Expert Tips for Mind, Body, and Balance
Dr. Jennifer Pearlman MD CCFP NCMP FAARM ABAARM
We are 99.9% identical genomically to each other but amazingly the differences in our hard wired genetic code contribute to the huge variability amongst us. We know that genetic variation determines physical traits like eye and hair colour but also tendencies to mental health disorders, substance abuse and even how likely we are to worry. The worrier v. warrior gene is a common genetic variation that can predict your likelihood to ruminate on negative events. This gene trait can be shaped in its expression through lifestyle and diet.
Layers of the Human Brain
The primitive brainstem controls the flight fight reflexes and our response to immediate danger or acute stress.
Our emotional middle brain involving the temporal lobes of sensory processing and memory register input in our emotional brains.
The cognitive computer, the human super-brain or forebrain comprised of the frontal cortex controls our thoughts and behaviours in a way that allows humans uniquely to plan, forecast, make chooses and execute complex tasks. The forebrain allows for self-awareness.
Neuroplasticity to build a better brain
We now know our brains are more adaptive then we ever imagined. Neuroplasticity describes the amazing ability of our brain to rewire, adapt and build new neural networks. Neuroplasticity allows our brain to recover from trauma or illness and continue to learn and evolve as we age. But to preserve the power of an adaptive brain we must maintain a brain healthy lifestyle.
Here are some top tips to help you build a better brain, triumph over genetic risks, and achieve ultimate balance of mind body and spirit.
- Hone Self-awareness and seek biological input on your needs and rhythms
- Practice mindfulness like a sport so it becomes second nature
- Exercise your Brain by constantly challenging it
- Shift your Habits because what you do daily is who you are
- Practice Positivity and be action-oriented in your thinking to become a hopeful planner
- Keep your body strong and active
- Feed your brain superfoods with nutrients and energy sources that enhance performance
- Sleep to Reboot your brain and allow necessary remodelling and repair.
- Buffer stress with a well-practiced stress management system
- Build your social network with meaningful and rewarding relationships.