Do you… Have big dreams and follow them? Minimize the “what ifs?” Eat fish or foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids? Recognize there are no “mistakes” in life. They are all experiments?
These questions are all related to the final three tips for you as you continue to develop your wellness practice and take major care of your most important organ: your brain.
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Over the past few weeks, my goal was to help you understand the importance of – and how to – care for your brain. The preponderance of Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to triple in the next thirty years and quadruple by 2050; that alone is enough reason to start being a warrior for your brain.
- Get to you know your brain
- Embrace health as a way of life
- Become a lifelong learner
- Exercise daily
- Get your sleep
- Eat nourishing and brain-healthy foods
- Fix your stress
- Cut or decrease alcohol
- Develop a healthy social network
Today, I wrap with three more tips that take time, perhaps years. Yet, beginning the journey will lead you to a fulfilling adventure to get to know you and your incredibly healthy brain.
10. Cultivate your sense of purpose – At some point along your path for wellness, you will (or I will encourage you) to find and cultivate your true purpose. I don’t mean to be a good mom, to be a great wife or partner. I mean, this one is all about you. I’ve had the good fortune to work with several coaches who have helped me define my true purpose. It has changed over the years, yet without giving too much away, my core values motto is “strength without struggle.” What is your purpose? The old adage, “What will it say on your headstone?” applies here. When we dig deep to find our authentic sense of purpose, life seems to take on a new lightness. You dig through your many “whys” and answer them honestly. You search high and low for what brings you your greatest joy – and purpose – and you have slowly dipped your toe in a life of purpose.
I am a huge Saint Teresa of Calcutta fan. Teresa lived her every day with purpose, for sure. She never diverted her attention from helping to care for the destitute and dying in the slums of Calcutta – (now known as Kolkata). Living this way will bring more joy to you – and your brain – and lighten up the what would have been stressful moments, days, weeks, and years. Right now may be an excellent opportunity to think through your purpose and spend a bit less time staying up with the news or social media. I promise you: your purpose is not to stay up on the latest national news.
11. Practice a lifestyle that decreases inflammation – Inflammation is a process when your body’s white blood cells, and the things they make, protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. When inflammation happens, chemicals from your white blood cells enter your blood or tissues to protect your body from invaders it perceives. This activity raises the blood flow to the area of injury or infection. It can cause redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause fluid to leak into your tissues, resulting in swelling. Chronic “swelling” or inflammation can cause all sorts of conditions – arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Just like blood flow to the brain is important, keeping inflammation at bay is critical for brain health. Some causes are poor food choices (like the Standard American Diet), obesity, repetitive trauma, sleep deprivation, and chronic anxiety.
12. Develop a growth mindset – Every time we receive feedback, we grow. Every person who challenges us brings us a gift. When we make mistakes, we are simply experimenting. Growing from mistakes, feedback, and challenges will bring your brain calm.
- Do you want to learn or do you want to be smart?
- Do you have a fixed mindset or are you flexible in your thinking?
- Do you give up easily or persist through challenges?
- Do you fail or learn from the experience?
- Are you stuck in the “I can’t” or are you able to dig deep and say “yet” at the end of that statement?
Brain scans of those with a growth mindset are starkly different than those with a fixed one. When we use mistakes as a stepping stone, we are helping our brain flex its powerful muscle.
Come along with me and start your journey for maximum brain health. And, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to learn innovative ways we can work together at www.alexandriawellness.com.