Let’s Not Go Back to Normal 

I’m one of those people who actually enjoy change. Before I joined the Arrowsmith Program, I tried a few careers: river rafting guide, ice climbing instructor, dogsledding guide, community youth worker. And then I settled into the Peterborough Arrowsmith campus for 9 years, which also coincided with big personal changes like marriage and children. But when an opportunity to really shake things up came my way, I uprooted my family and moved them across the world to join the Confident Brains team in Phuket, Thailand. Six months later, I became the head of that team, and 1 year after that COVID-19 changed everything. 

When you’re not initiating it, change is much less appealing. We’ve all had to make huge alterations to our routines, plans, and expectations over the past few months. This level of uncertainty and anxiety about our own health, the health of our loved ones, our jobs, and the future of…well… everything is emotionally and physically taxing, to say the least. There is also the guilt of being one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to be on the frontlines, who has a home to shelter in, insurance, food, and good health in general. 

It’s been three months since we took a big leap into online learning. And for the most part, it’s working. Really working. We’re hearing from parents and students that learning at home suits many of them better, that Arrowsmith is uniquely set-up to function in a virtual environment. And in a time when many special needs students in a traditional education system are really struggling without the scaffolding of learning support, accommodations, and technology, expanding the accessibility of Arrowsmith so that students can join from anywhere in the world is a powerful change. It took a pandemic for us to make this shift. But, as many wise people have pointed out, this great global pause can be an opportunity, a chance to take stock, evaluate our priorities, and decide what we want to add back into our lives. Now that many regions are starting to cautiously open up, and we give in to the urge to “return to normal”, let’s pause for a moment longer. Maybe there are parts of normal we want to leave behind?

For many of our students, pre-Arrowsmith normal meant coping with dyslexia, or feeling slow and frustrated and not knowing why, or zoning out in class because you just couldn’t process what was happening around you. We know that it doesn’t have to be this way. The Arrowsmith Program’s ability to strengthen cognitive weaknesses can make a dramatic difference for so many people. But it means refusing to accept that this “normal” is all that’s possible. It means taking a risk to leave “normal” behind and make this investment in yourself or for your child. 

It also means being able to access the program. Last night, I had a conversation with the parents of two boys. Both parents are successful doctors and they can’t afford Arrowsmith. The cost of relocating to attend a program elsewhere is prohibitive for most of the planet, even for people who can afford it and want it. We know there is great value in all of our programs but we are aware of how much more of a difference we could make if Arrowsmith were even more accessible. 

By quickly shifting to online learning models, Arrowsmith has done more evolving in the last few months than we have in the last decade. So when we think about moving forward, I want us to go even further. Can we find ways to keep improving and iterating so that it can be accessible and affordable to even more students? Can we get it into the general school curriculum? Develop it as a phone or tablet app that maintains the important instructor connection? How do we make cognitive training even more effective? 

Let’s keep evolving and adapting. Let’s leave some of these old, “normal” expectations of what is possible behind. We owe it to our students and their families. They were amazing before the pandemic complicated life.  They have already been through and sacrificed so much to grab hold of this opportunity to change their lives for the better. Now, they are truly making the most of a situation that is difficult for everyone. They are demonstrating the resilience and adaptability that likely brought them to Arrowsmith in the first place. Let’s build on that and bring Arrowsmith to even more people. 

Eddie – Our Symbol Relations Superstar 

On the last day of his 2019 Brain Training Summer Camp, Eddie, age 9, woke up and declared to his mother, Michele, that he was going to master the next level of the Symbol Relations exercise. Michele was encouraging but cautious. She’d watched her son make big gains over the last six weeks, but she could see her son was tired, and she worried this goal might be out of his reach. She didn’t want him to be disappointed. “I said, ‘Well mate, that’s a great thing to work for. I’m really proud of you but it’s our last day.” But Eddie set off for camp determined, focused, and confident, a marked difference from pre-Arrowsmith Eddie. 


He was 4 and a half and heading into kindergarten when Michele noticed that he struggled to pick up simple concepts like the alphabet. In contrast, his younger brother by two years was learning at the same rate. To help Eddie cope with school, Michele started doing lots of phonics and extra learning exercises. That worked for a while but by the time Eddie was 6 and in reception she started to think, “Yikes, we’re working really really hard and it’s coming so much easier to the other children. We’re just putting in so much effort.” Michele talked to Eddie’s teacher and decided to get him assessed. Eddie’s parents are lamb farmers in rural Australia, so they traveled three and a half hours into the nearest big city to see an educational psychologist who told them Eddie was showing early signs of dyslexia.

His school was supportive but they couldn’t offer a lot of extra resources, so Michele and her husband worked really hard to learn how to help their son. “We spent the next two years doing so much extra tuition at home and at school. We would go over his maths in the morning just to give him a head’s up as to what he would be doing. He might have 10 spelling words to do and he’d get really upset about them so I’d always ask the teacher for them on Friday night so we could have the weekend to get a few more practices in. It wouldn’t really make any difference but you feel like you’re doing something. We were doing so much just to get through the regular day of school… just to get him to stay there. He was just scraping by… not even really scraping by. If we didn’t do it, we just knew the situation would be much, much worse.” 


By Year 2, it got worse. As school expectations increased, Eddie’s response was to zone out and stare off into space. “He just found school very very overwhelming. I think he probably found life overwhelming full stop,” remembers Michele. “We were thinking, crikey, we don’t have any more cards up our sleeves. We couldn’t think of what else we could be doing to change this scenario. My husband would say to me – you know he goes to school until he’s 18, you’re going to have to keep this up for a while. This is going to be a tough road. We’re only still grasping those basics and life gets harder…” Michele started to wonder if they just had to accept Eddie’s limitations, but she kept hoping some answer would turn up. Cue Arrowsmith. 

Eddie’s father heard about the Arrowsmith Program on a podcast. He and Michele were intrigued but didn’t know how they’d manage to access the program in rural Australia, let alone fly to Canada for six weeks. They got in touch with the Toronto school and eventually learned about the Motor Symbol Sequencing Remote Program, which was introduced in 2017. They didn’t hesitate. “Sign us up! We want a piece of this!” recalls Michele, laughing. Arrowsmith sent over the material and Eddie started one hour of work a day, six days a week with a teacher in Canada. It was hard going but they started seeing changes early on. 


Reading was one of the first big improvements. “He would even struggle to use his own finger to go across the page so I would use my finger to help him track,” says Michele. “But after a few months, he said, ‘Mum, I don’t need your finger!’ And he just started reading with no finger or anything and he hasn’t used any prompts to read ever since. He can just read a book perfectly. It is amazing!” 

It’s taken longer to see changes in Eddie’s writing, which was illegible to everyone, including Eddie. “He’d write in one continuous stream as the ideas came into his head,” said Michele. “He’d get halfway on one word and start writing the next word so there was no possible way anybody could make sense.” Michele is noticeably relieved when she explains that now, “While it’s not textbook perfect, it’s now clear, the right size, and it just looks like writing! We can all read it!” Eddie’s also remembering spelling words and spelling rules. He doesn’t fight homework anymore. “What parent doesn’t love that?” she exclaims. 


While the whole family was excited about these changes, they were also aware that Motor Symbol Sequencing was only one of the many Arrowsmith exercises that could help Eddie. They had been looking at finding a way to go to Canada for the intensive program when they heard about the opening of the Phuket Campus in Thailand, much closer to home. Once again, Eddie’s parents didn’t hesitate; they signed him up for the 2019 Brain Training Summer Camp, which focused on Symbol Relations, and planned a family vacation. Eddie was excited but nervous. From doing the remote program, he knew it was going to be hard work. Students are in the class six hours a day, five days a week.  

The instructors told Michele she would probably see changes in Eddie halfway through the program. “They were right,” says Michele, with a smile on her face. She recounts how Eddie’s reading transformed. “Before, Ed would just read, he wouldn’t really enjoy the story that much.” During the camp, that shifted dramatically. “He’d start giggling through the page, and he’d go, ‘Mum, stop I just want to tell you about this part of the story’ and there’d be a funny joke or there would be something amusing and he’d want to share it with us. To hear my child really comprehending and enjoying the reading process was really really special. And then the last three weeks he just read a book nearly every night.”

Michele also noticed Eddie having much more mature conversations with the family, and navigating complex restaurant menus that would have stumped him before. One night at a restaurant, they saw another camp student and his mom. “Normally, I would talk to his friends for him and he would just stand there beside me. I would have to say, Eddie, there’s so and so, make sure you look them in the eye, say hello, maybe you could ask them about so and so…” This time, without prompting, Eddie stopped and said, “Hey, your spaghetti looks really nice. Have a nice evening tonight.” As they walked out of the restaurant, Eddie looked at Michele and said, “MOM, that’s clocks!” Michele was floored. “He was totally aware that he had a whole new ability to relate to somebody. He would have never done that before. That was just amazing. And if you want nothing else for your children, the ability to be able to communicate and have relationships – that’s the only thing that matters.”


But on his last day of camp, all that mattered for Eddie was mastering another level of Symbol Relations. After Michele said goodbye for the morning he went into overdrive. With literally minutes left to spare, he completed 5 sets of his work within mastery criteria and shot up out of his chair, arms raised in joy. As he lined up to leave the classroom for lunch, Eddie was so excited he was shaking. When Michele and his brother came into view, Eddie ran towards them, shouting out that he had mastered. They met in a teary, happy group hug. “That just shows, not only does this change areas of their brain, but it teaches them so many skills – persistence, determination – that are so important for everybody. That feeling of empowerment and achievement was nearly as good as the brain training.” 

Reflecting back, Michele sees another benefit to her Confident Brains Arrowsmith experience. “When you have a child that has a difficulty, you’re so used to advocating for and explaining your child all the time. And that was just the most amazing thing about Robert and LJ and Matt and the staff – I didn’t have to feel like I had to do anything. It was just the most fabulous school experience and clearly, Eddie picked up on that as well. Everything couldn’t have been any more different from home and yet we felt so happy, confident, reassured. You could see all the kids felt that too. They felt supported. They were all doing something new and different. They all had a chance to start fresh in a supportive environment and that was incredible.”


Eddie went back to Australia with the confidence of a superhero and is continuing with the remote program. Michele says the changes just keep on coming. She and her husband end most days sharing a story about something Eddie did that he wouldn’t have done before; how he spoke to someone or how he understood a joke or really concentrated while doing something. Michele tears up when she explains, “They might look like subtle changes but they’re actually enormous changes. I think all parents look forward and think – how is your child going to be when they’re an adult? Will they have respectful relationships? Will they be able to find a partner and have good friends? Raise their own children and hold down a job that they love? And I really had those doubts about Ed. I really was worried that wouldn’t be possible for him. It [Arrowsmith] has totally changed Eddie’s life. I no longer sit at home and think any of these things. I can just see that his life is on a totally different path to what it was. It’s phenomenal.

Michele is often contacted by other parents who are considering Arrowsmith. Her advice: “The first thing to do is to educate yourself and understand neuroplasticity and the science behind it. When you get a good grasp of that, and you do believe in that science, then you have a clearer pathway forward.” But Michele is also frank about the reality of learning disabilities. “Your child has a disability that they can’t grow out of, they can’t change, unless you want to do something about it. Anything that gives me a direction forward, that gives me an opportunity, where the science sounds plausible, that makes common sense to me, that has many reputable different people supporting these views – why wouldn’t you give it a go?” 


Michele and Eddie were very much looking forward to returning to Phuket for camp this summer, but with those plans derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, Eddie will be joining the new At-Home Cognitive Intensive Program online. According to Michele, Eddie would prefer to do the program in person but he is “excited to catch up with his Thailand teachers, which is a beautiful complement to the teaching staff and Confident Brains.” 



Alessandro Marchi –  A Brain Boost Story 

By all accounts, Alessandro Marchi has a great life. The 50 year-old Italian runs his own successful music production company, has a lovely family, and has lived as an expat, most recently in Singapore and Thailand, for over 20 years. But Alessandro knew things could be better. “For me, the worst thing you could ask me to do is read out loud. I had an undiagnosed dyslexia problem. I knew that my whole life, but I never addressed it.” He also struggled with writing. As a child in Italy, he intuitively wrote with his left hand, but “when I was about to start primary school, they made me write with my right hand. When I got to grade 6 they made me go back to my left hand. My writing was horrible, of course. It was something I learned to live with.” Like many people who grew up when learning differences weren’t on the radar, Alessandro learned to cope, and cope well. 


When he learned about the Arrowsmith program available at United World College Thailand, the school his children attend, he was wary at first. Looking into it, he began to wonder, “If it helps people with learning challenges, what will it do to people who are in the so-called ‘normal range’? I saw many children benefiting from the program, and I thought, ‘What if I had a go? Would it help me?’ ” 

When Confident Brains opened an adult program, Alessandro thought, “Why not invest six months in myself and try this thing?” He ended up enrolling in a full year for three sessions a day. The assessment results surprised but galvanized him. “It’s shocking at first but then you think, certainly, there’s a chance to improve these things. At that moment, I didn’t know what to expect but I trusted that it would have a positive impact.” 


A few months in, he felt that impact. Although he was able to avoid reading out loud in public, he couldn’t say no when his kids asked for a bedtime story. Stumbling through words and misreading, he described it as, “a painful experience for me and for them.” One night, his kids asked him to read for them. “Pages into the story, I realized I WAS READING ALOUD with no difficulties! I was reading a whole story aloud… and well!” he recalls, laughing. “I was in disbelief. I didn’t say anything. Maybe this is a fluke.” It  wasn’t. It took Alessandro a few days of reading more easily to process the shift. “It was completely night and day. I realized how big this was for me, how big of a burden had lifted. I was so impressed that it was happening. That was definitely when I realized, ok, this [Arrowsmith] is really helping me.” 


With this boost, he worked even harder. “I had a very gung-ho approach. It was like going to the gym for me. I enjoyed it very much. I was competing with myself, my own limitations. Trying to do as much as possible every day. It’s a time and financial commitment so I wanted to see the most coming from it.”


As a Formula One fan, he really enjoyed the Symbol Relations exercise. “You feel like you’re a fighter pilot or formula one driver. You need to make a perfect lap in order to master. You make one single mistake, and you spoil the whole lap.” Alessandro began to notice more changes. “It’s as if you’ve received a boost. If you’re running, you can run faster. It’s easier. The organization of my thought and speech is much more fluid. It’s easier to find the words. I am more strategic. I think before I act. My learning is faster. I’m much more precise in my music playing. There is more clarity.” His wife, Sonia, noticed subtle differences too. “He’s less frustrated overall. A bit nicer to be around. Less frustrated about little things.” 


He occasionally thinks about how life would have been different if he’d had access to something like Arrowsmith as a child. “Oh my goodness. It’s the big what if. I would be a completely different person.” Still, Alessandro is happy he found it later in life. “I’m grateful for doing something for myself, for giving myself this opportunity. That’s the thing about Arrowsmith. Once you discover there is incredible potential, the question you ask immediately is, ‘why are people not going crazy for this thing?’ It really can straighten up your thought process. It’s for everyone. It’s a very effective brain gym.”


Asked if he would try reading out loud in public now, Alessandro recalls a memory of going to a seminar and being asked to read in front of the audience. “I knew it was over my limits. I said, ‘Sorry, I’m dyslexic, I would never do that.’” Today he feels differently. “I would give it a shot. I would be nervous speaking in front of an audience. It would scare the s— out of me but I would give it a shot.”


Behind the Scenes of Brain Training Mastery

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We recently celebrated a big student milestone. A few weeks ago, Tenzin Hebben completed the highest level – Level 10 – of the Symbol Relations exercise! Fewer than 50 students in the history of the Arrowsmith Program have completed this level of cognitive training because it requires not only motivation, but unwavering commitment and fierce determination.

When Tenzin completed level 10 it represented far more than finishing a level of brain training. It took him hundreds of hours of dedicated work. When he first started Arrowsmith, he found the most basic levels challenging, and he feigned low motivation as a solution to feelings of hopelessness.

For Tenzin, getting to this proud moment in the photo you see here meant harnessing the perseverance to acquire strengths that he had never been able to unlock before. AND it involved doing this repeatedly! Completing this level also requires a deep sense of faith in yourself, and/or deep trust in those (teachers and family members) who are saying it will be possible. Achieving this level means you have have surpassed “impossible” goals to the point where doing so has become a matter of habit — the Arrowsmith M.O., and an extremely valuable life lesson.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

fMRI Research: Arrowsmith Program

There is a lot of buzz in neuroeducation circles these days. In October 2019 the most recent study regarding the Arrowsmith cognitive training program was published in the peer reviewed journal: Learning.

The study is the first publication of fMRI-based studies that have been taking place over the past several years. There are many more studies that are still awaiting publication, but we now have our first official observations of why the Arrowsmith Program has been so effective since its development in the late 1970’s.

The results are very positive and they demonstrate that the Arrowsmith Program can have a profound positive impact on the ability to learn. It confirms what practitioners have known for decades—the Arrowsmith Program can fundamentally improve the ability to learn.


fMRI research confirms the Arrowsmith Program can effectively strengthen weak neurological functions that are thought to underlie diagnosis such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing disorders and ADHD. The brain scan studies allow researchers to observe why students who complete the Arrowsmith have such profound life changing experiences.

Decades of Independent Studies

This is the first fMRI-based study to be peer reviewed and published. However, the Arrowsmith Program has a long history of research and independent studies spanning 3 decades. Studies have shown that completing the Arrowsmith Program can increase cognitive abilities by more than 30%. Studies also show that students in the Arrowsmith Program experience a reduction in depression and anxiety, increases in academic and social abilities, and they require little or no learning support after the program is complete.

New Phase of Research

The Arrowsmith Program, based in Canada, has recently announced a global research initiative aimed at taking a deeper look into the program that is available in 100+ schools in 10 countries. This research initiative includes projects in Canada, USA, Spain and Eastern Europe. It is truly an exciting time in the field of neuro-education. Long-held notions that learning disabilities are untreatable are beginning to unravel. As we deepen our understanding of the brain and ideas about neuroscience become more accepted, options for people who suffer from learning disabilities will become even more effective and widely available. A future where specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and ADHD, are fully treatable is now on the horizon.

More information on research related to the Arrowsmith Program, including original studies is available at https://arrowsmithschool.org/research/

The Arrowsmith Program is available in Asia through Confident Brains Pte Ltd. confidentbrains.com  INFO@CONFIDENTBRAINS.COM



The Greatest Day in Sports History Just Happened: What it means for people with learning challenges


Athletics’ last great barrier has been broken

Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan athlete, ran the marathon distance of 42.2km in under 2 hours. Until recently, the idea that a human being could break the 2-hour mark was labeled impossible, or that it would not be accomplished for generations. Kipchobe’s time was 1:59:40.

The accomplishment ranks among the greatest achievements in sports history. It completes a list of amazing human accomplishments in line with Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile, and Jim Hines’ first 100m sprint in under 10 seconds.  To put it in perspective, Kipchobe’s time is nearly an hour faster than the first gold metal marathon time in the modern Olympics. The achievement cements Kipchobe’s place as the greatest marathon runner of all time.

Photo credit: Herbert Neubauer

The latest of a string of recent achievements

The accomplishment is part of a flood of incredible advancements in the running world.  The recent generation of marathon runners have loped nearly 4 minutes off the world marathon record. The 5 fastest marathons in history have been run in the last 13 months, and Brigid Kosgei obliterated the 16-year-old women’s record just one day after Kipchoge’s sub 2-hour feat.


Why is this happening?

Is it the shoes? Nike has created a shoe called the Vapourfly, complete with highly refined technology and carbon fiber plates that are claimed to improve running efficiency by at least 4%.  Kipchoge and the rest of the runners who have established the five fastest marathon times, as well as new world record holder Brigid Kosgei were all wearing some version of the new shoes from Nike during their runs.


There is certainly much discussion as to whether the shoes constitute an unfair advantage. However, most human accomplishments involve some level of technology and application of scientific understanding.


What 1:59:40 means for people with Learning Challenges

Running the marathon distance in under 2 hours has ignited the running world and put a spotlight on a sport that has not been in vogue in decades. When someone achieves something that was previously thought impossible, it sparks an awakening of sorts. It gives people permission to broaden their view and rethink what else may be possible. This idea of breaking new barriers and expanding the realm of what is possible will trickle out far beyond the running world. It will forge a place in our collective consciousness that will allow us understand that things can always get better.

The world of learning disabilities can often appear very bleak, especially to those who suffer directly. It can be a world of damning labels, frustrating diagnosis, and no sense of hope for the future. Being diagnosed with a learning disability can feel like a “death sentence”. They can appear as a barrier that cannot be overcome.

Fortunately, impossible barriers can be redefined and broken. People are often told that learning disabilities are permanent and there are few solutions. We now know there is technology and specific teaching methods that can be used to fully address learning disabilities such as dyslexia. A learning disability no longer has to be a “death sentence”.

Eliud Kipchoge as demonstrated that under the right conditions (and with help from technology) impossible barriers can be broken. His accomplishment serves as a reminder that the impossible can be made possible, and it is worth perusing goals that are currently beyond the horizon.  For people with learning challenges, it is a reminder that we should question perceived barriers, keep searching for solutions, and demand that the existing technology is available to everyone.

The goal of a world where learning disabilities can be fully treated, and people can unleash the full potential of their brain is now on the horizon.

[Confident Brains School providing the Arrowsmith Program serves children and adults with learning challenges. The Arrowsmith Program has been used to fully and permanently address the underlying cause of learning difficulties for more than 40 years. Arrowsmith Program originated in Canada and is now available in South East Asia through Confident Brains Pte Ltd. Contact: INFO@CONFIDENTBRAINS.COM]


Brain training: Top 10 tips From the Pro’s

For more than a decade, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best brain training coaches and instructors from around the world.  Talented people who have devoted their lives to helping others grow and strengthen their cognitive abilities.  These people have shared their technical expertise and given unwavering individual support to those who are committed to unlocking their full cognitive potential.

After working with the best in the world I have been able to collect the best brain training tips that can help support the improved ability to think, learn, and understand. The top 10 tips for getting the most out of brain training:

1. Just start

Brain building takes time. The sooner you begin your brain training journey; the sooner you will reap the benefits of a stronger brain. There is a common misconception that the brain only grows and changes when it is young. Neuroscience has allowed us to understand that our brain is capable of change and growth from the time we are born, into old age. However, rewiring the brain to be stronger and more effective is not a quick fix. True brain training often takes 1 – 4 years depending on the individual. Strengthening your brain is a challenge that is better done sooner than later. Whether it is a few minutes a day on a brain training game, or a complete classroom-based program to overcome Specific Learning Difficulties, now is the best time. Start now and enjoy the benefits of a stronger healthier brain for the rest of your life.


2. Keep going

Brain training is not a magic pill. Meaningful gains are a result of continuous hard work. Consistent, quality brain training will provide infinitely more benefit than occasional bursts of effort. True cognitive change is a result of hard work, determination and perseverance—what Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth calls GRIT.


3. Don’t stop

Making real cognitive change can be an exhilarating process that can change your life. Brain training can also be frustrating at times. It requires commitment. If you are tempted to quit, think back to the reasons why you started in the first place. Do those reasons still exist? If the answer is “yes” refer to the previous tip and…keep going.


4. Develop a growth mindset

Dr. Carol Dwek of Stanford University makes is clear that your approach to life is what can determine your success. This may sound like a wishful fairy-tale to those who struggle with Specific Learning Difficulties. However, when people believe they can get smarter, which they can, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore, when extra time and the right kind of effort is applied it will lead to higher achievement. A growth mindset, combined with the right intervention, creates the ideal conditions to reduce or eliminate the suffering and hardship caused by learning challenges.

5. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is critical to cognitive growth. Sleep helps the brain to recover from daily use and it is also critical in reducing stress. Reducing stress is a key factor maximizing your brains capacity for neuroplasticity, the brains ability to grow and change.

6. Eat well

The brain requires a lot of energy. It uses approximately 20 percent of the energy we burn each day. This means that optimal brain growth will require a significant amount of good quality fuel. In the media there are scores of complicated articles about antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and omega-3 fatty acids being good for the brain. This may be true, but fueling brain growth can be relatively simple. A general rule for optimizing brain grow is to eat colorful whole foods. Start with a base of colorful vegetables, and add in some protein like fish, nuts, and seeds. Drink plenty of water and avoid processed sugar. That’s it. Bon Appetite.

7. Exercise

If there one thing you can do to improve brain health and brain function, exercise is it! In the book Spark, Doctor and author John Ratey describes exercise as “Miracle-Grow” for the brain. It creates chemical conditions that improve memory, enhance flexible thinking, and prime the brain for growth. To get the most out of a cognitive training program, exercise is an essential ingredient.

8. Be social

Every social interaction is different. Variety is good for the brain. As cognitive abilities are strengthened in a brain training program those abilities need to be put to the test. In the world of brain development, there is the idea of use-it-or-lose-it. Meaning when cognitive gains are made, the brain needs to learn how to use these new abilities. Social interactions provide an opportunity to call on your brain’s new abilities and develop new skills.

9. Read

Like being social, reading provides a chance to put newly developed cognitive abilities to the test. It allows the brain to process new information, understand new thoughts, and gain new perspectives. Read what you like, read what interests you, but make reading a part of your daily life.

10. Take positive risks

Summon your courage, channel your bravery, and let your new abilities shine. To begin a brain training program often takes both courage and commitment. Continuing to use that courage after your abilities begin to develop is an important part of tapping into your new abilities. Talk to a new friend, take dance lessons, try something that you have never been able to accomplish before. Life is short. If you have committed to a cognitive training program, taking positive risks is the best way to continue that commitment. Most people are more capable than they realize![vc_column][mk_button_gradient dimension=”flat” size=”large” corner_style=”full_rounded” grandient_color_from=”#ee7401″ grandient_color_to=”#edae74″ grandient_color_angle=”horizontal” grandient_color_fallback=”#9476c9″ url=”/individuals/” align=”center” fullwidth=”true” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”0″ margin_right=”0″ visibility=”visible-sm”]Start Today! [/mk_button_gradient][/vc_column][/vc_row]][vc_column][mk_button_gradient dimension=”flat” size=”large” corner_style=”full_rounded” grandient_color_from=”#ee7401″ grandient_color_to=”#edae74″ grandient_color_angle=”horizontal” grandient_color_fallback=”#9476c9″ url=”/individuals/” align=”center” fullwidth=”true” margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”0″ margin_right=”0″ visibility=”hidden-sm”]Get started today on your own customized brain training program! [/mk_button_gradient][/vc_column][/vc_row]