Celery: Not Such a Tough Sell, First Stop: Self-Awareness, & Music: Killing Creativity Softly

Here’s your pot o’ gold. 

Dawn's Big Three This Week:

1) 🥑 Food For Thought 💭
The other green beverage worth chugging on St. Patrick’s Day

2) 🥇 Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️
How mindfulness can spare you from communication glitches

3) ☔ Make It Brain
How to strategically boost productivity with headphones

 
 

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🥑 Food For Thought 💭

CELERY: NOT SUCH A TOUGH SELL

TL;DR
If you think the healthy way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day is getting pissed on kale juice and snacking on leafy greens, think again. There’s room at the bar for celery too. It means business when it comes to brain health.
 

I assumed celery was just a vehicle for peanut butter.
Ah, but it’s so much more than that. Celery is an overachiever too.


How does it combat inflammation?
Celery contains luteolin, a potent compound that combats inflammation without destroying neurons. It slows down the production of cytokines, your immune system’s SOS chemical messengers. 

So what?
If your body experiences a cytokine spike, it thinks it’s under fire. Your immune system goes to town, thus causing inflammation. Celery helps prevent immune system burnout. No burnout, no inflammation.

What about my memory?
Luteolin fosters a healthy hippocampus, the region some might call Mind Palace Central. Consume luteolin and your memory with thank you.
 

And what about folate?
Trust us. You need it. We covered it last week.

Celery contains vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium. It’s hailed for lowering blood pressure and fighting chronic diseases and to top it off, celery is low in calories.

Great. Ideas to up my intake?
Weather permitting, here’s what we suggest.

  • Add it to salad.

  • Snack on it raw.

  • Juice it. (People are obsessed but the science is lean so far.)

  • Try this soup or fry up some chow mein.


FOR THE NERDY: More celery goodness

🥇Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️

FIRST STOP: SELF-AWARENESS

TL;DR
Only those who face their blind spots and get to work improving themselves become successful in this world. (Unless you can pull this off and still win Grammy’s. Start at the 45-second mark. Only if you have 15 seconds to spare and you need a laugh.)

Self-awareness precedes personal development but it doesn’t come naturally. If you’re looking to step up your game--maybe score a promotion or become a stronger leader--here’s how. 

I’m listening.
It’s hard to fix something if you don’t understand how it’s broken. Self-awareness is paramount but we like to avoid that which we dislike about ourselves. 

So why bother?
The strongest leaders have an acute understanding of their habits, strengths, self-talk and so on. Self-awareness benefits us because:

  • It identifies unhelpful emotional triggers

  • It prevents reactive behaviour

  • It leads to effective communication and conflict resolution

  • It helps them channel strengths with confidence

If you’re willing to face your flaws, you’ll know how to focus on your biggest blind spots. 

How do I become a master of self-awareness?
Introspection. Confront your inner dialogue, core beliefs, and subconscious motivations. 

What do you suggest?

  • Work on becoming a good listener. Tuning into others will eventually help you tune into yourself.

  • Journal as you go. Look back later and see how far you’ve come.

  • Seek objective opinions. Here’s where you eat humble pie. Go on. It’s worth it.

Remember—the things you discover about yourself are not flaws per se; they are opportunities for growth. Have at ‘er.

FOR THE NERDY: Self-Awareness 101

Make It Brain 

MUSIC: KILLING CREATIVITY SOFTLY

TL;DR
It’s intuitive to think music boosts creativity. To some extent, it’s true. 

But when it comes to verbal creativity, recent research out of Lancaster University shows that music—regardless of whether it’s classical, or foreign, or self-indulgent feel-good pop—messes with ideation and problem solving. Silence is golden.

How did they figure that out?
Researchers presented people with verbal insight problems believed to tap into creativity. For example, “Find a word associated to the following: dial, dress, and flower.” (Can you figure it out? The answer is below.)

Participants completed their problems in different auditory environments. The ones who worked in silence (or with minimal noise, like in a library) scored higher than their peers. 

Music “significantly impaired” the rest of the pack, even the folks who typically work with in noisy environments. Sound variations interfere with your brain’s ability to excel.

So what?
It means that jamming to Kings of Leon during a brainstorming session is definitely a bad idea, not that you needed proof. (Again, start at the 45-second mark. 15 seconds of hysteria can be yours.)

Seriously.
It means you can increase productivity by considering when to throw on your headphones at work. 

If music keeps you motivated, great. Just reserve it for time spent doing routine or process-driven tasks. Otherwise, keep your headphones on but kill the volume. You’ll boost creativity and solve problems faster.


FOR THE NERDY: Read the academic report. (Last call for this gem. Begin at 0:45)

PS. The answer is “sun”

What We Love This Week

📽 WATCH: Ever feel like a fraud? So did Einstein. Learn how to combat Imposter Syndrome in this 4-minute TEDed video.

📖 READ: Yes. There is now an antidepressant nasal spray.


🎧 LISTEN: Hate small talk? Check out We Dive Deeper, a no BS podcast featuring interviews that cut right to the chase.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends. Enjoy some celery, explore your blind spots, and go create in silence.

Talk soon,

Dan