How to take care of your PFC

Do you love your brain?  I mean, really, really love it?

And do you treat it as well as you can?

train your prefrontal cortexDo you appreciate the way it keeps you going, day after day, night after night?  After all, it is your brain that ensured that you keep breathing all night.

Your brain is the beginning and the end of you.  There is no other organ like it, nor is there any substitute for it.  The brain is where all the magic happens, while the rest of you is just pretty much plumbing and hardware, relatively easy to repair or even replace.

Unfortunately, most of us, in truth, neglect and mistreat our brain.  But our brain is really too important, too extraordinary, and too wonderfulto excuse such neglect and mistreatment.

Tell me, what sense does it make to give little or no thought to the center of your own personal universe and instead, say, give so much attention to your waistline?

Thus, let’s change that and embrace these proven methods to train the ‘CEO of your Brain’; your Prefrontal Cortex:

1) Volunteer

Stimulates: The PFC, which analyzes, plans, and problem-solves.

Why?

A Johns Hopkins study found that older women who tutored kids for six months—developed sharper cognitive skills, because the social and mental activity required for teaching sends blood rushing to this part of the brain.

train your prefrontal cortex2) Eat brain foods rich in B12, antioxidants, or essential fatty acid

In general, eating well will make you think well.

This, however, can be further supported by smart eating of certain brain foods like Bananas, Kale, Spinach, Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Blue-and Blackberries, Apples, Oranges, Blackcurrant, Swiss Cheese, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Wild Salmon, Coffee Beans (I guess that would be in liquid form, and in moderation), and go Nuts.

3) Regular physical exercise

Exercise grows your brain.

Both relaxing, mindful exercises like yoga and intense physical training can provide these benefits.  By learning that exercise and its aftereffects are rewarding, we form good habits.  Exercise also stimulates blood flow and delivers nutrients to muscles as well as the brain.  Just think of your brain as a three-pound vampire; it needs blood to live—the more, the better.  Even 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day will do.

4) Find ways to express your gratitudetrain your prefrontal cortex

Gratitude activities increase positive emotions which activates the PFC.

5) Offer and receive physical contact

Give and receive hugs to literally soothe the brain with calming inhibitory peptides.

6) Create silly sentences, acronyms, and cartoons to help remember things

These skills call on the PFC and Executive Functions to access working memory.

By integrating jokes, riddles, and puns, you can also learn to think flexibly by shifting between different meanings and associations of words.

7) Learn to juggle

Or other activities that require focus and practice.

Activities such as dancing, circus arts, music, theatre, and sports are predicted to significantly strengthen Executive Functions, since learning any new and engaging activity fires off neurons in a positive way.

8) Follow a sleep routine

A well-rested brain is an alert brain.

Minimum 7 hours and the hours before midnight are the most valuable ones.  Also, don’t forget to work in brief afternoon naps when you can.  Brains love them.

And if you have problems falling asleep, this Stimulus Control Therapy might help you.

9) Exercise your PFC by pushing past the resistance of your emotional response

Try solving a difficult puzzle, and notice when you feel like giving up?

Don’t.

Instead, push past the resistance and complete the puzzle.  You want to straddle the border that separates the “Oh, I think I understand the problem, this should work,” and the “#$%!, what does this even mean?!”

Here are a few good ones. train your prefrontal cortex

Basically, do things (that are good for you) that provoke emotional resistance, and break through that with persistence.

Reading informative books or more stuff from Tacomob (and comprehending them) is another good way to exercise the cognitive efficiency of your PFC.

10) No matter how old you are, you can train your PFC by preparing yourself 

This begins with the recognition that, in many situations, it is much better not to be controlled by your fears, angers, or temptations, but by what you think is wise, and by what works.

Expressing anger in a conversation, for example, is more likely to lead to a negative outcome than to a positive one.  One way to control your emotions is to prepare better for conversations, since this makes it easier to remain focused on your goals.

Another way is to use techniques such as; if-then planning, searching the plus behind the minus, and progress-focused summarizing.

These techniques make it more likely to be effective and they require so much mental energy that you simply may not have the mental capacity to respond emotionally.

train your prefrontal cortex11) Let your imagination go wild when you are relaxing

Just let your control of your mind go and let it be, just watching the images, the feelings, and the sounds that your brain will produce—totally nonsense.

If you do this often enough, you will be surprised by the improvement of your thinking and overall behavior!

12) Quick!

Count the number of times the number “6” appears below (you may need to scroll down).

Then, count the total of both “3”s and “7”s, and try to add the total number of both, when you see either (that is, don’t just count all the “3”s, and then, the “7”s).

1234467889974674657865876576576 3576573625432657346578436578342 2732188582735827456724687343828 7672878682768723682376783768267 2647648823178346432764876774653 7436574386581483627868653873465

The most important thing is not to get the right answer, but to try.

In addition, did you know that this type of exercise has been used by the military to improve attention for decades?

QUESTION: How many neurons do you approximately have?  How many connections can each have?  Are there more brain connections or leaves in the Amazon?

ANSWER: According to the London-based Science Museum: “Your brain is the hub of your nervous system.  It is made up of 86 – 100 billion nerve cells—about the same as the number of trees in the Amazon rainforest.  Each cell is connected to around 10,000 others.  So the total number of connections in your brain is the same as the number of leaves in the rainforest—about 1000 trillion.”

Want some more training?  Then, catch 33.

Let’s fall in love with our thinking machine and commit to doing a better job of appreciating and caring for it from this moment on, and then, always.

If your brain had taken just one ten-minute break at any point in your life, you would be dead right now.

train your prefrontal cortex

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