Best Neuroplasticity Exercises To Rewire Your Brain – How To Reshape Your Brain’s Connections & Thinking?


Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize and rewire its connections throughout life. Engaging in neuroplasticity exercises can create new neural pathways and strengthen existing ones. This allows the brain to essentially reprogram itself, enhancing cognitive abilities, learning new skills faster, recovering from trauma, and more.

Read on to learn about neuroplasticity, different techniques to rewire your brain, supportive foods and tips to follow an effective neuroplasticity training regimen.

What Is Neuroplasticity? How Does It Work? 

Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to change and adapt in response to experiences by reorganizing neural connectivity. The brain can form new connections between neurons referred to as synapses. 


It can also strengthen or weaken synaptic connections and even form entirely new neurons through neurogenesis. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain is capable of repairing and rewiring itself by re-mapping neural pathways throughout one’s life.

When we engage in repeated thoughts or behaviors, we strengthen certain synaptic routes. Neuroplasticity allows these connections to be remolded by introducing new stimuli through learning.

This in turn forms newer synaptic routes while weakening existing ones. Overall, neuroplasticity enables the brain to essentially “re-program” its wiring.

Different Types Of Neuroplasticity 

There are several forms of neuroplasticity including:

Structural plasticity

This involves physical changes in the brain like neurogenesis, the formation of new synapses and neural wiring, changes in synapse strength, and pruning away of old synapses. Overall, the brain’s structure adapts.

Functional plasticity

This form represents biochemical changes underlying structural remodeling that allows new functions. It involves synaptic signaling strength variations, neurotransmitter levels, epigenetics, and more at a cellular level.

Sensory substitution

When one sense is lost, the associated brain regions can be recruited by other senses in a process called cross-modal plasticity e.g. blind people’s enhanced touch and hearing.

Developmental plasticity

The brain demonstrates heightened neuroplasticity in infancy and early childhood as neuronal connections are developing. Environment and experiences rewire the still malleable brain optimally.

Injury-induced plasticity

Following injuries like strokes, the child or adult brain remolds connections through plasticity under healthy conditions to enable recovery of lost skills.

Transgenerational plasticity

Changes in gene expression and structure caused by environmental influences can be inherited and influence neuroplasticity potential of subsequent generations.

Hebbian plasticity

Coined after psychologist Donald Hebb it refers to “neurons that fire together, wire together”. Synaptic pathways activated simultaneously get strengthened via long-term potentiation.

Related: Neurotherapies – Treat ADHD, Depression, Addiction & Anxiety?

Different Techniques To Rewire Your Cognitive Pathways In Brain 

Here are the top techniques to harness neuroplasticity for reshaping your brain’s neural connections:

Perform Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming etc increase blood flow and oxygen delivery while stimulating brain cell growth in critical regions. Make aerobic exercise a regular habit.

Learn New Skills

Keep exposing yourself to new skills to forge connections between existing and new neurons. Try new hobbies, languages, instruments, etc. Switch up routines and challenge yourself.

Try Cognitive Training

Do brain training exercises like memory games, logic puzzles, and problem-solving activities. Use workbooks or computer programs. Mastering these strengthens cognitive abilities

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation helps focus, improves attention control, and forms beneficial synaptic pathways via enhanced self-awareness. Follow guided meditations and yoga.

Follow Brain-Enriching Diet

Ensure your diet includes fatty fish, berries, nuts, seeds, cocoa, turmeric, green tea, and other brain-boosting foods. Key nutrients support neuroplasticity.

Get Good Sleep

Sleep is vital for consolidating memories and learning into neural tissue. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night for the brain to reorganize connections formed throughout the day.

Learn To Play An Instrument

Playing a musical instrument engages many regions of the brain making you learn new skills. It boosts neural connections and gray matter volume in the brain.

Use Neurofeedback

This technique uses real-time displays of brain activity to teach self-regulation of brain waves which enhances plasticity and facilitates desired rewiring.

Engage Senses In New Ways

Expose your senses to new stimuli e.g. switch hands used to explore objects, and try new tastes and smells. Novel sensory engagement promotes plasticity. 

Retrain Your Brain

Neuroplasticity can be used to retrain the brain to overcome learned negative behaviors, thought patterns, and emotional triggers by creating alternate neural pathways.

Which All Foods Are Good For Neuroplasticity?

Foods rich in the following nutrients help enable neuroplasticity:

Omega 3 fatty acids – Found in fatty fish, chia seeds, walnuts.

Antioxidants – Found in blueberries, prunes, pecans, dark chocolate

Vitamin B6, B9, B12 – Found in chickpeas, lentils, spinach, avocados

Vitamin C, E – Found in citrus fruits, papaya, olive oil, almonds 

Magnesium – Found in edamame, banana, pumpkin seeds 

Zinc – Found in cashews, oysters, egg yolks

Prebiotics & Probiotics – Found in yogurt, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut

Tips & Precautions To Improve Your Cognitive Pathways

Here are some tips to follow when engaging in neuroplasticity exercises:

  • Train skills over multiple short sessions for stronger memory consolidation.
  • Pick novel, fun, and challenging activities catered to your needs for maximum motivation and results. 
  • Combine cognitive training with aerobic exercise and mind-body practices for enhanced benefits. 
  • Remain consistent with your neuroplasticity training regimen for long-term synaptic remodeling.
  • Avoid cognitive overload and overtraining – take breaks when needed. Let the brain rest and assimilate changes.
  • Supplement techniques like learning new languages with relevant auditory therapies for amplification of benefits.
  • Include social interaction during training to benefit from others’ cognitive styles.
  • Adopt good sleep, stress management and eating habits that support optimal brain health and plasticity.
  • Be realistic about changes – neuroplasticity and rewiring take considerable time and effort. Document improvements.
  • Seek professional guidance where needed – for injuries, speech issues, traumatic brain recovery etc.


Engaging in targeted exercises that stimulate neuroplasticity can allow you to rewire thinking patterns, develop new capabilities, recover lost function and keep your brain resilient. Use a combination of physical, mental, sensory and lifestyle approaches for remodeling your brain effectively through neuroplasticity. Stay consistent and be patient with your training. Your brain has an incredible capacity to adapt and change when guided properly.


1. At what age does neuroplasticity potential decline?

Neuroplasticity continues throughout life but decreases with age. Middle age onwards, more effortful approaches may be required for neuroplastic changes.

2. How long does it take to see benefits from neuroplasticity exercises?

It takes 4-8 weeks of regular neuroplasticity training to strengthen neural pathways and skills enough to observe measurable improvements.

3. What is an example of cross-modal plasticity? 

Blind individuals’ brains demonstrate heightened tactile and auditory function by recruiting visual areas of the brain to process touch and sound.

4. Which neurotransmitter is most involved in neuroplasticity?

Glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter that enables long term potentiation underlying neuroplasticity and learning.

5. Can prescription medication influence neuroplasticity?

Yes, certain antidepressants like SSRIs promote neuroplasticity by increasing serotonin which strengthens neural connections.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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