Flexibility’s Force and Foibles

Just as top gymnasts bend without breaking,  flexible brains adapt with unbelievably pliable approaches.

Did you know –

  • Human brains come equipped with flexibility, or plasticity, that takes exercise to sustain?
  • Plasticity, or mental elasticity has less to do with age and far more to do with choices?
  • People are more susceptible to ruts than most realize, because of basal ganglia defaults?
  • Working memory is the brain’s center stage for flexible behavior?
  • Flexible brains tend to withstand stress with less mental strain?
  • Resilient minds respond better to change and benefit more from improvements?
  • The brain rewires itself in response to one’s world and its own electrical activity?
  • Natural chemical activity works for or against mental flexibility?

What has flexibility added to your temperment or mental capability?


  1. rummuser says:

    When I think about this, I come to the famous chicken or egg question. Which comes first? The flexible brain or the flexible personality that makes the brain adapt.

    Being a lay person, I am unable to figure this out. I can however vouch for one fact. Being flexible and adaptable brings about peace of mind and a more relaxed approach to life’s challenges.

    rummusers last blog post..RSS Feed for my blog

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Ramana, and also for your interesting insight. Interesting new research shows how the personality and brain are far more fused than once thought and that emotional intelligence (which is deeply embedded in intrapersonal intelligence) literally controls far more of the brain’s capability than once thought.

    On your interesting insights about peace of mind — there is also research to back your own observations and experiences here:-). Thanks for sharing these!

  3. Ellen,

    I just love this idea, and I’m committed to gradually becoming more and more flexible and resilient as time goes by!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. eweber says:

    Jeanne, the operative word here is committed! Like you I too have made that commitment – since I know the brain’s tendency for ruts and baggage to the unaware mind! It’s fun to run into others who decide to rejuvenate mentally:-) Think of what this commitment could do across even one bureaucracy! Nuff said!

  5. So true, Ellen! I’ve certainly experienced the ruts — and the baggage — and I’m definitely ready for a change! Awareness is such an important part of the process, too. It’s the stuff of which paradigm shifts are made!

  6. eweber says:

    Actually, when it comes to the brain, action toward a new goal trumps even awareness in terms of rewiring one’s dendrite connectors for mind-bending changes, Jeanne. It’s cool how it works – and a wonderful daily challenge too:-)

  7. I totally agree, Ellen, that the only awareness that makes any difference at all in our lives is the awareness that we translate into action. Until we’ve done that, we can never call it a paradigm shift–because true paradigm shifts affect every aspect of our lives.

  8. eweber says:

    An interesting concept, Jeanne, as we consider how often we speak of paradigm shift and how little we see it happen:-) A wonderful challenge for a new day! Thanks!

  9. […] not target the brain’s amazing plasticity to learn and grow in dynamic ways – for starters? Teens often come to class ready to change and […]

  10. Don’t mention it, Ellen! Glad to help! ;-)

  11. […] Flexible seniors tap natural chemicals to refuel their brains for better flexibility as they go. While it’s true that older workers sometimes get sidelined unfairly, lively […]

  12. […] barriers make it harder for some people to let go, while others  rewire their brains’ plasticity to adjust and move on in refreshing ways, with far greater ease. It’s difficult at […]

  13. […] would reboot your brain at work to both improve what you do and to help you enjoy your job […]

  14. […] No Brain Left Behind: values older age because of newly discovered plasticity that enables people to rewire their brains for youthful and intelligent […]

Leave a Reply

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button