Posts Tagged ‘new learning’

DSD and Nutritional Music and Dance

Even though I have advanced degrees, I have continued on the pathway of active learning all my life. This not only provides me with an endless supply of new learning and new knowledge which I can apply to help children and adults overcome learning problems, it keeps my brain active and my thinking sharp.

Isn’t that what we all want?

I am constantly reading new material and engaging new ideas. I just completed reading a book by Dr. R. Douglas Fields (2009), The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About the Brain are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science. Engaging! Exciting! New frontiers!

Look to my future posts for more on this entrancing new brain science.

Reading, Thinking and Walking

I am also trying to remember to walk every day. If I take different pathways on my walks, I not only am increasing my blood flow and oxygen uptake throughout my body and brain, I am engaging new learning as I encounter new scenery and different people on each of these excursions. Some days, I walk the same way and still encounter new things to engage my brain, if I remember to stay attentive to my surroundings.

dementia walking

Photo from The New York Times, December 20, 2007, Walking May Lower Dementia Risk,” By TARA PARKER-POPE

Of course, some days, I just walk along oblivious to my surroundings! I am running my brain internally only, grinding on, or playing with, some problem or new idea. It’s probably better to use the brain in a new and different way, than to grind on the same old problem, eh? 😮

Your best refresher from problems pounding you down is DSD.

DSD? Do Something Different

Many of my clients told me it saved the day for them, whether as a student, or as a mother, or as an employee, or as a private person.

The more different ways you can engage your brain in new learning, the better the brain works, and the sharper your thinking remains (or becomes).

I really should take up something  completely different from my “routine” reading and walking and driving and flying. If I could carry a tune, I could take up singing, eh? How about painting, the artistic kind? Winston Churchill did that to keep his brain refreshed.

How about learning to play an instrument? Music engages the brain in novel and inspiring ways, and creates and enhances learning channels in superior ways we don’t fully understand. Even just playing gentle music (say, Baroque, or any music with about 60 beats per minutes) in the background when you are reading or studying helps the brain to learn.

Music lubricates learning, so to speak.

So does learning a second language. Even when we are older. 😮

Square dancing anyone?

I used to go square dancing every week. It was different from my usual desk-work and research habits, and I loved it! Challenging! We had to listen to the caller’s dance instructions while we were in motion. So we were getting a brain triple-play: music, physical motion and rhythm, and and auditory workout to boot.

Photo from “History and Heritage of Modern American Square Dancing”:

It always seemed such an odd thing to me that whenever it came time to go square dancing, I was too  mentally tired and unmotivated to go, even though I knew it would be good for me. So I devised a simple “personal policy”:

“Go anyway.”

The amazing thing was that I would come home from square dancing, exhausted physically, yet I was less tired and more motivated to do whatever showed up, than I was before I plodded to the dance in the first place. Amazing. Talk about seemingly “backwards logic,” eh?

Doc Meek, Active Learning Strategies Specialist

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

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    January 2021
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