A Teaspoon of Novelty can Change Your Life

Published on June 24, 2015

”When people are inspired , they have more brain real-estate” –  Says Julia Volkman of BrainBasics in this excellent article on boosting your learning ability through harnessing the power of inspiration. Indeed, this and other recent research all seem to point what we’ve known intuitively for a long time now – when we like and are stimulated by something – we learn better. 

Lisa Wimberger , founder of The Institute of Neuroscultping, has taken our brain’s love of inspiration  & novelty to a new level. In her novel brain-training visualisations, she boosts the brains’ learning capacity through introducing interesting & novel tasks which involve right and left brain collaboration. Instead of a more typical ‘let’s talk about what you’re feeling’ approach, she mixes it up a little. Asking someone to name (left brain) an emotion , whilst paying attention to the sensation ( right brain) it may be creating in the body and any colour/texture/visual object it evokes ( novelty) is an example of this. The result? A stimulated brain, with neural pathways that are open and ready to learn.

Infact, FMRI scans show the brain lighting up in all sorts of areas when its inspired, with lots of activity especially in the frontal lobes which are key for learning new skills. Inspiration and novelty create a prime learning platform where you could start to not only learn new skills, but also forge new connections in the brain that support healthy habits and thinking patterns. You could effectively learn to re-wire your brain away from thoughts that aren’t serving you into an upgraded model with constructive, motivating and positive wiring. This has been supported by research conducted by psychologist Dr Rick Hanson and author of “Budha’s Brain”, who strongly advocates that we can re-wire our brain to run on healthier, happier thought processes – with the right tools.

In the therapy room, like Wimberger, I introduce exercises based on novelty and whole-brain activity to help clients re-wire their brains for happiness and success. Out the the therapy room, I think we all can continue to boost our brains learning power by prioritising a little inspiration and novelty in our day to day lives. Maybe you change up your music playlist on your way to work more regularly, try something unfamiliar on the menu the next time to visit your usual lunch stop or take 10 minutes in the middle of your day to watch an inspiring video on youtube – the list is endless and it really doesn’t take much, but in this way you’ll be priming your brain to create an open platform for learning at more times across the day. And hey – if anything, it’ll introduce a little bit more fun and spice to your daily experience of life :) To learn specific tools and exercises you can use to boost positivity and happiness in your life, you can contact Anoushka at anoushka@abehpsych.com and check out her exciting new Happiness Project at www.thishappy.co .

References

Inspiration and Emotion, by Julia Volkman for BrainBasics at  http://www.brainbasics.org/home/inspiration


Category(s):Happiness, Learning Difficulties, Positive Psychology

Written by:

Anoushka Beh

Anoushka Beh, MSc (MFT), BSc Hons)(UK), is a Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach.

In an integrated approach, she combines her clinical expertise with various techniques including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), IFS (Internal Family Systems) techniques , Guided Visualization, EET (Emotional Empowerment Technique) and Mindfulness-based techniques.

With over a decade of experience, Anoushka's current work with clients is informed by a number of fields, including marriage and family therapy, developmental psychology, brain-based approaches and energy psychology. She aims to help clients transform times of crisis and challenge into an opportunities for self growth and true empowerment. She believes in providing clients with effective healing, enduring change and in the importance of not just responding to symptoms, but treating the root cause.

Anoushka Beh belongs to Abehpsych Counselling Services in Singapore

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