Saturday, November 29, 2008

50 Brain Dos and Brain Don'ts

50 Brain Dos and Brain Don’ts
A Summary of Ways to Optimize Brain Function and Break Bad Brain Habits by Dr. Daniel Amens. This was taken from Dr. Amens Blog. Very Interesting overview of good habits to follow relative to keeping your brain healthy.

Based on Dr. Daniel Amen’s research and the research of many other neuroscientists here is a list of brain Dos and Don’ts to optimize your own brain function.

Brain Dos:Edit Posts

  1. Wear a helmet in high risk situations
  2. Drink lots of water
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Take gingko biloba, Vitamin E and ibuprofen everyday
  5. Think positive healthy thoughts
  6. Love, feed and exercise your internal anteater to rid yourself of ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
  7. Everyday focus on the things you are grateful for in your life
  8. Watch the Disney movie Pollyanna
  9. Spend time with positive, uplifting people
  10. Spend time with people you want to be like (you are more likely to become like them)
  11. Work on your people skills to become more connected to enhance limbic bonds
  12. Talk to others in loving, helpful ways
  13. Surround yourself with great smells
  14. Build a library of wonderful experiences
  15. Be nice to others
  16. Exercise
  17. Eat in ways specifically tailored to your brain
  18. Learn diaphragmatic breathing
  19. Learn and use self-hypnosis and meditation on a daily basis
  20. Remember the 18/40/60 rule
  21. Effectively confront and deal with conflictual situations
  22. Develop clear goals for your life (relationships, work, money and self) and look at them everyday.
  23. Focus on what you like a lot more than what you don’t like
  24. Collect penguins, or at least send them to me
  25. Have meaning, purpose, excitement and stimulation in your life
  26. Do not be another person’s stimulant
  27. Use brainwave biofeedback or audio-visual stimulation when needed
  28. Notice when you’re stuck, distract yourself and come back to the problem later
  29. Think through answers before automatically saying no
  30. Write out options and solutions when you feel stuck
  31. Seek the counsel of others when you feel stuck (often just talking about feeling stuck will open new options)
  32. Memorize and recite the Serenity Prayer daily and whenever bothered by repetitive thoughts (God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.)
  33. Don’t try to convince someone else who is stuck, take a break and come back to them later
  34. Use paradoxical requests in dealing with cingulate people
  35. Make naturally oppositional children mind you the first time (through a firm, kind, authoritative stance)
  36. Strive for wonderful experiences
  37. Enhance your memory skills
  38. Sing and hum whenever you can
  39. Make beautiful music a part of your life
  40. Make beautiful smells a part of your life
  41. Touch others often (appropriately)
  42. Make love with your partner
  43. Move in rhythms
  44. Use a skilled psychotherapist when needed
  45. Use an EMDR therapist to deal with trauma
  46. Take head injuries seriously, even minor ones
  47. Take medications when needed
  48. Take herbal remedies when needed to optimize brain function
  49. Look for underlying brain problems in substance abusers
  50. Do full brain evaluations for people who do terrible things

Brain Don’ts

  1. Isolate a developing baby
  2. Use alcohol, tobacco or drugs or much caffeine when pregnant
  3. Ignore erratic behavior
  4. Lie around the house and never exercise
  5. Ignore concussions
  6. Smoke
  7. Drink much caffeine
  8. Drink much alcohol
  9. Do drugs (NO heroin, inhalants, mushrooms, PCP, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines (unless in prescribed doses for ADD)
  10. Eat without forethought on what foods are best for your brain
  11. Drive without wearing a seatbelt
  12. Ride a motorcycle without a helmet
  13. Ride a bicycle, skateboard, roller blade, snowboard, etc. without a helmet
  14. Hit a soccer ball with your head
  15. Bang your head when you’re frustrated (protect the head of children who are head bangers)
  16. Bunje jump
  17. Hang out with people who do drugs, fight, or are involved in other dangerous activities (unless you are looking for brain damage)
  18. Allow your breathing to get out of control
  19. Think in black-or-white terms
  20. Think in words like always, never, every time, every one
  21. Focus on the negative things in your life
  22. Predict the worst
  23. Think only with your feelings
  24. Read other people’s minds
  25. Blame other people for your problems
  26. Label yourself or others with negative terms
  27. Beat yourself or others with guilt (very ineffective)
  28. Personalize situations that have little to do with you
  29. Feed your ANTs
  30. Use sex as a weapon with your partner
  31. Talk to others in a hateful way
  32. Push people away
  33. Be around toxic smells
  34. Be around toxic people
  35. Focus too much on what other people think of you (odds are they aren’t thinking about you at all)
  36. Allow your life to just happen without you directing and planning it
  37. Take the “stimulant bait” from other people
  38. Allow thoughts to go over and over in your head
  39. Automatically say no to others, think first if what they want fits with your goals
  40. Automatically say yes to others, think first if what they want fits with your goals
  41. Argue with someone who is stuck
  42. Isolate yourself when you feel worried, depressed or panicky
  43. Allow naturally oppositional children to be oppositional
  44. Listen to toxic music
  45. Blame substance abusers as morally defective
  46. Refuse to take medications when needed
  47. Self-medicate, when there are problems get help from professionals
  48. Deny you have problems
  49. Refuse to listen to the people you love who are trying to tell you to get help
  50. Withhold love, touch and companionship to those you love as a way to express anger

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