Functional Thinking

Posted on October 1, 2011 by

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Coach Jayne Ottman, RN

Most of us take thinking for granted.  When we were young, we didn’t give much thought to brain function.  Without proper self care, as we age it’s a different matter. Memory lapses occur with aging but know that how fast this decline can occur is up to you!  Researchers in a Michigan  study noted that participants had fewer memory errors if they slept well after learning new information.  It’s also believed that our thinking improves with exercise, a theory supported by numerous studies. One study in particular, states recall improved with only 30 minutes of exercise vs. resting.  A healthy brain is also dependent on a diet rich in non-inflammatory foods such as unprocessed, unrefined foods, foods high in omega-3 fats, leafy greens, turmeric and antioxidants such as berries.  Sleep, diet and exercise are key ingredients for preserving our brain. 

Another study showed that working overtime impairs reasoning and vocabulary, possibly due to fatigue and sleep-related issues.  An interesting study from Iowa State University  confirms a connection between technology use in young adults (teens) and stunted growth in the frontal lobe of the brain-which is responsible for  judgment, abstract thinking, empathy and one’s ability to interact socially ( appropriately).

Our brains need regular quiet time in order to function properly.  Any practice such as yoga, hypnosis, guided imagery or prayer has a profound calming effect on not just the brain but the entire body.  It also restores, improves and reduces inflammatory flare-ups such as arthritis.

You only get one brain in this lifetime.  Pay attention to nurturing it, so that it can continue to nurture YOU!!