Tis the Season to Boost Holiday Brains for Fun! (Blog Hop)

eweber   November 28, 2015   14 Comments

Want more mental zip this holiday season? Exhausted by expectations you can’t afford? Wish for a party that jump starts your Mojo over the holiday break? Do also check out amazing holiday offerings from a few dynamo secondary teacher colleagues at the end of this post! 2015 holiday hop 2

Rather than ride Grinch trains along tired tracks, why not ring-in a magical holiday season with priceless holiday returns? The best part? Gifts can come free!

Everybody loves a seasonal surprise!

Since brains reorganize with action, why not  jump-start your gift- giving-gala with active fun neuro tasks?  Amp up free festivities and at the same time, grace your holiday celebration with sheer fun. Capture1 - Final

First, open personal presents to ensure your most confident, courageous, ready-to-roll-you transforms your gift. Then give as if you were about to launch mental magic for  genius recipients. How so?

Design priceless gifts for free – and add game-changer holiday takeaways.

GIVE to …

1. Support somebody’s new idea and watch holiday gloom re-shape into a sparkling new view for that person. Did you know that supported minds can increase IQ?  What if you show 3 people how their talents are golden holiday gifts?

2. Offer laughter that benefits all. Humor changes the chemistry of brains by ramping up serotonin drugs. have you ever seen dangerous mental chemicals fade into holiday hilarity whenever you exchange sarcasm for a laugh or two that benefits all. What if you tell a comical holiday story that laughs at yourself?

3. Bring music to shut-ins. Singing together rebuilds trust so that differences emerge as gifts.  Pelle Ahlerup, U of Gothenburg showed how singing together adds  oxytocin, the trust chemical. What if you gathered friends to sing holiday tunes in a senior’s home or hospital?

4. Tame tigers of holiday anxiety. For some people frustrations are fueled by disappointments or the anxiety of “I’ll give if you give back syndrome” so that holiday magic dies. Show a discouraged or anxious friend how to  tame the brain’s amygdala and watch bad moods lighten into fun and frivolity. Exchange disappointments for delight today by being good to you, telling yourself what you like about you and mean it. Then,  invite a friend or peer to help you plan a cheery surprise for somebody with less this holiday?

5. Flip your filter for a finer look.  Look at the holiday celebration through another person’s eyes, and you’ll open new neuron pathways into cheer. What if you listened to a friend’s holiday expectations – and then suggest one possibility that would enhance that person’s dream? Other people experience gifts in different ways – and to hear that person is to give the gift of listening.

6. Whistle while you work. Prepare holiday fun to music that rings in merriment. Music changes brain wave speeds and lightens moods. What if you were to plan a musical extravaganza as this YouTube of a mall flash mob?

7. Hook tough stuff onto a magical possibility.  Since the brain’s frontal region switches between “difficult times” and “magic moments,” hook to wonder in order to replace worry.  What if you were to help somebody hook a holiday memory onto  a difficult situation to brighten both?

8. Unpack multiple intelligences to  capture seasonal spirit that many miss. Watch this homeless man sing of hope and holiday “diamonds in the sky,” for instance! What if you value a holiday gift (or intelligence) from an unlikely place this season?

9. Animate your IQ.  Brains literally rewire daily based on our lively actions. The Grinch may use poor tone as a silent killer, but practice good tone to shout holiday cheer in new more animated lingo? Any ideas that would help you add good tone to animate more IQ this season?

10. Thank somebody who least expects gratitude.  Encourage gratitude and teach thanks in ways that shape joyous celebrations for all? What if you thanked at least one person daily before the holiday, by naming one specific thing that person did well for you or others? If you’ve received a sincere thank you from a child for who you are, how you think, or what you like to you – you know the power of thanks in the wrapping of GIFT!

Oh, and one final holiday brain-booster 

Speak a person’s name to spike personal wellbeing to complete your gift-wrap.

PET scans show a strong cerebral flow for wellbeing when folks hear their names spoken with care!  I PlasticityPNGtransparent magine the holiday prosperity if we all spoke names more thoughtfully.

What will you do today to reboot your brain for a more festive gift-giving season?

Find gifts in your beliefs! If belief or faith is yours this holiday you’ve likely also discovered additional meanings for giving along with new delights for receiving. Meaning that motivates what you give to others. How so? My belief and faith come from Christianity where scripture reminds us that God so loved us that he gave his only son! No day passes without my gratitude for that gift! Yes, a huge cost was paid for a gift that changes my life daily when I remember the power and grace of unmerited favor handed to me because I am valued. No gift I give can compare! No gift I receive can flood my day with gratitude for the unconditional love and grace this gift adds from my Creator. Over years it has unwrapped itself in ways that coax me through tougher days and propel me to new heights when storm clouds lift. You?

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14 thoughts on “Tis the Season to Boost Holiday Brains for Fun! (Blog Hop)

  1. Lauralee

    What a list! I like the idea of music, but I always worry that it will distract a few students. Overall, beneficial, though? I’ll have to try it.

  2. eweber Post author

    Oh Gosh Lauralee – you are spot on!!! Student unused to music will face frustration if the music is not soft and classical. That’s why the lit is vital to see what music does to brainpower:-) Like other learning tools – no one-size fits all brains:-) Students in my room give constant feedback on music we use as they grow together and the tool works for all. I can write a book with certain classical music in the background – while dissonance will bump into (and make crazy) every word I try to generate. So you raised an awesome point here (which does not surprise me my expert friend!) Thanks! Ellen

  3. eweber Post author

    Thanks Lisa – you and I sure do share these loves! Would enjoy hearing a bit more about how you and your students use music as a learning tool:-) Ellen

  4. Julie Faulkner

    Your points are anchored in such depth, but written in a way that make them so attainable! Thanks for joining us on the hop!
    ~Julie

  5. eweber Post author

    Thanks Addie, I smiled when I read your comment – because some of the easier things to do over holiday breaks are the things we can forget to do:-) Loved your reminder here to see the ease – so we can give generously to those around us. You model that so well! Ellen

  6. eweber Post author

    Feeling the challenge on #7 too Robyn. In reality I have an over-packed week coming up – so I plan to look for magical possibilities to sprinkle into the hard stuff! Often the magic is linked to my two grandchildren – so I plan to Skype them and read them a book they inspired me to write. Now that should stir up enough serotonin for all the crazy schedule stuff later:-) You?

  7. eweber Post author

    Julie – your words mean the world to me because I constantly look for ways to communicate brain wonders in words folks enjoy to engage. So excited that it may have happened a bit here — and grateful to be a small part of such an awesome group! Thanks for hosting bright ideas! Ellen

  8. eweber Post author

    Loved your own suggested tasks Kristy – especially the Christmas themed writing prompts. Do students of different faiths replace the theme with one of holiday meaning to them? Great to share this hop with you and others in the field! Ellen

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