Salmon and AsparagusBrain Food #1 – Love

The brain loves new pathways, new neural grooves, and new opportunities to express its neuroplastic nature. Love renews us. It makes us believe. It helps us see through fresh eyes. Love often has us do things that defy logic and makes us “lose our mind.” This is good news for the brain because our mind often tortures the daylights out of us.

Brain Food #2 – Pleasure

A close cousin to the brain food of love is pleasure. The brain is indeed hardwired for pleasure at the most fundamental level of our physiology. From a more scientific perspective, the experience of pleasure generates a relaxation response – parasympathetic nervous system dominance. This physio-chemical state is the opposite of the stress response, which in excess bathes the brain in cortisol, creates inflammation and slowly degrades brain tissue and function. In other words, pleasure is the antidote to stress induced inflammatory responses. Pleasure literally detoxifies the brain. That’s a powerfully medicinal food.

Brain Food #3 – Novelty

Novelty is actually a very novel concept. Novelty means different. It means a playful newness, clever and fresh approaches, and unique experiments in our way of thinking and living.  Some examples of novelty – taking a different road home, letting go of words like “like” or “you know”, eating completely new foods, doing a new kind of exercise, dating a different kind of person, being nice to someone you’ve been mean to – that sort of thing. Novelty feeds the brain and makes it young again. It keeps us interesting. It evolves intelligence…

Indeed, novelty is what evolution is all about – it’s entirely new forms of life being thrust onto the stage of existence – just for the heck of it. Novelty means we’re alive on planet Earth and are willing and able to see things through fresh eyes and step out of habit. It’s a brain food that we can’t get enough of, and it fortunately has no calories.  Lastly, novelty is a brain food that’s easy to come by. Just ask yourself – what can I do to be more novel today? And from there, try this novel idea: just do it.

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Brain Food #4 – Listening

Listening makes the brain come alive. It wakes us up. Throughout history, most humanoids, if awakened in the late evening hours, indeed woke up because they HEARD something. And the more you hear, the more you know. And the more you know, the more your brain is a well-nourished and satisfied organ. And everyone wants a satisfied organ.

Listening is not only something you receive from the world, it’s also something you give to the world. Listening to someone, really listening, is one of the most generous gifts you can give to another brain. Haven’t you noticed your brain come alive when someone is really listening and taking you in? High quality listening is high quality nourishment for both brain and soul.

Brain Food #5 – Truth

If love is a staple food for the brain that can be consumed everyday, truth is like a superfood that even when taken in  small doses packs a big nutritional wallop. Truth puts the brain on alert. It asks the brain do some hard thinking and deep consideration. Truth elevates the brain from its lying ways, and asks the brain to be a kinder, better organ.

Truth changes the brain fast, and often in exciting and electric ways. Think of the times when you finally spoke the truth after holding it back for far too long. It was a rush wasn’t it? Truth is also a great brain food because it helps you lose a ton of excess weight – don’t you feel lighter when the truth finally comes out?

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