Would you knowingly damage your home, your car, your surfboard, or any of your precious belongings? Probably not, nor would we knowingly harm our body through the decisions we make, right? We make choices to protect and nurture our body and our brain as best we can within our control. We take care of our body because it’s our home and to hopefully extend our life. You are the architect of building your brain. You have the ability to rewire your brain and train your brain.
Let the re-wiring begin >>> TRAIN YOUR BRAIN suggestions below >>>
1. CHOOSE HEALTHY HABITS: You’ve no doubt seen this familiar list of smart lifestyle choices; stop smoking, lessen stress, get enough sleep, lighten your load (obesity is a major risk factor for dementia), move/exercise daily, decrease alcohol and junk food in-take… These are common for many health reasons yet changing these habits are not only challenging; they are powerful. Cultivating new habits and re-wiring your brain takes work, dedication and effort. However, there are more subtle, profound brain enhancers below…
2. MOVEMENT: Just as your muscles waste away when you don’t exercise them or move them, so does your brain if you don’t use it. Think of training your brain like it’s a muscle. Give it physical and mental exercise, see #3. Exercise promotes new brain cells and connections for a strong brain, so get moving!
3. BE A STUDENT OF LIFE: commit to learning something new everyday! Be curious, be creative! Engage in a new hobby, enroll in a class that interests you, explore a different environment, and make life an adventure!! Our brain function improves with ongoing stimulation when we challenge ourselves in mentally, physically, emotionally, socially stimulating surroundings. “Adventure prevents dementia.”
4. FUEL: What we eat has a huge effect on our brain function and how our neurotransmitters/chemical messengers operate. Our alertness, mood, and cognitive function are highly reflective of our nutrition choices. Brain food recommendations: nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, eggs, blueberries, leafy greens, avocados, salmon/oily fish, olive oil (coconut and hemp oil too), broccoli, and tomatoes to name a few.
5. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: Boredom and monotony are toxic for our brains, explore and get out of your comfort zone, change up your daily routine. Go beyond your usual boundaries.
6. POSITIVITY: Surround yourself with uplifting people, read inspiring books, practice positive self-talk in order to elevate your internal dialogue.
7. AWARENESS: To promote good memory, make a conscious effort to pay attention. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, be present, and continually strive for innovative goals.
8. PAUSE: Be still, adequate rest and sleep plus meditation are as important as activating and mentally exercising our brain.
9. LOVE: Cultivate meaningful connections and positive social interactions. Be involved in the community. Just LOVE.
10. GRATITUDE: Being grateful creates a filter on how we see the world and we will seek more experiences to feel grateful for. When we look for gratitude, we will find it. Thank you and love to all of YOU!
11. VISUALIZATION: When we mentally rehearse a skill in our imagination we are firing the same neurons as if we were physically performing the activity. It increases the efficiency of the electrical transmissions between the nerve cells so we are better at the skill in the real world. We turbocharge our progress by just closing our eyes.
12. YOGA // MUDRA: Creating a pose with your hands is called a MUDRA. It is a symbol, seal, and sacred gesture of placing the hands in a special way that has a unique effect on the body’s energy and engages certain areas of the brain. A very well known mudra is, “Jnana mudra” where the index finger and thumb come together and form a circle. It is symbolic of invoking wisdom and knowledge.
You and YOUR BRAIN are powerful!