Weekly Brain Challenge: Words, Letters, Chaos, and Meaning

18 Sep

Our daily goal is to make sense out of the world and sometimes that involves finding the meaning in what looks like chaos.  Good thing our brains are amazing cyphers!   Give this a try:

For emaxlpe, it deson’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod aepapr, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm.

S1M1L4RLY, Y0UR M1ND 15 R34D1NG 7H15 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17.

Researchers are getting closer to understanding the brain process that leads to individual differences in how brains crack code and allow us to read in cases like those above but no one quite gets the whole picture yet.   One branch of  research is focusing on how to use these differences to help people with dyslexia and other reading challenges.  That would be big.

We are celebrating the importance of words today in this 5 difference, Find the Difference puzzle — one of our all time favorites!

Pay attention to how you solve this puzzle.  How easy is it for you to over-ride your brain’s tendency to fill the meaning and over-look the differences?

Find the Difference puzzle

Webster’s Dictionary was originally called the “American Dictionary of the English Language”. Today, the dictionary includes somewhere around 470,000 entries!

Monday Morning Melodies

14 Sep

A few weeks ago I volunteered in the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation booth at the AARP Ideas@50 conference doing memory screenings for all who visited the booth. I met and spoke to so many kinds of people from vast and varied backgrounds. Each, without regard to background or education level, was worried about memory – not all for the same reasons but all genuinely concerned.

Here was my message to them and now, to you. Fill your life with things that keep you active, make you want to stay involved, challenge you to do and be more, and make you smile. Amplify your experiences by infusing more of everything that feels good. Make each and every everyday task a fuller, richer sensory experience and you will, without question, enhance the quality of your life.  Be happier, smile more, feel hopeful, and dive into the sensory experiences in your life and…the rest will follow.

Let’s dive in just a bit more deeply.

Music fills my life and fuels my brain like nothing else. It engages my senses, transports me in time and space and fires emotions.  Music can help me look at life through a different lens and can actually change how I feel.  How many times have you put on music to lift your mood or change your outlook? I rely on music to help me remove obstacles, change my perspective, and find my way to answers big and small. How many passive activities — just sitting back and listening — can do that?  Now that is real power.

I can amplify that experience even more by engaging more actively!  Dancing (yep, chair dancing does count) fires up those pathways that send messages to the rest of my body. Dancing also involves coordination, balance, and timing so, even more than running on the elliptical (my addiction) or resistance training, dancing involves higher thinking processes.

On those days where I know I need a real brain booster and mood lifter I sing, reading the lyrics as I go!  Ready for an exhilarating, smile inducing brain workout?  Prepare to fire up your language centers and workout your smile muscles!  Here are some of my favorite perspective changing sing-a-long songs (with lyrics included).

When the world is spinning out of control and I need to find some hope, this song lifts me up. See if any of the words, as you sing a long, surprise you, move you, or change your perspective.

How about multi-tasking? Singing, dancing, and smiling!

Sweet memories with this one. A few of the lyrics are not what I remembered!!

What song makes you smile, inspires you, makes you want to move? Look it up on YouTube, type “lyrics” behind the title and sing a long!


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