Brain Science Speaker & Wellness Authority Jill Hewlett on Optimizing Your Brain
As spring arrives many people start to consider new growth and changes they would like to see in their personal and professional lives.
How about you? Are you feeling drawn to planting new seeds, making changes or weeding out aspects that don’t serve you?
If so, I have some good news.
Your brain is doing a lot of this work for you. Just like a gardener, it does its best to cultivate a healthy and a well-fortified ‘inner-landscape’. It will strategically create new neurons and neural networks while pruning away old ones to be as efficient and as up-to-date as possible.
Your brain, however, can only do so much on its own.
Since you are the CEO of your thoughts, choices, and actions – you can (and must) implement healthy neural habits and strategies.
Whether you yield a rewarding harvest or get stuck in a place of scarcity and dissatisfaction; the choice is yours.
Many people continue on rerun mode due to unhealthy habits, lack of effective strategies, and not using their “neuro-plastic super powers” to their advantage.
If this is a concern for you, there IS something you can do about it.
There are universal principles and strategies that can be used to optimize your brain power and leverage your mindset to make positive and sustainable changes.
5 WAYS TO POWER UP YOUR BRAIN
& TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE!
1. SET INTENTIONS, NOT GOALS
Most people have an ingrained association for the word ‘goal’ – a point you score in a sports match such as soccer or hockey that will determine a win or a loss for you and your team.
Typically goals are associated with a pass or fail; for example a driver’s test or school exam. More emphasis is put on the end result vs. the actual process.
In contrast, intentions move you in a particular direction, fueled and directed by each step of the process, the learning acquired throughout, and the experience you gain along the way.
By providing space for re-evaluation and tweaking, intentions are more realistic and workable.
Once we set our sails and begin to navigate the waters of our lives, new sights, sounds, smells, interactions, experiences, and understanding inevitably come forth. This information needs to be considered and incorporated into our plan and may very well change our entire outlook on where we want to go.
2. USE YOUR SMILE BAROMETER
The best intentions to set are the ones that ‘Light Your Fire’!
If you are not truly motivated to reach an outcome, then you will not sustain the energy, effort, and actions required to achieve those results. Procrastination will set in.
So think about your current situation, consider if/how you would like things to be different — then imagine yourself achieving those results. Does that new vision make you smile? If so, then go for it! If not, find something that does.
By the way, research shows that smiling has a powerful effect on our health and wellbeing; it reduces stress, relaxes facial muscles, calms the nervous system and sends more oxygen to the brain.
3. LEVERAGE YOUR MIRRORS
Mirror neurons are a type of brain cell that responds equally when we personally perform an action as to when we witness someone else perform the same action.
This internal response allows us to build empathy and understanding with others, as well as improve our abilities and skill sets.
Use this to your advantage and surround yourself with people such as a mentor, coach, club or friend who are walking your talk.
For example, if you want to quit smoking it would not make sense for you to hang out with people who are puffing away, right? If you want to become a better tennis player, then it would make sense to hang out with those who have mastered a higher skill level than yourself.
4. MOVE YOUR FOCUS
Focus is an important skill to have when you want to do a job well or achieve your goals. However, when you have a BIG DREAM, it’s easy to become consumed by it. Ensure you have movement activities interspersed into your daily life to keep your brain activated and functioning at its best.
For example, if you have a goal of writing a book, sitting at your laptop hours on end hammering away on the keyboard will cause fatigue and make your thoughts stale.
Engage in something active like a yoga class, dance lesson, or trail hiking. If you are short on time, do some quick and fun Brain Fitness activities. This will help pace your process, keep your brain firing on all cylinders, and make you more interesting to be around – no one likes a one-track mind anyway!
5. CHANGE IT UP
If you don’t know exactly HOW to make positive changes or move in the direction of your dreams, simply start by doing something (anything) differently than how you are currently doing it.
Simply getting up at a different time, eating different foods, driving a new route to work, or listening to music genres you don’t usually select; these small changes can reap big results, because novelty activates the learning and memory centers of your brain, spikes neuroplasticity and activates new cognitive pathways as your sensory system attunes to new input.
To your Brain Fitness,