BY RUTH HILL R.N.
Today, I discuss how to improve your brain function with behavioral changes and cannabis. Prevention is the goal; however, neurological damage can be treated with cannabidiol (CBD) to reduce inflammation, make new connections, and improve your mental acuity. The brain compensates for something lost by neuroplasticity. Research on cannabis and brain science shows neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to form new neuroplastic pathways and make connections with other neurons in other parts of the brain. Stroke patients with alternative treatments can regenerate brain pathways to repair motor activity. Cannabis accelerates this process when any disease is present. Behavioral changes can also rejuvenate our brain’s function.
Jim Kwik explains how to implement these behaviors in his book Limitless: Upgrade your brain, learn anything faster and unlock your exceptional life. The way society uses the brain in our pocket is leading to an epidemic of overload, memory loss, distraction, and dependency. This explains exactly how I feel. When I start a conversation, my mouth opens but my brain freezes trying to access the information I want to express. Does this happen to you?
Before I read Limitless, I thought I had early signs of dementia. Kwik enumerates the four villains that are attacking our brains and challenging our capacity to think, focus, learn, grow, and be fully human. This first villain is digital deluge.
The flood of information we do not have time to process leads to being overwhelmed, anxious and sleepless. Compared to the 15th century, we consume as much data in a single day as an average person from the 1400s would have absorbed in an entire lifetime. If you are ignoring the 1000 emails in your inbox digital deluge attacked your brain.
The second villain is digital distraction. How often are you caving to that ping on your phone of text, social media notifications, e-mails, and news alerts? They may be important, but it derails our concentration and trains us to be distracted from what matters most at the moment, like walking safely across the street. What is more alarming is that digital dopamine pleasure is damaging our children’s ability to grow brain connections?
The third villain is digital dementia. This is the villain I mentioned above. Memory is a muscle that we have allowed to atrophy. Neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer describes how digital technology results in the breakdown of cognitive abilities. Each time we recall a memory our neurotransmitters are strengthened. Our capacity to learn by “brainercise” lowers the risk of dementia.
I will give you my own example. I could easily dial my family’s phone numbers. Heck, with the addition of the three-digit primary code, the rest of the numbers have not changed since the sixties. Instead of dialing those numbers, I click on their name on my phone. Memory not accessed is memory lost. When we access our smart devices, they make us a little more stupid. Do you know how to get home without GPS?
Lastly, we have digital deduction. Information is so easily accessible. Yet we surrender our ability to think. Deduction, an amalgam of critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity that is an essential skill for being limitless, is becoming automated. Instead, we accept conclusions from others. The muscles we use to reason and think critically are atrophying.
Kwik’s ends the trance of mass hypnosis and lies that we learned from our parents, programming, media, or marketing, which suggest we are limited. Our brains have the capacity for neuroplasticity, (brain plasticity) which means that you can change and shape your action and your environment. Our brain is malleable. When we have strokes, concussions, aging, memory loss, the endocannabinoid system goes into overdrive to affect hemostasis. Ingesting CBD facilitates repair. Limitless provides nonmedical tools.
Since reading this book I have unsubscribed to a dozen newsletters or email notices. I dial from memory family phone numbers. Instead of googling a name I forgot, I patiently wait for my memory to kick in. And it did! I remembered Joe Montana’s name. For Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift and buy Limitless.
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