Think about your brain for a moment. Using your brain to consider your brain is a bit of a conundrum, but one that deserves your attention. After all, if your brain is involved in everything you do, the least you can do is to spend a little time now and then making sure it has what it needs to serve you well.
Up until nine months ago, I took my brain for granted. It wasn’t until I learned prolonged stress really can kill you, that I started taking drastically better care of my brain and of myself. The distress signals my brain was sending me were very alarming indeed, but I guess they needed to be in order to get my attention.
The body is quite intelligent that way. It doesn’t talk to us in words, but it does communicate quite clearly in the form of symptoms. It lets us know when something is not as it should be, and it doesn’t relent until we address it.
This is not a curse; it is a blessing. As strong and resilient as the human body is, it is also quite fragile, requiring constant care.
The brain is no different. In fact, it is more fragile than most other parts of the body. Caring for it, then, is essential to being unstoppable.
Don’t do what I did. Don’t push yourself harder and harder, and expect your body to adapt to an unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, give your brain what it needs to thrive and let your healthier brain lead you into a healthier life.
“The greatest discovery of my generation,” writes William James, “is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
A great TEDx Talk on this topic is Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel Amen. He definitely knows what he is talking about! Although I have not met Dr. Amen personally, I have utilized his expertise by taking a family member to one of his Amen Clinics. The brain scans, along with the incredibly detailed intake questionnaires, provided important information I found both validating and illuminating.
Even so, it has taken a lot for me to start caring about my own brain health. It took suffering a brain concussion, requiring five years of therapy to recover. It took experiencing the physically and emotionally devastating effects of toxic relationships and toxic thinking, requiring freeing myself from abuse, worry and regret. And, finally, it took short-circuiting my brain through being an over-working over-achiever, requiring a drastic change in lifestyle.
Obviously, I’m a slow learner. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, but I guess if I had, I wouldn’t have noticed. Now that I’ve finally got the message through my thick skull, I’m learning to be much more compassionate toward my brain.
As your body and mind’s central computer, the health of your brain deserves careful consideration. If you want to be your best, your brain needs to be functioning at its best. If it isn’t, every area of your life will be affected.
So, let me ask you this . . . how healthy is your brain, really? To find out, I recommend the following educational protocol:
- Invest 19 minutes watching Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel Amen.
- Invest 5 minutes taking Dr. Amen’s free online brain health assessment.
Your brain works hard for you 24 hours a day, so it deserves 24 minutes of attention focused on optimizing its health. I hope you will find it worth the investment. More than that, I hope you will turn your knowledge into action that truly will change your brain and change your life!
For more food for thought, learn the three indicators of a healthy conscience.