Part one of a series on being your most effective, present self.
Three free things you can do:
- Cold exposure: 5 minutes in a cold shower, a dip in the ocean or a walk in cold temperature in minimal clothing. You can derive further benefits from these practices by focusing on your breath while experiencing the cold. Ensure you are breathing through your nose if you can and try to tempo your breath to 5 seconds inhaling and 6 seconds exhaling.
- Fasting: The best brain food is no food. Fasting does not suit everyone but it is hugely beneficial for a majority of the population across a range of health parameters but specifically here for helping you to stay focused and productive.
- Exercise: To quote Dr Wendy Suzuki (Professor of neural science and psychology at New York University) Exercise is like a bubble bath for your brain. When you exercise for as little as 15 minutes you let off a powerful cascade of hormones that positively affect your ability to focus, clear and motivated. You boost your blood flow, dopamine, BNDF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) which then opens up neuroplasticity (your ability to form new memories, learn and retain information)
Four natural supplements:
- EPA (found in fish oil): A quality omega 3 supplement will deliver the highest dose. It is also naturally found in good quantities in salmon and sardines and smaller quantities in walnuts, chia & flax seeds. A female will derive huge benefits from 600-800mg EPA (that’s EPA total, not fish oil/flax seed oil total) and males from 800-1000mg EPA
- Lion’s mane mushroom powder: Traditionally used for thousands of years to aid digestive health, today it is sought after for its nootropic effects, promoting neuroplasticity and cognitive function. Try adding ½ tsp to your coffee (you won’t taste it) or a cup of bone broth.
Support brands that organically farm and then process rather than those that pillage from wild eco systems.
- Coffee: Not only does it improve focus and mental alertness, but it also stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters associated with creativity.
- B vitamins: Specifically, B12 is the major player for supporting healthy brain function and ability to concentrate. Aim for 2.4mcg at least per day.
Settling into flow with a feeling of clarity and alertness is wonderful, bringing yourself back out having been effective and productive is gold. It can be incredibly frustrating to feel unable to focus but wonderfully, the above free behaviours make the biggest difference and are accessible to all. The proceeding supplements are the cherries on top. Other things that make a difference are quality sleep, avoiding processed foods and eliminating the distractions you can (such as excessive social media).
I hope you enjoyed Part 1! This series will be going all for the whole month of September. If your mood, focus and motivation is something you would like to invest in, to change the game on other areas of your life, then reach out for coaching today.
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