Your brain is a muscle just like your biceps, buttocks or belly and probably could use a little training and rewiring.
It may be hard to fathom, but the brain does not always think about putting the rest of the body’s interest first, it wants what it wants and does what it pleases.
If you are lax with your brain, not training or disciplining it, the brain will run wild like an out of control child having a tantrum.
Converting a bad habit into a healthy one takes work, everyday work, especially if you are out of practice.
Teaching your brain the difference between needing and wanting is the goal you are reaching for. Tony Robbins says,
“to break your bad habits, you need to catch yourself every time you find yourself doing it…then stop, take a step back, and force yourself to take the other route with your new substituted habit.”
1. Make Time Just For Yourself
Find a few moments everyday that are just for you. When you run yourself into the ground, trying to ‘do it all’, you are putting your health at risk, affecting everything and everyone in your life. The only way to be truly effective is by putting your physical, mental, & emotional self first. If you are happy, then everyone around you is happier.
Making time for you is not selfish, it is necessary to be able to facilitate all you do. Find the time, figure it out and put ‘you’ first; this body that you walk around in everyday is the only one you have, nourish it and let it thrive.
2. Dealing With Stress
Everyone deals with stressful situations on a daily basis but most people do not deal with them well. How do you find time to relax with constant deadlines looming, not enough hours in the day, a boss looking over your shoulder, and colleagues not pulling their weight? Making time for you and your complete body stability is a learned behavior that must be practiced daily.
It is important to clear all the junk out of your head, relax your shoulders and breath. Concentrate on the sound of your breath going in and out, extending from the bottom of your gut and not the shallow breath stemming from your chest. Breathe in the white as you imagine the color consuming every inch of your body and breathe out the black that the white light is replacing.
When that stress starts to bubble up, take a quick 10 minute walk around the block to stretch the body, give your brain some fresh air and get the blood flowing again.
Exercise not only jumpstarts the metabolism, but is a well-documented stress reliever by emitting endorphins into the system, lowering the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good neurotransmitter by providing a sense of overall happiness and combating stress and depression. Plus, muscle burns four times as many calories as fat, so adding strength training as well as aerobic activity is a good idea as well.
4. Eating Healthy
We live in a fast food nation filled with processed, saturated, sugar-based convenience foods and it is killing us. Everything we put into our mouth creates a cause and effect.
What we feed our body is directly correlated with how we feel, both mentally and physically: our gut is called our second brain and is the only system that sends messages directly to the brain to formulate a response.
When we ingest something that is harmful to our body, our gut responds first, serotonin levels are interrupted, a message is sent to the brain, tying in with dopamine and other significant neurotransmitter release, which then induces some type of emotional response.
95% of the body’s serotonin is found in our intestines and drives:
We are what we eat. If your diet consists of mainly processed, packaged and sugary foods, your brain cannot function to its full potential; creating negative reactions. Feeding your body healthy fats, lean meats and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to go about it.
According to the National Academy of Health, 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleeplessness and insomnia. Sleep is very underrated compared to the negative effects that can occur. Your brain needs to rest, especially after being pushed hard all day long.
Lack of sleep increases chance of weight gain and depression, interferes with memory function, and raises the risks for diabetes, heart problems, hypertension and overall bad mood.
Saying you need to get more sleep is not going to make it happen, that will be up to you. Here are some sleeping tips:
- Stick to a bedtime schedule and ritual. This prepares your brain to slow down because it knows it is time to rest soon.
- Indulge in some ‘alone time’ before bed to give your brain time to come down from the day and relax.
- Take 10 minutes and meditate. Concentrate on clearing your brain and listening to your breathing.
- Don’t eat or drink caffeine or sugary, processed food. Alcohol also affects your sleep.
- Try not to use any electronics before going to bed. Do what you have to do and then take the time needed before you lay down.
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