BALANCE Series: THE BRAIN

Brain Hemispheres

Short series guys.  Life and health are all about balance.  Want to see where you need improvement?  Look at where you are out of balance.  Maybe it is in fitness. Maybe its in fun or love.  Whatever it is; it is usually about coming into balance.  So let’s take a look at a major piece of this puzzle here.  THE BRAIN.

Do we use our brains anymore?  We have a lot of technology that does some of the jobs we used to do.  We have GPS for the car instead of using maps.  We have sophisticated calculators and computer programs doing our math.  We use specialists instead of doing things for ourselves.  This is just for the left brain.  For the right brain, we are out of touch.  Often we don’t know how we are feeling, what we are passionate about, or how to interpret signs from the world around us.  It seems that a lot of us end up on autopilot.  Do I blame us?  Not at all.  This is just the way our modern world has evolved.  The brain however, suffers.  It suffers because it was designed to be used.  Like most muscles, when they are not used they start to atrophy.  They start to decline.  More and more studies are coming out discussing the problems we are having with the brain and what we can do to improve them.  Let’s take a quick look at 5 big factors that affect your brain.

FUEL:  Our brain needs fuel like anything else.  It is actually a pretty greedy organ.  The more we use our brains, the more fuel we need.  For most of us this often comes in the form of fears, worries, and over-analyzing the world around us.  What fuel do we need?  Dozens of vitamins and minerals, fresh air, clean water, protein and good fat.  Fresh fruits and veggies.  GOOD Fat is great fuel for the brain.  Things like avocados, olives, coconut oil, raw or lightly cooked egg yolks, bone marrow, raw butter, etc. Especially helpful are omega-3 in things such as cod liver oil, fatty fish, sardines, etc.  Amino acids from quality protein is also essential.  Eating junk will CLOG the brain over time.

CIRCULATION:  This is huge as well.  Our brain clogs up just like everything else. Exercise is critical to mental function.  What type of exercise?  Well there are several kinds of exercise that may help improve cognitive functioning.  Cardiovascular exercise is great.  This helps pump blood throughout your entire body.  CHIROPRACTIC and massage are excellent tools as well.  Your nervous system likes to BREATHE!  Let’s make sure all the wiring is fixed up.  Correcting pathways into and out of your brain is essential.  Most of us have poor posture, stiff necks, bad backs, and muscular tension.  Do we think this affects the way our brain functions? This negatively affects our the way our nervous system functions.  A good chiropractor can be invaluable in correcting these problems.  Another type of circulation is deep breathing fresh air.  Yet another is hot/cold therapies.  This is a topic in itself.  Basically you are relying on the bodies need for homeostasis and using it to your advantage.  When we take a hot shower and finish cold (especially over areas of stagnation), we dramatically pump the body to adapt to the rapid temperature change.  This breaks through blockages in the brain and body.

SLEEP:  This one is a “no brainer.”  Sleep is when our bodies repair.  Going to bed at a reasonable time and getting at least 6-9 hours of sleep daily are critical.  If sleeping is hard to accomplish, look at your nighttime routine.  Are you on the computer soaking up blue light disrupting your natural hormones?  Are you arguing or having stimulating conversation?  Maybe you have some emotional stuff you need to deal with.  Whatever it is; figure it out.  Sleep is critical for repairing and building brain function.  We can all attest to our thinking abilities after a few nights without much sleep.

USE IT LEFT:  Use it left guys.  We have two hemispheres of our brains.  They both need some work.  It isn’t too hard to figure out which side needs the most help.  The left brain is used primarily for tasks related to math and science.  This is where our logic, probabilities, calculus, statistics, and rationality come from.  When we lack on this side we have a hard time doing math, keeping up with finances, and generally have a distaste for stimulating math or science based conversation.  What is the answer?  DO SOME!  It doesn’t have to be much.  Pick up a book or two on a tough subject.  Maybe a little quantum physics?  Maybe an old math book.  There are plenty of puzzle books out there that are extremely challenging.  The key here is CHALLENGING.  It is supposed to be hard.  It is supposed to be stimulating.  If it makes your brain “hurt,” good.  After time what happens to muscles?  They get stronger.  Smarter in this case.

USE IT RIGHT:  The right side often gets a bad name in our culture.  Touchy, feely, emotional, intuitive.  These are some words that come to mind.  A lot of us are brought up not to use this side much at all.  Does it get us into trouble?  You bet it does.  A lot of us grow up suppressing who we are, what we are feeling, and where we want to go in life.  This translates into an unbalanced brain and being generally disconnected from what is REALLY going on in our lives.  This side is a little harder to work with when it has been neglected for a while.  Reading and thinking are not the specialties here.  FEELING is what this side is about.  This ties into the heart as well.  We have senses that some of us rarely use.  These involve energetically sensing what is going on in our environment, with our loved ones, and within ourselves.  INTEGRITY is the key here.  Own your emotions.  Listen to your “gut.”  This is a tool that needs to be worked on to evolve as well.  Any kind of ART or MUSIC are great for the right brain.  

There are several other factors that affect brain health.  These are some of the big ones.  Take a few minutes and figure out which categories you are deficient in.  Create a game plan to help create a “balanced brain.”  I believe learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to improve brain functioning.  Especially a language that contains characters or symbols such as Mandarin Chinese.  Hope you guys enjoyed.  The next in the series will be on the chakras.

-Joe

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