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Exercise Your Brain To Improve It

Your brain works like a muscle, the more you use it the better it works.  The less you challenge yourself with games, reading conversation or problems that require thinking in new ways, the faster your brain will deteriorate.

You get to choose whether you want to stay alive in your body or become a shell, a body with “no one at home.”

My knowledge about brain power comes from my first hand experience. Back in the late 1990s I suffered a closed head injury. The repeated hitting that rocked my brain back and forth across the bony skull caused many neuronal connections to break.

Thank goodness I did not buy into the paradigm of the psychologists and neurologists who said I had a short window of time to take action before my brain would shut down and any hope of healing would be lost forever.

Can you imagine telling someone with a brain injury they had to act immediately or lose their chance and face uncertain deterioration?  Personally I think there should be a law against stealing someone’s hope regardless of the situation. The bottom line is that nothing is impossible.

I knew that lots of information sat in my brain, info I could not access – yet. I could have believed I never would reach all those nooks and crannies within again. But I chose a different paradigm.

I knew I could create new pathways to reach the info already inside my brain. One way I chose to create those new pathways was to play video games. I played games on our computer for as long as I could. Unfortunately my eyes did not work right and sitting at the computer caused excruciating headaches and pain in my eyes.

The good news is what I did, all those hours at the computer, worked. My brain re-designed itself and I did recover most of my mental powers. Okay, sometimes I feel myself thinking and knowing I am not operating at the same level I once did – and not getting exactly the same caliber of results. But I am doing way better than the doctors told me I would.

Why share all this with you? Every year more than four million people suffer closed head injuries and likely hear the same message I did – learn to live with it because this is a good as it gets.

After the injury I learned a neurosurgeon considers the operation a success when the patient survives the surgery with no thought to quality of life. No, I am sure not all brain surgeons think that way. But the ones in my world did.

What I want you to know is no matter how long it has been since your injury (or the injury of someone you know and care about), it is never too late to awaken the sleeping cells in that brain and get it working again.

Video games, physical exercise that demands both large scale coordination and small scale activity too, are very helpful. Reading and writing may be challenging for a time. As soon as possible return to using those skills too. Make sure the eyes track properly to avoid eye-headache issues.

Most important, believe in yourself. You can heal if you really want to. Healing does not mean you will be how you once were. Healing means you accept yourself as you are now and be the very best you can be exactly as you are now.

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