Brain As A Muscle

Not appreciating that the brain is a muscle that needs to be used and challenged around cognitive, physical and social activities, such as taking up a new hobby (learning a new language, learning to dance/sail, etc). For example, Churchill painted landscapes and Einstein played the violin. Furthermore, there are 4 pillars to brain health (physical exercise, balanced nutrition, brain exercise and stress management), ie

"...exercise for 30 minutes at least four times a week; eat a variety of foods of different colours; drink cold water; include fish and lots of green vegetables in your diet, but don't bother with supplements. And if stress gets you down, meditate or just breathe slowly for a few minutes..."

Joanna Maxwell, 2008

This will improve brain performance and build a buffer of reserve cognitive function for the future

. Not appreciating the the Golden Rule for the Brain, ie
"...think the least amount necessary to survive..."

Sarah Colley et al, 2015

To conserve energy the brain prefers to use the less energy hungry parts of the brain, like it automatic and routine functions (see other parts of this volume for more details). This is a survival mechanism developed over the 10,000 years humans have been on this planet.

. Not realizing that emotions and intuition play key roles in decision-making. Purely fact-based decisions are unusual. Research is demonstrating that emotions can be beneficial to decision-making; with the quality of decision-making depending upon context. Extreme emotions such as jealousy or rage are not beneficial but they are on the periphery. Empirical evidence has demonstrated that people with damage to the emotional circuitry end up making poor decisions in many settings. People who make decisions based on the emotions tend to be more committed to them.


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