Muriel Cooper
Psychologist in Mornington

Happiness and success

 

Woman deep in thought1. Stimulate your brain in the right direction 

What fires together wires together’ – the brain will strengthen anything you pay attention to with intensity – whether it’s good, bad or indifferent for you.

The brain is very ‘plastic’ it can change – but you need to use your mind to take charge of what you want to think about rather than what the ‘survival’ brain wants you to think about.

Left to its own devices the brain will worry.

Persist in re-focusing your brain onto positive things, trains of thought, memories etc.  Use your mind to train your brain into better habits.

 

2. Feed your brain

The brain does not make your main ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter Serotonin – your digestive system does.

Keep your digestion healthy by eating unprocessed, whole and where possible organic foods.

The brain is largely composed of fat and water – don’t starve it of either one of these, or of carbohydrates and protein to make serotonin.

Drink lots of water and eat foods rich in Omega 3 oil (fish) and Omega 6 (olives and olive oil), also B vitamins (whole grains).  Also anti-oxidants (colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables and berries) and folate from beans and leafy greens.

3. Exercise your brain

The brain loves novelty, it gets bored easily.  Doing the same kind of thing over and over may seem like brain exercise – like crosswords for example – but to the brain it’s ‘ho-hum’ stuff.   Always give the brain something new – a language other than your first language is great because you’re always learning new stuff – dancing is great because it exercises the brain (you’re always learning new stuff),  as well as the heart (it’s great exercise).

Remember the brain strengthens whatever we pay attention to, be careful what you’re paying attention to.

4. Rest your brain

A racing brain makes for stress and lack of sleep.  Learn how to quiet your brain and nervous system.  ‘Wind down’ before sleep and spend some quiet time each day.  Meditation is great.

Mindfulness breathing is great (come and learn my method) because it focuses the brain onto nothing (at least nothing it can stress about).

Don’t over-stimulate or anesthetize the brain before sleep (violent TV, caffeine or alcohol).

Do everything you can to get a good night’s sleep.  Meditate!  Breathe!

5. Healthy heart – healthy brain!

Do whatever you can to make your heart as healthy as possible.  Do physical exercise, eat healthy food with good oils, lower your stress.  Do what you can to increase circulation and oxygen to the heart and brain.  Dance, sing (singing and music in general is good for your brain and emotional health).

Exercise, lower stress, improve circulation Take a heart dose of asprin, eat for your heart and you’ll eat for your brain.

6. Love

If you don’t want the brain to stress, keep it occupied by doing things, and being with people; that you love.  Follow your passion, whatever it is.  Make a list of all the people, activities, thoughts, places, memories and things that make you feel good.  Love is the opposite of fear and fear = anxiety.

Follow your passion for people and life – do what you love.

7. Think about supplementing nutrition

Think about taking fish oil, ginko biloba for circulation, Vitamin B (especially B3 and B6), magnesium complex, co-enzyme Q10  and folate or get a great brain health formula from your naturopath or complementary health practitioner.

REMEMBER – YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK! 

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