Your weekly brain-changing content in under 5 minutes:
1. Eggs with benefits
2. A new way to journal
3. Believe this: your memory doesn’t suck.
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
GETTING EGGY WITH IT
TL;DR: Most people don’t get enough choline, which helps memory. Eggs contain choline.
Ah, the humble egg. We already know how amazing they are for providing nutrients, but thanks to two recent studies, we also know that they can help regulate mood and memory. How, you ask?
Pro-brain things that eggs have:
Vitamins B6 and B12
What is choline?
Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that helps regulate mood and memory. Two studies found that more choline = better memory and mental function.
Egg yolks contain a high concentration (125 mg, to be exact) of choline, so eating eggs is a great way to up your intake.
And those B vitamins?
B vitamins have several roles in brain health. They slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly, and a lack of folate and B12 has been linked to depression.
Three great brain foods, together at last! Recipe: Smoked salmon and eggs.
Sam Conniff, Entrepreneur and best-selling author of Be More Pirate:
“It's just the type of thing I'm into - intelligent, succinct and witty. It delivers fresh ideas first thing to set me up for my week of mischief ahead. Promoting a best-selling book takes its toll and Dawn helps me push through the week at my best”
DEAR DIARY, IT'S ME, DAN.
TL;DR: Journaling can have powerful effects and it doesn’t need to be a daily habit.
Dear diary, it’s me. Dan. Today I ate eggs (again) and wrote a weekly newsletter to a community of people invested in the health of their brains. I thought I’d tell them about you today. So here I go.
The act of journaling has so many benefits it calls for a bulleted list.
Journaling can help:
Reduce depression, anxiety, and stress
Cope with emotions
Reflect on behaviour or feelings
Though in general it’s good to practice repetition when it comes to building habits, journaling doesn’t necessarily need to be a daily habit where you write in a book that you hide under your pillow (or, um - place on your bedside table). You just need a method that allows you to reflect on past and future experiences.
Practice gratitude. Gratitude can make you happier, improve relationships, counteract depression, and boost your health. I note 3 things from the day I’m grateful for every night before I go to sleep. Make this a daily habit with this gratitude app.
Enhance your “to do” list. Instead of just a list of things you need to do, write about a few ways you’d like to connect with people in your life. In my last company I got everyone to work on their "to be" lists which was a really helpful way to encourage people to stay true to themselves and reach their potential.
Prime yourself. Take 30 seconds every morning before leaving the bed to ask yourself: "Where will my joy come from today?". Note down a few ideas, regardless how small: making pancakes, going for a walk, petting a cat (guaranteed joy).
FOR THE NERDY: Get journaling [source: Psychology Today]
Sophie Scott, Founder of Balance:
“My Monday inbox is infinitely better thanks to Dawn’s weekly dose of brain food. The short-form content is insightful, interesting and always useful - optimising my focus and productivity for the week ahead.”
BELIEVE IN YOUR BRAIN
TL;DR: Believing you have a poor memory is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We love a good study around here. This one takes something that has inspired thousands of instagram memes and motivational posters and proves that it can actually make a difference: believe in yourself. Yeah!
Details about the study
Researchers at Harvard studied 90 people, age 60 or older, and found their performance in a memory task could be affected by manipulating their beliefs about their memory skills.
Okay, manipulating is a strong word, but this is #science so there’s no room for ambiguity.
You’re smart, you’re smart, you’re smart
Participants were given 3 different kinds of memory tests. When they were repeatedly told they were wise, their results were better than when they weren’t. Their short-term memory also improved. Yeah again!
The conclusion: believing in your abilities has a measurable impact on your memory. Bonus conclusion: if you’re motivated to develop a better memory and believe you can, you’re much more likely to self-actuate and make this happen.
How to improve your memory
There's no quick fix for improving memory, so try building these into your life to improve your memory over time:
Cardio: Regular aerobic exercise increases the blood flow in the hippocampus -- that’s right, the learning and memory part of the brain.
#Snacklife: Increased glucose and insulin promote the consolidation of short term and long term memories. Blueberries are great for this!
High-qual personal relationships: Physical contact improves memory and social interaction provides lots of stimuli for our brains to form memories.
FOR THE NERDY: Believe this [source: Psychology Today]
WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK
Listen: Hot people are stressful.
Read: Cannabis conversation: a European perspective.
This week I’m getting my egg fix from omelette maki whilst in Japan, where I’ve just finished a 4-day hike called the Kumano Kodo trail in the Japanese forest to press send on this week’s email. As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time!