4 A Touch Of Style

Without looking, choose clothing, shoes, and so on, with matching or contrasting textures. For example, make it a silky, smooth day or a rough, nubby day. Use not only your fingers but also your cheeks, lips, and even your feet—they're all packed with receptors for fine touch.

^ Extensive practice using the fingers to make fine distinctions between objects or textures causes expansion and rewiring of the brain areas involved in touch. This has been observed in monkeys trained to use theirfingers to getfood and in brain imaging experiments in blind human Braille readers.

5. SAYWHAT?

Wear earplugs when you join the family for breakfast and experience the world without sound.

^ Has your spouse ever complained that you are only "half-listening"? If you 're in the middle of a morning routine, it's probably true. By virtue of ingrained routines, your brain has a pretty good idea ofwhat to expect each morning, so only afew words are enough for you to follow a sentence. And, engrossed in a newspaper or listening to the radio, you "tune out" most other sensory inputs. Blocking a major sensory route by wearing earplugs forces you to use other cues to accomplish even simple tasks like knowing when the toast is done orpassing the sugar bowl.

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