Just lately I’ve become more aware of my ‘mature’ age.
It started when a client asked me if I have grandchildren – eek! And then there’s the student on the Hypnotherapy course I’m co-presenting. She’s in her mid-thirties and looks at me in disbelief when I mention people such as Ken Dodd or Robert Powell.
Fortunately my training in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy means that, although my celebrity knowledge may be decades behind the times, I know that increasing age doesn’t mean that my brain needs to degenerate.
In the last 20 to 30 years neuroscientists have discovered that our brains are ‘plastic’. That means we can change the way our neurons are wired together. Who we are and what we are capable of is a product of the way our brain cells are interconnected. With almost 100 billion neurons, the possibilities are endless.
And for those who don’t believe we can change the way we think or behave, MRI scanners now enable us to look inside living brains. As an example, it is fascinating to see the physiological differences in the brains of people who can read and those who have not yet learned to read, and then how those non-readers’ brains change once they have been trained to read.
Some of my more mature clients fear they may too old to change. Not so.
Our brains remain ‘plastic’ right up into old age (even older than me) and we can even reverse the negative effects of brain ageing through appropriate exercises, so we can restore our functions to the same levels as a 20 year old.
I can’t tell you how tickled I am to hear that!
You can find out more about keeping your brain young in this talk from neuroscientist Professor Michael Merzenich.