10 Habits of Highly Effective Brains

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Let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains.

1. Learn what is the “It” in “Use It or Lose It”. A basic under­stand­ing will serve you well to appre­ci­ate your brain’s beauty as a liv­ing and constantly-developing dense for­est with bil­lions of neu­rons and synapses.

2.  Take care of your nutri­tion. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but con­sumes over 20% of the oxy­gen and nutri­ents we intake? As a gen­eral rule, you don’t need expen­sive ultra-sophisticated nutri­tional sup­ple­ments, just make sure you don’t stuff your­self with the “bad stuff”.

3.  Remem­ber that the brain is part of the body. Things that exer­cise your body can also help sharpen your brain: phys­i­cal exer­cise enhances neurogenesis.

4.  Prac­tice pos­i­tive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mind­set and you look for­ward to every new day in a con­struc­tive way. Stress and anx­i­ety, no mat­ter whether induced by exter­nal events or by your own thoughts, actu­ally kills neu­rons and pre­vent the cre­ation of new ones. You can think of chronic stress as the oppo­site of exer­cise: it pre­vents the cre­ation of new neurons.

5.  Thrive on Learn­ing and Men­tal Chal­lenges. The point of hav­ing a brain is pre­cisely to learn and to adapt to chal­leng­ing new envi­ron­ments. Once new neu­rons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they sur­vive depends on how you use them. “Use It or Lose It” does not mean “do cross­word puz­zle num­ber 1,234,567″. It means, “chal­lenge your brain often with fun­da­men­tally new activities”.

6.  We are (as far as we know) the only self-directed organ­isms in this planet. Aim high. Once you grad­u­ate from col­lege, keep learn­ing. The brain keeps devel­op­ing, no mat­ter your age, and it reflects what you do with it.

7.  Explore, travel. Adapt­ing to new loca­tions forces you to pay more atten­tion to your envi­ron­ment. Make new deci­sions, use your brain.

8.  Don’t Out­source Your Brain. Not to media per­son­al­i­ties, not to politi­cians, not to your smart neigh­bour… Make your own deci­sions, and mis­takes. And learn from them. That way, you are train­ing your brain, not your neighbour’s.

9.  Develop and main­tain stim­u­lat­ing friend­ships. We are “social ani­mals”, and need social inter­ac­tion. Which, by the way, is why ‘Baby Ein­stein’ has been shown not to be the panacea for chil­dren development.

10.  Laugh. Often. Espe­cially to cog­ni­tively com­plex humor, full of twists and sur­prises.

DRUMROLL PLEASE…# 11 COMES TO US FROM A READER NAMED, JOHN.  I love the hobbies he mentions as they’re my own and they do serve to keep the mind sharp.  John has a beautiful blog. I encourage you to take a look at it. The link for it is:   http://realtruelove.wordpress.com/

11. Write, journal, blog (as well as draw, paint, play an instrument, learn photography).  And read decent books (and poetry); give yourself some real food for thought. And when you read decent books, read slowly enough to explore–and even better, to journal–your own thoughts in relation to what you are reading. Developing and refining our own personal philosophy or “life map” is a huge part of using it and not losing it.

Now, remem­ber that what counts is not read­ing this article-or any other-, but prac­tic­ing a bit every day until small steps snow­ball into unstop­pable, inter­nal­ized habits…so, pick your next bat­tle and try to start improv­ing at least one of these 10 habits today. Revisit the habit above that really grabbed your atten­tion, click on a link below to learn more, and make a deci­sion to try some­thing dif­fer­ent today!

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Hot Books on Brain Health:

The Brain Mechanic by Spencer Lord

Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

All Books by John Assaraf

Take a Listen to John’s Latest Podcast Here on The Power of Expanding Your Awareness:

 https://unmistakablecreative.com/podcast/the-power-of-expanded-awareness-with-john-assaraf

Your Brain After Chemo by Idelle Davidson

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You can also check out my own book HEALTHY WITHIN at the following link. Make sure you check for Discount Codes before checkout.

Link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/maria-dorfner/healthy-within/paperback/product-21813389.html

 

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newsmd1   MARIA DORFNER is the founder of Healthy Within Network (HWN) and NewsMD Communications, LLC.

This is her blog.

Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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 “When We Tell Stories…People Listen.”

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11 thoughts on “10 Habits of Highly Effective Brains

  1. 11. Write, journal, blog (as well as draw, paint, play an instrument, learn photography). And read decent books (and poetry); give yourself some real food for thought. And when you read decent books, read slowly enough to explore–and even better, to journal–your own thoughts in relation to what you are reading. Developing and refining our own personal philosophy or “life map” is a huge part of using it and not losing it.

    Great article! Thanks for the food for thought!

  2. Great reminder. Watched a TED video today where the speaker mentioned that 90% of long-term happiness is determined by how our brain processes our reality. All your points above, they make the brain healthy and us, as human beings, happier.

    1. Hi Kamal, The TED video you mention reminds me of the quote from Epictetus: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” I wholeheartedly agree with that.

      1. So true, Maria. I’ve been learning that so much of life, if not all, is what happens in our mind. That’s reality, what’s outside is plastic. And, as we work on what’s inside, what’s outside naturally resolves itself.

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