BRAIN CHEMISTRY FOR BEGINNERS
Look if I were to go into full details about exactly how your brain works we’d be here for days and this wouldn’t be an article, it would be a book. So I’ll try and summarize it the best I can.
To begin with, your brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons that all work together to keep you alive. Different types of neurons help to perform different functions with the help of neurotransmitters, also known as the chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and epinephrine.
Through a complicated network of cells throughout the body and the electrochemical nature of neurons, your brain is able to control all of your body’s functions. So your brain is kind of like the steering wheel in your car and the neurotransmitters are the brake and accelerator that transmit the messages needed to get you moving.
Since you need these neurotransmitters to perform every function in your life, if you’re depriving yourself of them then your brain is not going to be able to function to the best of its ability. This can have a run on effect with the rest of your life.
For example, Dopamine is released in the brain when you feel pleasure (such as getting a hug from your kid, eating chocolate or while having sex, yeah!) to reward you for behaviors your brain chemicals see as good. Dopamine plays a critical role when it comes to your mood, your nervous system and your ability to sleep (among other important functions).
So if you’re stressed out and find yourself isolated from your family and eating poorly then you will experience stress, anxiety, poor moods and difficulty sleeping. This will in turn affect your brain’s ability to function and learn the next day.
Every part of our body is linked and plays a pivotal role in helping us perform to the best of our abilities. If we stop looking after ourselves in one tiny way then it can have a run on effect with the rest of our body until we’re stuck in a funk and unsure how the hell we’re going to get out.
WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY?
The good news is that our brains are not fixed. While it might seem harder to learn new skills, such as foreign languages or hobbies, after we’ve left school the fact is that we never really stop learning.
Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to reorganize neural pathways to help us to grow, learn and increase your brainpower. It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a concentrated effort on your part to reshape your nervous system, but our brains are flexible and our intelligence has the propensity to grow if we want it to.
You can utilise neuroplasticity to help increase your brainpower by implementing new routines that become habits and by making an effort to train your brain to think in new way, whether that means you’re taking a different route home every day or reading news articles that challenge your language and personally held beliefs.
If you’re serious about increasing your brain power and making the most of every day then these easy tips will help you to develop better habits and put your body and brain in its best position to improve.