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Be Mentally Engaged: Direct Your Thoughts for Brain Health

17 Apr

I’ve talked, a lot, about how engaging your brain is as easy as thinking about a sensory experience – dive in more deeply and tap into more of your senses. Those thoughts can activate your brain in very distinct and nourishing ways.

spices

 

Another really cool way to be mentally engaged is to actively direct your thoughts – guide your thoughts both to and away from just about anything. This can take many forms but the most common methods are through some kind of focusing or centering activity like practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or other directed/guided techniques.

How meditation and mindfulness changing your brain is a pretty hot topic in research right now. There is growing evidence to support that directing your thoughts through a variety of methods can help you:
• Reduce stress
• Increase both focus and creativity
• Reverse memory loss
• Maximize feelings of well-being
• Decrease depression symptoms
• Boost energy
• Improve mood
• Improve quality of sleep
• Control inflammation
• Elevate outlook on life
• Create feelings of personal control

That is a pretty attractive bundle of benefits. Since meditation and mindfulness have no known adverse side effects, honestly, there is no downside.

Pause on the rocks

I believe that the key factor behind all the evidence is this: practicing a method that allows you to direct how you are thinking makes it possible for you to control chemical releases in your brain. Think about that. You can change your brain chemistry by directing your thoughts…. That is a pretty big concept.

The more actively you participate (the more engaged your efforts), the more likely you are to feel both the short term quality of life benefits and long term brain protective and building benefits.
Sometimes I have a hard time staying focused on one thing and find it difficult to keep my mind from drifting off. If you feel yourself drifting, bring your thoughts back to your breathing. Feel the rush of the cool air in through your nostrils and the warm feeling of an exhale. Your future brain thanks you!

Guided Relaxation: Journey to the Woods

31 Jul

There is too much evidence to ignore the brain health value of reducing stress.   Whether you enjoy yoga, meditation, guided relaxation, or you find peace some other way, make sure to take the time to take care of yourself today.

We are working on a Mind & Spirit App that will be packed with brain re-charging exercises like this Guided Relaxation sampling. Click on the link; take a deep cleansing breath; and peacefully fire up your neural pathways and re-fill your cognitive reserve well.

Guided Relaxation Exercise Part 3

Engaging your senses more fully will add another brain boosting element to your relaxation.   Did you know that you can activate the same areas of your brain (fire them up) by thinking about stopping and smelling a rose as actually doing it?   If you can’t get out and do today, take a moment to stop and think.

Stop and smell, feel, and taste the roses!

Stop and smell, feel, and taste the roses or at least think about it!

Enjoy a peaceful moment today and re-charge.

 

 


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