According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary health is the condition of being of sound body, mind and spirit; or freedom from physical disease or pain. While that may be true, I much prefer the definition of optimal health by Dr Molly Maloof: Optimal Health is “the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of adversity.” I would add ‘and create a vibrant and meaningful life you love.’
Optimal health is all about YOU managing (self-management) and adapting (changing) to your own adversities (life stressors.) Optimal brain health would be included in that definition, more specifically toward your changing and managing your thinking/mindset and caring for the actual grey and white matter that comprise your brain.
Mindset is the buzz word of the decade. In essence your mindset is a set of beliefs about what is possible in life. In her book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success Dr Carol Dweck identifies two distinctly polarizing mindsets – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset, as the name suggests is unchanging. You are what you are, that’s all there is. A growth mindset is, in stark contrast, capable of growth and change. You can grow and learn and with effort and persistence, effect transformative change.
To quote Henry Ford “If you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” It’s all about your mindset. You get to choose, and choice is a beautiful thing!
CARING FOR YOUR BRAIN
Yes you can care for your brain, just as you might care for your body. There are loads of ‘things’ you can do to care for your brain, which will be discussed over ensuing blogs, but for now suffice it to say, what is good for your body is good for your brain. Proper nutrition, avoiding toxins such as smoking or excessive alcohol, exercise for cardiovascular health, achieve and maintain ideal body weight, manage blood pressure, sleep hygiene, minimize stress etc. All of it.
As with weight loss, there is no one size fits all approach for optimal brain health. Structurally and functionally, all brains are similar – Einstein, Mother Teresa or just you. But our thoughts, our memories, our imagination, our mood – the ‘products’ of our brain make each and every one of us unique!
What will you do with yours?
Live life, love life, Always….