7 Practices to Greatly Improve Your Brain

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This presentation is based on a book being written by the presenter. You will discover simple but highly effective brain-improvement practices that you can apply to mindfully change how you live, work and play. These practices are proven to reduce stress, increase functional behavior, and enhance physical, mental and social wellbeing.

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  • New pod cast (3 mins) Introduce self Mention McDonald’s experience
  • One estimate puts the human brain at about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses
  • Jeffrey Schwartz
  • HOW FOOD EFFECTS YOUR BRAIN Your brain consumes 20 to 25% of all the oxygen, nutrients and energy you consume. If you are an anorexic and don’t eat (or very eat little) your brain starves. It can not function properly and that’s why people with anorexia stop seeing a clear picture of reality that other people see – their brain is not functioning as it should. The Brain can only function at its best when it has enough energy and nutrition to process the information. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers, on a group of over 13,000 women over the age of 70, found a direct link between cognitive brain function and the amount of green vegetables consumed, with those women eating the most vegetables having the greatest mental agility. FOOD FOR THE BRAIN -Keep weight steady, not yoyoing. Reduce calories per day to at least 2,400 for a woman and 2,600 a day for a man. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, natural vitamin E, vitamin C, B (B6, B12) folic acid, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (eg from Fish, fish oil) - avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated/trans fats. SOME Recommended BRAIN FOODS Wild salmon  is not only an incredible food for brain health, it qualifies as incredible across virtually every other health standard as well and is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat. Cacao bean, minimally processed (not chocolate) usually in powder form. Acai –Ah sigh e- Berries and/or Blueberries Regular coffee consumption has been shown to actually reduce the risk of mental decline and diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer's , and has also recently been found to be (shockingly) the "#1 source of antioxidants in the average American diet"...showing at once how health food-deprived the average diet continues to be while illustrating the surprising health benefits of something as common as coffee. (http://www.brainready.com/blog/thetop5brainhealthfoods.html) Sugar can make you sharp for a short burst—although no one can figure out what is the right dose at the right time. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO LOSE WEIGHT Never starve yourself, it will only send your brain and body into a “survival mode” The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person Judith Beck (daughter of Aaron Beck) Any reasonable diet will work for you, if you have the correct mindset. If you do it, it will work. If you don’t do it, I wont work. If it isn’t working, you are not doing it. Plan cognitive – self talk- responses to temptations. Self-directed neuroplasticity . For example:  -If I eat this, I will build up my "giving-in response in my brain," which makes it more likely that the next time I'll give in and the next and the next–and I won't lose weight. -If I do NOT eat this, I'll build up my "resistance response in my brain," which makes it more likely that next time I'll resist and the time after that and the time after that.  TEETH Correlation between dental health and mental health – less teeth the greater the chances of dementia. Dental problems increase inflammation, (use an antinflammatory eg asprin – ask your doctor)
  • Acai - Ah sigh e Cacao pronounced Ka-Kow
  • Basil ganglia – performs multitasks unconsciously, even when we sleep – via implicit memory
  • Basil ganglia – performs multitasks unconsciously, even when we sleep
  • Reading out loud stimulates the brain more Don’t multitask – do multi-sense
  • Even blind people gesture and move their hands as they talk
  • Psychomotor retardation – be the opposite
  • The more social groups we are member of the better – causes more connections in the brain
  • You cannot be overdrawn at the sleep bank without it catching up with you in some way
  • Research indicates this can help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer's Disease and/or slow the progress of the disease.
  • Research indicates this can help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer's Disease and/or slow the progress of the disease.
  • The main reason brains under perform – Stress! Move away from the THREAT RESPONSE, beyond a survival attitude and move toward TRUST and the TRUST RESPONSE - Oxytocin Stress is not so much what happens to us…Stress is more about how we respond to what happens to us… Be MINDFUL, practice MINDFULNESS -
  • The main reason brains under perform – Stress! Move away from the THREAT RESPONSE, beyond a survival attitude and move toward TRUST and the TRUST RESPONSE - Oxytocin Stress is not so much what happens to us…Stress is more about how we respond to what happens to us… Be MINDFUL, practice MINDFULNESS -
  • The main reason brains under perform – Stress! Move away from the THREAT RESPONSE, beyond a survival attitude and move toward TRUST and the TRUST RESPONSE - Oxytocin Stress is not so much what happens to us…Stress is more about how we respond to what happens to us… Be MINDFUL, practice MINDFULNESS -
  • 7 Practices to Greatly Improve Your Brain

    1. 1. A little bit about me… Licensed Psychotherapist Former Executive with Fortune 500 Corporations Nationwide Speaker, Radio & TV Guest Member of the Society for Neuroscience Certified Business & Executive Coach Struggling Author Jonathan JordanBest way to contact me… Jonathan@MindfullyChange.com www.MindfullyChange.com
    2. 2. Note: I delivered a version of this presentation for the staff of the UnitedStates Senate on Capitol Hill in March, 2011 www.MindfullyChange.com
    3. 3. Quick Overview of Things to Come During This Presentation…1. Simple but effect ways to improve your brain function – including memory2. Methods to train your brain to get more done, more quickly, more accurately, and with less stress3. Insight about how these practices can actually help you re-wire your brain to improve not only how you work, but also how you live and play www.MindfullyChange.com
    4. 4. Improvements In Brain-Imaging Technology Have Led to… Incredible Breakthroughs in Neuroscience“Recent research of the human brain has surprised theneuroscience community by revealing that our brains can change, and be improved, at any age in our life cycle” www.MindfullyChange.com
    5. 5. Neuroplasticity… in Plain English Neuroplasticity is the changing of neurons, the organization of their networks, and their function via thinking, learning and activities Neuroplasticity occurs in the brain:  At the beginning of life: when the immature brain organizes itself.  In case of brain injury: to compensate for lost functions or maximize remaining functions.  Through adulthood: whenever something new is learned and memorized www.MindfullyChange.com
    6. 6. Self-Directed Neuroplasticity (a phrase coined by Jeffrey Schwartz)As the remodeling of our brain takes place, we have two choices.We can let them just happen, or we can awaken "our faculties,"direct the changes, and turn neuroplasticity into self-directedneuroplasticityWhen our brains are engaging in neuroplasticity without ourknowledge, direction, or awareness, our brains are changingaccidentally. When we are employing self-directed neuroplasticity,we are changing our brains on purposeAccidental and on purpose are two very different ways of beingin the world, and only one allows for autonomy and maximumperformance www.MindfullyChange.com
    7. 7. Self-Directed Neuroplasticity, Cont… This book (The Mind & The Brain) describes the basic mechanics of self- directed neuroplasticity in quantum physics, and reveals its connections with the ancient practice of mindfulness… www.MindfullyChange.com
    8. 8. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is… Being Aware of, and Accepting, Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Circumstances…Without Judgment, Reaction or Distraction (and withoutexpectation)Usually initially involves focusing on your breathing…stop, breath,relaxWhen we focus on our immediate sensory input, we’re pulled intothe PRESENT…when we are mentally in the present we cannotregret the past and fear the future, which greatly reduces stress www.MindfullyChange.com
    9. 9. Impact of Stress on the Brain www.MindfullyChange.com
    10. 10. Self-Direct Your Neuroplasticity… 7 Practices By developing these 7 simple Practices, no matter what your age, you can help ensure that your brain remains healthy and operating with improved efficiency for the rest of your life Build brain resilience and cognitive reserve The practices are listed in order of importance - with the 7th practice being the most valuable www.MindfullyChange.com
    11. 11. Practice #1 Have a Nutritious Diet“Your brain consumes 20-25% of all the oxygen, nutrients and energy you consume” www.MindfullyChange.com
    12. 12. Food for ThoughtThe Brain can only function at its best when it has enough energyand nutrition to process informationA study conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers, on agroup of over 13,000 women over the age of 70, found a direct linkbetween cognitive brain function and the amount of green vegetablesconsumed, with those women eating the most vegetables having thegreatest mental agilityIdeally, reduce calories per day to at least 2,400 for a woman and2,600 a day for a man (Obesity is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s)  Eat colorful fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants  Natural vitamin E, vitamin C, B (B6, B12) folic acid  Omega-3 fatty acids  Avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated fats www.MindfullyChange.com
    13. 13. A Few Suggested Foods Wild salmon is not only an incredible food for brain health, it qualifies as incredible across virtually every other health standard as well and is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat Cacao bean, minimally processed (not chocolate) usually in powder form Acai Berries and/or Blueberries Regular coffee consumption has been shown to actually reduce the risk of mental decline www.MindfullyChange.com
    14. 14. Study: Coffee Could Prevent or Delay Alzheimers The study was led by University of South Florida researchers, and took place in Tampa and in Miami Researchers found that in adults over age 65, those with higher levels of caffeine in their blood avoided the onset of Alzheimers in the two to four years they were monitored Study published June 5, 2012 in the   Journal of Alzheimers Disease www.MindfullyChange.com
    15. 15. Coffee Study Video Clip www.MindfullyChange.com
    16. 16. True or False:Your Brain Can Multitask?
    17. 17. Practice #2 Focus Sequentially Don’t Multi-Task, Do Multi-Sense  Studies show that a person who is attempting to multitask:  Takes up to 50 percent longer to accomplish a task and  Makes up to 50 percent more mistakes  Therefore, a person working sequentially is up to 50% faster and 50% more accurate!Source: John Medina, author of Brain Rules www.MindfullyChange.com
    18. 18. Multitasking Video Clip www.MindfullyChange.com
    19. 19. Your Brain Cannot Truly Multitask The human brain is unable to consciously pay full attention to two tasks at the same time We can do simple tasks like walking and talking at the same time, but when it comes to true multitasking (consciously using your prefrontal cortex), your brain just can’t do it www.MindfullyChange.com
    20. 20. If Not Multitasking, What Should I Do?Organize and prioritize your tasks in advanceIf possible, vary the sort of tasks you work on throughout theday – your brain functions better when it has varietySchedule times during the day when you will check your e-mailand voicemail – and be strict about only checking it during thosedesignated timesCreate interruption-free time zones during the day to work onselected tasks – Turn of your e-mail notification, phone ringer, IMprogram, etc. – distractions that can waste your time and give youan illusion of being productive and important www.MindfullyChange.com
    21. 21. If Not Multitasking, What Should I Do? Cont…Focus on one task at a time, complete it, then focus on the nexttask and repeat the processTake “brain breaks” about once an hour. For example, stand up,stretch, and take a few slow deep breaths. Your brain will functionbetter with movement and more oxygenPerform the above actions for at least a week then check to seewhether you are more productive and accurate in your work thanwhen you “multitasked” – you will be! www.MindfullyChange.com
    22. 22. Do Not Multi-Task, Do Multi-SenseI hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand ~ Chinese proverb www.MindfullyChange.com
    23. 23. Practice #3 Be Physically Active A 5-year study at Quebec’s Laval University found:  People who engaged in moderate exercise three times per week maintained more cognitive brain function than inactive people  People who were inactive were two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who engaged in moderate exercise 3 times per week Moderate exercise appears to promote neurogenesis www.MindfullyChange.com
    24. 24. Be Physically Active Cont… You don’t need to be overly athletic for your brain to benefit Studies show that 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like walking, three times a week is all you need to confer a wealth of benefits to your brain In addition, such simple changes in lifestyle as taking the stairs at work, instead of the elevator, can help your brain stay healthy www.MindfullyChange.com
    25. 25. Motion Impacts Emotion“There appears to be an interconnectivity of the brainareas that control movement, emotion and thinking.Doing activities that involve a number of these areasfully engages the effort-driven-rewards circuit of thebrain and lifts depression and elevates mood”~ Kelly Lambert, author of Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’sHands-on Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power www.MindfullyChange.com
    26. 26. How to Quickly Boost Your Brain to GiveYou A Powerful Surge of Confidence When You Most Need It In a recent study by Harvard Business School, researchers physically “posed” participants into one of two sets of poses, high- and low-power. High-power poses involved stretching out to take up more space, and opening the arms/legs Low-power poses involved contractive positions with closed limbs. The two groups showed neuroendocrine, psychological and behavioral differences consistent with their positions www.MindfullyChange.com
    27. 27. Cont… Blood analysis of high-power posers showed a number of positive neuroendocrine changes – e.g., cortisol levels decreased by 19 percent The low-power posers experienced an opposite neuroendocrine reponse – e.g., cortisol levels increased High-power posers experienced feelings of “being in charge” while low-power poses reported a drop in confidence Simply holding one’s body in expansive poses for as little as two minutes can give us a significant surge of confidence www.MindfullyChange.com
    28. 28. A Power Pose To Quickly Boost Your Brain “These poses actually make you feel more powerful”Says study coauthor Amy J.C. Cuddy, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School www.MindfullyChange.com
    29. 29. Practice #4 Participate Socially A recent study about social participation and brain health conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found:  Social connections increase brain connections. Improvements in cognitive function are strongly connected to brain-stimulating socialization  Staying socially active throughout life can help to maintain normal brain function and put off the onset of dementia  Engaging in activities with friends and family, especially those that require both physical and mental activity, can help to improve brain function and memory for years to come www.MindfullyChange.com
    30. 30. Practice #5 Sleep Well - And Long Enough A sleep-deprived brain works harder, but accomplishes less If youve been awake for 17 hours straight your performance is equivalent to having a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%  Thats the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in many countries Getting only 5 hours or less sleep is the equivalent of being drunk Studies in Canada revealed that when clocks were set back an hour in the Autumn, there was a dramatic fall in the number of road accidents Source: Audra Starkey author of The Healthy Shift Worker www.MindfullyChange.com
    31. 31. The Power of a Nap“A 2002 Harvard University study shows people’smotor skills and their ability to learn improves by 20% just by taking a short afternoon nap” www.MindfullyChange.com
    32. 32. Practice #6 Challenge Yourself Mentally “When you learn new things, or even think new thoughts, your brain restructures itself. The more youexercise your brain, the better it performs. Brain imaging scans actually show proof of this: your brain physically changes once you begin learning and doing new things” www.MindfullyChange.com
    33. 33. Brain Exercises Do things differently - e.g., brush your teeth with your other hand Make your brain work to find answers - e.g., puzzles, Sudoku Activate your whole brain - use as many senses as possible Use your senses to really pay attention to your environment “To really super charge your brain, take a class in a new language, or in computer programming, or practice learning a musical instrument. The improvements to your brain’s functioning could well be enormous” www.MindfullyChange.com
    34. 34. Practice #7 Have an Optimistic, Accepting & Flexible Attitude“Attitude Changes Everything, Including Your Brain” www.MindfullyChange.com
    35. 35. Stress is the #1 Reason Brains Under Perform Neuroscience studies show that a relaxed person with a positive attitude deals with stressors – and even brain disorders - much better than a tense person with a negative attitude Brain scans prove that laughter is a great stress reducer. If you are having difficulty changing your attitude, engage in activities that make you laugh www.MindfullyChange.com
    36. 36. So Keep an Upbeat Attitude…  Surround yourself with positive people who help you reinforce this attitude  Accept what you have, let go of anger and resentment  Relax and enjoy life, laugh often…Focus away from perceived threats and toward joy and optimism  Practice mindfulness…“We Can’t Stop the Waves, But We Can Learn to Surf” ~ Jon Kabat Zinn www.MindfullyChange.com
    37. 37. Quote from WebMD.com June 9, 2012Studies find that the following are linked to lower odds ofdeveloping Alzheimer’s:Eating a healthy dietEngaging in exercise on a regular basis,Staying socially activeKeeping your mind engaged with games and puzzlesStudies also suggest that “these same lifestyle changes mayreduce the progression of symptoms for people who alreadyhave Alzheimer’s disease”Source:James E. Galvin, MD, MPH,Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry,New York Universitys Langone Medical Center www.MindfullyChange.com
    38. 38. Quick Recap By Practice #1 - Have a Nutritious Diet mak you ing th r e Practice #2 - Focus Sequentially step daily r se 7 p o r stay s to en utine, actices s he s yo p Practice #3 - Be Physically Active alth ure tha u’re ta art of y an t k lifet d ef your b ing Practice #4 - Participate Socially ime ficient rain ! for a Practice #5 - Sleep Well Practice #6 - Challenge Yourself Mentally Practice #7 - Have an Optimistic, Accepting & Flexible Attitude www.MindfullyChange.com
    39. 39. Presenter Contact Information Jonathan Jordan Business & Executive Coach Phone: (321) 214-5824 Twitter: @MindfullyChange E-mail: Jonathan@MindfullyChange.com Company website: www.MindfullyChange.com Book website: www.GreatlyImproveYourBrain.comPlease feel free to contact me with any follow up questions www.MindfullyChange.com

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