Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
The Human Brain
ln the 21st century, life is lived at a very fast pace.
Even in Rocky Bay things are different from how they used to be.
Things can change very quickly and we are all trying to keep up with it all if we want to be on top of things. And there is so much information being thrown at us around the clock in this modern, connected world.
And a lot of it is very negative. There seems a lot to worry about all the time.
Sometimes it is all too much for our brains!
The human brain has been used to a much slower pace of life for thousands of years. And at the same time, people have lived in a much more social and less isolated way than a lot of people do today in the Western World – or what you might call a developed society.
Throughout most of history, a lot of people spent time doing physical activities outside. ln their spare time, they entertained themselves with things like: story-telling, music, dancing and chatting to others. These activities make you feel good.
And constantly trying to make your brain happy is a good thing to do because the brain has what is called a ‘negative bias’.
That means it thinks its job is to constantly alert you to problems and danger. lf you are always looking for danger, you are more likely to keep yourself safe.
The brain is trying to keep the biological unit it is in alive.
lt is not that interested in keeping you happy – only safe.
lf, for example, you were walking through the long grass one day and you were bitten by a snake and became very ill and almost died, the next time you were walking through long grass, you would be very nervous and stressed and worried about being bitten again.
You have experienced the dangers of walking in long grass and you now know of the potential dangers the next time you do it.
So the more you go through life and experience bad things, the more you are on the look out for them – as a matter of survival.
This is the way the brain works, and it is a bit of a sad thought in a way.
Your brain as a biological organ does not understand that in the 21st century, it is actually good health and happiness that keeps you well and safe. Being anxious and upset will you make you ill and then not be able to function well. lt is still working in ancient ways.
This is why, for example, if someone says something hurtful to you, it is hard not to get upset, even though the words coming out of that person’s mouth could not physically harm you. The brain reacts because it is set up to react – but in this case it over-reacts.
lt reacts badly to things that go wrong, even when they are not life-threatening.
Due to evolution our brains are alert to danger. The part of the brain that does this is the amygdala. (This is pronounced amig-dala)
lt is still behaving as though we live in the wild.
Life in modern times is not as dangerous as it used to be.
Most of the world lives in peace not war. Most of us are not in constant fear of attack from invaders or wild animals.
Nowadays, if you are in trouble, you can ring for the police or an ambulance and get some expert help rush to your aid.
But there is hope for your brain!
lt is possible to overwrite your brain’s natural biases. You can try to ‘re-wire’ it. We naturally do this whenever we learn something new – like juggling or a foreign language.
The art of making your brain different is called neuroplasticity.
That is a big word to learn!
(Think about how you can get some plasticine and mould it to make different things.)
(Scientists have observed by using X-rays, that a brain can actually grow slightly in a certain area when it has learnt something new.)
The more you use your brain in a certain way the stronger it gets in that certain way. lt creates new pathways – the pathways become bigger roads over time.
So how can we make our brains happier and healthier?
The good news is that we can make an effort to flood our brains with the chemicals that make us happy and this will calm down the amygdala.
When something bad happens, you won’t get so upset and you won’t get so stressed about everyday life either.
So how do you get to make the brain release good chemicals to make it a happier, healthier brain?
Firstly, try to be grateful for all the good things you have, think about them, focus on them and think about all the things that went right for you recently. You can choose your thoughts. You could write a list of three nice things that happened in your day every evening (big and small) – train your brain to shift its focus.
Do new and exciting things, and also do things that make you feel connected with other people and snuggly and secure.
Being with family, friends and pets is very good for this.
Do people a favour and help them out with something, or listen to their problems and give them some sympathy.
Singing, dancing and laughing is good.
Have a sense of purpose – that means setting goals to focus on and then celebrating all your achievements; big and small.
Talk to people if you think you need help with anything.
Don’t just live in the past; or let people bully you; or think you are never good enough – perfection is not humanly possible to achieve. We can all only do our best.
Being in a good state of mind helps build your immune system which helps you fight off disease and also helps you think more clearly.
There are different ways of thinking: fast and slow.
When the school evacuation bell sounds, you must think quickly. You must follow your teacher in a calm, quiet and orderly way and leave the building to what is called your ‘muster point’ – this is the place where the class should muster – or gather together.
But if you want to make a big decision or solve a tricky problem it can take up to 72 hours to decide what is best to do – that is 3 days if you have not worked it out for yourself.
Some people want to ‘sleep on’ decisions – that means they want to let their brain digest some information well and work on it during sleep.
This works very well – sometimes the first thing that comes into your head is not the best thought – it might be an instant reaction or emotion that clouds your judgement – thinking in a calm, gentle and slow way is much better.
The brain takes time to digest information just like the stomach takes time to digest food.
Above all, if something has gone really wrong in your life, don’t think that you cannot be happy again.
Your life maybe different in the future, but things will come together again if you give them a chance.
lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.
And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bill: Why aren’t you doing your homework Bob?
Bob: l can’t remember what to do. l think my brain is like the Bermuda Triangle, stuff goes in there and gets lost!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
The left half of the brain works in a different way from the right side
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
So this week, I promised to update you on Operation Muddy Hole.
You may remember we found a huge mud patch at the other side of the woods that are behind Auntie Alice’s cottage (The Rocky Bay Woods).
We planned to plant it with trees to extend the woodland.
The land had dried out a bit this week and so Auntie Alice, Captain Jack and I dressed up in old clothes and went to tackle a large mat of tangled brambles.
Farmer Jenkins made sure that there were no animals in the fields we were working in. Cows are very curious. They love to watch people work or do anything really, but it was really better if they weren’t there.
Brambles creep over the ground at a very fast rate and take over everywhere if you let them. We wanted to clear them away so that there was more ground for planting trees.
We did not want to remove them with a digging machine in case there was any wildlife underneath.
There could have been rabbits or foxes or badgers or even hedgehogs – but there didn’t seem to be anyone at home as we pulled the brambles away.
We wore very thick gloves and worked during the week while the children were at school because it was very difficult for us to deal with the prickly stems and they would not have been able to help us.
We had to keep rescuing each other when we accidentally got tangled up.
We spent all day cutting the all brambles away in sections and made a huge pile to the side.
But it was hard, laborious work and at the end of the day when the light was fading we looked at what there was left to do and it was very discouraging.
So Captain Jack went down to the Rusty Anchor and recruited some more volunteers to help.
The next day everything was a lot easier. It is true what they say; many hands do make light work.
In only one more day, all the brambles were cleared away.
We had already put the call out for help around the town earlier in the week.
We had contacted all our contacts!
The network of people talked to other people and we had a few offers of help.
The vicar had a shredding machine that he lent to us. He had bought it for the Rocky Bay Community Orchard near the Rocky Bay Parish Church.
We shredded all the bramble stems into little chips and spread them onto the mud to help soak up the water.
Then the next day, Reckitt and Stackett the Rocky Bay builders came down to the corner of the field in their truck with some gravel and top soil that they had found for us.
The gravel would improve the drainage and the top soil lifted the level of the ground so that the water would not run off the field into that one tiny place.
Then we left Farmer Jenkins to put a new fence up along the top of the slope.
It was just a few posts with wire netting stretched across it.
We had a plan to plant a new hedgerow behind it to strengthen the barrier that would help keep the cows in the field.
Brambles are blackberry plants
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
Can you find these words?
They are all subjects that might be studied at school.
- p_y_i_a_ e_u_a_i_n
- c_m_u_e_ p_o_r_m_i_g
- C_a_s_c_l s_u_i_s
- E_g_i_h l_t_r_t_r_
lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE SMALL CHlLD’S HANDLEBAR BAG
Do you ever pop down to the shops on your bicycle and need a little bag to hang on your handle bars to keep your front door key in and a few coins for sweets?
This would be the ideal bag.
Make sure you don’t hang it anywhere where it will interfere with any moving parts of the bicycle and don’t leave it outside the shop by mistake either!
Also make sure that everything is sewn together tightly, you can’t have anything dropping off or out when you cross the road.
This bag is big enough to put an inhaler in, but you will need to make it a bit longer if you need to carry an EpiPen with you.
A lot of people say that doing handicrafts helps with brain, hand eye co-ordination, so learning to knit can really help children to develop.
Knitting is also very relaxing when it goes well. It calms the brain and that is another good reason to learn how to knit.
BAG (KNIT TWO)
Using 4mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 26 stitches
Knit 4 rows of garter stitch
Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch
Slip 1 (knit 1, purl 1) to last stitch knit 1
Repeat last row 3 times
Slip 1 (purl 1, knit 1) to last stitch purl 1
Repeat last row 3 times
Repeat last 8 rows twice
Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch
Change to white sparkly yarn
Knit 6 rows of garter stitch
When you change colour cut your yarn off leaving ends for sewing up later.
TO MAKE UP
- Sew the bottom seam and side seams of the bag right sides together.
- Turn the bag right sides out.
- Crochet 80 chains into a length of orange yarn and thread this cord through the bottom channel (between the rows of garter stitch) at the top of the bag and knot the ends together.
- You could put a decorative bead on the end of the cord.
- You could knit the stocking stitch knitting in white and the rest of the bag in orange.
- You could knit the stocking stitch knitting in white and the bottom garter stitch in white and the rest of the bag orange.
- You might want to knit the patterned panel in different coloured stripes to give it a rainbow look.
- You might want to knit the patterned panel in garter stitch if you think this pattern is too difficult for you.
You are the designer and you can create any look that you like.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers
- physical education
- computer programming
- Classical studies
- English literature