The concepts presented in this blog are from Ilchi Lee’s newest book, “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.”
Remember the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”
Most of us are taught that the brain stops developing at a certain age and that new brain cells aren’t (and can’t be) created when old ones die. However, recent and emerging science is proving that to be completely wrong. We can actually develop new brain cells and neurological pathways our entire lives, as well as improve the function and capability of our brains regardless of age.
With this new, more hopeful knowledge, we can gain confidence to take real steps in protecting and keeping our brain healthy long into our senior years. But what does that take? The key is consistent and proactive maintenance instead of idle neglect by putting your brain on autopilot. Here are some steps to take to improve and maintain the health of your mind:
1. Give your brain a key nutritional supplement: hope
Make a regular practice of giving your brain hopeful information. Instead of criticizing yourself for a mistake you made, try turning the perspective from negative to positive by viewing the situation as an opportunity for growth and learning. Establishing this habit will set you up for success when times get a bit rough—rather than dwelling in the negative which damages your brain, you’ll be conditioned to the positive vibrations of hope no matter what the external circumstances may be.
2. Envision yourself younger than you are
If you think you’re old, your body will follow suit. The power of the mind is quite amazing when you put it to use and dangerous when leaving it to waste. A study by Andrew Steptoe at the University College London showed people who thought of themselves as younger gaining 50% more years of life as opposed to those who thought of themselves as older than they were. When you fill your mind with youthful energy, your brain will act on those thoughts physically to gain a jolt of vitality in life. Try finding new approaches to daily activities, including movement in things that are typically stagnant or routine. Your brain loves new things!
3. Avoid leaving your brain in its default state
Be proactive about engaging your brain in activity. To maintain vibrant health in the brain, it’s important to break your patterns and habits by being proactive. Leaving your brain on autopilot is a fast track to aging and brain deterioration. It’s ok to have a relaxing day but avoid just lying around the entire day being idle. Break it up with productive activities that are still relaxing — something like one minute exercises or meditations can be a great way to do this and keep you active.
4. Engage in meditation to relax the brain and connect it to your body
They say our brains are where our spirituality and divinity exist. It is the major portal in which we process information from both inside and outside of our bodies. However, with the many distractions we have nowadays, it doesn’t take much time at all to become disconnected from our brain and bodies, which ultimately is a disconnect from the spirit and divinity that reside within us. Setting aside time for yourself and connecting to your brain through quiet meditation is the best way to be mindful of the holy, sacred life that lives and breathes within you.
5. Absorb Enlightenment wisdom and principles
For maintaining optimal all-around health of the brain, it’s crucial to feed and fill it with good information. Your brain loves new things, and it also loves absorbing information about how to grow through self-development. We recommend the book I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years by Ilchi Lee, a New York Times bestselling author. This is Lee’s newest book that focuses on a life of longevity with purpose, hope, and health to change the way you think about your own life and set forth a new path that makes it even more satisfying. You can purchase the book here or download it on Amazon Kindle.
What are some ways you like to gives yourself hope and dreams—and how do you keep your brain active and engaged every day? Let us know in the comments below!