Friday, April 22, 2011

Break out of your routine!

Kids benefit from opportunities to explore and experience a variety of places, relationships, and activities. This article from Childcare Exchange makes it clear that the benefits continue throughout our lives. So go for it! (In the last few months, my "new things" have included taking an acting class, plans to teach a creative class to high school students, and going dog sledding.) What are some new things you've been up to?

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.—Dale Carnegie

"Try something new.  One way to take your memory to a higher level is to expose it to as many new experiences as possible.  Recent studies conducted in Germany by University of Magdeburg researchers... demonstrated that novelty stimulates activity not only in the memory centers of the hippocampus/medial temporal lobe, but also in the dopamine rich midbrain areas responsible for motivation and reward processing.  Because dopamine can enhance learning, anything you consider unique gives you proactive neurocircuitry more ammunition.  By trying something new at least once a week... you provide yourself with more cross-reference material to draw on in the future."—quoted from "Secrets of Your Brain", Washington, DC:  US News & World Report, 2011.