Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dr. Nussbaum's 50 Tips for Brain Health

Dr. Nussbaum’s 50 Tips for Brain Health

1.              Know these three facts about your brain:

Your brain weighs about 3 pounds
Your Brain is composed of nearly 60% fat
Your Brain demands 25% of the blood from each heartbeat

2.              Start each day with a quiet 12 minutes of mindfulness and meditation.
3.              Walk briskly each day for 25 minutes.
4.              Increase your fish intake to 8 ounces per week.
5.              Increase your daily fruits and vegetables intake to 6 fist-full servings.
6.              Forgive someone who has hurt you.
7.              Pray on a daily basis.
8.              Dance daily with total body movement.
9.              Engage is a novel and complex activity several times a month.
10.          Travel and use different routes to and from work or store.
11.          Make one new friend a month.
12.          Engage in aerobic exercise several times a week.
13.          Try a yoga class, even chair or gentle yoga.
14.          Treat yourself to a massage.
15.          Learn a new language, including sign language.
16.          Read and stay current in the news.
17.          Write and try your hand at poetry.
18.          Consider speaking in public.
19.          Play a musical instrument and sing.
20.          Use utensils when you eat.
21.          Take a Tai Chi class for balance.
22.          Include brain fitness such as Rosetta Stone Fitbrains in your daily life.
23.          Learn how to use the computer and Facebook to stay engaged.
24.          Garden and knit.
25.          Read Save Your Brain to understand how lifestyle can shape your brain for health.
26.          Have mercy on yourself and on others.
27.          Visualize the warmth of Love and kindness.
28.          Give some of your possessions to others.
29.          Clean and organize your room and surroundings.
30.          Engage in daily deep breathing exercises.
31.          Engage in daily progressive muscle relaxation.
32.          Participate in a weekly meditation class.
33.          Yawn as frequently as you can, as this is good for the brain.
34.          Sleep at least 8 hours a day.
35.          Eat breakfast each morning.
36.          Tell someone you love him or her each day.
37.          Increase antioxidants in your diet.
38.          Define your purpose in life.
39.          Actively think happy and positive thoughts daily.
40.          Refrain from anger or hostility.
41.          Meet with your PCP at least annually.
42.          Monitor your blood pressure throughout the year.
43.          Consider the for monitoring your own cognitive and motor skills.
44.          Do not take supplements without your Doctor’s advice.
45.          Meet with a financial planner.
46.          Text or email one kind thought to someone daily.
47.          Smile as much as you can.
48.          Draw a picture of what happiness is for you and visualize it daily.
49.          Increase your network of friends.

50.          Give genuine thanks for the day

Power of Love and Valentine's Day

Love as the Greatest Medicine

So we are fast approaching our annual day of love, romance, hugs and kisses, and relationships. February 14th, know as Valentine’s Day and filled with tremendous symbolism. Consider the abundance of the color red as the day unfolds. Why red? Perhaps it is the color our society uses to represent love. Maybe we believe red is like blood and blood emerges from the heart and our society attaches love to the heart. “I love you with all my heart or your broke my heart” are typical phrases that we all have used in our lives.

Valentine’s Day is also a great opportunity for everyone to reflect and to consider what is most precious. For most of us this typically means people and our relationships: our family, our spouse, our children or significant other. It means our parents who have always been there for us or maybe those who live far away or who are no longer with us. Relationships are indeed precious and bind us together.

It is true, Valentine’s is a day for love, a day to express and to receive the wonderful emotion of love. I argue that love originates and flows from the brain, that wonderful miracle that sits between your ears. Regardless, I know love to be the most important emotion in our arsenal of emotions. We can unite enemies, stop wars, and bring everyone on the planet closer with love. Love overcomes bitterness, anger, guilt, anxiety and depression.

So use this Valentine’s as your day to practice the expression and flow of love throughout your brain and into the environment around you. Let those close to you know you love them and hug your family members just a little closer on this day. Reach out to those who have been distant and extend a loving hand to those who need one. Feel the warmth of love as it coats your brain and heals others around you. Build relationships and make the world a little better place if only for this one day.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Dr. Nussbaum