When was the last time you specifically gave thought to the marvels of your brain? It operates ceaselessly, processing and controlling every big and little function of your physical, mental, and emotional being. It weighs in at around three pounds of gray matter and is composed of 75% – 85% water and 60% fat of varying forms, including cholesterol, which is absolutely necessary. It boasts 100,000 miles worth of blood vessels and 100 billion neurons. If ever a person questioned the existence of God, studying the brain should quell all doubts.
Start today to be kind to your brain. We make sure our cars get regular maintenance–often at great expense. It just makes sense to give our God-created control center the same loving care.
The brain benefits from a rich supply of blood flowing through it carrying oxygen and nutrients. Moving your body purposefully and regularly for extended periods of time will suffice. Some call this exercise. If you don’t like the word “exercise”, then just move–walk, bike, pick up trash, lead a virtual orchestra, garden or jump on a trampoline.
Eat Nutritious Food
That means eating food as close to its natural origins as possible. Raw is most beneficial. Frozen foods are good. Canned and processed foods are dead and do not foster “life”. They may give you a slight bit of nutrition, but it is compromised at best. Keep in mind that foods that create an acidic ash (namely meat, sugar, and grains) after being burned for fuel cause inflammation and inflammation causes disease. Your brain operates best on “premium” fuel.
Get Enough “Good” Sleep
A good rule of thumb is seven to nine hours per night. When you come up short on shut-eye, your sleep debt accumulates. If the brain has not had time to take it slow and rebuild sufficiently from the day’s grueling requirements, it becomes sluggish and less efficient. A tired brain does not function well–hence the term “mental fatigue”. Getting enough sleep within a regularly set schedule will turn out to be your best friend. Research has shown that continued lack of sleep causes the brain to shrink in size.
Stress is not your friend. Some people say they work best under pressure, but if it is prolonged and daily, it is doing more harm than good. Your brain needs the opportunity to fall back and regroup. During it’s resting times, it uses cholesterol to build synapses for connectivity functions and creates the myelin sheath that coats all its “wiring”. (Multiple Sclerosis is connected to a corrupted myelin sheath.)
Think Positive Thoughts
Paul offered us good council in Philippians 4:8. He specifically commanded us to think positive thoughts. It does good for every part of our being.
Your brain is mostly water and fat. When you begin to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Some people have operated in a state of dehydration for years–especially the elderly. Several sources recommend drinking half your weight in ounces of water (100 pounds = 50 oz. of water per day) as a good starting place.
“When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity,” says one online source.
Your brain cannot store water; it must be supplied. Water carries nutrients to the brain and keeps brain cells from shrinking in size and mass. Many common behavior problems are linked to dehydration.
Have you been taking your brain for granted? Which of the above steps will you implement first?