Unleash the Power of the Female Brain is the new book from renowned neuropsychiatrist and New York Times bestselling author Dr Daniel Amen. It is a comprehensive guide to understanding your unique brain and its strengths (intuition, empathy, multi-tasking, collaboration and a little worry) and vulnerabilities (anxiety, depression and a too busy brain) and making positive changes that will improve your brain health and enhance your life.
In this extract from the book, Dr Amen suggests three simple ways to get started on the journey to unleash the power of your brain:
Everywhere I go people tell me how my work on revitalizing brain health has changed their lives. I know the extraordinary power that can be unleashed when you fall in love with your brain and start loving and treating it right. I want that success for you, and I know you can have it if you do the right things. In my new book Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, I give you twelve simple, one-hour exercises to put these brain-healthy principles into your life. These exercises will radically change your life if you do them just as they are outlined. You will see the difference and feel it in your mood, energy, weight, appearance and mental abilities. Rather than continuing to make decisions that undermine your health, you will know the joy of making great decisions that support your brain and your life. You will experience the benefit of thinking clearly and acting powerfully in a way that follows from healthy, disciplined thought patterns. You will feel the freedom from cravings, worry depression and perfectionism, opening up whole new possibilities for every aspect of your life.
Here are three simple exercises to get started:
1. Boost Brain Envy
Unleashing the power of the female brain starts with brain envy. You have to want to have a better brain. When I say this in lectures, people laugh. It is such a foreign, funny concept, but since your brain controls everything you do, getting it to function at its best will improve everything in your life from your relationships to work, finances and physical health.
For you to consistently make the right decisions regarding your brain, you must have a burning desire to get it healthy. Why do you care about your brain? Write it down and look at it every day.
Write down at least five important reasons to get healthy, such as these:
- Living longer
- Looking younger
- Feeling happier
- Feeling calmer and more relaxed
- Making better decisions
- Having better energy
- Increasing mental clarity
- Being a better role model for my children
- Having greater self-esteem
- Looking better in jeans or a bathing suit
- Being able to participate in sports and other activities I used to enjoy
- Having a better relationship with my spouse
- Reversing diabetes, heart disease, or other health risks
- Decreasing my risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of aging
- Having the confidence to apply for the job I really want
Once you write these down, post them where you can see them every day. Knowing your motivation is essential to wanting to do the right things for your brain.
2. Anchor Images
Fifty per cent of the brain is dedicated to vision. Having visual cues and reminders about brain envy is a very effective tool to help you stay on track. For me, I have pictures that remind me why I need and want a great brain. I have pictures of my wife, four children and five grandchildren everywhere.
If I am not healthy, I will never be my best for the people who need me. I never want to be a burden to my children. I want to be the leader of my family, but the only way that is possible is if I have a good brain. I post my anchor images where I can see them every day, to remind me why I need to stay healthy. I suggest you do the same.
3. The Fork-in-the-Road exercise
One of my favourite exercises with my patients is one I call the Fork in the Road. Here I want you to vividly imagine a fork in the road with two paths.
To the left, imagine a future of pain. If you don’t care about your brain and just keep doing what you’ve always done, what will you be like in a year? In five years? In ten years? I want you to imagine your brain continuing to get old and all that goes with that: brain fog, tiredness, depression, memory loss and physical illness.
To the right, imagine a future of health. If you care about your brain and do the exercises I recommend, what will your life be like in a few days, in a year? In five years? In ten years? I want you to imagine your brain getting healthier and younger and all that goes with that: mental clarity, better energy, a brighter mood, great memory, a trimmer, healthier body, healthier skin and a younger brain.
Unleash the Power of the Female Brain is available to buy now from all good bookshops. It is also available to download as an e-book from all the major e-book retailers, so you can read it on your Kindle, iPad, Kobo, Nook or Sony Reader.
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