NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!
Our amazing brains continually change and “rewire”. Learn the ESSENTIAL lifestyle changes you can make immediately that will enable your brain to rewire appropriately.
When I was in medical school, we were taught that the brain was “hard wired” and was not capable of change after about one year. My own recovery has proved this is a VERY WRONG conclusion! The Neuroplasticity video on my Resources page shows how the brain constantly changes due to our actions, thoughts, and environment. It also reveals that you can change your brain by the way you live your life.
These are the seven ESSENTIAL lifestyle changes you can make irrespective of your age, your story, or past brain injury. However, I know that it is difficult to do this on your own. I want to help you by providing strategies and uncovering what is getting in the way based on my own experience and coaching background.
You may need to talk to your doctor for help in following through with some of these things. I can help you find the right words to use and a helpful approach.
1. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, BE OPTIMISTIC….
First, you must believe that brain change is not only possible, but also inevitable no matter where you are today. The direction and speed of this change is partially up to you. This is not just a Pollyanna statement. It’s DAMN HARD WORK! A sense of purpose is essential! Studies show that people with negative beliefs have smaller hippocampi (the area of brain responsible for memory). Autopsies have shown that these people also have more markers for dementia.
Do you have a reason to getting up each morning?
2. ENGAGE IN NATURAL & REGULAR EXERCISE….
How you exercise is completely up to you. You don’t have to join a gym. Dance or move to music. Walk. Run. Make sure you do something that you really enjoy, so you will do it regularly. Be creative, if you have balance issues or other results of your brain injury. Exercise is the best-documented cause of brain change (neuroplasticity). It increases blood flow to the brain, which boosts nerve growth leading to increased brain size.
What is the most enjoyable exercise for you? How often do you move vigorously?
3. EAT A BRAIN HEALTHY DIET….
Research has proven a plant-based Mediterranean diet is best. This diet includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad, and one other vegetable every day. It also involves snacking most days on nuts and eating beans every other day or so, poultry and blue berries at least twice a week. and fish at least once a week.
Is what you eat a brain healthy diet?
4. PRACTICE STRESS REDUCTION….
Stress leads to chronic inflammation, the opposite of healing. It is associated with every major age-related disease. The world’s healthiest people have routines to reduce stress. These include yoga, mindfulness meditation, visualization, deep breathing, walking in nature, and prayer.
Do you have a favourite way to relax?
5. GET SUPPORT….
It is easy to feel alone as a brain injury survivor. But, you are NOT alone. Sadly brain injury is very common. Often your injury is invisible, but your mood, memory, speech, and energy levels can be affected. Most people do not understand. Through the Internet you can connect with fellow brain warriors. There are many resources, solutions, and sources of guidance available.
Do you feel supported? Let’s build a BRAIN BUDDIES community.
6. GET LOTS OF SLEEP ….
After a brain injury, fatigue can be overwhelming. Your brain needs this time to recover. Get more than seven hours sleep each night and allow yourself sleep whenever you feel tired. Sleeplessness may indicate something is wrong. Don’t rely of sleeping pills because they are harmful to the brain.
Do you have a healthy sleep pattern?
7. OPTIMIZE YOUR GENERAL HEALTH ….
Recovering from your brain injury may have overshadowed everything else. However, you also need a healthy body. STOP smoking. It is #1 cause of stroke and is linked to brain disease. For the same reason, monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure. You have already had a brain injury. Your brain is like soft butter. Always protect it in the future by wearing a helmet, consider avoiding contact sports, and use your seatbelt. Drive a car as safely as possible.
Have you had a recent complete medical examination? Your brain health is in your hands.
Is there anything you need to change? Lifestyle changes are difficult to make on your own. Let’s work together to make them a reality for you. Let me help you.
Sign up for a 30 minute Complimentary Coaching Consultation to find out how we can work together.