10 Keys to Unlock Optimal Brain Health
How often do you work on your mental fitness? In this episode, I give you the exact tools you need to get your brain in shape.
Having a ‘kwik’ brain isn’t just about mental intelligence. Sure, you can memorize facts and figures…but what about mental fitness?
Wouldn’t you love a younger, sharper, more agile brain that had more endurance and energy?
One day, I picked up my office phone and heard a woman say, “I love you!” She was an online student who had gone through our program. She had been given a family heirloom – and hid it so well that she’d forgotten where she’d put it. After going through our program, she woke up at 2AM, ran down to the basement, and pulled out the heirloom from a crevice behind the boiler.
When I pointed out that the program didn’t teach how to find misplaced items, she said, “I don’t know what it is. But after going through your course, I feel like my brain is 20 years younger. I feel like I’ve gotten my brain back.”
1/3 of your brainpower is fixed…but 2/3 of it is totally under control.
10 Keys to Optimal Brain Health
- A Good Diet.
- You are what you eat, so eat the right brain foods. Listen to our episode on what they are here
- Kill ANTs.
- This comes from Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts – like, “I’m not smart enough” or, “I have a bad memory.” I read in a book once that your brain is a supercomputer, and your self-talk is the program it will run. So program your computer well! Remember, your mind is always eavesdropping on your self-talk. And if you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them.
- As your body moves, your brain grooves. Research proves that anything that’s good for your heart is good for your head. People who exercise have better blood flow and oxygen in their brains, and perform better on mental acuity tests.
- Brain Nutrients.
- If you have a fast lifestyle and you don’t get the nutrients you need from your diet, you can help your brain with the right supplements.
- Positive Peer Group.
- Your brain potential is enhanced by your social networks. Who you spend time with is who you become – so make sure the people you’re spending time with are good for your brain and your life.
- Clean Environment.
- Don’t you focus better when you have an uncluttered desk? Your external world is a reflection of your internal world.
- Exercise breaks down muscles; sleep regenerates them. A good night’s sleep will help you focus, think more clearly, and make better decisions. It’s also essential for your memory because during sleep is when you consolidate short to long-term memory.
- Brain Protection.
- Your brain is resilient, but also very fragile. Protect your most valuable asset by avoiding extreme sports and always wearing a helmet.
- New Learnings.
- You can grow older, but you can grow better. You can create new brain cells through neurogenesis until the day you die. Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to create new connections. Einstein didn’t have a bigger brain, but he did have more connections than most people.
- The keys for neuroplasticity and neurogenesis are nutrients and novelty. You want to add stress and stimulus via exercise and nutrients via new learnings. In fact, a famous study done on nuns found they remained agile as they grew old partly because of their faith and partly because they were lifelong learners.
- Stress Management.
- When you’re stressed, you go into fight-or-flight mode and release cortisol and adrenaline. This is good if you need to flee a tiger, but not if you need to take a test or present. Nowadays, we are more stressed than ever. So stress management is crucial.
This is all common sense, but it’s not common practice. Pay attention: what are you good at? What are you neglecting?
Do them all and you’ll level up your learning AND life with your ‘kwik,’ fit brain.
Stay tuned! In a future episode, you’ll learn how to memorize these keys forward AND backwards.