Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Brain vs. Technology

This term I have had an internship at an independent and assisted living home and have worked with the health and wellness supervisor. A lot of exercises that we lead the residents in focus on a couple areas: balance, functional movements, and cognition or brain exercises. While I was doing research on different topics and such, I stumbled upon an article that talked about brain deterioration.

It brought to surface interesting concepts dealing with how our brains work and how we need to keep them working. One thing the article mentioned is the fact that our brain is designed to be stimulated, challenged, and to observe, resolve, and interpret the environment around us. It talks about how in order to survive, paying attention to and remembering detail was crucial.

The thing with today's society is, we do not do those things anymore. We use electronics to keep track of appointments, assignments, grocery lists, etc. and to remind us what we need to do and when we need to do it. Something I had never thought about being different in today's world is the fact that we have lit up streets and street signs. This allows us to find locations with ease, where before there was light to show a path, it was important to pay attention to navigation details throughout the journey. Basically, our brains are not being challenged as much anymore and this lack of use begins to deteriorate the brain.

It is easy for people to do things such as drive from home to work everyday and not even be consciously engaged in the action. Life begins to become a "going through the motions" routine. We lose interest in the details and reduce the stimulation our brains need. This sort of lifestyle leads to brain deterioration.

To help improve brain function, it is important that we engage in tasks with seriousness and purpose. Tasks we do must have importance to us and be meaningful, interesting, and hold our attention. Unimportant tasks do not stimulate the brain enough to stimulate growth and keep it active.

So how can someone take small steps to improving the brain stimulation? Start with not using technology for notes or reminders and begin to challenge the mind to remember things on it's own. Also, be more observant. Search for the details in life, do not avoid them. Open the eyes and open the mind, it will do wonders in ways we do not even realize.

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