Provide your brain and body with what they need for consistent high performance with these practical, science-based tips.
Your brain is the most miraculous mass of protoplasm in the known universe. It weighs in at a whopping 3 pounds and has approximately 100 billion neurons capable of connecting with one another in multiple ways to create memory and computing power that boggles the imagination. It’s your navigation system for life.
Your brain needs a healthy and vibrant body to function properly and vice versa. The following tips apply to general health and well-being, managing stress and keeping you alert and focused so you can perform at peak levels.
- Fuel for Your Brain and Body
These ideas are intended to stimulate your thinking and motivate independent research to create and implement your optimum brain and body turbo boosting diet. Four to six small and nutrient rich meals per day provide a steady flow of fuel for consistent high performance. “Fatty fish” (e.g. salmon and tuna) containing omega-3 oils seems to be amongst the top ten recommendations from trusted sources for brain and body health. Fresh fruits high in antioxidants and nutrient-rich vegetables having a “rainbow of colors” come highly recommended. Protein sources include nuts, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry and low fat animal sources. Green tea is high in antioxidants and known as a brain boosting beverage. Four to six, or more, glasses of water is a given. Avocados have monounsaturated sources of fat that increase blood flow to the brain, important minerals and antioxidant properties. Look into turmeric that may protect your brain against disease, improve your vision and strengthen your immune system; look for preparations that include pepper to help your body assimilate this miraculous spice.
- Exercise and Posture
Do exercise you enjoy to strengthen your lungs, heart and muscles a minimum of 20 minutes per session, 3 or more times per week. Good posture while sitting, walking and driving will pay dividends now and in the future. Your spinal chord is the “central wiring system” connecting your brain and body. Pay attention to ergonomics where you work, eat, relax, play and sleep.
- Stress and Risk Management
Stress causes distress and eventually disease. It’s no fun experiencing stress from worry, a tired body, fatigued brain, and an inhospitable environment. You most likely will make mistakes in what you are doing when stress takes hold. Also, relationships may suffer if you are interacting with others. Simple techniques help you prevent and manage stress.
Oxygen is vital for healthy brain function. Deep and rhythmic breathing is a good practice, particularly under stress, when most people tend to breathe shallowly or hold their breath. Drinking clean ice water, rich in dissolved oxygen, helps brain function as well as flushing body toxins. Exercise is also a great, therapeutic way to increase brainpower and keep the body healthy.
Take a break when you first feel the early signs of stress. Getting physically away from where you are, even for 5-10 minutes, will help you reframe and gather your wits. Do something different like taking a short walk, closing your eyes to meditate, having a short conversation with someone you trust, eating a snack, drinking a healthy beverage or listening to calming music.
Kinesthetic Cross-Overs help increase the distribution of electrical energy, blood flow and oxygen between the two brain hemispheres. Take your right or left thumb and hold it in front of your eyes. Trace an imaginary large figure “8.” Follow the motion of your thumb with your eyes. Do three to five sequences, or more, in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. You may also toss a ball from one hand to another to get the same effect.
- Focus and Alertness
When you are tired and working too long at one thing your focus and attention drops off. Mistakes and costly accidents can occur. Practical neuroscience methods keep you at peak levels of performance.
Peppermint will perk up your brain when you feel sleepy and need to stay focused and alert. Essential oils, mints and chewing gum work well when driving a vehicle and when you need to stay on task while working.
Frequent breaks are recommended, particularly when doing highly stressful activities. Typically, the adult attention span is 20 – 30 minutes. It makes sense to take short and frequent breaks, timed with the decline of your attention and performance.
Classical music is known to put your brain in an optimal state for high levels of cognitive processing and performance. Popular music may stimulate emotions that can distract you and cause you to think about the words, rather than what you have to do.
- Think About What You Think About
What you give attention to gets stronger and persists because of neuroplasticity. It’s like exercising a muscle. When you think about a subject, talk about it, and take in additional sensory information to expand your knowledge and understanding, your memory get stronger, like growing a root system of a tree. If you’re thinking about what you don’t want in life, quickly reverse negative thoughts into polar opposite positive thoughts and outcomes so you will get what you really want to experience. Always think positively and optimistically, even when life is challenging and looks bleak.
In conclusion, small and frequent portions of healthy food, pure water, oxygenation, exercise, proper posture and practical neuroscience are great ways to stay healthy, manage stress and maintain focus to be the very best you can be. A positive mental attitude always wins out and makes life better.
- Boosting Trader Performance With Neuroscience (brainpathways.net)
- Regaining Your Personal Power Through Neuroscience and Love (brainpathways.net)
- Two Quick Ways to Kick-Start Your Personal Productivity (brainpathways.net)