Coach Your Brain
5th December, 20110 Comments
COACH YOUR BRAIN
"I also hope that the ability to modulate brains will be used more widely to enhance those mental qualities that give sweetness and meaning to our lives, and to eradicate those that are destructive...taking control of our minds...this could make our lives immeasurably better". (Rita Carter, Mapping the Mind, 2010)
Many of us spend many hours in the gym working on improving our physical health (at the very least we think about doing it!). We also try and purchase healthy foods and attempt to eat a well-balanced diet. We all recognize and understand that a key to a healthy life is to get sufficient exercise and to eat healthily. However how many of us apply the same amount of thought to the health and fitness of our brains?
The actions we take in life and the consequences of those actions are a direct result of how we think. Everything starts with a thought. Thoughts originate in the brain (the frontal lobes) so if you're brain is not in optimal health then it will impact on your thoughts, actions and behaviours. Much in the same way that if you try to run 5 miles but you haven't exercised for a while and you're unfit, then your run is not going to be as good as if you were fit. To enable you to be fit and healthy many people employ a coach, but is developing and maintaining a healthy brain also on your coaching agenda?
Do you suffer from any of the following: stress; lack of sleep; anxiety; fatigue; depression; eating disorder; loss of/ inability to focus; lack of energy; lack of concentration; learning difficulties; ADD/ ADHD; poor memory; weight issues. To ensure that you are performing at your maximum physically, emotionally and cognitively it is important that your brain is balanced and in harmony (known as homeostasis). Achieving this will help you to think more clearly, perform more successfully, feel more relaxed and experience higher levels of hope and happiness.
Your brain is your control centre and the coaching you give your brain will impact on how you set and achieve goals, how you make connections, how you achieve breakthroughs and take action etc. Therefore your mental activity needs to be directed and coached to help you alter any behaviour(s) that do not benefit you.
There are many reasons for why our brains could be out of harmony such as traumas (physical or emotional), difficult periods in our lives, career or personal setbacks etc. This is evidenced in our behaviours in ways such as having an addiction, anger issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, learning difficulties etc.
We respond to events in our lives in three ways: fight or flight or freeze. The first two responses can lead to hypertension, panic attacks, angry outbursts, anxiety, irritability, heart disease, diabetes, digestive or circulation problems. The freeze response can lead to depression, weight management issues, low blood pressure, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhoea and lack of clear thinking.
TIP: To ensure that your brain is (and remains) healthy then it is recommended that it receives sufficient oxygen (via exercise), nutrients (in particular DHA obtained via fish oils or Omega 3) and training. Coaching your brain and brain training helps to increase neural connections and thereby improve cognitive abilities.
It is all about balance. Focussing on, and taking steps towards, achieving a healthy brain, body and spirit is a great step towards having a happy and successful life! Coaching your brain to ensure that you make a directed effort to achieve the goals that you have set yourself creates a force that has the power to change how your brain works. The answers are not "out there", they are within us.
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