Nothing is more important to your health than the decisions you make. The quality of those decisions is a direct reflection of the health of your brain. Taking time to assess the condition of your brain is the best way to ensure that you live stronger and longer.
When your brain is troubled, you are much more likely to act impulsively, putting yourself at risk for illness and early death. When your brain is working well, you are more likely to act in thoughtful, conscientious ways that help you live longer. Prioritizing your brain health will help to improve your behavior, mood, and memory.
Since the quality of your decisions determines your success in life, here are eight tips for making better brain health choices every day:
Boost Your PFC– Decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been associated with lack of forethought and poor judgment. When the PFC doesn’t get enough blood flow, you don’t have an effective brake system for your impulses. Supplements, green tea, and Rhodiola increase blood flow to the PFC and can help correct unhealthy patterns of thought.
Protect Your Noggin– Head injuries, even minor concussions from the past, show up on SPECT scans and may affect your behavior and memory years later. Many people need to be asked several times before they remember an incident that hurt their brain. Recognizing and rehabilitating these injuries will dramatically increase the quality of every decision you make.
“Then What?”– Addictions, including drug, food and sexual addictions, are made worse when we literally “wear out” the brain’s pleasure centers from constant exposure to highly stimulating activities, such as video games, text messaging, sexting, internet pornography, and scary movies. Take inventory of the adrenaline-producing habits in your life—eliminate unhealthy ones, take breaks from activities (even good ones) that are becoming compulsive. When fighting an addiction, always keep these two words in mind: “Then what?” Whenever you think about doing or saying something, ask yourself about the consequences of your behavior. This question can serve as a “slow down” or “stop” sign to a brain that is about take you down a bad path.
Feel Great Losing Weight– Being overweight damages your prefrontal cortex, and can have a negative impact on the decision-making part of the brain. Getting your weight under control will help you enhance your health and longevity. Optimizing the blood flow to your brain by stabilizing your blood sugar (eat healthy and often) will help you make better decisions.
Carefree or Careless?- An overly optimistic, carefree attitude leads people to underestimate risks and approach them in a careless manner, which can decrease longevity. While being optimistic is good for longevity, it’s important to balance that trait with a healthy level of anxiety and careful planning.
Optimize Your Life- Consider your daily and weekly routines: can you make them more brain-friendly? For example, can you walk somewhere that you normally drive to? Can you exchange an hour of TV for playing brain games?
Eat Like an Eskimo- One of the secrets to the longevity of Eskimos is that their diet consists primarily of fish, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Low levels of omega-3s have been associated with ADHD, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity—all brain issues that lead to poor decision-making. You can optimize your omega-3 levels by eating more fish or taking fish oil.
One Page Miracle- A One Page Miracle can aid in your decision-making process. On one piece of paper write down the specific goals you have for all the main areas of your life. Then ask yourself every day, “Is my behavior getting me what I want?” This simple but profound activity can be of tremendous help in encouraging better daily choices that add up to a better life.
To learn how you can make better brain health decisions and to start optimizing your brain right now, take the free Brain Health Assessment. For more information, please visit us at www.mybrainfitlife.com.