Friday, September 30, 2022

How To Build A Better Brain

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Make Time To Clear Your Mind

How To Build a Better Brain

Research shows that regular meditation not only improves brain function but also increases happiness. Even five minutes in the middle of your work day, will make a big difference.

But if you can’t or don’t want to make time for meditation, you can still some of the same benefits by taking the time to clear your mind on a regular basis. Taking time to stop and breathe, and stare out the window is helpful. So is taking a walk, which can be a form of meditation, and adds to brain function both as moderate exercise and because it gets you outdoors and into daylight.

Spend This Year Taking Care Of Your Brain You’ll Be Amazed At The Results

That 3 lb. organ between our ears controls everything we do. We depend on it for literally everything from deciding which holiday presents to exchange to keeping us breathing. Yet most of us spend more time and energy trying to improve every other part of the body but give little thought to our brains. It’s as though they had no needs of their own.

Taking good care of your brain may the single most powerful thing you can do if you want a healthy, happy, and productive 2016. Like every organ in the body, you can create optimum conditions for your brain to work at its best. Which could lead to one of the most creative, successful, life-changing years you’ve ever had.

Commit to making these simple changes, and reap the benefits of better brain function all year long:

Thanks To Our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. They make delicious superfood drinks, theyre beyond easy to incorporate into your routine. Let me tell you about my two personal favorites. Their green juice contains a clinical dose of ashwagandha, which supports healthy cortisol levels to aid in weight management. It also contains 11 superfoods for resetting the body and takes just 30 seconds with no chopping, shopping, or juicing, or blending. Its organic, it tastes delicious, and no blender needed. You just add water and drink it up, and let your body soak up the benefits. I also love their Gold drink at night, its like a turmeric tea, they even have a chocolate version, that contains nine superfoods for rest and relaxation. It tastes delicious in warm weather and can be mixed in milk, water, or milk alternatives. Its low sugar, so you can enjoy this dessert-like tea guilt-free and wake up refreshed without drowsiness. My kids love the chocolate one. You can check out these and all of their products, including protein powder and red antioxidant drink by going to organifi.com/wellnessmama, and using the code wellnessmama to save 20% on your order.

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More On How To Train Your Brain

    Do you ever feel like your brain can function better than it is currently? Have you ever had moments of laser sharp focus and wished they stayed with you forever?

    We have all had those moments where we found ourselves being super productive and having lengthened periods of concentration and focused attention, and if there was a way we could make such kind of mental state a permanent state for us, we would definitely go for it.

    And while we cannot make the state come back and stick with us forever in just an instant, there is a way we can slowly cultivate it in our lives in the long term.

    One of these ways is by being keen on eating brain boosting foods. Some foods enhance the regions of the brain that are linked to concentration, focus, reasoning, thinking abilities, and overall brain health. By eating these foods regularly, you can also improve your brain function and slowly work to a healthy and well performing brain.

    Lets take a closer look at the 12 best brain foods to take to boost your focus and overall mental health.

    Build A Better Memory Through Science

    Build a better brain at any age  Fontana Bookservices Ltd.

    Join host Juju Chang and discover workable strategies that make improving memory fun.MoreMore

    Join host Juju Chang, the Emmy-Award winning co-anchor of ABC News Nightline to discover workable strategies that make improving memory fun and rewarding. Explore the latest research with leading experts neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, memory trainers and others using state-of-the-art computer animations to illustrate how memory works and how to maximize it.

    Join host Juju Chang, the Emmy-Award winning co-anchor of ABC News Nightline to discover workable strategies that make improving memory fun and rewarding. Explore the latest research with leading experts neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, memory trainers and others using state-of-the-art computer animations to illustrate how memory works and how to maximize it.

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    Use Your Brain To Build Better Relationships At Work

    According to Judith Glaser, the CEO of Benchmark Communications and the author of the new book, Conversation Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, the key to success in life and in work is to prime your brain for trust, mutual respect, and partnership. Based on advances made in the neuroscience field over the last decade, Glasers framework involves understanding what kind of conversations trigger the lower, more primitive brain, and what kind activate higher-level intelligences such as integrity, empathy, and good judgment.

    I asked Glaser for a few examples of how neuroscience affects the way we handle challenging workplace relationships and how we can leverage our brain’s natural tendencies to better these relationships, and here were her top tips.

    Our Brains Are Designed to Be Social

    The need to belong is more powerful than the need for safety. Rejection activates our fear networks and increases the levels of cortisol, which move us into protect behavior. Focus on being inclusive and using physical and verbal touch in order to reduce the level of cortisol and increase the level of oxytocin, which promotes bonding.

    Appreciation Reshapes Neural Networks

    Appreciation activates a large framework of neurons that are part of the functions of sight, hearing, and perspective. It enables us to see more broadly and think bigger. Better your relationships by focusing onappreciating others perspectives even if you dont agree.

    Building A Better Brain

    When I woke up from the coma Id been in for the past week, I was barely there. It was as if the light in the attic had a short in the wiring and was dimly flickering on and off.

    I couldnt focus on anything for more than a few seconds, and my brain couldnt make sense of what it was seeing. To my surprise, garbled noises and mutilated words spewed from my mouth when I opened it to speak. What did come out was disturbingly slow, flat, and mangled. The sluggishness of my speech was an indication of how quickly my brain was working not very fast.

    Id tried to commit suicide by swallowing an assortment of pills, mostly brain drugs, and although Id survived, my brain was stuck in a drugged stupor.

    Over the year after the attempt, I naturally recovered enough to resume living independently but was still mentally impaired. I had short-term memory problems, an inability to focus, aphasia, poor people skills, no math aptitude, and little impulse control. By then, Id healed enough emotionally to decide that I did want to live, and I promised myself, I AM NOT living like this!

    So, I started learning everything I could about how to rebuild my brain and tried anything that might possibly help me from supplements and exercise to alternative therapies and brain training. The more I learned, the better I got, and the better I got, the more I learned.

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    Build A Better Brain: How To Grow Grey And White Matter

    Dr. Greg Wells

    Optimizing the functioning and growth of your brain is essential to your performance and health. In particular, its important to understand the role of two kinds of tissues white matter and grey matter and how you can make them grow. You can see the different brain tissues in this MRI image:

    Grey matter is the part of your brain that processes information and contains all of the neuronal cells in your brain. For everything from emotion to sensory perception and memory, grey matter is where the action takes place. White matter is the part of your brain that connects all of the grey matter nodes together.

    We can use another type of MR imaging to see the white matter tracts in the brain and how they connect the different brain regions together:

    From: https://phys.org/news/2014-06-esa-image-space-brain-networking.html

    Its a lighter colour because there is myelin protecting all of the nerves there, like bark on a tree. Heres a CGI image of a neuron with myelin sheathing around the axon that connects the neurons in the brain:

    If your brain were a transit system, the grey matter would be the stations and the white matter would be the tracks. You can improve the functioning of your brain by bulking up the processing centres and improving the efficiency of transmission between nodes. Basically, you can enable the trains of your mental transit system to hold more, travel faster and leave more often.

    Heres how to do it.

    Eat Less Saturated Fat

    8 Ways To Build A Better Brain

    Eating a high fat ketogenic diet can have tremendous cognitive benefits, but in the context of the average Western diet, It may hinder your ability to think.

    A study done on the effects of high-fat diets in neurogenesis in rats has shown that those fed a high-fat diet had a reduced instance of neural growth in the DG.

    Seven weeks of a high-fat diet was enough to cause significant decreases in the amount of newly generated cells.

    A diet high in saturated fats also increases the concentration of malondialdehyde which is a compound that is toxic to neural progenitor cells. These cells are necessary for the formation of new neurons.

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    How To Build A Better Brain

    Your brain is a real workhorse. All day, its helping you work, study, play the guitar, cook, and read internet articles. Its managing all your thoughts, speech, and movements, and regulating your breath and heartbeat. And its constantly processing new information from your surroundings, your social interactions, and your media screens.

    So its no wonder if you feel mentally burned out at the end of the day. Our jam-packed, information-loaded modern lifestyles are keeping our brains in non-stop high gear. It takes a huge amount of energy to sustain that kind of activity. And just like your body, your brain needs proper fuel, rest, and exercise to stay in shape and on task.

    Whether you are hoping to ace your next exam, perform better at work, or just remember your shopping list, here are a few ways to bulk up and recharge your brain so that you can stay on top of your game.

    Dr Sanjay Guptas Five Tips To Build A Better Brain At Any Age

    The CNN medical correspondent shares five tips for better brain health

    Did you know that 90 percent of the time we are using just 10 percent of our brains? According to neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we need to inspire the growth of new brain cells a process called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis can occur at any time and at any age. Its kind of like building new cities in your brain, Dr. Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, told Katie. You start to see patterns that you would have otherwise missed and connect the dots. So, how do we grow our brain cells? In the latest episode of Katies podcast Next Question, she sits down with Dr. Sanjay Gupta to discuss his new book Keep Sharp: Ways to Build A Better Brain.

    Below, Dr. Gupta shares five simple steps we can take to make our brains healthier at any age.

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    Eat Rightand Make Sure Dark Chocolate Is Included

    Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally in the long term. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

    When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine, and dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavanols, which have antioxidant functions that can improve the way your brain functions.

    Next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

    Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

    Read Build a Better Brain Online by Peter Hollins

    If you want to train your brain and develop optimal cognitive abilities, then youve got to have meaningful relationships in your life. Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

    If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

    I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

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    Keep Sharp: How To Build A Better Brain At Any Age By Sanjay Gupta

    Optimal brain health refers to how well our brains function intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Lifestyle factors, such as getting enough sleep, maintaining positive relationships, and regular social engagement, have been proven to prevent cognitive decline.

    Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. In Keep Sharp, Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.

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    The Ultimate Health Goal

    In the late 1990s, I had a chance to spend a few days with Stephen Hawking. I was working at the White House and helped plan a series of evenings for President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. When we were thinking about how best to celebrate science, we unanimously agreed on having the famed theoretical physicist as our featured guest.

    Because of his ALS, Hawking typed his entire talk into his computer and then played it after going onstage. We had even planned the question-and-answer part of the evening ahead of time. I knew that the audience would be engaged and entertained by his brilliance in the world of physics, but it was his life lessons that have stayed with me more than 20 years later.

    Hawking’s disease slowly robbed him of his ability to walk, speak and participate in life the way most of us can, but he had a mind that nobody and nothing could take away from him. It remained sharp until his peaceful death, in 2018.

    I once had a teacher who said to me , They can take away everything you own, but they can never take away this.”

    That statement has stayed with me ever since and continues to remind me that it’s up to me to protect and preserve my brain and its memories. All it really takes are some basic lifestyle strategies.

    More on Brain Health

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    Does Brain Training Work

    Like anything new, the effectiveness of brain training is still the subject of some debate in the scientific community, and you can find studies for and against it. But there is no debate in my mind. It helped me dramatically and was crucial to my recovery. But the cool thing is, it can work for your brain too. No brain injury required. However, my results may have been so significant because my brain had so much room for improvement.

    The article Can Brain Training Work by SharpBrains reads:

    Evidence is growing that brain training can work.Why do we still often hear that brain training does not work? Because of the different understandings of what brain training and work mean. A machine to train abdominal muscles probably wont work if what we measure is blood pressure.

    Brain training takes advantage of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change its form and function based on repeated input throughout your life. Your brain is changing every minute of every day as a result of what you do, feel, and think anyway. Brain training exercises harness and direct this process. Just as you workout to exercise your body, you can exercise your memory, attention, and other cognitive skills to keep them in top shape.

    The BrainHQ website puts it this way:

    The benefits of brain training include:

    • Faster thinking
    • More receptive to try new things
    • Finding words

    Flex Your Brain Muscles

    How to Build a Better Brain with BDNF

    Thanks to increased awareness of the mind-body connection, you probably already know that your mind affects your body. But do you know how much your body can affect your mind? A few years ago, Arthur Kramer, PhD, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, began to study how exercise affects the brain. Now one of the countrys top brain-and-exercise researchers, Kramer is convinced that working up a sweat is critical for brain health.

    Across the board, exercise increases brain function, memory retention and other key areas of cognition up to 20 percent, he says. Although Kramer and his colleagues dont understand precisely how working out bolsters brain health, they have a few theories.

    For starters, exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which is crucial for a healthy head. The brain accounts for only 2 percent of the bodys overall weight, but it guzzles 15 percent of its blood flow. In many ways, a healthy brain and a healthy heart go hand-in-hand. Just as exercise gets blood flowing through the hearts arteries, keeping them open, flexible and unclogged, it does the same for the blood vessels in the brain.

    Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey, MD, author of the forthcoming book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, explained the process this way: Its like Miracle-Gro for the brain.

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