them get through the day. However, this is not true. Sure, it gives you that initial burst of energy to get you going, but over time, this socially acceptable, addictive, recreational drug not only changes the chemical makeup of your brain, it changes the physical state of your brain as well. The blood vessels in your brain shrink, reducing the amount of oxygen that gets into your brain. Coffee literally chokes the life out of your brain. Studies have shown that this suffocation of the brain can lead to serious health problems, such as brain fog, dementia, depression, seizures, and even Alzheimer's. Some patients have also reported suffering other health issues, like insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomachs, irregular heartbeat, 
and even muscle tremors. If you are already experiencing such health problems right now, they're only 
going to get worse if you don't avoid this drug, caffeine. Chances are, you may already be in deep addiction to the drug, especially if you've made coffee the first order of business before getting started on your day! In fact, research suggests that overconsumption of this drug may increase the risk of early death. 

If you want to be more alert and focused, you need to flood your brain with oxygen. Meditation is a practice you can do right now to prevent your brain from losing its neuroplasticity. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is once you know how.

The benefits of this simple practice will astound you. Getting out of bed every morning no longer becomes a struggle. You no longer drag your feet around the house, dreading the day as you try to jump start your brain to figure out the day's agenda. You'll wake up every morning feeling energised, ready to go, at a moment's notice. Your mind is clear at all hours of the day. Every bit of information you need to get through the day is at your fingertips, and it doesn't take you snapping your fingers to remember that word at the tip of your tongue.

If you’re serious about defeating age related brain degeneration, start to meditate and watch you brain change.

 
 

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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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