All Hail Ashwaghanda, Routine Creativity, & Jealousy Is Monkey Business

Lights, camera, action. It’s practically Oscar Central. We promise to be quick. No Cuba Gooding Jr moments this week.

Dawn's Big Three This Week:

1) 🥑 Food For Thought 💭
Stage fright versus Ashwagandha (Never heard of it? We’ve got you covered.)

2) 🥇 Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️
Four creativity tactics that could lead to seven figures.

3) ☔ Make It Brain
Why you should make friends with jealousy.

📸 BONUS: Guess who's on Instagram? We're dishing up 1 science-backed fact for your brain every day. Aesthetically pleasing intelligence awaits. Follow us!

Wanna give the gift of Brain Food? Forward this to a friend

🥑 Food For Thought 💭

ALL HAIL ASHWAGHANDA

TL;DR
Let’s be honest. Unless your name is Freddy Mercury, stage fright affects you to some extent.

Maybe it’s when you’re leading a high profile meeting or pitching to stoic investors. Maybe it’s when you’re getting grilled by your future in-laws whilst sipping red wine, perched anxiously on their expensive white sofa.
(That sounds awful. Good luck.)

If you don’t want anxiety to spoil your performance, consider giving ashwagandha a role in your story. It’s a clinically-proven remedy with handsome side effects.

Take me to Ashwagandha 101
Ashwagandha, a powerful herb with roots in Ayurvedic healing, has been working wonders for over 3000 years.

Unlike some natural remedies, its anti-anxiety portfolio is backed by science.

According to this double-blind placebo study, a 300mg daily dose will garner noticeable results in 60 days. How? By lowering cortisol, the body’s so-called stress hormone.

You mentioned side effects.
These are just a few. 

  • Improved cognition

  • Decreased inflammation

  • Reversed signs of aging

  • Enhanced sleep benefits

  • Increased sexual desire and more


Sounds good to me.
We thought so.

If adding ashwagandha to your routine is a priority this week, here’s a favourite capsule.

If you opt for powder, these recipes might come in handy.

Speaking of stage fright, if you haven’t taken in Bohemian Rhapsody yet, hop to it. It's excellent. Even if you’re not into rock & roll, you might enjoy gazing at my buddy Gwilym’s mop of curls. He plays Brian May.

FOR THE NERDY: Read the double-blind study 

🥇Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️

ROUTINE CREATIVITY

TL;DR

Ever think you weren’t born creative? Sorry, Accountant #14432. You’re wrong. It just takes practice. Ask Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. 

According to psychologist Robert Epstein, there’s no evidence suggesting one person is inherently more creative than another.

This is excellent news because creativity is a hot commodity in a world addicted to innovation. Generating ideas reaps lucrative results.

Epstein says the sooner we channel the latent creativity we each possess, the better off we’ll be.

So what's the Epstein way?
He suggests habitually practising four tactics. (Pay close attention. Seven-figure results are just around the corner.)

  1. Record new ideas. Big or small, just log them in a voice memo or journal. Don’t let anything valuable get away.

  2. Seek out challenging tasks. Attempt problems that don’t necessarily have solutions. (“Figure out how to make your dog fly” was a legitimate suggestion in the article.)

  3. Broaden your knowledge. Binge on TED Talks and podcasts. Step outside your comfort zone. The more new ideas to work with the better.

  4. Surround yourself with interesting things and people. Epstein suggests dinner parties and frequent trips to museums and galleries.

His method works. In one case, seventy-four city employees collectively participated in creativity training seminars developed by Epstein.

Eight months later, idea generation within the group soared 55 percent—a feat that led to more than $600K in new revenue and $3.5M in cost reductions.

It seems we’re born with gold mines between our ears. The trick is forging a habit to dig for ideas.

Now’s a great time to crack your calendar and start planning a dinner party. Bonus points for including ashwagandha on the menu.

FOR THE NERDY: More from Epstein

Make It Brain 

JEALOUSY IS MONKEY BUSINESS

TL;DR
Jealousy is an intense cocktail of emotions. Anger, fear, insecurity—it’s complicated and consuming (and for those of you who’ve seen The Favourite, you’ll likely agree it makes for bloody good entertainment too.)

Many believe jealousy is purely toxic but research suggests otherwise.

According to this study, if you’re in a serious relationship, brief encounters with the green-eyed monster might actually strengthen your bond.

Says who?
Dr. Karen Bales. With the help of coppery titi monkeys and a few brain scans, she and her team manipulated social tension and pinpointed a neurological connection between jealousy and monogamy.

Their method was complicated but the conclusion was simple: When male titi monkeys experience jealousy, their brains light up in two specific regions: one linked to social pain, the other linked to pair bonding (a.k.a. intense and long-term emotional connection.)

This suggests that while jealousy stirs up angst and negativity, it also helps forge intense relationships. 

But I'm human so...
Sure, scientists only studied male monkeys—and we clearly don’t fall in that category—but their discovery is still worth considering.

If human brains are wired in a similar fashion, jealousy could be like a dashboard warning. “Jealous? Something’s not okay. Fix it immediately.”

Reframing jealousy this way transforms an emotional obstacle into an opportunity. (We know you’re an opportunistic bunch. That’s why we hang out.)

So what should I do if I start seeing green?
There’s no 12-step program. Self-awareness is key.

If jealousy creeps up, don’t stuff it. It’s trying to tell you something. Talk to your partner, pinpoint what needs work and get on it.

FOR THE NERDY: More monkey business

What We Love This Week

📽 WATCH: Bored? Excellent. This 94-second TED Talk summary showcases the power of doing nothing. Give it your attention when the time is right.

📖 READ: Ever get stuck in an argument when the stakes are high and resolution is essential? Yup, me too. Crucial Conversations is my not-so-secret weapon.

🎧 LISTEN: This podcast explains how the wellness industry curdled milk’s healthy reputation. It pairs nicely with a soy latte.

Community Feedback

“Good Email This Week.”

Joel Freeman, Dawn Co-Founder and Chief Enthusiast.

“Before subscribing to Dawn, I was tired of sifting through wellness content trying to find anything with real scientific backing. Dawn is one of the few newsletters I trust to always do their research.”

Lydia Sefton-Minns, Cambridge University Natural Sciences Grad

Thanks to our readers for making this so rewarding. You like us! You really like us.

Until next week,
Dan