What’s the difference between your brain and your mind?
Ahhh, great question. Because we talk about them as if they are the same thing.
The physical functioning of your brain creates your mind.
If you want to have a healthy mind, the first thing you need is a healthy brain.
How healthy your brain is impacts your performance, happiness and mental health.
If you get better sleep tonight, your mind is healthier tomorrow.
If you get drunk tonight, your mind is going to be worse tomorrow.
Because both sleep and drinking have a direct impact on the functioning of your brain.
Your brain is involved in everything you do, how you think, how you feel, how you act, how you get along with other people, intelligence, character and every single decision you make.
When your brain works right, you work right. And when your brain is in trouble for whatever reason, you feel rage, make poor decisions etc.
And if you have ADHD, you may even convince yourself that it’s hopeless. There’s nothing you can do. The only way to get your brain to function the way you need it to, is with medication. Yes, that is an option and it works for many. But what else can you do?
You’ll be happy to know there are a lot of things you CAN do to boost the dopamine – the motivation neurotransmitter that is either sluggish or there’s just not enough of it to get to your frontal lobe so you can do the things you want to do.
If you’re tired, sad and you just don’t have the motivation to get done what you want to do you probably have low dopamine.
Here’s the thing most people don’t know about dopamine.
Once you get some, you crave more. And when you don’t get more, you get depressed and lack motivation.
This means that you want to drip dopamine, don’t dump it. You want a little burst of dopamine, not a big splash.
Cocaine, nicotine, vaping, give you a big splash of dopamine – then you have none left, you get depressed and you start using. Scary movies, falling in love, impulse buying, taking big risks, dumps dopamine.
You want to drip dopamine.
So, what’s the smallest thing you can do today that will make the biggest difference in your brain health?
Execute these micro-habits that have the biggest impact on your brain health according to Dr. Amen- Double Board Certified Psychiatrist. These are all safe ways to drip dopamine to keep you motivated, productive, and happy.
Adopt Brain Envy, or the idea of actually caring about your brain. We spend so much time caring about our abs or a clear complexion but we pay no attention to our brain.
When you go to do something today, ask yourself, “Is this good for my brain or bad for my brain?” You know what to do – the things that are good for your brain.
Start each day with – “Today is going to be a great day.” This directs your mind and puts it in a positive state.
When you go to bed at night, say a prayer or journal, whatever your thing is, and go over what went well today. Go on a treasure hunt. Go back to the very beginning of your day.
Supplements recommended for ultimate brain health:
Please, consult your physician before making any dietary or medication changes.
Multi-vitamin – brand new research just came out that says if you’re suffering some memory loss that a high quality mulit-vitamin can bring back your memory. Make sure the multi-vitamin includes B12 and folic acid.
Omega 3 – 25% of the nerve cell membranes in your brain are made up of omega 3 fatty acids. If you’re deficient in Omega 3’s your brain is not going to work as fast and efficiently as it could. An omega 3 deficiency has been linked to depression, dementia and ADHD.
Cold showers – cold therapy has been shown to increase norepinephrine and dopamine.
Morning bright light therapy lamps -10,000 watts. Don’t look at it. Put it arm’s length away from you for 20-30 minutes in the morning. Improves dopamine, energy, mood, and cognitive function.
Exercise: Increases both dopamine and serotonin. Walk like you’re late for 30-45 minutes, 4-5 times a week. This increases blood flow to your brain.
Add in strength training – your muscles are your protein reserve. Your brain cannot function without protein. Every day you need to boost your brain reserve.
Eat for brain health:
- Berry’s ( Blueberries – improves memory)
- Nuts and Seeds – lower incidence of depression and dementia.
- Leafy greens for fiber and magnesium
- Raw Cacao – Brain healthy hot chocolate
1 heaping tsp raw cacao
12 oz Unsweetened organic almond or oat milk
Sweet leaf – makes liquid chocolate stevia – couple droplets
Put in blender
Even if you’ve done unhealthy things to your brain, you can change the health of your brain in a matter of months starting now. It’s called neuroplasticity.
Make this the year you make your brain health a priority. When you do, you will see all areas of your life improve. It’s time to give your brain the TLC it deserves. After all, you are only as healthy as your brain.
Remember, the brain is the organ that makes you, you.