We thought it was time for a spring clean, Marie Kondo style.
And no, this isn't just because I just came back from Japan.
Based on feedback (thanks), we're decluttering the email to make it as actionable as possible.
Our new promise - ONE scientifically proven way to optimise your brain performance from neuroscience or psychology every week, and a ready made recipe for #brainfood you can click on and order straight into your online grocery checkout.
Sound too good to be true?
We're here to impress, so let us know if it's worked. Let's crack on...
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
MAKE YOUR (MINDFUL) MOVE
TL;DR: Mindful movement can reduce stress, anxiety, and sadness.
Mythbuster: Mindfulness is not about wearing an adult nappy at the top of a mountain zenning out - it's for regular folk like you and me.
I’ve talked before about bringing mindfulness into daily activities, like eating.
Another way to integrate mindfulness into your life is through movement, which you’re hopefully doing to some degree every day already.
Don’t worry I’m not talking about some boujie new “mindful HIIT” workouts, just moving around in some form or other. Let's get to the science:
A super-millenial, app-based study
For two weeks, a special mobile phone app, called Paco, prompted 158 Penn State students at random times to answer questions about their current activity and states of mind.
The prompts included questions about where the participant was, if they were moving, and if they were stressed or anxious, as well as questions designed to assess mindfulness.
What they learned
Researchers found that in the moments when participants were more mindful or active than usual, they were happier and less stressed.
While students reported being less stressed when they were on their feet and moving, they received an even greater benefit when they reported also being more mindful.
Essentially; movement = good. Being mindful = good. Doing both = better.
A follow-up study focused on older adults who participated in an outdoor mindfulness activity then reported on their feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.
They found that this group were less stressed than a group that didn’t practice a mindfulness activity.
Any move can be mindful
If you’re stressed and that’s stopping you from a regular exercise routine, you could potentially lift your mood by trying out mindful movement. Mindfulness in essence just means being present.
Practising awareness in the moment and using your senses to tune in to what’s around you.
A few easy ways to do this:
Put your phone away and be present on your commute. Yes, this option comes with practising the art of polite awkward staring at others and walking without headphones. Note to self - try the latter and practice what I preach.
Create a mindful workspace. Declutter and place your work stuff down carefully so you can move around your office and your day with less stress.
Find zen at tea time. Listen for the kettle, stir the oat milk (notice how I left sugar out… you are paying attention, I can tell), enjoy the warmth of the mug in your hands. Ahhh, I feel relaxed just typing that.
FOR THE NERDY: Click mindfully [source: Neurosciencenews.com]
SERVING UP BRAIN FOOD - PAN FRIED SALMON AND GREENS
#ForTheNerdy: You can still see longer form nutrition info & it's brainy benefits on our website
Welcome to our new #foodforthought section.
One easy to cook recipe full of #neuronutrition (made that up all by myself), and all the hard work of ordering it online, taken care of by us, (well, actually our awesome intern, Lydia - thanks Lydia!)
What we're cooking this week - Pan Fried Salmon, Walnut & Greens.
Cooking time: 9 minutes.
Melt coconut oil (extra points for MCT oil) in a frying pan. Add the salmon skin-side down, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
Fry for 2-3 minutes, then turn the salmon over and fry for a further 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through.
Squeeze over a little more lemon juice and taste to check the seasoning. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Place the broccoli into a pan of boiling salted water and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the broccoli.
To serve, pile the broccoli onto a serving plate and top with the pan-fried salmon. Garnish with lemon wedges and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Just click that button below to magically order these ingredients from your favourite supermarket so you can save your brain power.
WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK
Watch: A, B, C, D, E... K. Childish? Sure. Memorable? Definitely. Whatever works, now you know your vitamins, and what they do thanks to this TED vid. [Youtube]
Read: I just finished the brilliant "The Source" by Dr. Tara Swart, an essential for understanding your brain and creating positive change in your life. A mix of self help with deep neuroscience elevates this book over most in the category. A must read.
Listen: Goal setting works. You know that, I know that. But what if you lose interest in your goal, pursuing it takes over your life or your passion changes direction? Stick with it? Or Pivot? Pivot, pivot, PIVOOOOOTTTTTT. [Goal Digger Podcast]
On the last point, for those that don't know, Dawn is actually a pivot from a previous company.
We practice what we preach here, new neural - pathways being created every day, delightfully sharing what we learn along the way.
It's a long uphill journey, but grateful to be sharing it with our community of brain performance enthusiasts just like you. Together, we can reach new heights, one step at a time.
Until next week, don't forget to mindfully chew down your brain food...
PS: What do you think of this format? Hit reply, I need to know!
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