Making Neuroscience Easy to Understand

This Week’s Book: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Before 25 (J. Payne)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, it should be no secret by now that I have a bit of a love affair with neuroscience.  Ok, more than a bit…I find it fascinating.  So, I’m always on a quest to find great books that make neuroscience accessible and easy to understand.  Just like all things related to psychology, it doesn’t need to be as complicated as it’s usually presented…or at least that’s my opinion.  Anywho, this week I found another awesome book – a spin off from the bestselling book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen (spoiler alert: I’ll probably write about this book one day too).  This book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Before 25, targets the 25 and unders, which just happens to be the age of a good chunk of my clients…so it seemed like a must read for me.

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Before 25 is written in the same vein as Amen’s book, focusing on the brain’s ability for change and how we can modify it for the better.  The book starts by giving a solid foundation of information about the brain, its developmental patterns and the science of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change), followed by a section on ways that we can damage the brain.  Payne also encourages readers to be empathic towards others, as he includes a section on understanding the brains of others.  Lastly, this book includes a section on strategies for changing the brain.  Payne takes a holistic approach to change in that section, targeting the mind, body, and soul.

So here’s an interesting fact about people under the age of 25 – their brains aren’t fully developed.  I would imagine that a ton of people wouldn’t realize that fact until they read this book.  Our brains don’t fully develop until between the ages of 25-28 and, when you think about it, oh man it explains a lot.  This book does a great job of discussing the developmental process, while kindly helping readers understand what their brain is up to and why they may engage in certain behaviours.  I feel like that education could’ve been done in a condescending manner, but Payne masterfully weaves in humour and information without a hint of condescension.  In fact, throughout the whole book it is clear that Payne has worked a lot with young adults and knows how to communicate with them in a manner that will make them feel empowered.

In case you can’t tell yet, I loved this book.  People under the age of 25 are so unique and their feelings are always so pure and big.  This book does an amazing job of describing why that may be and some strategies that may be useful when encountering the enormity of it all.  Payne manages to educate readers about their body’s biggest asset, the brain…something which we are often woefully ignorant about.  I would recommend this book to anyone – under 25s, as a way to gain some self-understanding, and over 25s, as a way to increase understanding and empathy.  Self-understanding, empathy, and understanding of others are always beneficial things to gain.

Interested in this book?  Click here!

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