Neuroplasticity in Action
Following a series of operations in 2006 I was left crippled and broken both physically and mentally. I was physically disabled and could no longer walk, often needing 4 hours sleep just to get through the day.
I had also suffered a minor brain injury, which caused several deficits. Typically I had short term memory loss, slowed dyslexic speech with reduced overall cognitive capacity. Ironically this was in many ways the hardest part of the recovery– partly because it’s not so easy to spot poor brain function, and perhaps because it’s not clear exactly what you can do about it.
Re-working the brain initially makes you more tired and irritable, only over time does the stamina and capacity seem to improve.
Cognitive capacity can be extended, but for some while you will experience brain fatigue and cognitive overload. These conditions need to be managed as they are not pleasant and can lead to long term health issues
Over time I learned to push the intellectual brain activity further and further. Initially I started reading and then a few writing exercises, but increasingly moving to more complex and demanding tasks. I was careful to mix exercises with suitable rest – brain fatigue is simply not pleasant for the patient – or friends or family! (anger, frustration, confusion, depression).
A Mindfulness course really helped here as the Meditation exercises are really very useful for Mental Healing
In time my mental activity improved – my speech became faster and sharper and the effects of dyslexia were much reduced. Problem solving abilities improved too, as did cognitive reasoning and depth of thought. Mental stamina improved too, I was now capable of a 12 hour day with no afternoon nap.
Most interesting in my experience was the improvement in emotional responses. The options changed from having maybe seven or eight emotional states in any situation to having maybe a hundred or more options.
in other words, the full Lexicon of human experience, or A Life of Colour
Mind Healing for a Life of Colour
Do you want a Life of Colour? – Your brain may have other ideas
People who have been engaged for any length of time in extended challenges, physical or more often mental may find that their focus and thinking patterns are increasingly limited, creating an almost “tunnel vision” in outlook or expectation. It is interesting that head injury survivors, the long term depressed, some stroke survivors, and many other conditions, seem to share this condition.
These survivors often describe life as “merely shades of grey” – and in one sense it truly is. The narrowed focus reduces the function of the brain, which results in a reduced appreciation of life – and a reduced enthusiasm for life’s experiences.
The “survival program” is an outcome of the reduced brain capacity. Quite simply the brain rations resources and now tends to allocate them on a survival priority – i.e. food, warmth, shelter etc. This is a classic survival “fight or flight” situation that has been in the human psyche for maybe a million years? Whilst this mind set undoubtedly had its uses during the course of human evolution, it is not always the most useful to have in the modern world.
These courses outline strategies to allow a more comprehensive use of the brains resources,
allowing you to self Heal