Your brain: it’s not just a grey squishy thing. You can actually use it for a lot, like staying alive. You may not know it, but your brain? You need to use it or lose it.
Your Brain: 2 Classic Ways to Lose It
1) Stress. Stress has not only been shown to be a major health risk, but it can also seriously cramp your brain, make it stop growing new cells, even make it physically smaller, and make you dumberer!
2) Not using it. Still believing in the old myth that your brain doesn’t grow new cells and you can’t stop your memory from going as you grow older? Believe again. Turns out your brain is like your bicep, the more you use it the bigger it grows, even into old age.
Your Brain: How To Fine-Tune Performance
Now that you know stress (and negative emotions) can retard your brain’s performance, and that not stimulating those neurons can leave your brain muscles limp, what can you do to supercharge your brain?
1) Eat well! You and I both know this. While there are more diet theories than you can shake a stick at, most of them agree that more veggies & fruits than anything else is always a good thing. A cappucino is not a fruit (shucks).
2) Work that body! It’s good for your brain & it’s good for your body. It’s also been touted for so many years you know and I know its benefits, so ’nuff talkin’ and more sweatin’. Stretch, do cardio and pump up some muscle at least 3 times a week!
3) Challenge your brain! Push it and you grow it. Even when animals’ brains are damaged, when put in an enriched environment where they can play and learn, the brains are able to grow and repair themselves!
Learn new things, take on new challenges, learn a new language, pick up a new instrument, do sudoku, play games, pick up quantum physics, stretch yourself!
4) Dissolve that stress! Being the big brain-buster that it is, not to mention the bummer that it feels, boosting your ability to deal with stress smoothly is a big plus for anyone.
According to Robert Sapolsky, people who handle stress well are optimistic, take the initiative to do what they can, see things as they really are and not blown out of proportion, have friends and family they can go to and be supported (TLC baby!).
5) Get some TLC (tender loving care)! Yup, you read it right; getting TLC doesn’t only feel good, it provides real physical benefits for your brain. Rats that have been petted not only live longer, but their brains keep growing. Get your hug today, tell people it’s good for the brain. Hugz!
Your Brain: It’s Yours, Make It Lean, Make It Mean
Your Brain: it’s not just there to look good. Treat it well, feed it right, work it out, push it on, let go of the burden and give it some love, and instead of a beat-up old bicycle you’ll transform it into a rip-roaring Ferrari smokin’ down the tracks.
(This post is part of Problogger.net’s ‘How to…Group Writing Project‘! Sources from this post found via Matt, Senia & Dave, all of whom have kick-ass strategies to lead a greater life on their blogs. Thanks guys!)