5 Ways to make your brain happy

You treat your biceps well. You show them off in your tank top. You give them five or maybe ten pounds (each!) to lift, up and down and up and down. That seems boring to you but your bicep likes it.

Your brain is a muscle and it need to be worked out just like your bicep. Your brain would like to lift five or maybe ten pounds but alas, it has no hand attached to it to facilitate the up and down, up and down. We have to come up with other ways to make our brains happy. Here are 5; one or more of these may work for you.

1. Hold a picture in your mind. It could be anything or anyone but it should be someone or something that has made you smile in the past. I like to think of my grandmother, who passed in 2017. I know that may sound maudlin to you but it actually makes me smile to think about her and remember her. I hold a picture of her in my mind for about 5 seconds and then I move on.

2. Get some exercise. Why is exercise the answer to almost everything? All of our muscles and organs benefit from exercise so a self-help list without exercise on it is no list in my book. Exercise usually gets us out of the house, whether we are walking outdoors or just making our way to the gym, it removes us from the four walls of our homes that can sometimes feel like they are closing in around us. That's where the benefits start but the list of other great effects of exercise goes on and on. Our brains feed off of the activity, off of the performing of a routine,, the mind/body connection that happening. Our brains love that stuff and then they start giving us all the feels- the endorphins, that is.

3. Find little nuggets of joy. Little, teeny, tiny morsels of happiness are hiding throughout your day and it's your job to find them and savor them. For example, I like the way a zipper sounds when it is being 'zipped'. When I hear that noise, I notice it and I also notice the little bit of satisfaction that it brings me. That's it! Just a little pinch of brain happiness for a few seconds of your day and you're on your way. The trick is to find more than one in your day...and you will. Soon, you'll be noticing a lot more of these little bits of satisfaction then you thought possible.

4. Feed you brain. ~"Feed me, Seymour," Audrey II

Like Audrey II, you should grab some brain food - walnuts, blueberries, pomegranates, green leafy vegetables, beets (seriously, you'd have to beat me over the head before I'd eat a beet) but you get the idea.

5. Meditate on the reg. If you do only one thing from this list, this is the one to do. Well, this and number 4, too. But how?? How do we meditate, it's so hard! It's hard to turn your brain off, so don't even try to turn it off. Just close your eyes and focus on one breath. Do it now. Close your eyes. Think about the cool air coming into your nose and out through your mouth. You can think about the itch on your forehead or the cat that's about to jump into your lap but let those thoughts come in a let them go. One breath. That's how you mediate. One breath today. Tomorrow, two. And so on. If you commit to it, you'll do it. If you don't really want it, it won't happen. It's your choice.

Helping you help yourself

~Leslie

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