“Maybe my wife was right when she said I was brain dead…heart dead. I knew what she meant because I don’t do the romance thing. But now that I’ve listened to the video you sent me by Dr. Andrew Huberman, and have taken the brain health test by Dr. Daniel Amen, she just might be right.”
Although my client used a bit of humor in his opening comments with me, they were not enough to cover his desperation and fear that he was doing his best to mask.
As I looked over the results of his brain health assessment, I could see and understand why he was concerned.
(Note…If we had then what we have now brain scans, brain SPECS etc. … so many of us, including myself, would’ve been able to transform our attitudes, our altitudes, our lives. We, and our doctors, could’ve seen our ‘feelings’ and had answers to why we think and react the way we do. Why we struggle to just make it through the day. We now have the science to view how and why our thoughts get derailed…we are now living in medical wow times and moments!)
“And I used to tell the joke all the time about thinking someone
offered a bottle in front of me when they were offering me a frontal lobotomy.”
His grin disappeared as he glanced down to the floor and said, “It’s not funny anymore. Is there anything you can do, Dr. Neecie, to help me with my brain?”
It’s only in recent years that we’ve become aware of and concerned with brain health. Not that many years ago, I would’ve had to tell my client that the damage had been done. I’m sorry.
However, over the past 20 years, but coming into the public forefront over just the past 10 years, we’re now aware of the neuroplasticity. We now know as fact, that our brains can re-engineer, retrain, and change their structure; meaning when that happens, you/me/we-change.
“The mental strain you feel when you’re learning something, is the trigger for neuroplasticity, for your brain to change.”
Dr. Andrew Huberman
There’s now no question that you can improve the health of your brain … and keep it healthy!
Our brains, and the health of them, have more to do with the quality and balance in/of our lives, than we can grasp or imagine.
“Our brain is the command-and-control center of our body. If you want a better body, the first place to ALWAYS start is by having making a better brain.”
Dr. Daniel Amen
I’ve learned from the many Champions I meet on this road less traveled, that their top priority beyond their marriages, families, spiritual/personal growth…is their brain health.
My client responded, “I would make it a high priority if you could help me. But I would have to put financial concerns above my brain health, because I have to keep a roof over our heads and keep the lights on.”
Although I did not encourage him to ignore financial concerns, I did point out some research regarding brain health and finances.
Neuroscientist, Sam Barnett’s, research indicated that worry about finances impairs wise financial decisions. Additional studies show that financial worry can even stunt the brain’s growth.
In addition, new research has noted those aspiring to brain health also experienced correlating increases in their income.
I leaned in and said, “I definitely want you to be financially wise, but I feel certain that addressing your brain health consistently, and with great dedication, could have a positive impact on your finances.”
(Note…you may think that investing in a brain SPECT or scan, is way too much $$$…out of the question. But, if you knew you could have a blueprint, to rewire your thought habits and maximize your gifts, how much is too much to discover the serenity to create your dream life? Think about this. We spend more money on concert tickets, sports events, etc. We all love the shows, concerts, games, events! But our brain…IS the show!)
My client responded almost immediately.
“Clearly, I must do something. I knew that I was getting a bit foggy. But I thought it was just a part of aging. I also like to call it ‘Covid-brain’ because I know that’s a very real thing. Although, I haven’t had Covid…that I know of.”
I responded, “Yes, Covid-brain, chemo-brain, and alcohol/wet-brain are very real things. But we know, without a doubt these same things that we’ll address for brain health, will assist the brain in recovering from these things as well.”
Whether you’re just foggy.
Want a better life.
Struggled with health affecting your brain.
I hope you’ll join me
making your brain health top priority.
I looked at my client and said, “You deserve an abundant life. But a huge part of the abundant life is getting your brain in the healthiest state possible and remaining dedicated to keeping it that way.”
I could tell he was with me.
I added, “No one said it wouldn’t require time and effort. Or that it would be easy. But I can assure you…it’s worth it!”
He extended his hand to me and said, “This is my way of committing!”
(Note … Remember when a handshake was all the contract you’d need? A gentleman’s agreement…the all-in moment. And I could tell-he was!)
Now my hand is extended to you. I’m offering you the opportunity to take it and be committed on this journey!
Are you in?
I believe you are!
“An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.”
John C. Maxwell
Let’s examine what Champions do for brain health!
1. Negativity fasting.
“I’ll fast from anything but food,” My client declared as we began our discussion on negativity fasting!
All Champions know that negativity has a major impact on the brain. Yes, negativity has an ultra-negative impact!
Researchers at University College London say they’ve found repetitive negative thinking is linked to cognitive decline, a higher number of harmful protein deposits in the brain (and consequently) a greater risk of dementia.
Every time you have a thought—and it’s estimated that about 70,000 of them ricochet through your mind each day—your brain pumps out chemicals that influence the way you feel…and it happens almost instantly.
Negative input and internal negativities
are continuously monitored by Champions.
Whether it’s negative input or internal negativity (your thoughts and beliefs) you must ‘broadly’ expand the definition of negativity.
And the sense of the damage it does to brain,
which includes being or experiencing things that are:
Predicting the worst
Assuming the worst
Thinking the worst
These negativities effect your brain the same whether we are producing them internally, or expressing them, or by just being exposed to anyone or anything else that share or spread negativity in any way.
“I think it’s very hard to control negative thoughts directly, by trying to suppress them. But we CAN introduce a ‘positive’ thought.”
Dr. Andrew Huberman
My client blurted out …
“Oh my God everything that goes
through this head’s negative!
I’ve thought that:
- Worrying about the finances made me more conscientious…
- Noticing people’s faults helps them…
- Correcting my wife was helping her…
I’ve never thought of that…as criticism.”
I understood exactly what he was saying. I would’ve never considered myself one who allowed much negative input…or negative processing internally. I’d already begun the practice of avoiding all news stations, only reading daily headlines from reliable sources.
I had already addressed how I evaluated myself negatively. But when my definition for brain health was challenged, I realized that I had way too much negativity occurring within, coming from the outside.
BUT…because our brains are wired to scan the horizon for negativity, leaving it/us with a ‘bent’ in that direction, a 51% positivity rating is NOT enough.
To nourish and install the brains neural wiring in healthy balanced functioning fashion, our positivity levels must be at least at 80%, with negativity at 20%…and hopefully much less!
I challenged him with this, “I teasingly tell clients that I absolve them of their negativities from this moment backwards. But now you have new information and new data. So, what are you willing to do to address your negativity from this moment forward?”
The blank stare told me I’d hit his overload warning button. So, I broke the moment with some humor, “Would you rather just fast from all food for a week?”
He almost yelled, “Hell no! Let me think of something really quick to break my negativity!”
Because he knew that his energy levels, the brain fog, and indirectly his marriage were all at stake, he made some great commitments.
- To do an hourly negativity check from 8 AM to 8 PM daily.
- To purposefully focus 5 minutes each hour on pouring in positivity.
- To spend 10 minutes each evening with his wife discussing their day with no negativity allowed.
Don’t allow yourself
to label this as
As my client morphed into a doubting Thomas he said, “So when I can’t figure out how to pay all my bills, am I just supposed to think positive like the tooth fairy will show up and pay them?”
I leaned in and shared, “You can address even the greatest challenges in a positive way. For example, you could sit down with your wife and have a conversation like this, ‘We’re facing some financial challenges. But I know that together we can make a plan that’ll help us address the challenges.’ There’s NO negativity in that!”
How will you begin to address the negativity…
that shrinks your brain…
and drains off your cognitive abilities?
That roadblock your freedom to think!?
It’s for the health of your brain!
And the health of your brain.
It’s our dream’s compass that
leads to abundant life.
“It’s one thing to say
but a better thing to do,
to be part of the construction gang,
instead of the wrecking crew.”
Rev/Pastor Warren Shibley
2. Nurturing the brain.
“Here we go! I guess this means I’m going to have to eat bean sprouts and drink swamp style smoothies,” He moaned with the biggest eye roll I’d ever seen!
Yes, there’re some foods that boost brain health and certainly some good nutritional supplements do. I will mention some of those. But as I told my client, “You can nurture your brain by removing a few things and adding a few things to your diet.”
Although I normally cover the other things, first, I could see that his agitation was not going to allow for that!
“So, let’s start with just a few things that research says, if you remove them from your diet, it could significantly increase your brain health.”
“I can hardly wait! Let me brace myself,” he said in the best surly tone I’ve heard in a long time!
We both laughed!
If you’d just remove these 3 things from your dietary intake, it will make a significant difference in your brain health.
- Alcohol and drugs
- Refined carbs
“So now you’ve ruined Sunday afternoon football for me. I guess you’re saying my nachos, my beer, and the brownies are history!? I knew this wouldn’t be any fun!”
I had to laugh because his humor was charming.
I carefully approached this vault of cravings and said, “Although it would be ideal to eliminate all those things from your diet, you could start with limiting them to Sunday afternoon only…A nice plate of nachos, two beers-max, and a couple brownies.”
As I expected he complained, “That covers the first quarter of the first game. What am I supposed to do for the rest of the day?”
I couldn’t help myself. I teased, “That’s when you eat bean sprouts
and drink the green swamp smoothie!”
With a belly laugh, he had to surrender with his hands up and then proclaimed, “Touché!”
Although it would be ideal to begin with 100% commitment to only the healthier foods and eliminate the others, I try to encourage my clients to make it a process, progress in motion. After all…progress is dopamine friendly.
(Note…Do you eat a lot of sugar? Foods that turn into sugar? My heart goes out to you. I did. I know how it feels. We now know the health of our brain (who we are) is based upon our diet and the health of our gut. Like many, we assume if you do it; you’ll be disappointed again. It takes intention; the focus drive attitude-of a Champion!)
Here are some of the foods I told him that added to his diet would give a great boost to his brain health.
- Brazil nuts
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fresh fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Lean proteins
- Fish—Salmon (especially Alaskan Salmon caught in the wild, farmed fish is not as rich in omega-3-fatty acids), tuna, mackerel, herring (also listed under fats)
- Poultry—chicken (skinless) and turkey (skinless)
- Meat—lean beef and pork
- Eggs (enriched DHA eggs)
Tofu and soy products (whenever possible choose organically raised)
- Dairy products—low fat cheeses and cottage cheese low fat sugar free yogurt and low fat or skim milk
- Beans, especially garbanzo beans and lentils
“Although this is a short list, do you think you could add at least one of these things to your daily intake,” I ask?
As I expected, he was ready with his retort, “How about I have my wife, make the brownies with dark chocolate and I get four of those instead?”
I couldn’t help but laugh again.
He continued, “Seriously. I can cut way down on the list above and add these things. My wife is so ready for me to be able to think clearly again. But I’m sure she’d be glad to plan our meals around both lists.”
What about you?
Are you ready to make
just a few dietary changes
that would help your brain?
“To feel successful, you must be able to be honest about the things that are really important to you.”
Dr. Daniel Amen-Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
There’re a lot of supplements that can boost brain health. I have no investment in any of those companies, nor do I receive any commissions.
Following the research, these are a few of those that I recommend.
- Bright minds (available on brainmd.com)
- Choline (available on Amazon)
- L-Tyrosine (available on brainmd.com and Amazon)
There are other researched activities that can nourish your brain.
- As mentioned above, reaching the 80/20 rule with positivity versus negativity.
- Drinking plenty of water (84 oz/day minimum)
- Getting adequate sleep (Seven to 9 hours)
- Sexual intimacy and bonding in the context of a committed relationship.
- Getting moderate daily exercise (walking at least 20 minutes daily.)
- Volunteering or helping others
- Doing brain stimulating exercises such as word puzzles, sudoku, etc.
Nurturing their brains daily, is a given for Champions. Because they’re aware that the investment pays compounding dividends in clarity, well-being, and a sharp mind focus…Champions invest daily in the nurturing of their brains.
What about you?
Are you ready to begin the nurturing process?
I know you are.
So, start with eliminating or reducing some of the toxins from your intake, add some of the brain boosters, using nutritional supplements if you can, and engage in the activities above. And STAY away from everyone’s diet dragon…SUGAR!
3. Managing your state.
I’d already begun to expect some sort of wisecrack from my client, and he didn’t disappoint me when I told him the third topic.
“Are you kidding me? I can hardly manage my own home. How could I possibly manage the great state of Texas?”
The entertainment continued!
“If you’re talking about the state of my marriage, my wife would say it was in the flusher. If you’re talking about the state of my finances-they suck!?”
He paused to collect some good ole’ boy wisdom and continued on a role.
“Are you telling me my brain won’t get better till I get all of that handled? That’ll be long after I’m in the grave!”
I dished out my best response, “Actually, I think managing your state according to my definition, might be more difficult than all the above!”
Before he even knew what I was truly talking about, I think he knew he had been “had”!
We choose our state. Every moment of every day.
(Note…it’s hard enough changing your daily life’s ‘state of being’ with a healthy brain diet. But if you/me/we insist on a junkyard variety one, you/me/we are guaranteed to start the day with a bad case of the twinkie- morning-mood-fog. That can quickly (and it usually does) turn into a 3-ring mood circus. No more guessing…science emphatically declares it! SUGAR is the MOST addictive substance there is-PERIOD. Most overweight or obese people (if not all of them) are…well…ADDICTS? You/me/we must decide if this sugar addiction is a choice or a craving that can’t be quenched. Your brain health, which IS your ‘state keeper’…depends on it.)
Our state gets influenced by what we expose ourselves to, who we expose ourselves to, and what we choose to do with that exposure.
If the state is anything other than pleasant, our brains begin dispensing neurochemicals that, over time, begin to damage both our brains and our physical health.
MANAGE your state…there are no second chances for first impressions.
As I train and certify Master and Executive Coaches and resurrect Champions, it’s the simplest thing I teach (simply managing your state) that carries the most bang for the buck!
Yet in the beginning, it’s the most difficult thing that I ask people to do. I get it! It was difficult for me when I began learning to manage my state.
State management becomes much easier when we guard our exposure to anything negative. That’s everything from the news media to your negative naysayer-Nelly friends.
“So, I think basically you’re saying I’m killing my wife and damaging her brain.” My client half asked. And half stated.
I asked him what he believed his ratio of negativity to positivity, as explained in point #1, was when examining what he put out around his wife. Including, I ask, his facial expressions, his body language, his words, his tone, his volume, and the content of what he said?
“Well, it’s better than what goes on up here in this steel trap mind of mine. But to be honest, because she’ll be glad to call you and correct me if I don’t tell you the truth…I’d say it’s 65 to 70% negative…and 10% positive.”
As I looked at him inquisitively he continued, “I know that doesn’t add up to 100%, but I hope to God I can just say I’m neutral for the other 20%.”
Because I respected his attempt at speaking honestly, I conceded, “For now, we’ll grant you that.”
“If there are people who have a general negativity about them or are stuck in misery, I recommend you limit your exposure to them.”
“Does that mean you’re going to tell my wife to divorce me?” He asked seriously with concern.
“No, I’m not going to do that, because I believe you are serious about this, and you will become someone who inspires a positive state in your wife, as well as in your kids.”
Let me define what I mean by ‘your state’.
It’s the ‘particular condition’ that someone
or something is in, at a specific time.
I continued with a question that I normally hear next, “What controls our state? Ultimately, WE do! YOU do! Our thoughts, our perceptions, our interpretations, our emotions, our body posture, our breathing, our words… all come together and create the state we’re in.”
We cannot control what occurs around us or to us or for us. But we can control our thoughts, perceptions, interpretations, emotions, body posture, breathing and words.
My client chimed in, “So, you’re basically saying that when I’m in misery, I’m creating the misery? Now that sucks!”
“Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that,” I added and went on.
“But at ANY given moment, we can press pause, take a moment to look inward and ask ourselves some questions that give us the opportunity to change our state. Would you be willing to go through the questions right now so we can see how this works,” I asked?
Although with obvious nervousness … he agreed. (I hope you’ll do the same exercise. I’ve inserted parts of his responses as examples that might help you).
- What state are you in (What state am I in…if you’re asking yourself) at the present moment?
“I don’t know. Really, I don’t.”
I asked him, “If someone had watched the video of the first 30 minutes, we’ve spent together…what might they say? How would they describe you…And your state?”
With a grin, he stated, “Maybe they would say…I’m a smart*ss. They might say I’m not serious about this stuff. They might say I’m resistant.”
He trailed off, then continued.
“If you asked my wife to watch the video, she’d say I’m playing like I don’t get it, but I know it’s true, but don’t want to work at anything.”
I probed, “Would she say you’re nervous? That your humor is a cover up?”
He looked at me with a little boy expression of curiosity and asked, “No, but how did YOU know?”
“Because this isn’t my first rodeo,” I retorted! “I would guess from what I’ve seen and heard that you’re curious and nervous. You cover the nervousness with humor. You’re a bit cynical, but it’s making sense, so you’re at least humoring me and probably your wife by participating.”
“Yea. I guess I didn’t know you could figure that out. But what on earth would you call that ‘state’?”
“Nervous curiosity?” I suggested.
- What are you (am I) feeling?
“Nervous, doubting myself that I can do this stuff, wondering if I’m in over my head,” he mused.
- What does (choose any feeling listed to the question above) doubting yourself mean? What are you telling yourself about that?
“Oh, just that I’m not that good at following through. I actually like learning new things. But it stops right there.”
- Is there a different way you/I could look at that?
“Maybe this could be a first,” he said while rolling his eyes?
- What in your (my) body language is speaking out loud about your state?
“You mean me being reared back in my chair with my arms folded?” He asked as he sat up instead of back.
“Perhaps?” I responded.
- Would state would you/I like to be in?
He thought a moment and responded, “Relaxed. I learn stuff better when I’m relaxed.”
- Now combine your answers and ask this question,
What can I interpret differently?
How can changing my body language help change my state?
“Oh, I get it.” Then he leaned forward uncrossed his arms and said aloud, “I don’t have to be entertaining here. I can relax and learn something new. Nobody has a gun to my head.”
- Do you feel like you’re (I am) in a “different state?”
“Wow. This stuff is interesting. I do. I do feel relaxed. I just bamboozled myself into it.”
I had to laugh.
“If you want to call it bamboozling yourself, I’m good with that. But the ‘real truth’ is that when you don’t manage your state, your runaway thoughts, your vain imaginations, your body will bamboozle you into a state you wouldn’t have otherwise chosen.”
State management is life changing. You CAN do it. The question is WILL you, do it? You’ll be much more prepared for abundance when you choose powerful states.
Not only does it prep you for abundant living, but it nurtures the health of your brain.
Dr. Daniel Amen says the state most healthy for our brain is what he calls the “concert state.”
“By ‘concert state’ I mean ‘a relaxed body with a sharp clear mind,’ much as you would experience at an exhilarating symphony. Achieving this state requires two simultaneous skills: deep relaxation and focus.”
Choose your states.
Choose them well.
Great states create a great
high functioning brains.
Sour, surly, annoyed states
create a low-functioning agitated brains.
Choose it carefully.
Manage it prayerfully.
You will find abundant life.
My client and I revisited his nervousness. As we looked a bit deeper, he admitted that his nervousness had a lot to do with the amount of “brain fog” he was dealing with and trying to keep hidden. Also, his short-term memory ‘scrambling’ (as he called it)…but mostly he attributed it to his lack of energy.
He said he wanted to age gracefully but felt he’d crashed like a small jet in a nosedive.
Many of us have these kinds of concerns. However, we’re not often aware that it’s all directly connected to our brain health.
After just a few weeks of taking better care of his brain, his relief was evident. His wife was preparing meals that promoted brain health, he’d begun some nutritional supplementation, and he ended up eliminating the major toxin of at least a case of beer over the weekends. I admired that.
He said to me recently, “I feel like I had a brain transplant.”
He’d seized and embraced the importance of brain health. And how it effects everything about his life.
As Dr. Daniel Amen says:
The brain is a three-pound supercomputer. It is the command-and-control center running your life. It is involved in absolutely everything you do. Your brain determines how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how well you get along with other people. Your brain even determines the kind of person you are. It determines how thoughtful you are; how polite or how rude you are. It determines how well you think on your feet, and it’s involved with how well you do at work and with your family. Your brain also influences your emotional well being
(Note…Is it any wonder when Adam and Eve broke off their intimate fellowship with God, that humankind went from an eternal adventure of the heart…to a timed-out mind-maze brain guessing game? Whatever our belief, the truth is we now rely on our brain to know the perfect ‘yes’ that our hearts were meant to know, to choose, and to never have to question. Science has now confirmed…’SCIENCE’…that if the brain is struggling the heart is-TOO. The dream the adventure that calls your heart, depends solely on the clarity of intention and vibrant health of your brain, to guide the heart towards every next step.)
My friend, take care of your brain. It’s an amazing computer that runs your entire life. It came with programs installed while you were in the womb and through the first 7 years of your life.
Take the steps to program
your brain…your soul-self…
for cutting edge clarity
and renewable intention!
You/me/we can do this!
Come along…join the Champions
on the road less traveled
and step into YOUR abundant life!