Did you play contact sports? Does your kid play contact sports? Have you ever fallen off your bike, out of a tree or been in a car accident? Even if you haven’t hit your head during a fall or accident the force of a collision can send your brain banging around in that hard skull of yours like a ping pong ball. So, yes some damage or injury can occur without you losing consciousness or getting a big goose egg. So, have you given much thought about your brain health? Did you know your behavior and past accidents can accelerate brain aging?
Your brain is involved in everything you do. When your brain is not working right – you are not working right. Our brains are the most complicated thing in the universe. We have over 100 million brain cells, that is a lot! Did you know your brain is only 2% of your total body weight and yet it uses 20 to 30% of the calories you eat on a daily basis? Our brains also use about 20% of our oxygen intake and blood flow each day. Just remember you’re behavior can accelerate brain aging. Below I will share some tips from Dr. Amen to change your brain and slow down an aging brain.
First, here are some warning signs your brain is in trouble. These are warning signs from Dr. Amen’s work:
Memory > Than 10 years ago
Stress, anxiety, worry
Short attention span
Impulsive, bad decisions
Have hit your head one or more times in the past
High blood pressure
High blood sugar
Non-compliant for heath
Do you have any or all of these going on? Remember, your brain gets 20% of our blood flow and low blood flow is the root of brain disfunction! This is another reason why exercising is so important! Get that heart rate up to get your brain function up!
Dr. Amen tips to slow down brain aging:
- Get your sleep! Less than 7 hours of sleep has been shown to decrease blood flow to the brain.
-Move your body. Exercising is a simple easy way to increase blood flow and strengthens your heart to better able to pump blood more efficiently to your brain and entire body.
-If you have sleep apnea… Take care of this and wear your mask if you can’t get rid of it. Oxygen deprivation damages the brain!
-Get your hormones checked and working right for you
-Limit environmental toxins. Do you have mold at your home or at work? If it smells musty get a mold checked.
-Take your Omega-3 fats and check your DHEA levels. Good DHEA levels will help reduce cortisol levels and help with memory.
-Limit chronic stress: Get a life coach to help you. High levels of stress have been shown to shrink the hippocampus in the brain, which is the major memory structure in the brain, again another reason to have good DHEA levels.
-Avoid bad things to protect your brain
Did you know?
-Did you know traumatic brain injuries affect the front of the brain, prefrontal cortex, 91% of the time. Dr. Amen said this was what he found from looking at over 1600 studies from people with brain injuries. 30% of your brain is your prefrontal cortex!
-Damage or problems with your prefrontal cortex can be: Short attention span, impulsive, procrastination, disorganization, poor judgement, lack of empathy and insight, brutal honesty.
-When you have had any type of brain injury you may have problems with Focus, forethought, impulse control, organization, planning, judgement, empathy, and insight and learning from mistakes.
- Brain injuries can be the cause of anxiety, depression, and other mental/focus problems.
-Injuries from childhood may come up later in life more recognizable… In your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s!
-PTSD, untreated depression, untreated ADD, bad decisions and an unhealthy social group have been shown to increase risk of Alzheimer’s, says Dr. Amen.
-”The scary thing that most people do not know is the wrong interventions can hurt people. Almost all psychiatrist medicines have black box warnings,” Dr. Amen. We are no better off with psychiatric drugs and interventions than we were in the 1950’s.
Questions to ask yourself?
-Have you ever hit your head hard
-Would you put a developing brain (a child below 25 years old) in a helmet to play contact sports that support knocking around one’s head?
-Do you drink everyday? A study from John Hopkins showed that people who drink everyday have smaller brains and women are more susceptible. Yes, that one glass of wine a day is not good for your brain, although the alcohol industry would like us to think it is.
-Do you have pattern thinking, depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, or any other challenge that is limiting your brain from functioning properly? Get some help!
What can help your brain?
-Do mental workouts: crossword puzzles, play board games, try sudoku
-Move your body, eat greens, berries, and avoid sugar
-Keep a healthy weight
-Move your body
-Take brain supporting supplements: D3, Omega 3’s, DHEA, Magnesium, Multi-Vitamins and other Brain Nutrients.
-Have positive social group
-Get a life coach
-Try light therapy, neurofeedback, and rTMS treatments
-Skip alcohol, smoking, and excess caffeine
-Practice deep breathing and stress management
-Set goals and work with someone that will hold you accountable
-Get a SPEC scan at a dr. Amen clinic
-Visit a Happy Whole You Wellness center to receive neurofeedback scans, rTMS treatments, Theta Pod treatments, detox and red light therapy and more.
-Try a ketogenic diet
Take some time to think about your brain health. WHat can you start doing to improve your brain health? You are NOT stuck with the brain you have. We can make it better!
“You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a brain injury,” says Dr. Amen.
Reference: From lesson 1 Brain Health Coaching Certification Course @Amen University