How to restore brain health

To be happy at work it is important to become more aware of what gets in the way.  I’ve had the experience of getting confused and anxious at work because it wasn’t clear what was expected of me.  I felt frozen in place without knowing what to do.  One way to deal with this type of brain freeze (often called emotional hijacking or amygdala hijacking) is to make sure that you do some daily activities to keep your brain agile, flexible, and healthy.  Here is a list of 10 ways to restore brain health:

  1. Go for a walk with a friend. Both Social connection, physical exercise and mental stimulation (conversation with your friend) are brain strengtheners. The exercise is also good for stress control.
  2. Add variety to your life. Do not follow a set routine day after day. Wake up your brain with something new. Try a new route to the office. Go to a new networking group. Memorize a new poem.
  3. Be a Life Long Learner. Study something in depth. This is good for your brain and your career. Learn a new language and begin to speak and write it. (I’ve taken an improvisation class which is good for the brain and fun!)
  4. Solve Puzzles/Play games. Try cross word puzzles, Sudoku, bridge and/or chess. They suggest trying to beat the clock because that inspires quicker thinking. In my improv class we have to think of a word related to the last work said on the beat of a rhythm started. The instructor starts with a weird word! It is not easy but you do get better at it with practice.
  5. Clear the mind. Use meditation, yoga or a walk in the woods to help clear your mind. Most of us have very active minds today. Some of the chatter is noisy and negative. It is important to regularly take time to clear your mind. While you are at it take some deep breaths to cleanse your mind and body.
  6. Get 7-8 hours sleep a night – Your brain needs a rest too. This is the time for it to consolidate the day’s memories. Give your brain time to do this by getting a full seven or eight hours of sleep. Lots of research shows people in the US don’t get enough sleep!
  7. Be creative. Use your imagination every day. Take the time to paint, add to your journal, create a new website, write a poem or do anything that uses the right (creative) side of your brain.
  8. Spend time with friends. Staying by yourself all the time can put your brain into slowdown mode. (Solos be aware.) Friends, family and colleagues help keep you engaged in life and that keeps your brain active and working. Some friends may even challenge your brain having in depth discussions about topics of interest.  Being sociable is good for your brain and your spirit. People with a strong community of friends and acquaintances live longer and happier lives in general. (Networking is good for your brain!)
  9. Eat a proper diet.  Include fruits and vegetables in your diet along with whole grains and fish. My parents used to tell me fish was brain food. I guess they were right!!
  10. Have regular checkups with the doctor.  Blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, cholesterol all are important to proper brain function. Make sure your readings are in the normal range and if not work with your doctor to get them in check.

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Have you had brain freeze? How did you deal with it? Do you just put up with it and hope it will go away? What actions have you taken to restore your brain health? Has what you have done worked? If you are interested in insuring that your brain is as flexible and agile as you need it to be then call me or email me (asparker@asparker.com 781-598-0388).  I help my clients to make significant changes in their lives so that they can be happy at work and at home.

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