10. Avoid Brain Drain
Before the New Year begins it is time to Recharge, Re-Program, Feed, Soothe, Nourish, Enrich, Challenge and Rest Your Mind.
After a long year your body needs to rest and recover. Maybe even more importantly you need to let your mind rest and recover so you can start your next year refreshed and ready to successfully achieve your goals.
Here are some tips to start the new year invigorated but also smarter, stronger and ready for the challenges ahead.
Program Your Mind
Just like programming a computer you can program your mind for success. Set your goals for the year ahead and write them down in a prominent place.
Bring positivity into your life and say the following sentences to yourself daily: “I am happy.” “I am prosperous.” “I am healthy.”
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right.” Henry Ford
One of our goals in 2011 was to do the Great wall of China Marathon which we loved.
The most important nutrient for the brain is fat because the brain is actually made up of fat (it is the body’s fattiest organ – 60 percent of it is made up of fatlike substances). The problem is, if we eat a lot of unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates, we end up with an unhealthy brain.
Fats that support brain health are found in foods like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocados. Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in seafood are ideal too. Other great brain food includes berries, eggs (yes, eat the yolks) and complex carbohydrates (green vegetables being the best variety).
For better brain functioning avoid trans-fatty acids found in nearly all processed foods, vegetable oils and fried foods. A great dish to enjoy for brain health is Primed Kinilaw with Extra Vegetables and Avodado.
Hydrate Your Body for your Brain
So, if you are eating fresh produce that contain high levels of vitamins and minerals required for a healthy mind then you must drink enough water as this is essential so as to absorb the beneficial nutrients in your food.
Soothe Your Brain
By enjoying Camomile Tea you are not only hydrating your body but soothing your mind and body as it is known to alleviate stress. The sounds of nature, music (not head-banger music) and comedy are also great ways to calm your mind.
Nourish Your Mind
Yes, your mind needs the right fuel and needs your body to be hydrated, but your mind needs more than that to flourish. Really nourish your mind and soul by donating your time or money to helping others. Or it can even be as simple as REALLY listening to your loved ones properly, smiling more at those around you and seeking ways to help those around you in simple ways.
Be grateful for all your blessings. Think of all your friends and colleagues who have helped you to this point in your life. Send them a text message, an email, visit them or call them and let them know how you feel. Express your gratitude for having them in your life. You will make them feel great and will also feel great too.
Enrich Your Mind
Not food again, but knowledge. You need to keep growing, to keep learning new things and expand your mind. Reading books (especially before bed as it helps you sleep better), listening to spoken books on motivational sportspeople, listening to podcasts on nutrition, watching educational clips on youtube and helping others cook (for example) are all great ways to learn new skills and grow your mind’s capacity.
Challenge Your Mind
Perhaps a little similar to enrich your mind but here it is more along the lines of trying something new, exciting and challenging. Examples could be traveling to a foreign country for a hiking holiday, doing a trail run for the first time (read about Chef Cyrille losing his trail running virginity here), or rock climbing. The beauty of these activities is that they are usually performed outdoors so sun exposure can help keep your levels of Vitamin D where they need to be for healthy brain function.
Doing crossword puzzles or playing board games that get you thinking are also other ways to challenge your mind. Television is generally a passive activity that does little to enhance your brain function.
“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.” – Groucho Marx
“The more you use your brain, the more brain you will have to use” – George A. Dorsey
Rest Your Mind
Sleep is not only essential for regenerating your physical body, but it is imperative for reaching new mental insights and being able to see new creative solutions to old problems. Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help you “practice” and improve your performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
Do Not Forget Your Second Brain
Your gut is your “second brain,” and your gut bacteria transmits information to your brain via the vagus nerve. Your gut health impacts your brain function, psyche, and behavior, as they are interconnected and interdependent in a number of different ways.
How can you improve your gut flora over the holiday season? Well, try eating optimally as suggested in Brain Food and introducing probiotics such as Kimchi and/or Sauerkraut into your diet and or prebiotics such as green bananas.
The Final Word
If you want to improve your life next year ensure you Recharge, Re-Program, Feed, Soothe, Nourish, Enrich, Challenge and Rest Your Mind in the off-season. For more information try this site here.