Kids know best. Well, maybe not know best, but know best how to know best? I’m confusing myself. This week, we’re all about bringing back the thinking instincts we used to have as children. Hint: it’s all about doing it with your eyes closed. (Please keep your eyes open for the next 3 minutes though, or you’ll miss the whole newsletter and that will defeat the point entirely.) PS: Stand by for some BIG news at the end of the email in the sign off….
Boost your brain power in the blink of an eye.
Think of a memory. Picture the sights, hear the sounds, sense how it feels, breathe in how it smells… give yourself a minute to get really clear on it.
Did you just close your eyes?
Hopefully the answer to that is yes, but let’s pretend it is anyway so that I can prove my point. Closing your eyes is the fastest, easiest and most instinctive way to boost your brain power.
Close your eyes to see more clearly
Have you ever noticed that when children are trying to recall something, they squeeze their eyes shut? They’re on to something. Several studies have proven that closing your eyes gives your brain power a boost, can trigger creativity and improves memory.
In one study, volunteers were asked to recount details of a simulated crime scene. The people who closed their eyes while trying to remember were able to recall 44% more correct details than those who kept their eyes open.
Insights to the creative brain
When it comes to creativity and ingenuity, there’s also a lot to be said for keeping those peepers closed. In another studythat tested divergent and convergent thinking (e.g. coming up with multiple ideas, or the one best idea to solve a problem), participants that responded to questions with their eyes shut scored nearly double that of their eyes-open counterparts.
What’s in a sense?
But why does shutting off your sight work wonders for your brain power? Well, think of it like your phone running a bit slow when you’ve got too many apps open. Your vision takes a lot of energy from your brain, around 30% to be exact, so closing down your sight frees up that energy to be used elsewhere. Your brain intrinsically knows this, not only do kids do it automatically, it’s also been proventhat people blink more just before they are about to come up with an idea.
So, if the next time you see me I’ve got my eyes shut, brace yourself for a stroke of brilliance. Or, for me to remember your name like an absolute boss.
FOR THE NERDY: Picture this[Source: Psychology Today]
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
BRAIN FOOD - LENTIL BOLOGNESE WITH COURGETTI
We heard your feedback, (thank you!) and will be going more legit with the recipes we share. So, going forward you can expect food that’s not only delish, but comes courtesy of bonafide doctors/nutritionists/dieticians etc, so you can be totally sure it’s doing your body and your brain some serious good. First up, this vegan dinner courtesy of @doctorbowl:
“This meal is one of my staples now. It’s so easy to make, packed with nutrition, and tastes absolutely delicious. Adding lentils to a meal is a great way to get more protein into your diet. Also they are packed full of fibre to help keep you fuller for longer”
Why is it good for my brain?
Well, it’s got tomatoes. Which, if you remember this tomatotallybrilliant newsletter- are packed with carotenoids, which protect against cognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The other star player in this dish are lentils- which have an uncool rep, but we can look past that for the bitchin’ folate they contain, which keeps your brain sharp as you age, as well as awesome vitamin B6 and radical zinc can boost memory. Did I just help with the uncool thing? Probably not.
What you’ll need:cooked lentils, canned chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, mixed Italian herbs, salt and pepper, vegetable stock. (You can click the button below to automatically add all these to your usual food shop. 🙌)
Soften the garlic, onions, carrot and celery in a pan with the oil.
Add the lentils and cook for 10 mins.
Add the tomatoes and the stock.
Cook for at least an hour on a low heat – the longer and slower you cook this the better it will be.
Cook the spaghetti and serve
WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK
Watch: Have you seen this yet? It’s a Netflix doc about four female US politicians who ran in the 2018 election called Knock Down the House - and it stars my absolute favourite human in the world right now, Alexandria Ocasia Cortez aka AOC, which if you follow me on twitteryou’ll already know through my many retweets. [youtube]
Read: Anything we can do to dodge the risk of dementia has got to be worth it, right? I for one, definitely want to be outsmarting my grandkids. Here’s some lifestyle changes to shift the odds in your favour. [bbc.co.uk]
Listen: How do top athletes harness their brain power to boost their performance? And how can us mere mortals use that in everyday life? Find out in this insightful conversationwith Henry Nicholls, international cricketer for the New Zealand Black Caps. [spotify]
Follow: Isa Robinson, a nutritionist in training with an interest in intuitive eating and gentle nutrition. We asked her to share her top brain health tip:
“I am intrigued by the growing body of literature on nutritional psychiatry and how what we eat may influence mood. One tip specifically I have with regard to supporting my brain health is including 2-3 portions of oily fish per week. I like to use the acronym SMASH to remember the types of oily fish which include sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring.”
See her full blog post here, where she discusses the science behind omega 3 fatty acids.
Over the last year, myself and Joel (my Co-Founder) have been busy in the background, building a product, a brand, putting together a team and all sorts. After finding out that “Dawn” was totally impossible to get trademarks for (D’oh!), we are thrilled to announce that we will soon to be known as “Heights” (as we are all about helping our tribe reaching the heights of their potential). We will be making the big switcheroo from Dawn to Heights around mid-August, but before that we have a big decision to make and I want your help. We have 2 URLs to pick from, which is your fave?
Worth noting - we have got the social accounts for ‘yourheights’ so we are leaning towards that, and as someone who’s battled all year to tell people the ‘dotco’ in dawn wasn’t because I’d forgotten the ‘m’ or to say ‘dot uk’ after, I appreciate that ‘dotcom’ is easier for people to grasp quickly. But - what do you think? Hit reply, decide our future!