Fit & Fab: Steps to unlocking a clear brain
Are you someone who feels fatigue, brain fog, mental exhaustion or confusion? Are you forgetful, or do you have trouble shutting down your thoughts in order to go to sleep? If any of these sound like you, it is safe to say you’ve built up some clutter in that brain of yours, and its time to clear it out.
When you make space in your brain, you will find you are much more creative, less quick to snap at others, and open to new ideas. Below are five steps to my favorite ways to clear out the brain clutter.
1. Sleep in a dark room. Adequate amounts of sleep in a room that is very dark is the optimal condition for your daily brain rejuvenation. If the room you are in is not dark, invest in a sleep mask. This pitch darkness will allow the pituitary gland to go into cleanse and refresh mode. Because of this pituitary work, pitch dark sleeping has the added benefit of keeping you looking young.
2. Eat your fat. In order for that pituitary to even be able to function properly, it needs FAT. As a matter of fact, all brain function depends on fat for fuel. The best brain fuel fats include virgin organic coconut oil and fish oils/omega 3’s. Both of these should be ingested daily.
I personally eat a minimum of 1 Tbs. of coconut oil daily, and at least 1,000 mgs of high quality fish oil. Understand that omega 3s contain two vital components-EPAs and DHAs. If you are looking to enhance clarity, decrease inflammation and help with depression symptoms, a higher concentration of EPA is recommended. If you want to enhance calming (for example with children who may be hyperactive), or if you are someone dealing with anxiety, look for a higher concentration of DHA.
3. Meditate. In my opinion, time out to have no thoughts is paramount for keeping the brain and mind clear, positive and moving toward higher thoughts and ideals. Even if it is for 5 minutes, dedicate this time for yourself to quiet your “monkey mind” (constant thoughts jumping around all over the place with no real purpose) and regather your organization for the day. Remember not to think about your day during this time, though. The key is to go as long as possible with no thoughts at all. If you aren’t used to this practice, it may take some time to stop the mind chatter. But if you stick with it, you will surely reap the benefits.
4. Get organized. If your personal surroundings are cluttered, there is no way your brain will be able to stay clear. Make it a point to spend a measly 15 minutes per day on getting rid of stuff you don’t need, organizing paperwork, or cleaning out a junk drawer. If there is anything in your house that you haven’t used for a year or more, it is time to donate! Oh the liberation of getting rid of extra stuff!
5. Refrain from TV, magazines or any news media before bed. If you are someone who must have your daily dose of depressing news, do it early in the day. Whatever you set your mind on before sleep is what your subconscious will stew in all night.
Instead, before falling asleep, look back on your day for anyone you feel you need to forgive. Forgive them, and then remind yourself of all of the things you are grateful for. This practice alone will dramatically change your sleep patterns, your dreams and the entire next day. But don’t take my word for it, prove it to yourself! You’ll be so glad you did.
The information provided by Dr. Allen-Bergman in this column, or by any of her businesses, agents or employees, is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as recommendations for a specific treatment plan, product, course of action or medical treatment/advice. If you would like further information on this or any other articles, visit EducatingWellness.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to Fit & Fab, Star Journal, 24 W. Rives St., Rhinelander, WI 54501. All submissions will be treated in a confidential manner.