Spring is here and it’s time to clear out the cobwebs and emerge from our winter fog. Spring represents a sense of youth, re-birth, and making all things new. It’s the perfect time to renew our mind and change our current thought patterns. If you are feeling stuck in a rut and your life is cruising on autopilot, try these 5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Brain. Find new focus and new energy to set your course on growth and delight.
- Get Outside. Sunshine is essential to your mental health. Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Serotonin boosts mood and helps us feel calm and focused. Not only does sunshine boost our mood, but stepping outside and connecting with nature brings a fresh perspective. With a renewed mood, we can open our eyes to the world around us and gain a new perspective on what is really important to us. Just a few minutes in the sun revives our spirit. Make a point to get outside for at least 5 minutes a day. That 5 minutes can be the most important 5 minutes of your day – mediating and managing stress, walking and connecting with your family, reading and learning, practicing gratitude. All these things are critical to our brain health.
- Take a break from social media. We all know that our time on social media can be rather hypnotizing and mind-numbing. This time-sucking habit robs us of precious time we could be spending sleeping, laughing, connecting, planning a vision, exercising, meditating, creating, inventing, learning, and building a healthy, inspired brain. There are so many beneficial things we could do with the time we spend on social media. How much time do you spend each day on social media and then wish you had more time in the day to do all the other things you’ve wanted to accomplish? How much more could we awaken our brain if we free it from these distractions and look up to your future, or even your present? Your brain is an incredible organ that is adaptable. It adapts its structure in response to its surroundings. The brain is constantly updating to maximize efficiency, creating new neural connections to accommodate new information. What are you surrounding your brain with?
- Eat your Brain Foods. Research has shown that certain foods protect brain health and memory. These happen to be the same foods that protect your heart and blood vessels. Make these foods a part of your daily diet to extend your life and ensure a quality life.
- Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli
- Fatty Fish – salmon, cod, canned light tuna, and pollack
- Berries – blueberries and strawberries
- Tea and Coffee – caffeine may help solidify new memories.
- Change your mindset. Create new thought patterns. Ditch those old patterns of thoughts that have been keeping you stuck. Replace negative thought patterns with thoughts of belief in yourself, belief in others, gratitude for the things we have, and confidence in our ability to create the life we want. What’s your mantra for your life? Stop and create one right now. Use that mantra to connect your thoughts to a vision for your future. This vision could be related to personal goals, career goals, or relationship goals. Take the time to plan a vision for your day, your week, and your life. When we have a vision, we can focus our thoughts on that vision and the action steps to make it happen. Without a plan, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut or end up mindlessly wandering through life and just reacting to our surroundings. Take charge of your mindset and take charge of the path you are on. Knowing where you are heading and knowing how you will get there can be so invigorating and energizing.
- Respect the Noggin. Take care of your brain by giving it what it needs to be at its best.
- 7-8 hours of sleep each night
- New connections – learn new things, take different driving routes, change your surroundings, listen to new music, read books, test your knowledge with puzzles, trivia, cognitive games, do something exhilarating, be brave and try new things!
- Exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise brings blood flow and O2 to the brain. It also involves learning new skills, creating new neural connections.
- Laugh with friends. Social connections are critical to brain health.
- Meditate and practice focus. This can improve awareness, concentration, and decision making.
- And eat your brain foods!
As spring arrives, think of yourself as a flower about to bloom. Whatever has happened before is in the past. It’s time for a fresh start and to make all things new. Awaken your brain and blossom. 🌸