Dealing with Change: Getting Your Brain Out of Its Comfort Zone
Over the past couple of weeks, we've talked about clutter, how it affects your brain health, and how to declutter your home this spring. Maybe you've even put some of those tips into practice and started your own spring cleaning.
This week we're celebrating the first day of spring. It's a welcome change after a long winter.
Change. It happens all the time. The seasons change. We change jobs. We change locations. Sometimes we make changes in our life like exercising, eating healthier, or giving up smoking to improve our health.
No matter the change – even if you welcome it – it can be a bit difficult to adjust. Why is it so hard to deal with change? Blame it all on your brain.
When You’re Born…The Brain Constantly Deals with Change
When you're first born, your brain is constantly experiencing new things. As you grow and learn, your brain learns what works and what doesn't, and it adapts. This is good. It means you don't have to keep learning positive behaviors again and again. On the downside – your brain gets used to doing things one way. The brain establishes neural pathways for doing things, and they're ingrained in your brain.
Introduce change to your life and your brain immediately goes on guard. It's trying to decide if there's a threat. Your brain doesn’t know if the change is good. It doesn't know if it's a one-time change or if it needs to establish a new routine. A lot of red flags go up inside your brain when change occurs – your brain is trying to protect you.
Change Gets Harder for Your Brain as You Age
As you grow older, change gets even more difficult. Your brain likes its routines. But it's actually beneficial to your cognitive health to encourage and stimulate change.
Teaching your brain to change has benefits. It keeps your brain agile. Training your brain to deal with change can even slow down the aging process. Get your brain out if its comfort zone, and you’ll open the door to it being more receptive to other changes in your life.
If you want to beat aging and cognitive decline, you’ve got to get your brain out of its comfort zone. You must train it to deal with change. Change wakes up your brain.
What can you do to get your brain to open up to change? Tune in next week. We'll give you some practical tips you can use to get that stubborn brain out if its comfort zone.