Thursday, 23 September 2021

T To Your Health

If Your Brain Could Talk

 

If Your Brain Could Talk

It Would Say:

 

Feed Me

Your brain consumes 20 percent of the fuel you provide your body. So your question is what grade fuel are you going to feed it: Regular, Mid-Grade, or Premium? Or are you feeding Diesel fuel to a non-Diesel tank, making it sputter and malfunction? Your Maker designed your mind for high performance, and has recommended that to help it perform well, you should consume premium fuel, which comes from whole foods, including a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, berries, grains, seeds, and nuts. Protein from sources such as dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, and other meats is best thought of as a “garnish,” as Ben Franklin suggested. If you supplement, do so wisely. Base your decision-making not on stories from anyone, or claims made by supplement making companies, but from double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized scientific investigations conducted by independent researchers and published in peer-reviewed journals.

 

Bottom line: Eat whole food that is as close to its natural state as possible; avoid food-like substances that come already prepared for your convenience.

 

Walk me

Your brain came with a body that needs to move. With few exceptions, we choose day by day how much we will do that. Statistics show a lot of really bad trends in terms of physical exercise in America. You are the only person who can take yourself out of that box. If you really want a sharper brain, get moving, because physical exercise:

 

Improves overall brain health, most likely as a result of increased blood flow.

Can lift your mood, and help combat depression, if you struggle with that.

Increases the production of the specific growth factor (BDNF) that nourishes and supports brain cells.

Enhances the production of neurons in the hippocampus, and also the number of cells produced to protect and support neurons.

Bottom line: Get off the couch; take your brain for a walk.

 

Challenge me

Your mind values something to do. The Religious Orders Study has found that participants who more frequently engaged in activities such as listening to the radio, reading newspapers, playing puzzle games, going to museums – i.e. staying actively engaged with their world – have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Brain training can also help, whether in person or online. Studies are showing long- and short-term benefits such as improvement of attention, memory, and processing speed.Your main questions will be whether and how much you are willing to pay to enlist in one or more of the online brain training programs. Yes, some programs are free. But you get what you pay for, of course.

 

Bottom line: Work at it. Gain and pain are linked.

 

Rest me

In today’s digitized, nonstop existence that is focused on productivity in a 24/7 global environment, it’s tempting to believe that you can increase your output by taking your work with you everywhere you go – home, on vacation, to church, to bed, wherever you can get a high speed connection. Your mind, however, was not designed for this kind of life. A full night’s sleep is a crucial pillar of health in general, and brain health in particular. Your brain does not turn off during this time … far from it. While you rest, your brain is consolidating and filing all the new information you just gave it. When it is deprived of this opportunity, your cognitive abilities suffer.

 

Bottom line: All work and no sleep will make you less efficient and less effective over time.

 

Chill me

Life is full of stress – some good, some potentially destructive. Even good stress can become dis-tress if you have no energy margin to deal with it. For example, the process of building a new home (good stress) often produces significant distress in the relationship of those building it. Relentless pressure produces cortisol, which damages cells in your hippocampus, and inhibits retrieval of information you’ve already stored.  You can learn to manage your stress, by taking control of what you can control – for example, your attitude and your outlook. Stress-reduction techniques have been shown to be effective antidotes to stress. In the words of St. Augustine: “I pray thee, spare thyself at times: for it becomes a wise man sometimes to relax the high pressure of his attention to work.”

Bottom line: It is possible to experience serenity even in the midst of stressful situations, and thus relax your body, mind, and spirit.

 

Center me

Anxiety and depression are brain assassins. Their specific effects can be seen through MRI scanning – damage to the hippocampus, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortex. By contrast, having faith in a personal God can be the source of a peace that transcends human understanding: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG).

 

Bottom line: Let Christ displace worry at the center of your life.

 

Connect me

As some people age, they gradually withdraw and over time become increasingly isolated. Loneliness can creep in. Studies have shown that the brains of lonely people react differently from those with strong social networks. Why? No one really knows for sure. Perhaps when you’re connected with a network of people who share common interests, you know that there is, in the words of one pioneer in the field of personal wholeness, Swiss physician Dr. Paul Tournier, “A Place For You.” When there’s a place for you, you are more likely to provide “a place” for others. You have their backs; they have yours. So whatever life brings your way, you don’t have to face it alone. Knowing that you fit in, that your life makes a difference, gives a sense of purpose and life satisfaction that is one of the keys to psychological, sociological, and spiritual wholeness.

 

Bottom line: Nurture mutually supportive relationships.

 

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This article is excerpted from Stay Sharp: 52 Ways to Keep Your Mind, Not Lose It by Dr. David Biebel, James E. Dill, MD, and Bobbie Dill, RN (Healthy Life Press, 2015).

 

To purchase printed book or eBook or combination of the two from the publisher: http://www.healthylifepress.com/i/294773/stay-sharp-52-ways-to-keep-your-mind-not-lose-it.htm

 

 

7 Pillars of Brain Health

 

Nutrition

Eat whole food that is as close to its natural state as possible; avoid food-like substances that come already prepared for your convenience.

 

 

Physical Exercise

Get off the couch, and take your brain for a walk ... as often as possible.

 

 

Cognitive Exercise

Challenge your mind, for brain pain equals brain gain.

 

 

Rest

Reboot your mind daily; ordinarily, this is called “sleep.”

 

 

Stress Management

Learn to experience peace of mind even in stressful situations, and thus relax your body, mind, and spirit.

 

 

Spirituality

Instead of worrying, pray. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down” (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG).

 

 

Connection

To boost your brain power, nurture mutually supportive relationships.

 

 

Summary: Understand and practice these primary contributors to brain health and you’ll be far more likely to keep your mind, not lose it.

 

Columnist: Dr. David B. Biebel

DBiebel headshot

 

Dr. Biebel has authored or co-authored twenty books, including one bestseller: If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? and the Gold Medallion winner, New Light on Depression. His recent releases include Making God Visible and Away in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb's Point of View.


His goal is to help people attain and retain optimal physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health (personal wholeness) so they can love the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. He founded Healthy Life Press (www.healthylifepress.com) to help new authors with something to contribute in this arena to get their works into print.

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        To Purchase these or any other of Dr. Biebel's titles click HERE

 

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