Never to Old to 'Start'
Many opinions exist as to the changes to our collective mental health the pandemic of 2020 has caused. The data shows a rise in anxiety and depression. Suicides at nearly every age continue to go up. Considering this not likely the last pandemic you or I will experience, the question becomes; is emotional pain and suffering to be expected with every pandemic?
Perhaps, but if we treat the next pandemic as an opportunity to make a New Year's resolution and follow the advice of this article, then it's possible we'll suffer no ill effects.
A good starting point is to take up juggling. The innocuous little act of throwing balls into the air has been found, in a number of neuroscience studies, to alter the brain. This “activation-dependent structural plasticity,” as it’s called, pops up in as little as seven days. Juggling changes not only gray matter, the brain’s processing centers, but also white matter, the networked connections that bind it all together. “Learning a new skill requires the neural tissue to function in a new way,” says Tobias Schmidt-Wilcke, a neuroscientist (and juggler) at Germany’s University of Bochum.
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