Post: How about a smart healthy brain πŸ˜‡πŸ˜, anytime, any age? : 5 ways to facilitate the process.

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful weekendπŸ™‹πŸ»

Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, two terms commonly used when it comes to brain health. We, just don’t need to dive so much into Neuroscience to learn what they mean and how we can help ourselves to keep our brain healthy. Brain health is important because as long as our brain is healthy, we keep learning new things and our memory is intact. As ageing progresses, we can prevent ourselves from certain chronic conditions like dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease by maintaining good brain health.

Neuroplasticity, meaning that our brain is continuously changing through our entire lifetime depending upon our experiences, the environment, habits, behaviour. Neural pathways keep rewiring and dewiring depending upon what is necessary and what is no longer useful. Therefore, being in a positive environment, thinking and feeling positive is all very important.

Neurogenesis meaning formation of new neurons, that is our ability to learn new things and retain in our memory. Previously, it was believed that neurogenesis stopped once we reach our adulthood, that is around the age of 20. Now, researches have shown, that neurogenesis occurs throughout our lifetime. So, we can learn until the day we die. In our brain, the neurons are formed from the neural stem cells and progenitor cells which are in the Hippocampus mainly and also in other regions of the brain. Though every day, new neurons are formed, before, they could get matured, many of them get pruned. A special protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) has been identified which is responsible for promoting the maturation, survival and maintenance of the neurons.

So, how do we facilitate this process of neurogenesis and maintain the level of BDNF? 5 simple ways

1. Exercise: Any exercise which can increase the heart rate mainly aerobic exercise, running, brisk walking.


2.Food: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fishes (salmon, tuna, sardines), avocados, chia, hemp seeds and nuts. Other sources which help are turmeric, blueberries, goji berries, lotus roots, algae, green tea, coffee. However, too much caffeine is detrimental to neurogenesis.

3.Emotions: Experiencing positive emotions like joy, excitement, love and feeling good, stimulate Neurogenesis. Such emotional experience can appear by being creative, learning a new skill, going out in Nature, proper sleep, listening to Nature sounds, good music and sex. A positive relationship with partners, peers, relatives is helpful. Being in chronic stress, anger, anxiety are detrimental to neurogenesis.

4.Mind stimulation: Cognitive abilities like reading, learning, memorizing, discussing new ideas, taking up music lessons, problem-solving, all stimulate neurogenesis. Cognitive reserve (resilience against brain damage) can be built up by engaging mind stimulating activities or intellectual work.

5.Meditation: Prayers and meditation can stimulate neurogenesis. Practising mindfulness, compassion, being in silence, stillness all facilitate neurogenesis.

Some lifestyle factors which can decrease neurogenesis are a high intake of carbohydrate, sugar, fried foods, inflammatory foods, chronic caffeine intake, smoking, alcohol, obesity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, negative emotions like sadness, depression, lack of engagement, boring life. Direct trauma to the head can be very detrimental to neurogenesis. Nowadays, even environmental pollution is quite hazardous to brain health.

If you are intending to learn more about lifestyle changes that you can do to improve your brain health, I recommend the book: Neurogenesis diet and lifestyle by Dr Brant Cortright

Thanks for reading. Take care.

Blessings and Much love to all πŸ’

Post : Stillness πŸ‘€

Hello Everyone ! Happy Friday 🌼 and have a great weekend ahead πŸ™‹πŸ»

Every day, in this hustle-bustle of life, there is too much noise to ever be in silence. The cacophony of sounds distract us all the time and our mind is filled with too many overcrowded thoughts. By the end of the day, you are too exhausted physically and mentally with this craziness. But then, can this drama of the outer world ever pause? The answer is yes, unless, we allow ourselves to be paused and listen to the silence.

Yes, the essence of being silent in stillness even for a short time can be a source of great strength, highly rejuvenating not just mentally but physically too. It gives you the much-needed fuel before you step into a new day. We feel stillness is difficult behind all the distractions. Everything gets in our way. It’s only when we become aware and learn to listen to the stillness, we get time to truly rest.

The best day to practise stillness is right from today. Each morning or evening or summer or winter has its kind of stillness. Sitting or lying down, after breathing deeply with eyes closed, away from noises and trying to follow up your natural breaths for some time will let your life simply, drawn into this darkness where there is no limitations or constraints. Though it may sound simple, it isn’t that easy. But then, this is a practice. Initially, you are so caught up with thoughts that the mind slips for tomorrow’s meeting, the emails that you have to check, you have to meet up a friend, your next meal to be prepared come all your way. I know my friends, this is a little difficult, as you are trying to focus on nothing and there isn’t any goal to reach.

You start forming a habit when you are doing every day for a couple of minutes. Some days are difficult with too much clutter of thoughts while some days are easy to focus. That’s all ok, my dear friends. As the days pass by, you will learn to enjoy this silence, the peace. The darkness within this stillness has much more to say than anything else. I have tried myself and am still learning and enjoying the process. You will experience inner peace and wisdom, your spiritual growth. This is what people call as meditation or the sacred stillness is all about.

I have already talked about the science point of view ( in some of my previous posts) what meditation, stillness bring about changes in the brain and also in the physical wellbeing (reduces inflammation).
Practising stillness also helps in a better quality of sleep. So, the benefits are plenty. I am not exactly using the term “meditation” as there are several methods of guided thought meditations. Here, I am simply talking about the stillness, listening to the silence which helps to nourish us both physically and mentally. It gives us a deeper sense of connectedness, perhaps with the Divine.

Whether or not, to practise stillness or meditation is entirely our choice to make. We can start listening to silence and practise stillness or continue to hide from it.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

Post : Your quirky Subconscious mind πŸ˜‡

In your, every day lives, the brain functions as two major parts – Conscious brain and Subconscious brain. Out of this, 90-95 % of your actvities are carried out by our subconscious brain which acts as an auto pilot. This is your habitual brain. While only 5 % is your thinking brain, the cortical brain, who does the conscious brain activity.

The subconscious mind is more of the inner primitive brain also called the limbic brain which does your automatic, habitual behaviours, which is also responsible for your emotions, feelings, reactions, fears, impulses and reflexes in your everyday lives. So, think, how important a role this subconscious mind plays in our day to day life.

From the day, you were born till 6-7 years of life, your brain is in the hypnotic stage. That means, you observed everything in your environment, programmed every good or bad habit from the people surrounding you, picked up every single activity you have seen. That’s how, the subconscious mind got programmed. As you grew up, you started understanding things slowly but you still picked up habits, beliefs, feelings, emotions, reactions of people, your parents, teachers, friends surrounding you.
By the time, you became an adult, you have already developed a personality, habits, traits, thinking patterns, which are very much part of you. Your subconscious mind takes the upper hand in controlling your life which you are not even aware.

Your subconscious mind is not your enemy. Because you cannot do without it. Whatever activities you perform like walking, speaking, eating, writing, driving are all because of your subconscious mind programming. Then, how does it affect your life?

When it interferes with your life purpose, your goal, your performance, your task, then it starts affecting your life. From childhood, apart from the huge lists of habits that you have, you might have picked up a certain negative pattern of thinking like fear of failure, low self-esteem, pessimistic thinking, fear of challenges, impulsiveness which can be stumbling block to succeed. Most of the time, you are not even aware of. You become frustrated, sad and disheartened. You read motivation books, watch motivating videos, make tons of effort. Still, unknowingly, you come back to your old thinking pattern. This is because you have developed this habitual thinking pattern over the years. Sometimes, in spite of knowing your faults, you are unable to change. You go through your same fear, worry, negative thinking again and again. Then, how can you change?

To reprogram your subconscious mind :

Keep repeating your changed beliefs and affirmations:

To break a habit and reprogram your mind for a new habit will take time. Your subconscious mind is habitual, so, to learn a new habit and reprogramme your subconscious mind would take some time.
Firstly, decide on what you have to change in yourself. Frame that belief or affirmation in your mind. The subconscious mind does not understand verbal language so using metaphors is a convenient way. Then, keep repeating and reaffirming daily till you can form it a habit. It can take a long time and years. But, this is the most convenient and effective way to change your subconscious mind.

Then, there are other methods, like energy psychology, hypnosis, Psych -K where the brain is brought to the alpha-theta a wave stage, and then the belief is slipped into your subconscious mind. I have not much idea about these methods because I have never tried them. You can get more information on them, if you are interested in

https://www.brucelipton.com

Thanks for reading.

Take care. Much love to all πŸ’

Post: 4 interesting facts about gut feeling. Is it same as intuition? πŸ’πŸ»

Why is the term ” gut “ attached to the word ” feeling”? Off course, there has to be a reason. More preferably, a scientifically researched fact.

1.Your gut is lined by a network of neurons. It is found that about 100 million neurons are lined across the gut ( alimentary canal ) which are even more than in the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system but is less than the brain. This is called the enteric nervous system. So, gut feeling is also referred to as the ” second brain”. The brain and gut are connected through this network of neurons which is the gut-brain axis. Your gut, the enteric nervous system can act independently from the brain, the central nervous system. But, most of the time, it is overridden by the brain. That is the reason, most of the time, we ignore or consciously don’t acknowledge our gut feeling.

2.The most important aspect of gut feeling is quick and automatic, appear even before the brain starts thinking logically. The gut makes similar chemicals as the brain do while thinking. It makes a quick evaluation of the situation at hand and gives feedback. It cannot analyse and do logical thinking as the brain.

3.The huge microbiome flora in the gut not only influences the gut alone with what diet you eat but also has the perception of this world and can influence the mind and behaviour. They influence the body’s level of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates the feelings of happiness. That is the reason a healthy diet, good sleep, good exercise can influence your mood and behaviour.

4.Your gut feeling is not intuition. Intuition is something to do with your highest level of consciousness, it is said to be the voice of the soul.
Whereas gut feeling is your very human instinct. This feeling comes collectively from the neuronal network in your gut which gives you feedback based on your past experiences with the intent to keep your body safe and protected. It concerns your fear and struggles for survival.

You don’t feel right when a particular person is around you, or you feel uncomfortable in a particular situation or when you feel something is not right for you to eat, are all your gut feelings. It centres around your struggle and fear-based on your past.

Intuition is your inner voice, which may tell you choose a particular career path, or follow a certain dream or choose to be with someone.

You can rely on your gut, and choose to remain safe and not take any risk. In most instances, you use your logical brain to choose depending on your past experiences what works for you safe and better.
Or you can hear your intuition and work beyond your reaches to something unknown in the past in your life experiences, or the ones which appear in your dreams.

So, you have a choice to make at every moment throughout your life.

Thanks for reading.

Take care. Much love to all πŸ’

Post: Is perception a reality? 4 interesting facts

Most of the time, why do we feel we are misunderstood?  Why do we feel that we are judged continuously by people around us?  Why do we feel often that people don’t get my true feeling or true intention?

All these questions have one answer. It is because of my own thinking pattern and behaviour and not because of some problems with them.

Yes, people judge me and make an opinion about me what they see and hear from me. I, do the same. Nobody has the time to sit down and analyse my true intention. 

The truth is β€¦

you can change people’s perception by changing your behaviour or do

not get affected at all about what people perceive about you. 

4 interesting facts about perception.

1. Perception is simply how an individual thinks or become aware through the senses. It is a model created continuously by the brain to perceive reality. The thinking pattern differs from individual to individual. So, the same event can be perceived differently by each individual depending upon his thinking pattern and interpretation. 

2. Perception is something that developed and changed continuously as we grow up. It has grown with the awareness and understanding of the external world as we grow up. Anything in the external world, objects, events, people are attached to some kind of stimulation, organization, interpretation, evaluation and memory. 

3. Perception is often mistaken as reality as we get so involved in our perceived thinking of people, places and things around us that we create altogether a different world. May not be the real world as it is. Then perception becomes our reality. In other words, perception is our concept of reality.

4. There is no wrong or right things in life. Whatever you choose to do, depending upon your perception, you are responsible for its outcome and consequences.

Post: Green tea: 7 wonderful benefits

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverage known in the world today. So waking up every morning with a cup of green tea is awesome to kick start the day.

I am both tea land coffee lover but and green tea tops my list. It is always advisable to choose a high-quality brand of green tea as low-quality brands may contain fluoride.

7 most important proven benefits are :

  1. Green tea is very rich in polyphenol antioxidants and catechin called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). They have proven health benefits of reducing inflammation and help in fighting cancer.
  2. Like coffee, green tea contains caffeine. Not just caffeine, it also contains amino acid L-theanine which increases the activity of neurotransmitter GABA. They not only keep you awake but improves the brain function and has anti-anxiety effects. Catechins in green tea have a protective effect on the neurons so lower the risk of Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease.

3. Green tea is the recommended supplement for weight loss. it boosts the metabolism and increases the fat burning.

4.Many studies have proved that green tea drinkers do have a protective effect against some type of cancers like breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. It is due to loads of antioxidants found in green tea.

5.The catechins in green tea can boost your immunity and lower the risk of both bacterial and viral infections like influenza. It can improve your dental hygiene by killing oral bacteria.

6.Green tea increases the antioxidant capacity of blood and thereby reduces the LDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) from oxidation. it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It slightly reduces blood sugar too. So good for type 2 diabetics.

7. Since green tea drinkers have a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases, protected against some cancers, boosted immunity, they likely to live longer and healthy.