Yup, you can actually increase the size of your brain throughout your entire lifespan- and learning isn’t the only way! While I am not trying to discourage anyone from reading and learning, I’ve got some other, supplemental ways to increase your brain size.
First things first, though. You’re probably wondering, “Why do I care how big my brain is?”. Well, as health and nutrition expert Dr. Pamela Peeke explained at a conference I attended, “big brain equals small waist”. Interested now?
A Bigger Brain Equals A Smaller Waist.
Neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons in the brain. The more neurons we have, the bigger-and stronger- our brain becomes.
Behind your forehead lies the prefrontal cortex. This is “command central”. This is where right and wrong are distinguished and where thoughts and actions are created in accordance to internal goals. The stronger we make this area of the brain, the stronger control we’ll have over impulses (ie, grabbing that cookie that is just calling your name every time you walk by it).
Yes, learning will certainly stimulate the generating of new neurons, but it should not be considered the only way.
Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, increases brain size and strengthens the prefrontal cortex, which reigns in impulsivity.
Regularized meditation can lessen your “fight or flight” response and help grow a bigger brain.
Stress inhibits neurogenesis, so alleviating stress from your life will benefit your prefrontal cortex- and just about everywhere else in your body!
With continual learning, physical activity and regularized meditation, we can strengthen and increase our brain size. This will leave us with a stronger willpower. We can actually create a better ability within our brains to fight impulsive, often regretful, decisions as it pertains to food and life in general. How empowering!