Making friends with CHANGE


Habits, Brain Changes & Brain Aging
Why your brain resists change
and how you can make it do what’s good for it – Part I

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Brain-Based Series
Collaboration with
Jodie’s Touch of Style

“A mind equipped with a wide range of
previously formed
pattern recognition devices
can withstand the effects of neuroerosion
for a long time.”

~ Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD, from
The Wisdom Paradox 

About the Brain that Changes Itself

It took science a long time to agree that an old idea was not only obsolete, but completely WRONG.

Until 1970, it was generally believed that the brain might as well be carved in stone after a certain childhood window of a great deal of change.

What is practically universally accepted these days is that our brains change and grow throughout our lives.

In fact, learning anything new after a certain age would be impossible unless the brain were capable of forming new pathways, which also involves the ongoing creation of brand new brain cells (neurons) and connections (synapses).

Another way to say it

Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain’s Way of Healing and the New York Times best-seller The Brain that Changes Itself (the all-time bestselling science book in Australia) puts it this way:

Plasticity simply means that the brain can change its structure and its function depending on what it does.

And that means, depending on what we react to when we’re sensing and perceiving, our brains will “rewire” depending on the actions that we commit ourselves to, and most intriguingly, depending on what we think and imagine.

ALL of these things can change the structure of the brain.

More about Doidge here: The Brain Science Podcast Turns TEN!

HOWEVER, since the brain is, essentially, a pattern-recognition organ, most human beings kick and scream when we are forced to change. Many of us who would like to change – maybe even those of us who are eager to change – struggle still.

Change is not easy

Change requires our conscious attention to doing things differently. Consciousness is a resource-intensive process. Your brain REALLY doesn’t want to burn up those resources dealing with the same information and making the same decisions over and over again.

Brains like the easy-to-pattern-match same ole/same ole, despite the fact that it’s not particularly good for them long term.

Even though it’s a huge help to put what I like to call the treadmill tasks on autopilot (like laundry, dishes and dusting) – a practice I highly recommend – that old saw about variety turns out to be an understatement where moving through the rest of life is concerned.

Unless spices are the main ingredients in the meals at your house, you are underestimating the importance of change to healthy brain functioning over your entire lifetime.

And still, we resist

Almost ALL of us, ADD/EFD or not, have a small – perfectly “normal” – part of our personalities that balks unless a new idea or different manner of approaching a change in something familiar is totally appealing in the moment we are “supposed” to take it on.  Why?

As I began in an earlier article, Change, Growth and Decision Dilemmas, it is essential to understand a fundamental, psychological truth about all human beings, ADD/EFD or not.

We are conflicted about growth and change.

At bottom, most of us crave safety as strongly as we crave freedom and adventure, although not in equal measure at all times and about all things.

The fact remains that there is a conflicted relationship between making choices at all – and new choices in particular – and preserving the freedom to do whatever we want.  To escape the discomfort of the conflict, it is all too tempting to fall back on “the devil we know” – and so we usually do.

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Biology is NOT destiny

Not where your brain is concerned it isn’t, anyway.

All of your thoughts, behaviors and actions were set in motion by the genes you inherited from your parents, which determined to a large extent how your brain was “wired” from birth.  But it turns out that a most important predictor of how you function throughout life and as you grow old is how your brain re-wires as you age

How you are “wired” initially isn’t what you’re stuck with – or blessed with – forever. That’s what is meant when scientists and science bloggers say that “genes are expressed in environment.”

Genes are merely blueprints,
and plasticity is like the engineers who make on-site changes.

It is important to note that plasticity is a two way process — it can improve or degrade any ability. We know now that outside influences can, metaphorically, “turn genes on and off,” changing pathways in your brain — for better or for worse!

For example, influences like the following:

  • nutrition and diet – before and after birth
  • substance abuse, especially exposure in the womb
  • home environment growing up
  • physical or emotional trauma
  • our various social environments as we age
  • education – early and throughout life
  • good and bad partnerships
  • and more

Epigenetics – changing how genes are expressed

Epigenetics is the scientific term for the study of how your internal and external environments change the expression of your genes. In addition, all of these influences combine to determine how individuals interpret incoming and new influences going forward.

A study published in the Journal of Behavioral Ecology highlights dozens of studies showing epigenetics guides rapid adaptation. But, but, but . . .

To effect change you must embrace change

I’m sure you have heard this one: If you do what you’ve always done you will get what you’ve always gotten.  Would that it were always true – especially if you like what you’ve always gotten.

For most of us, however, doing what we’ve always done is a recipe for functional backsliding – unless we are very, very lucky.

Imagine a town with a fixed number of interconnecting roads – a limited number of ways to get from where you are to where you want to go.

If anything happened to make any part of the route you normally travel inaccessible, you’re pretty much stuck.

As annoying as those detour signs can be, aren’t you also grateful that there IS a detour?

So it is with your brain.  Change forces the brain to create new “roads” it can use when its usual pathway is damaged by any one of a number of things: stroke, concussion, medication, chronic stress – whatever.

But don’t take MY word for it

The famous Nun Study has shown us that healthy brain aging doesn’t happen by accident.  To repeat some text from an earlier article [You don’t HAVE to lose it as you age: Moving Past Mind-Blips and “Senior Moments”]:

Upon autopsy, even some of the nuns discovered to have what used to be accepted as “positive Alzheimer’s identifiers” (senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles), managed to escape the behavioral devastation of the disease.

Others had only recently begun to exhibit signs of mental decline in the year or two before their deaths (at 80 and beyond), despite brains that would have predicted a significantly earlier onset of dementia.

The nuns who remained vital and cognitively nimble remained intellectually and physically active, intentionally exposing themselves to new learning opportunities throughout their lives.  Their brains had built a great many pathways they could use to get them where they wanted to go, behaviorally.

Embracing Change

Jodie

Over the next week, I will be collaborating with on a series of articles over at Jodie’s Touch of Style.

Together we will demonstrate how playing with what we choose to wear – recombining items we already own or adding something inexpensive to alter the look – can be a terrific way of making friends with change.

Jodie blogs with her mom, Charlotte (the 70’s model on her posts) and her stepmom, Nancy (the 60’s model), while she models similar looks for those in their 50s. We even plan to include some looks that adapt ideas from a younger fashion blogger to add to the fun.

I hope you will join us as she experiments with different styles, demonstrating that style is ageless – while I explain how forcing yourself to try on new looks is actually good for your brain!

On other posts her husband Rob contributes a few fun looks from his closet too, illustrating that wardrobe change isn’t only something for the females on the planet!  So stay tuned.

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

109 Responses to Making friends with CHANGE

  1. Change is something we resist–on occasion. But one area I don’t think I’ll ever bore of is food. I love trying new recipes and I can’t imagine eating the same foods all the time! I’m hoping my toddler will soon embrace the change. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • According to the science, most of us tend to resist it even when we are not aware that is what we are doing unless we make it a point NOT to.

      Playing with recipes and creating new taste sensations (as long as you don’t go “by the book”) is similar playing with fashion: very creative – and change-friendly.

      If you love it, I’ll bet your toddler will too – especially if he gets to help Mommy “cook.”
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m working on him. As a baby ha ate everything, now his expressing his choices–much like people express their fashion preferences. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sure I don’t have to tell YOU that the strategy that works is to let him express his preferences without forcing him to eat what he currently doesn’t like (within reason – lol).
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

  2. Pingback: Friday Fun: Fashion and Shopping | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. dgkaye says:

    Lol, gotta laugh. I left a link on Senior Salon and clicked yours, not knowing it was you. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gremlin Glitches have me so many additional hours behind that I haven’t even had TIME to explore the other articles on the Salon yet – so I’ll probably have a similar laugh when I click the one that you left on that site. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Lolllllllllllllll, yes you did land on my blog!!!! 🙂 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Eventually. The only trouble with that is that once I land, there go my evening plans – because I always have to read “just one more post.” lol
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            We share the same addiction, lol. 🙂 xx

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: What’s my Style? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  5. Soon after I retired from teaching and walked away to a lifestyle I wanted, I made friends with change by giving all my button down shirts, ties, dress belts, and slacks to charity and buying a variety of short-and-long sleeve t-shirts, jeans, and other clothing and gear from Duluth Trading Company. I have even learned to enjoy wearing sweats almost all the time I’m at home – and I buy my sweats and undergarments from Duluth Trading Company because they are designed to be comfortable.

    All I had to do to “make friends with change” was work in a variety of paid, time-slave jobs with bosses (too many of them worse than dung) for 45 years and that earned me the lifestyle I now refuse to give up. I’d rather die first before I returned to the world of paid, time-slave work with an autocratic boss.

    I kept one suit with shirt and tie that I’ve worn once since I left teaching in 2005 and that one time was for my daughter’s wedding. And I almost didn’t go because I don’t want to party where there are crowds, booze, and bad (unhealthy) food that tastes good.

    :o)

    To earn the retirement income I now have, I had to put up with all kinds of abuse as a public school teacher for thirty years. My end goal is to live on that monthly CalSTRS check that I earned by staying healthy and enjoying this last stage of life for thirty years or more and with a smile that doesn’t want to change.

    Unless the Malignant Narcissist in the White House and his racist, hating, deplorable followers destroy the CalSTRS retirement system, I’m financially free from the world where I was often forced to make changes I didn’t want to make. I hated wearing ties and button down shirts.

    More smiles!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Put a comma between “racist, hating”. Thank you. Still smiling and laughing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lol – I’ll go back and edit it, but I knew exactly what you meant. If only they WERE “racist hating” – our future would be in a lot better shape.
        xx,
        mgh

        Like

    • GOOD for you, Lloyd. I gave away what I called my “corporate drag” suits as soon as I began working for myself 100%. I didn’t hate them, I just knew I’d never dress that way again – not by choice, anyway. Like you, I kept something from that “life” – and also, like you, they hang in my closet barely worn in 20 years! (Interesting that biz suit styles don’t really change much, huh?)

      You think ties are hateful — try being forced to wear panty hose (even in the summer!) NEVER again!

      You planned well, made your changes when the time was right, and are thrilled with your current lifestyle, including the clothes on your body. How many of us can say THAT?
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  6. Pingback: Change your Clothes, Change your Brain? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  7. dgkaye says:

    Fascinating post Madelyn, and I will be staying tuned for sure. I’m right there with style girlfriend! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • ANYBODY who loves to shop as much as you do probably needs no brain changing advice — but if you get any complaints from the hubs, you can now point him here as you smile sweetly and tell him that shopping is brain gym. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Lmao, shopping smartly is definitely brain gym. I could tell you stories of my methods of madness! 🙂 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • And I’ll bet I’d love to hear them too.
          xx, mgh 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent post, as always. A pleasure to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Dolly. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season – and I KNOW the food was terrific!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, dear Madelyn! Passover is not over yet, and I am still horrendously busy, so I’ll end up posting some Passover recipes after the holiday. Oh well, next year I’ll have them already there ahead of time!
        Happy holidays to you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m surprised you have computer time at all, given all the kitchen doin’s – your fans wait patiently to hear all about it.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s it, holiday is over, life goes back to normal in the morning, and I’ll go back to posting. Believe it or not, Passover food for cats and dogs is much more expensive than the regular food, but my two picky characters don’t like it! Same issue every year…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Congratulations — you made it! I’ll bet you are happily exhausted – and the kitties can’t wait to go back to their regular food.

              So many things I didn’t realize about Kosher holidays like Passover: the dietary laws that include even the cat food, the preparation for multiple meals AND all the kitchen prep the weeks before. It strikes me like Thanksgiving every day for a week!

              You’ve been missed, but perhaps you need to give yourself a day OFF before you go back to posting. I’m sure you’ve earned it – even though I’ll bet you are eager to play catch up. I always am.

              I’ll be away from my computer for most of the day tomorrow (Wed) – out the door as quickly as I am able to make it happen on awakening. So any comments I don’t approve and/or respond to before I crash tonight will have to wait until my return in the evening. I don’t have it IN me to handle blogging details of any sort anywhere but in front of my computer. I’ll catch up with you then, probably.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Believe me, it’s a lot more, than Thanksgiving every day for a week!
              Good luck with whatever you are busy with on Wednesday!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Truly, I don’t know how you do it – one day of Thanksgiving takes me a week to get ready.

              Tomorrow is a big grocery shop. I was sick last week, so the cupboard is now practically bare and I’m out of everything fresh. I am restocking the pantry as well – overdue, actually, and you know what that’s like!

              I make myself put every single thing away and take Tink for a long walk before I even turn on the computer, so the whole “activity” takes hours from start to finish — but then I’m good for several weeks.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s a great system – good luck!

              Liked by 1 person

            • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Apologies for how long you have been waiting for me to approve & respond. My comment feed is not working today, so I haven’t been able to see the comments TO approve them. Hopefully somebody at WordPress will find and fix SOON!

              Meanwhile, I am inventing new ways to work and playing catch-up. I’ll be back to respond a soon as I am able.
              xx,
              mgh
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Liked by 1 person

            • Don’t worry, it’s your “WordPress day off” anyway – you’ll play catch up tomorrow, I am sure.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Some days you get the bear . . . and some days WordPress chases the bear your way. Thanks for understanding, Dolly. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL As long as it’s the Russian bear; those you can only mollify with vodka.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Drats. I KNEW I forgot to buy something important.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • But did you get treats for Tink? We are concerned about our friend!
              Meows and purrs, Beba and Barmalei

              Liked by 1 person

            • Not dog treats – didn’t like the prices for what they had – but I did bring him back his favorite veggies, and tomorrow we will walk all the way to Petey’s Pet Stop for treats.

              If I’m going to pay premium, I want only the best (and prefer to support the local merchants). Petey’s is owned by Tink’s vet’s sister – ALL treats are healthy and worth every penny because they are Tinks very favorites.

              It will be a wonderful surprise for him – and I will tell him you wanted to make sure he got his treats. I am happy to know that you are back to the food you like now.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Tink, you like veggies? Wow! Which ones? We hear that Her son grew up with a puppy who loved zucchini latkes, so She always made a double portion, and Benji (the puppy) sat at the table together with Alex.
              Yay, we have our food back, and cat candy (the hairball prevention kind), and chicken dinner with gravy! Life is good again!
              Meows and purrs,
              Beba and Barmalei

              Liked by 1 person

            • I LOVE veggies – just about any kind Mom will let me have: carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower especially. Mostly I just get little tastes, but sometimes Mom lets me have a whole big carrot as a chew-stick.

              I’m so glad you guys have your good food back. Me too, now that Mom is feeling better and not sleeping so much. Life is good again all ’round!
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh wow-meow! We only like salad greens… And roses, Beba, you love eating roses, but I don’t think they qualify as vegetables. What do you think, Tink?
              We are so glad your Mom is feeling better now!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks you guys – she’s still wheezing a bit, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking me out for walks and frisbee.

              But I don’t know about the roses, Beba. Mom moved an amaryllis way outa’ my reach when she read that they are poison for dogs – and I have a feeling that if she bought herself some roses she would be really mad at me if I ate them.

              Maybe the veggie rules are different for cats.
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

            • Cars love plants and flowers – to nibble on, not to look at! And there is nothing, but absolutely nothing out of cats’ reach!
              You tell her that a cup of vodka with hot pepper in it cures wheezing like magic. Take care of your Mom!
              Meow and purrs!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Maybe I can get her to take some hot pepper to my Cheers bar and order a shot of Stoli (for her health, of course, no ulterior motives here – but I’m sure my fans would love to see me). 🙂
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

            • A shot is not the right dosage; it takes a full cup, and a Russian cup is 12 oz, not 8!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh my – 12 oz. of Russian vodka and I wouldn’t know if I were wheezing or NOT!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Now you got the idea: it knocks you out dead, and you wake up alive and kicking!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I am such a lightweight anymore that I fear I’d be exchanging my wheeze for a raging headache! 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • No, you’ll just go to sleep and wake up feeling great. I don’t do it, by the way, but I did it once, many years ago in college, when I had bronchitis with coughing, wheezing, high fever – the works! – the night before a final recital. I was desperate, and good friends practically forced it on me. It worked!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Perhaps I will try it tonight – although I’m out of vodka and I’m not exactly sure how I’ll manage to walk home from Tink’s Cheers bar once I do! Like I said, I’m a lightweight anymore.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • You are not supposed to do it anywhere but close to your own bed! Tink will definitely not carry you home!

              Like

            • That’s a funny mental image! Perhaps I’d better buy some vodka!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • My friend Jason drove me to the largest Kroger in Cincinnati (about 30 minutes away) – HUGE – and like Disneyland for food. There were 3 aisles of leftover on-sale Easter Candy alone!!

              I was totally overwhelmed for the first 30 minutes, and I don’t think I ever quite got the store layout in my mind (or covered every mile of it). I came home with bags and bags and bags full (I take my own) – and still need to make a list of what I missed. Tiring, but fun.

              A Commissary Kid for the first 18 years of my life, I have always been fascinated by “real” grocery stores. I actually enjoy grocery shopping – as long as I’m not rushed. And I’m a great comparison shopper – I read the labels! I could spend an entire day in this particular Krogers. It’s bigger than a big-box store!!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • i can feel your excitement! I am glad you had a good time!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I really did – how strange is THAT?
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Not strange at all. I dislike big stores (that’s the European in me), but I get excited when I go to my favorite farmer market.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I prefer shopping in smaller venues as well (the New Yorker in me), not so overwhelming and I know where to find what I usually buy.

              Once in a while, however, it is a hoot to go to Grocery DisneyWorld and play!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • I get lost in big stores, grocery, clothes, etc. When I want to walk that much, I prefer to do it outdoors!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I have a similar reaction, Dolly, so I don’t do it often. I tend to avoid shopping malls for that very reason – I’d rather get my exercise on long walks with TinkerToy.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Same here, but the walks are with my husband because the cats are strictly inside.

              Liked by 1 person

            • There is a college girl next door who walks her cat on a leash in the area behind both our buildings! They don’t go very far or very fast, however.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Cat on a leash is a perversion. Remember Kipling’s “Cat Who Walks by Himself and Goes Wherever He Wants”? We cats are free!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah – that cat doesn’t look too happy about it!
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes! Mrrr! Frrrr! Liberate cats! Freedom for cats on a leash!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t mind my leash so much, as long as I get to go along – but cats on a leash? That’s just wrong!
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you for your support, dear friend!
              Meows and Purrs!

              Like

            • Well we have to stick up for each other, right? Sometimes the 2-legses don’t really get it!
              Woof! TINK

              Liked by 1 person

  9. A very interesting article, Madelyn – more scientific evidence that a healthy mind and body is no accident – especially as we age. Since I retired from teaching 9 years ago, my brain has been very active and learning new skills. Now I need to force my body to catch up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. When I was acting I was in *super* shape: worked out every other day, danced, did Yoga, etc. Now that my career is more {ahem!} cerebral? – the only parts of my body that get a really good & regular workout are my bum and my fingers — unless you want to count my mouth and my ears 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  10. A really thoughtful post, lots to digest here, Madelyn, especially the idea that we can rewire that brain, and maybe even defy genetics. I’ve always believed that to be true.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Neuroplasticity only makes sense – even way back in the day when most of the science crowd was still making fun of Merzenich & Taub.

      If the brain could NOT change in adulthood, nobody would ever recover from strokes, etc. (tho’ they did try to come up with an explanation for that, it wasn’t all that solid, IMHO, and seems especially silly now that it is proven not to be the case that the adult brain is “fixed.”)

      We CAN rewire, but we can’t actually “defy” genetics (i.e., “think” our eyes and ears to change places on our skulls for example – it’s not just “belief” that sets the placement), but we can recruit areas of the brain to overcome genetics (i.e., “hearing” and/or “seeing” through vibrations through a tongue device, “seeing” through echo-location, etc.).

      Some of the work examining the way various areas of the brain long thought to be “dedicated” can be recruited for other tasks is absolutely fascinating.

      AND it all starts with making friends with change!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well said…you write the best, most detailed comment responses !!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you so much. I like to take advantage of the chance to share a bit more or to add something that makes the content clear in a way that perhaps it wasn’t, etc. Mostly, however, it’s like having a “real” conversation with the people who take the time to engage with the site and its content – which is the best part of blogging for me. I live to share.

          I can’t *always* do it to the extent I’d like, but I think I am a bit more comprehensive in response than many. Not everyone thinks it’s such a good thing, btw – but I’d hate to show up like a grumpy teenager who gives one word answers to questions and comments. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • ha ha…grumpy teen. Thanks, I surely appreciate the dialog, best part of blogging to me as well. 💝

            Liked by 2 people

            • Of course, I’d RATHER be at a big party with all of us chatting up a storm – but I’ll take what I can get. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    Liked by 2 people

    • SECOND approval – second thank you my darling! (The first was slightly more eloquent, however).
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve read more than once that real change requires a long-term commitment because it takes 6 months to a year to bring about those changes. Have you read or heard of “What To Say When You Talk to Yourself”, by Shad Helmsteter?

    I read this book back in the early 1980s and then.following what I learned, I set about to make drastic changes in my behavior, thinking and lifestyle.

    What Amazon says about Helmstetter’s book: “Each of us is programmed from birth on, and as much as 75% or more of our programming may be negative or working against us. In this newly updated and revised eBook edition, Shad Helmstetter shows the reader how to erase and replace past mental programs with healthy, new programs that can be positively life-changing. Considered by many to be one of the most important and helpful personal growth books ever written.”

    Following the advice in his book, I wrote a script and then recorded it on a cassette that I listened to every day for an entire year on the drive to work. I also write specific goals, printed them out, framed them and ever morning I’d get up and stand in front of those goals hanging on the wall and read them to myself. I repeated the process before I went to sleep to program my mind’s activity at night while I slept.

    I’ve also read some of Oliver Sacks work.

    My interest in how the brain learns started early in my career as a teacher back in the late 1970s and I continued reading on the topic for decades often using what I learned to plan how I taught my students using teaching tactics to reach as many children as possible since we do not all learn the same way. A lesson that focuses on one method of teaching often misses many students who have difficulty learning that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve read the same thing, Lloyd, but I’ve also read about some amazing results in less than a week – measurable changes in the brain that corresponded to observable skills and behaviors (mostly when things were set up to enforce the change and make repeating the old impossible).

      I have come to believe that it is developing the HABIT of doing things differently that takes the time – and often MUCH longer than most of us have heard.

      If we think about our brain as freshly fallen snow and our thoughts and activities as footprints, the more we follow what’s gone before, the deeper those grooves become and the easier it is to take the path well-traveled (which wears it even deeper, making change all the more difficult and less likely).

      I am not familiar with Helmsteter’s book but, after reading its effect on you, it sounds like something I would love. Thanks for the link. SO smart of you to “program” yourself. I did something similar when I first began coaching.

      Interesting that you came to your interest in neuroscience thru “learning styles” – that was one of the first places I looked at as well – only I referred to them as “modalities.” Not only do all people have a different mix through which they learn best (and different still for learning different types of tasks), I think it is important for the folks they are learning FROM to understand their own modalities preferences to be effective with as many learners as possible.

      Can’t help but wonder if our current Sec. of Ed. has ever heard of learning any way but HER way – which is, of course, as little as possible. 🙂

      btw- ADORE Sacks – have all his books, I believe, and was so sad never to have met him.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  13. robjodiefilogomo says:

    I can’t tell you how enjoying this was, Madelyn. Because even though I love styling clothing and think it’s beneficial…I didn’t realize how good it was for us!! I feel so emboldened!!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    ps…I received your input & link for the 3rd post (friday’s)—thanks!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Jodie!

      I hope everybody is primed and looking forward to Monday – to see what you guys came up with in response to Challenge #1! It would be so cool if people would play along and send you photos – does that ever happen?

      I know you sometimes collaborate with your readers who blog, but do they ever join in and send photos on their own?
      xx,
      mgh
      PS – thanks for letting me know about Friday. After 12 solid hours of sleep, I am feeling a lot less fuzzy (although not exactly like the sharpest tack in the box). I’m almost afraid to take a look at what I came up with when I was wheezing and a bit feverish. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • robjodiefilogomo says:

        I do showcase readers although we do plan it ahead of time! http://www.jtouchofstyle.com/two-blouses-paired-together/ is one where Jude emailed me a photo to join in on the fun!!
        You should send me one too!!
        Glad you’re feeling better!!
        Can’t wait to read your thought on the post where we copied the younger blogger’s outfit!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Photo NOT happening, Jodie. 🙂

          The way I’m feeling this week, I can barely stay on the horse to sit and type in my jammies, ain’t no WAY I’m pawing through my closets, getting dressed, brushing hair, etc. to send a photo – lol.

          These things live forever, you know, and I NOT want to be remembered as a mouth breather!
          xx,
          mgh

          Re: younger blogger – fascinating that each of you had a different perspective on what you were copying. More coming – but probably tomorrow.

          Like

          • sorry you’re not feeling well Madelyn sinuses can be very painful when inflamed. Hope you’re better soon xx

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thanks, Kate. The worst part for me is the brain fog and lethargy. I want my enthusiasm back – and maybe the ability to follow an entire sentence without getting lost. lol 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  14. This is another great article Madelyn. We always are amazed at the human body. The brain is so incredible and often we get lost when thinking how it does what it does. The topic of change is always on the burner of our daily routines and has become one of our mantras, why are we doing this. Our hopes are always to embrace change to grow and become and not just hide behind rationalization. You have put into words thoughts that we couldn’t find the words for. Thank you for making the time to write this article. P.S. am also fighting the sinus thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You guys are the Poster Kids for change! I wonder at seeing the words “daily” and “routine” in the same sentence, even.

      I am so SORRY to hear you are battling a sinus foe of your own. Miserable, ain’t it? Like trying to blow up a football – cough/hack!

      It does make me truly appreciate how physically healthy I have been for most of my life – and feel a tad less impatient with myself for all the time I’ve been spending in bed during the last few days (even tho’ I’d rather be bopping around the web).

      I hope you have managed to beat back the infection portion and are “merely” waiting for the drips and hacks to subside. I finally learned to take sinusitis seriously from the beginning and haven’t had a raging sinus infection for many years now.

      Good thing I’m not researching Naps right now – my time in bed would surely bias my reasearch. lol
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Thanks Madelyn, we look at change as good and stimulates us to look at the same ole in a new way. Yes, sinus issues seem to happen a lot in this regions where one minute its 70 degrees and the next 33 degrees. My head is a giant wet bulb thermometer, lol. Oh well it helps me appreciate the majority of days when I can smell all the wonderful scents wafting in from a distance. Rest is important but I know it can be difficult to acquiesce to it when one is use to traveling at 110 mph, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I *finally* forced myself to notice that if I don’t slow down at the beginning, I’m taken out of the game for longer overall – and I feel truly crummy for longer.

          The cost/benefit ratio is usually in my favor if I put myself to bed instead of pushing thru until I simply cannot hold my head up any longer (and when I go back to look at what I produced when I was fuzzy, I might as well have gone to sleep lol)

          My heuristics are simple
          “If you have to ask if you need to, the answer’s usually YES!”
          “If you have to ask if you can push through a bit longer, the answer’s *always* NO!”
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • We are the exact same way. When we push it through the next day we look and shake our heads. As we look back on post we did on the road we were exhausted and our little markers of “insert photo” is still in place with no photo, lol. Misspellings, etc. If we go back and try to correct them then they come out again as new post. So you are right… its better to go to bed and finish the next day, lol.

            Liked by 1 person

            • And I almost always do it, too 🙂 (still working on ALWAYS) lol
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  15. -Eugenia says:

    Superb read, Madelyn. Change is an important part of stirring up our creative senses. Complacency dulls the mind and dulls the senses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup – and walking in life’s ruts is LOUSY for the brain! The changes (plus and minus both) show up on scans. Amazing, huh?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I found this a most interesting read, Madelyn. I have thought for a while now that the brain is like a muscle – the more you use it the more it grows. I never majored in economics at University but I have been studying it for the past four or five years and have learned so much that most people assume I am an economist.

    Liked by 2 people

    • In many ways that’s an apt analogy, Robbie — in both directions. When we stop exercising (our brain or our body), the areas we built up begin to shrink – and other areas that rely on them begin to struggle as well.

      Many of us now understand the importance of a strong core, for example, to back health. Fewer understand the importance of “a strong hippocampus” to learning and memory (very loose analogy, but I’m sure you get the idea).

      I still wonder how you were attracted to economics in the first place, Robbie – since you are SO empathetic and creative, I can only assume I’m missing something fascinating in that field! It has always seemed so linear and rule-bound to me – and practically willing to throw poor people under the bus if the metrics were right for the more affluent.

      Can you recommend a primer for somebody like me? Since I know so little about it, it would probably be GREAT for my brain to take it on. lol 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not an economist by trade, I am a chartered accountant which is even more black and white. It is really quite funny because when people meet me they never guess that I am an accountant and my colleagues call me the “multi-coloured pin-stripe” [I call accountant’s pin-stripes because of the suits they all wear]. I find economics very interesting and strive to find ways where economics could help uplift and educate the less fortunate. You might like to read some of the World Economic Forum documents – they are very interesting about what we [read as the world] needs to do for the benefit of all mankind – there is a website if you are ever interested in some heavy, but fascinating, reading.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bring it, Robbie. As soon as my energy returns I’ll start checking it out. Seriously, leave me a link – maybe some others would interested as well.

          I’ve always been crazy about the Grameen Bank initiatives, but must admit that I find many of the ideas of Corporate Capitalism beyond disgusting, and doubt that anything I might read about it would be likely to change my views substantially. I’m sure there are better ways to handle things. At least I HOPE so!
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • I will certainly send you the links, Madelyn. Here’s to your energy returning in leaps and bounds.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Feeling better today, thanks. Tink got a long walk, and we’re going to try to make it to his Cheers bar for Trivia tonite – as long as my energy holds. Otherwise, it’s back to bed!

              Happy Easter from both of us.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Glad you were up to a walk today. I am sure the fresh air was good for you. Here is the link to the Global Competitiveness Report https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitiveness-report-2016-2017-1. I found it fascinating.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks, Robbie – you and Tink both! I think whatever it was is mostly gone and now I’m dealing with after-effects – clearing out the pipes so I can take a decent breath again.

              Thanks for the link. It will probably be another day before my brain’s back on board, but I’m looking forward to reading it.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  17. I like it very much what you wrote about biology is NOT destiny… and I see some things now different than beore… thanks!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • VERY encouraging news, yes? That does not mean that we can change EVERYTHING about our biology with our thoughts and actions (as some mistakenly believe and pass along in an almost “blame the victim” fashion) – but we can change quite a bit where gene expression is concerned — sort of “turning genes on and off.”

      That is GREAT news for many people who have been worried about falling victim to genetic conditions that have taken family members.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  18. Madelyn very nice and so well written article. Our brain and its two sides is very well explained by Deepak Chopra and you too have further informed it so well. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for ringing in, Kamal. Yes – Deepak is especially informative when he connects the benefits of meditation to brain health. The Dalai Lama is a big supporter of neuroscience as well – I left a couple of links to the UAB conference in the Related Content. You, especially, would probably find them quite fascinating.

      You can listen to the UAB conference from that Brain Science Podcast I’m always raving about, and a transcript is available as well.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Madelyn and will go and check out the related content.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wonderful. I hope you enjoy it.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks

            Liked by 1 person

  19. mistermuse says:

    “Playing with what we choose to wear” might be a hard sell in a nudist colony. I’d bet my bottom dollar you can barely get your foot in the door.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lol – I can always count on you to think way outside the box, betting your bottom dollar etc. I’m fighting a sinus infection, so my fuzzy brain and I are off to bed early tonight – happy to see a comment I can approve first, under this article that auto-posted just a bit ago. Thank you.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

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