Can we grow new brain cells as adults? The science community on this topic known as neurogenesis has been torn for years. But the majority of research seems to suggest that yes, it is possible for the human brain to generate new cells later in life.
For decades, scientists thought neurogenesis, much like neuroplasticity (the rewiring of brain cells), did not occur in adulthood. But studies have demonstrated growth of new cells in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory.
And this is absolutely remarkable. Think about it – not only can we physically change the structure of our brains, but we can also increase brain matter in one of the most important regions!
How to Promote Neurogenesis
So how do we grow new cells? Quite simply, with regular exercise and meditation. Going for a nice run, a bike ride, or a hike are just a few examples that help promote neurogenesis.
Research indicates regular exercise that gets your heart pumping and body sweating boosts the size of the hippocampus. Meditation does the same thing for that brain region. It also increases portions of the cortex, the brain region involved in conscious thinking, planning and executive function.
Neurogenesis is affected by our lifestyle and our environments. Stress, environmental toxins, and the things we put into our bodies affects the way our brains function. In order to allow our brains to grow, rewire and be healthy, we should be mindful of our stressful thoughts that could be damaging to our bodies, as well as our actions.
Our brains are quite simply remarkable. They are the most powerful organ in our body and they dictate everything in our lives: our biology, our health, our actions and emotions. The brain is malleable and adaptable to our thoughts, feelings, actions and environments. If we want to improve our lives and our health, it all starts with the brain. And we absolutely have the power to change.
We have the ability to grow new brain cells, learn new skills, improve our memories and become smarter as we get older. We can physically change our brains and grow new brain cells with consistent, healthy actions.
Any change in life starts with a choice. It starts with a thought and ends with action. It begins and ends with the brain.
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