The amazing neural pathways of the brain

The amazing neural pathways of the brain

The human brain is obviously extremely complex.I’m by no means a neurologist and have limited understanding of all the mechanisms at work with every thought,movement,and activity we engage ourselves in.What I do understand is the basic breakdown of what we can do to perform and feel better day to day and in learning new skills.The sad truth is that in this day and age of  technology being based on making things so called easier is really just making us lazier.Everyone seems to be looking for the easy way for everything from health to finances and the truth is that nothing really worth having ever comes easy.I’m trying to find a balance in guiding people to a healthy lifestyle and solid daily performance with doing things smart not just easy.The one thing that can be life changing in health and daily performance is simply having a quality morning routine.Whether you want to make it a long ritual of meditation,affirmations,visualization,reading,journaling,and exercising or just a nice quick sweat and some creative work with a positive outlook on the day ahead is entirely up to what works best for you.I have seen profound change in people by just helping them implement a high quality start to the day.Set aside an hour first thing in the morning to get your mind right and visualize a happy and productive day and fit in a good SWEAT!I will get to the importance of a good sweat in the morning in a bit.First we need to highlight neurogenesis which is the way that the brain renews itself and BDNF.

Wikipedia

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is a protein[1] that, in humans, is encoded by the BDNF gene.[2][3] BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical Nerve Growth Factor. Neurotrophic factors are found in the brain and the periphery.

In recent years it has become clear that this protein created by neurons plays a crucial role in brain health and growth.BDNF is a big part of neurogenesis in the hippocampus.The hippocampus is responsible for constantly creating neurons in the brain.Basically BDNF is the miracle grow for the brain.No need to get any more in depth than that for this discussion.The point I’m trying to make here is that if you want to feel more clear and focused and perform better day to day, a great place to start is with more BDNF activation and promoting neurogenesis in the brain.We are looking to grow the brain not shrink it of coarse.

Brain Grower                    
-Exercise
-Healthy Diet
-Meditation
-Positive Attitude
-Creative Work & Learning New Things

Brain Shrinkers
-Obesity Or Being Overweight
-Hypertension
-Diabetes
-Stress
-Alcohol Abuse
-Poor Sleep Habits

Lets look at exercise and why this is such an important tool for brain health and performance.Studies have shown indisputably that there are much higher levels of BDNF in the brains of people who exercise vs people who don’t.Aerobic exercise especially seems to activate BDNF more than anaerobic but as far as I’m concerned a good sweat is a good sweat and will get you quality and lasting results.The most obvious reason behind exercise being so good for neurogenesis in general is that exercise promotes cardiovascular health which helps the heart pump oxygen rich blood to all parts of the body and of coarse the brain.A process called angiogenesis creates new blood vessel branches in the brain.So exercise basically adds more blood vessels to your brains network and in turn gets more oxygen to every part of your brain.

This is a layman's brief explanation of the benefit of BDNF activation first thing in the morning.Myself being the layman of coarse.The point is I have applied this for a long time in the morning and it positively promotes brain growth and daily performance.I just want to put out a 30 day challenge to whoever reads this in the form of a quality morning routine.Do the following for the next 30 days and I promise you more energy and clarity daily.You will start your day clear and not foggy and be in a much better mood while performing at a higher level. 

1 Hour Routine
-10 minutes of meditative breath work.1:2 ration breathing meaning breath in through the nose deeply for 5 seconds and exhale fully and slowly through the mouth for 10 seconds with your eyes closed lying on your back relaxed and not following thoughts.The count on your breath and feeling the belly rise and fall is all you should focus on.
-5 minutes going over the days tasks and goals
-5 minutes visualizing yourself taking all those tasks on successfully and in good spirits
-20 minute of exercise.A good sweat!I enjoy jumping rope or shadow boxing in intervals for 20-30 minutes personally but a nice jog outside of coarse is great.Whatever it is just make it a quick and intense session that gets you a good sweat and breathing nicely.Just picture all the blood flow and oxygen going to your brain while creating new blood vessels and all that miracle grow for the brain.
-5 minute cold shower.
-10 minutes reading something that puts you in a good mood like a happy spiritual book to set the tone for the day.
-5 minutes to journal and reflect while checking off yet another day with a positive morning routine.

This of coarse is just an example.I rarely get my quality morning all in with just 60 minutes but you can play with it until it suits your individual needs.The big take aways are some form of meditation and positive visualization,a good sweat,and a positive read and journaling experience.Then a quality brain healthy meal full of quality fats high in omega 3’s and DHA and nutrient dense food full of antioxidants and quality protein source.No trans fats and processed sugars.Anyone needing a sample food list and diet please message me here and I would be happy to email it to you.

All in all the most important part of brain health and neurogenesis is our moment to moment thoughts and though we all have stressors in life our thoughts day to day make or break us.Use your brain when you are doing your work and your tasks and then practice daily to turn the thought chatter off and stay present in the moment and actually see whats around you by focusing on the beauty of this world through all your sense perceptions.We are truly the creators of our own personal heaven or hell.It is not easy to do this at first but it is a life long practice that can and will make life the amazing experience it truly is! As I am writing this it is early morning on Fathers Day 2016.My son is asleep upstairs and I got up to just write something for a creative outlet before I enjoy the day with him and my own father.I am truly grateful for all I have.I am blessed with an amazing woman by my side and all our boys are blessings and I am blessed to have an amazing father that has shown me what true love and true character is.We all have different blessing and we would be wise to look at the good we have instead of the negative.That alone will serve us all well in this play of life.One of my favorite books in this world is the Tao Te Ching.I recommend this little handbook to everyone.It is a profound and life changing read and I find myself listening to the audiobook in my car on stressful days since it always puts a smile on my face.I will leave off now to enjoy this fathers day with my loved ones and I hope this content can be put to use and helpful.One of my favorite quotes from the book is below and with that I am stepping back.

“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”  ― Lao Tzu

Ares Nikolopoulos

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