Mindfulness Matters: How to Flush Away Brain Drain
By Dr. Molly Casey
People want to get healthier and they are seeking ways to do so ad nauseum though, frankly, I believe most people miss the boat. Daily life is ridden with stressors -- all different kinds -- and they are different for different people.
One thing remains true, though: the stressors affect your mind, body and health. That’s why mindfulness can play such a big role in your life.
Let’s take a look at the drain on the brain and the ways to recharge your batteries in order to set you up for a win in health!
Your brain is the control center of your body, thus, when your brain is over stressed, all areas of your life and health are affected in a negative way. There is a psychological and thermodynamic concept called the Law of Psychic Entropy, which states that when something is depleted, it must be recharged. The word psychic refers to the brain, the word entropy refers to the loss of energy. The brain is depleted and needs some way to recharge. Some have called it “brain drain.”
Stress drains the brain. The stress often begins as soon as we arise from bed and, for many, it doesn’t even end when the day does because of poor sleep habits and insomnia. These drains are anything and everything, like an endless to-do list, rigorous schedules, negative people, sitting all day at work, traffic, household duties, work and business life, television, exercising inappropriately, poor self-talk/obsessive behavior … and so goes the list.
When your brain is drained it can’t function optimally and the body has to work that much harder to perform at the ideal level. Brain drain is real and it affects your life.
The cool part of the brain and body is that they are resilient and can be recharged. Anything that allows the brain to pause or have a break in the incessant chatter, worry, activity, and/or stress can help it recharge. This can be anything from a few minutes of music, massages, laughter, breathing exercises, meditation, hot baths, dancing, sex, coloring, singing along to your favorite song, napping, or time alone. One of the single-best ways to recharge your brain battery is to walk in nature -- gently, and with ease. This walk is not about looking to see how far, how long, and how hard you can go; rather, it’s about soaking in the good of the earth around you. About being aware. About being mindful.
Mindfulness is about recharging the brain. It’s done by being present in what you’re doing and experiencing, and breaking up the constant, often repetitive chatter, or breaking the simple “constantly going” nature of today’s society. It is about breathing a little and “just being.”
In order to be successful on the journey of health, you cannot overlook the importance of these pauses and recharges. You simply cannot. You will not succeed or see the results you desire.
It’s imperative that you work into your day moments for mindfulness breaks. During lunch, get outside and sit on a park bench, close your eyes, and feel the sunshine and breeze. If you just sat for an hour in traffic on your way home, quietly breathe and take two minutes before rushing into the house. Take time to focus on some things for which you are genuinely grateful. Call a friend whom you have not seen and make a date for lunch -- or just catch up on the phone and laugh until you cry.
Schedule a massage, have a dance party in the living room with your kids. Create many mini-moments throughout the day. They can be a minute apiece, it doesn’t have to take an hour. However for success in health they do need to exist and be performed with consistency on a daily basis.
Brain drain is real, and mindfulness matters. Hit the reset button to remove the stress from your life. Take a minute to recharge your brain. Then enjoy the benefits.
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