Do you find your brain as fascinating as I do?! This year has been an incredible journey of self-discovery with a focus on the relationship I have with my brain, as well as guiding others to get more in touch with their own. In doing the work, what impresses me is that some of the most important aspects of our existence are also some of the most fragile. We can’t simply begin poking and prodding around in our brains to see what we find. With one slight of the hand, a neurosurgeon can wave goodbye to a person’s ability to make sense out of numbers or recognize faces. The work is easier said than done, but my hope is that by taking preventative actions now I can take better care of the one I have. If I have taken away anything from this year, it is that there are so many ways to practice brain hygiene that we can begin today.
Focusing on important lifestyle modifications helps us increase our brain health and prevent chronic illness and disease. Making changes to our nutrition, reducing levels of stress, staying active, getting restful and regenerative sleep, and examining the relationships that we have in our lives are fundamental areas of analysis. Even though I wish that this information was more accessible in the general education curriculum I received as I was growing up, I know now that it’s never too late to start! With the advent of new research and discoveries in neuroscience, we have learned that our neuroplasticity makes us quite resilient. If we can develop a practice with helps focus our thoughts and attention towards what we want to attract versus remaining stuck in our own stories, we can break through the barriers that hold us back from achieving our highest goals. Often, I don’t think we truly appreciate the vast capabilities of our brain until we are faced with trauma, illness and chronic disease which is why it’s imperative that we take steps now to become raise our self-awareness and bring presence in every moment.
Have you thought about your goals for this year? One of my personal goals is to reduce my toxic burden. This means I will be examining the 5 basic foundational principles of Functional Medicine – stress, nutrition, sleep, movement, relationships – more in depth. I will be sharing resources and observations from the work I am doing on myself and with others so that you may benefit from knowledge I’m gaining along the journey, as well. I look forward to a year of new beginnings, positive and expansive thinking, and hopefully a lot of joyful play. Cheers to our brain health and it’s optimization in the new year!