New Years Resolutions: Tuning Up Your Brain

January 2, 2013 | By | Reply More

Natasha Thomas, MT-BC, Guest Writer
Waking Times

It’s hard to believe another year is almost over, taking with it my holiday break. I woke up late this morning and spent the day baking, cleaning, and doing other laid-back, but necessary chores to keep myself from becoming too adjusted to all the free time off of work, all while doing a little bit of shimmying to some Middle Eastern Dance music I had playing in the background. My brain needed the activity. And yours does too!

How do you know when your brain needs a tune-up?

I notice my brain needing a little boost when I find myself unable to focus on the little things, like throwing a scarf on before I go outside, or packing a lunch for the day – when I’ve forgotten to do those most basic things for surviving 8 (or more) hours of work in a day, I know I need a tuneup!

Why is it important?

Your brain is like a computer.  It can get bogged down with information and emotions that will slow it down like a virus if you let it. Sleeping is one of the most basic ways we recharge our brains – formerly thought to be a time when your brain shut down, sleep is actually one of your brain’s most active times, when it processes all the events of the day, puts away what it can, and tries to make room for the new stuff you’ll undoubtedly pack into it tomorrow. But enough about sleep (for now)…

There are two main things you (or your child) can do to tune your brain while you’re awake:

1. Exercise your body. There’s a great quote from a Franklin Institute article on Exercising the Brain that I think really sums up the reason for this well: “a healthy human being is a human doing.” The Brain is not a solitary device that learns in a bubble. We learn through doing, through moving in our world. Movement is essential to enhancing your brain’s functioning.

2. Challenge your mind. The Franklin page has great info on this as well. If you think back to your childhood and all the wonder that came with discovering the world around you, that was a time when your brain was actively growing through learning. You can create that time again with activities as simple as changing which hand moves the mouse on your computer, and other exercises the Franklin page suggests. Here’s a great link to some Brain Gym moves for kids as well, though I like to do them too (“Hookups” are my favorite! I call them “Pretzels”)

So how can music help with all this?

Ah, here’s the fun part! Music is a multi-sensory experience. It naturally involves your ears as you hear it, but the more involved you or your child become in making music the more senses you activate, and therefore the more of your respective brains you “tune up.” For instance, in attending a concert you involve your eyes as well as your ears, and maybe your body and tactile senses if you move along with the music. If you play an instrument, you most definitely involve your tactile senses in addition to your eyes and ears. Note I’m really stressing an active involvement in music here. The Mozart Effect has been debunked: your child (or even you) aren’t going to get any smarter from listening alone (though here’s a fun link to a little Musical Brain Teaser that will engage your thinking machine a little more actively). The more involved you can get in the music making process, the more of your brain you will exercise and the more energized (both physically and mentally!) you will feel.

Some practical tips and ideas for engaging your brain (or your child’s) in music:

1. Team up your senses. Listen to music while you exercise (tactile and auditory) or while you cook (tactile, auditory, and olfactory – mmm!)

2. Go to a concert, and really engage yourself in the music – sing along if you can, or tap your foot to the beat. Anything to avoid just sitting and letting your brain enter “auto-pilot” mode!  Again, active involvement is the key here.

3. Try learning a new instrument in private lessons, or take a dance class. This again links back to the “team up your senses” business. If you aren’t feeling like taking classes, get involved in your child’s classes if you can. Ask them about their instrument, go to their concerts (move and groove with the performance!), spend some play time in having them demonstrate their skills while you attempt to follow along. Laughter is good for your brain too! For younger kids, check out these fun musical instruments geared towards Early Childhood development. The Melody Snail is my favorite!

I encourage you to find some way to tune up your brain this week – check out the links on this post for more information on any of the topics covered, and feel free to post comments or ideas for future posts.

Happy New Year Everyone!

About the Author

Natasha Thomas is a graduate of the University of North Dakota (Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy) and Board Certified Music Therapist – serving the Grand Forks Public Schools through Music Therapy in Motion (owned by Emily Wangen) and individuals statewide through North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB), and ND School for the Deaf. She additionally sees private clients in the home and in settings like LISTEN Day Services and the LISTEN Drop-In Center.

You can contact Natasha by email at natasha.mtbc@gmail.com.

This article is featured as part of a partnership with AllThingsHealing.com.

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large. We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join us!

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: All Things Healing, Body, Contributors, Guest Writers, Ideas, Inspiration, Mind, Resources, Self, Transformation

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 13 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?

Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?













Brandon Baker, Eco Watch
Waking Times

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, … More

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed

7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

From birth, virtually all of us have been brainwashed through various outlets that encourage materialism, ego, subservience, control and conformity. But where do the origins of mind control begin and what can we do about it?

1. Religion

As children, the brainwashing begins … More

April 9, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More

Activism Works

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken

American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

You may be aware that bees are dying in large numbers across the globe, courtesy of the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment. But did you know that the monarch butterfly is also becoming endangered, and for the same reason?

As reported by the New More

March 22, 2014 | By | Reply More