The human brain can only do what it thinks it can do. The minute you say, “My memory isn’t what it used to be,” or “I can’t learn like I used to,” you’re training your brain to live up to diminished expectations.
But what if you do the opposite and teach your brain to be unlimited?
Try this: Next time you go shopping, don’t write a list but use your memory instead. Sure the first time you’ll leave with half the list missing, but with a few more tries you’ll have the whole list sorted. As your confidence in your memory grows, so will your ability to remember.
Learning a new skill? Learn just enough so that you know when you’re going wrong and can self-correct. Then kick back and have fun thinking of all the cool things the new skill has potential for. Most importantly, apply relaxed focus.
7 Steps to new habits
Bad habits block your super brain. They also jeopardise your mental and physical health, and waste time and energy. The trick to breaking bad habits is first to become aware. Then work to retrain your brain.
- Don’t eliminate — replace. Bad habits are formed by stress and boredom. Instead of smoking when you’re stressed, find a healthy alternative to help you cope.
- Cut out as many triggers as possible.
- Join forces with someone to keep you strong and motivated.
- Surround yourself with good influences.
- Visualise yourself succeeding. It will help you build a new identity.
- Use the word ‘but’ to overcome negative thinking. “Yes I failed, but I’m getting better.”
- Plan for failure. We all go off track, so don’t beat yourself up. Breaking habits takes perseverance.
Memory reality check
An ageing brain and memory loss isn’t inevitable. Your brain can form new connections and cells right up to its last living moment. In fact, it would take 600 years to lose just half of your brain cells.
When you ‘forget’ where you put your keys it’s not ’getting old‘. It’s from being disinterested or distracted about what you’re doing. Simple attention deficit leads to a lack of learning.
You can’t find your keys because your brain didn’t learn or register where you put them in the first place. You can’t remember what you haven’t learnt.
Related: Marshmallow Mind Games