Why Optimism Is Good for Your Brain

Focusing on positive experiences is a reflex for some, but it’s a skill that all of us would be wise to adopt. Because not only can it be just plain enjoyable to mentally relive good experiences, it can actually rewire the brain. New findings keep showing us that everything we do affects our brain. But that is in both positive and negative ways. So wherever we focus our attention, we’re making lasting change, for better or worse. But Rick Hanson, PhD has a way that we can positively influence changes in the brain – and it can even extend our…

Read More »


Fireworks in the Brain

We’ve been talking lately about research, exercises, and techniques anyone can use to boost overall brain health. But did you know, there’s one activity that has been demonstrated to enhance function in multiple areas of the brain. And when I tell you what it is, you’ll probably regret not practicing the piano (or clarinet) the way your parents told you to. Or, maybe you’ll pat yourself on the back for sticking with it. According to Anita Collins, PhD, Assistant Professor of Music and Arts Education at the University of Canberra, Australia, listening to music causes multiple areas of your brain…

Read More »


Those Tricky Telomeres

Okay the weather is changing, and it’s no longer dark when we wake up and getting dark when we get out of work. So the weather is definitely becoming more conducive for running. During the winter, I made use of the stair-stepper downstairs, but sometimes I got busy and decided that tomorrow would do just as well. But then I came across ANOTHER new study showing the importance of exercise. Not that I didn’t already know the benefits of exercise for decreasing stress levels and improving all sorts of physical health measurements. But now telomeres are involved. What is a…

Read More »


Everyday Neuroplasticity – Can Simply Paying Attention Change The Brain?

It’s brain science – not rocket science. Although built from complex mixtures of chemicals and nerve cells, the brain isn’t that difficult to change. Everyday habits, interactions with other people, and even diet can potentially rewire the brain. In fact, just by focusing on the words on this site, you could be changing your brain right now. Daniel Siegel, MD, author of Mindsight and executive director of the Mindsight Institute, explains that attention creates energy that can lead to neurological change. Paying attention in the right way, he says, can potentially alter the way the brain works. Take a look…

Read More »


Twin Studies on Exercise and the Brain

We know that exercise is good for our bodies and brains, and yet, for most of us, it’s still hard to strap on those running shoes and get going. But I read a recent study that made me sit up and pay attention. I think it’s also going to serve as a healthy reminder on those days when the last thing I want to do is exercise. Now the challenge in doing research on the effect of exercise habits is that there is so much that’s hard to control (think genetic makeup). That’s where identical twins come in. Because they…

Read More »


Recharge Your Brain with a Good Night’s Sleep

A late night at work, too many things on the to-do list, or maybe you were awakened by a nightmare . . . . . . most of us have experienced lack of sleep at some point in our lives (and for some, it can feel more like the norm than the exception). But, missing out on sleep can lead to learning difficulties, problems with motor control, and general irritability – it just makes our brain unhappy. So what exactly is going on when we do get a good night’s sleep that helps us feel so refreshed and clear-headed? Well,…

Read More »