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Written by Linda Terry, Brain Health Learning Coach, for the February 2020 Panorama Newsletter
Now that the New Year is underway, what are you going to do for your brain? Begin by asking yourself these questions: What are three things I can get better at? What are three new things I will try? What are three things I want to learn?
Take some time to consider this and commit to the effort and ensure they reflect ideas with you as the focal point. Write them down to be a present and persistent reminder! The power of writing is extraordinary and can be a powerful external motivator.
Before you begin this activity, let’s prepare the brain to work at its optimal level. How do we do this? Through a concept called Brain PAR – Prepare, Activate, and Reflect. This activity is analogous to warming up the body before working out or making sure you have all the ingredients to a recipe, and you understand it, before you begin making it.
How do you PREPARE your brain to think? Instead of TV first thing in the morning, consider these:
- Deep breaths several times in bed before rising
- Drink a glass of water first thing - gently and slowly
- Stretch your body
- Set your intention for the day
- Eat healthy food
- Be grateful
How do you ACTIVATE your brain? Memory is not automatic. It’s important to consider how you think if you want to remember something.
- Focus on one thing at a time
- Choose a memory system
- Talk to a friend
- Challenge your brain (or take a brain fitness class!)
- Take a nap, or close your eyes for a few moments.
Finally, REFLECT by ending your day in a relaxing way. You will sleep better and possibly remember more.
- Unplug/turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes or so before you go to bed
- Think or write about what you did today
- Review your schedule for tomorrow
- Relax in a bath, soak your feet, or use a warming blanket
- Count your blessings
- Enjoy your favorite hot beverage
Making this a regular part of your overall routine can help your brain work at its optimal level. It can help you achieve a clearer mind, better memory, and more stress-free environment for your brain. Learn more about these concepts and many others designed to relax, heal, and help the brain to learn and grow.
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