Empower Your Brain to Better Habits

Empower Your Brain to Better Habits

by Donna Vail

Have you ever had a habit you wanted to create or change and maybe you made progress for a day or two then it all fell apart? If you try and try again to create habits yet it still seems to elude you, it may be the need to strengthen your brain.

Most of the tasks we perform day in and day out are subconscious or on the “back burner” of your brain. Often this is the case when you wash the dishes, go through your morning routine, fold clothes or even drive the same route over and over. Have you ever gotten home and realized you don’t remember certain lights or intersections because you were deep in thought about something else? While washing the dishes we can think of a million other things, in fact some moms say they like washing dishes because it gives them a chance to stand in one place and think. Now let’s move to the “front burner” of the brain which is used when we need to do something new or need to tap into will power, that is when the brain needs a lot of power to get it done.

That’s because you’re using the prefrontal  cortex where all the thinking and planning, expressing our personality, and processing appropriate social behavior happens. We have so much more brain research available to us today that indicates this part of the brain requires a lot of fuel and power.

When you’re starting something new your exerting a lot of brain power and part of that power requires glucose. If you’re tired, aren’t getting enough sleep or not eating a balanced steady diet, there won’t be enough glucose. If your glucose is going down then your brain won’t even try, there’s just not enough power. The only way your brain will engage the willpower necessary for what you want to do is if glucose is going up.

Now is not the time to breakout the chocolate or power drinks. That may pump you up temporarily but watch out, the crash is sudden and hard and could jeopardize everything you’re wanting to improve or implement.

Here’s 3 ways to empower your brain to better habits:

1. Get plenty of rest. Yes, you hear me repeat this many times and it’s common sense but are you practicing it? We must get 8-9 hours of sleep daily to perform at our best and to optimize our brain power. Plan your day and write your schedule around your sleep schedule that is 8-9 hours. If you have a busy day or demands that shorten your sleep then by all means, take a nap or get to bed earlier.

2. Eat three well balanced meals with a couple of teeny tiny meals in between. Include a lot of clean fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider a healthy vegetarian diet and get expert guidance to make the change easier and at least try it for six weeks. You’ll notice a difference. I went vegan in 1998 and it’s made a huge difference in my health and performance. Keeping a steady flow of nutrition by eating more meals and smaller portions will give you more steady power. Your children are doing this all day as they snack multiple times throughout the day and so quickly ask for something to eat after they’ve had lunch or dinner. They instinctively know.

3. Keep moving and breathing. Doing something as simple as walking at least once or twice a day gives your body the movement it needs to function properly. This will also generate more energy, unlike thinking uses energy, walking and exercise generates more energy. As you are exercising you are taking in more oxygen but don’t forget throughout the day to breath deep bringing in the oxygen your brain and what the whole body needs.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up and take good care of yourself and your brain so you can create the habits you want and change the habits that no longer serve you. You’re worth it and your family deserves you at your best. And when you do this for yourself you’re going to be amazed at all you can do. At the same time you will be empowering your family.

Moms Inspired to Action:

  • First look at your sleep schedule and determine a good bed time that allows you to get the optimal 8 to 9 hours. Once you’ve determined this then schedule everything else around that. Don’t worry, you won’t be losing time because the more empowered you are the less time you will need because you will be energized and able to be laser focused.
  • Plan your meals in advance and set yourself up with all the ingredients you need to make healthy balanced meals. If you have to leave the house, pack healthy snacks and plenty of water to take along. Your body needs a steady flow of clean fresh water and fruits and vegetables to perform as you are demanding it.
  • Practice conscious breathing. Taking deep breaths in through the nose and then letting out the breath, all of it through the mouth. At first you will want to notice your breath and make it a habit to assure you are getting plenty of oxygen.
  • One last mini tip that is very important: Share with with your children as you are making changes. Let them try new things with you and participate in the new exercising and breathing. They will have fun and be your best cheerleaders.

© copyright 2012 Donna Vail  All rights reserved.

 

About Donna Vail

Donna Vail is an education-parenting specialist, coach, mompreneur, homeschooling mother of six children, author and founder of An Inspired Education. She helps families create a lifestyle of true freedom by balancing education, work and life through self-education, entrepreneurship and inspiration. She is a highly sought after consultant for her successful guidance and resources that enable parents to let go of traditional parenting and education models, creating a lifestyle of learning where the whole family flourishes. You can find more of her resources at http://donnavailinternational.com


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Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I have so many “better” habits I am trying to make a part of my life, this will really help!

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