Did you know that your brain is changing at the rate of 1,000,000 connections per second? Impressive, isn’t it? Most of us are so busy with our lives – responsibilities, relationships, what to have for lunch – that we don’t even think about the part of us that makes it all possible: Our brains!
Yet our brains are working for us 24/7, even if sometimes we might call ourselves “brain dead” at the end of a long day! Recent advances in medical technology, as well as long-term studies correlating mental and brain health with lifestyle factors, have provided amazing insight into the human brain. We now know there are numerous things you can do to boost your brain power and health. This article provides just a peek into the gray matter that creates your life. Here are some factoids about your brain, along with action steps to help improve your brain’s performance:
• Your brain has 100 billion neurons (specialized cells) that communicate with up to 10,000 other neurons to create a network of trillions of connections. Thoughts are electrical impulses that shoot through this network, allowing you to recognize faces, create music or art, walk your dog, and maintain the many functions that keep you alive and operating in your environment. About 90% of those thoughts are repeats from yesterday, the day before, and the day before that.
• Although it’s only 3 pounds and a fraction of your body weight, your brain uses 20% of the oxygen and glucose in your bloodstream. So getting exercise, breathing properly, and fueling your body with good foods consistently, allows your brain to do its best job for you.
• You don’t want your electrical appliances to come into contact with water; however, you DO want your electric brain to have plenty of hydration with water, not other drinks. Being properly hydrated helps those thought impulses travel through that huge network of connections.
• Your brain is always maintaining its network to help you operate in your environment. When you engage in challenging situations (such as traveling to new places, learning a new skill, or even passing the time with a Sudoku puzzle) your brain steps up to the challenge and creates new neural pathways or strengthens existing pathways. When you “veg out” watching TV, so does your brain! The old saying “use it or lose it” applies to your brain, too!
• Whatever emotions you practice throughout your day – whether you practice being angry or frustrated, or practice being happy and grateful – start to wire the disposition for those emotions in the future. Practice a particular emotion regularly, and you’ll start experiencing it as your default. So practice your emotions carefully!
• The better you care for your body and your mind, the better your brain functions now and in the future. In fact, you can take action today to help improve your memory, make it easier to achieve your goals, and to prevent the onset of dementia.
Your brain is incredibly resilient and efficient. It is continually molding itself to serve the demands you place on it. As a coach, I am continually amazed at the power and capability of people to intentionally maximize their mental and emotional capabilities to achieve goals and live life more fully and effectively. The simple steps of caring for your brain outlined above will help it, and you, have a longer, happier life.
Karen Van Cleve is a Personal Coach, Professional Speaker, and creator of the "Do It Yourself Brain Surgery" program. You have amazing, untapped potential to overcome disempowering patterns of thought and action, and boost your brain power for improved results. Visit Karen and learn more about your amazing brain at www.Do-It-Yourself-Brain-Surgery.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the website for details on free monthly teleclasses.