Creating a habit of waking up every morning and deciding that today is going to be the best day ever. Going to bed every night and spending time reflecting on your day. Realising what your achievement for the day was? This habit creates a shift to boost brain health and lessen anxiety.
Not to mention that 2020 has been such a disruptive year. In addition it has caused many of us to drop some of our healthy habits. Habits such as our daily exercise regime, eating clean, healthy, fresh foods, and practicing mindfulness.
A common theme
By the same token, one of my clients resonated with what many have been saying this year, “I have lost much of my confidence and seem to be second-guessing myself all the time”. She acknowledged that this current state was due to her losing her job and financial security. Thinking that she was set up for life. However, losing her job and struggling in the “covid lockdown” had made her question her abilities and self-worth.
Did you know?
– Anyone can suffer from a mental or emotional health problem
– 1:5 of us will suffer a mental health condition in our working life
– Mental health issues cost the Australian economy a conservative $12 billion annually
So much disruption occurring at such a fast pace has led to an increase in individuals experiencing fear, panic, overwhelmed, and loss of confidence. Most of us think that eating and exercise will take care of things. In part this is the case, however, when there is a focus on brain health, all sorts of improvements can be found.
Our body, mind and brain are negatively impacted by disruption, fear, and anxiety. Bad news can also impact us. Do you notice that you may become quite negative or more anxious if you have just heard some bad news from the media?
My client made the personal choice that saw her taking control of what was within her sphere of control and worked both on her mental and physical health. Over time her courage increased and in turn her confidence amplified. She is taking one step at a time on her journey but with a solid foundation, her journey has become easier.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.Lao Tzu
This so is true for all of us. Start to understand how improving brain health affects our physical and emotional bodies?
The end of mental illness
Dr Daniel Amen is a seasoned American Psychiatrist and author who has spent his extensive career studying the benefits of brain health. He has recently published a book called “The end of Mental Illness”. The book is around scientific research that demonstrates how brain science and eating brain foods is boosting brain health by reducing anxiety, stress, and other mental health disorders.
Amen believes that brain health issues steel your mind! Firstly, he likens mental health disease to other chronic health states such as heart disease. When mental health is viewed through the same lens as people suffering from say heart disease, the “shame” attached to mental health illness is removed. As a result, mental health illness starts to become normalised, without stigma.
Not an easy fix!
In short, both chronic diseases and mental health illnesses are affected by lifestyle choices. In the case of brain health, choices such as poor sleep habits, consumption of alcohol, drugs, playing physical sports, and ingestion of pesticides on food all have an impact.
Research shared in his book suggests that there are simple ways to start to improve your brain health. Paying attention to healing your brain helps to heal your mind and thoughts. Indeed, the body and mind respond to every thought that we experience.
Blood flow to the brain increases by eating foods high in fatty acids and taking specific supplements to support brain health. Improved brain health increases brain size.
In other words, when you identify what is important in your life, for example, health and longevity. Clarity can be heightened. Providing an opportunity to make changes that will enhance brain health to lessen anxiety. Creating a stronger connection between the body and the mind. A shift in mindset.
Some steps that may assist to boost brain health are: –
- Work on improving the duration and quality of your sleep. Start to develop a habit of going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time each morning. Try to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Foods high in omega-3-fatty acids and anti-oxidants may assist in keeping your brain healthy. Some of these foods are fatty fish, blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
- Seek out a qualified health professional to assist in guiding you to the appropriate supplementation to support brain health if required
- Write down what you are thinking when you feel sad, scared, nervous, or out of control. Ask yourself if these feelings are accurate? Then write down what you want.
- Change the way you are thinking. When you get a thought that does not make you feel confident or fulfilled, change it, and replace it with a positive thought that serves you better.
Developing these simple habits will help to boost your brain health, memory, feelings, and emotions.