Brain Health Plan from a Wellness Coach
The brain nourishing plan I am going to share is my own from managing multiple sclerosis, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. This is a long list so do not get discouraged if you feel like you're not doing enough. Instead know that this took place over eight years.
I started with Qigong, cognitive behavioral therapy, and nutrition about eight years ago. Best described, qigong is a mind-body exercise, and considered a complementary and alternative medicine practice(CAM). I like to explain it as mindfulness and breathing exercises with low-intensity stretching. Cognitive behavioral therapy is defined as "a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression." The nutrition piece is 8-9 servings of fruit/veggies of organic/nonGMO foods a day.
About six years I started exercising consistently. I bought a bike and kayak, and started walking to be in nature more. If you are limited with activity or disability continue to explore ways for you to get outside, enjoy nature, and get 30 minutes of exercise in a few times a week.
Around four years ago I started probiotics, at least seven hours of sleep, and vitamin D supplement (6,000IU daily). Harvard Health states, "Probiotics may help boost mood and cognitive function." To maintain a healthy brain sleep is an important factor. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine acknowledge the evidence linking "...poor general health and low overall physical and mental..." with less than seven hours of sleep. Since reports of low vitamin D levels linked to MS and other neurological disorders it was important to keep my levels at a healthy place.
It’ll be two years in July that I started daily meditation, holistic coaching, and vitamin E(1,000% daily). Vitamin E was reported by the National Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health, "High plasma vitamin E feels were repeatedly associated with better cognitive performance." Also, I took a blood test(Mediator Release blood test) that showed me what foods caused inflammation and steered clear.
Recently, I added fish oil supplement (2,000mg daily), and a daily vitamin/mineral. Since vitamins do not give you everything the body needs I supplemented my diet with right amounts of magnesium and calcium. Harvard Health states, "Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function... and inflammation." Also, I limit my caffeine to two double shots of espresso (160-170mg caffeine daily) which is less than two, eight ounce cups of drip coffee. Mayo Clinic states, "Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safer most healthy adults."
I took years to integrate it all in. I have tried a lot of things, and these were the strategies that showed results. I kept the ones that worked, and threw out what didn’t work for me(key message is find out what works for you!).
It was obviously important for me to work on relationships too, especially with myself. Even though I was telling myself I am healed I didn’t believe I was worthy until I worked with a trained holistic psychotherapist. She helped me learn how to break those false, deeply imbedded, beliefs. I still get them but I know how to replace them with more loving thoughts that support me. This helped me manage my wellness coaching and consultation business greatly.
My spirituality has been the threading through it all. Before I could even talk to my cognitive behavioral therapist I leaned on my interconnectedness of the universe, asked for answers, and that is still how I get through. It has been my source of courage and tenacity.
What about you? What is in your brain health routine?
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