Strokes Of Insight: Brain Series EP 1: Understanding the Brain

Leyth Hampshire
23rd November 2020

I'm happy to see you here. The first episode of Strokes of Insight. It's awesome, this is truly what a lockdown launch party feels like. Completely remote. Well, cheers to life (raises morning cup of coffee).

Today's exploration is really about something quite dear to me. The brain. As you may know, I suffered a rare brain bleed that left me hospitalised for over a month. Completely out of the blue. I ask myself if I had known more about the brain, could I have prevented this? If I was taking more care for my brain, would this story be different? Who knows. But now I feel a duty to educate others about the brain. The first series of Strokes of Insight will be about the brain. What is brain health? How can we look after our brain, using nutrition, movement, music, meditation and a whole plethora of other things... so let's get to meet our friend up north...(and no I don't meet Yorkshire puddings...)

The brain is an amazing organ. It receives information through the five senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. It's affected by virtually every aspect of our lives, including our moods, our activities, how well we sleep, our stress levels, and the foods we eat.

The brain is the most complex structure of the human body. Yet we know so little about it? We walk, talk and operate every day and every single action is controlled by the brain. So this is why for me it is vital, to share with you more information about your beautiful noggin (for the non-brits, noggin means head!)

Let's dive in, the book I've been reading this week is Ben Greenfield's Boundless, this book has a world of knowledge in it. I recently finished the first chapter, which is all about the neurotransmitters in our brain.

He shares how our neurotransmitters (which we have 100 billion!!!) in our brain are getting so overstimulated and therefore fried out. This causes issues like depression, mental fogginess, anxiety and migraines. There are many reasons why our neurotransmitters become fatigued such as too many stimulants like coffee and tea, toxins/metals in health products we use, sensory overload from loud sounds and excessive screen time. If our brain is exhausted, no wonder it's harder to get out of bed, hard to focus on our work and even harder to have a great conversation with someone.

We know that neurotransmitters control every single action in our body because the brain controls the nervous system. This means that everything physical and emotional stems from the brain. If our brain is exhausted and fried then this will have a knock-on effect on the entire body.

Well, the reason you here is not to be lectured by me, because that is boring! I'm here to help you, so let's dive into a few quick hacks to help those neurotransmitters keep firing on all cylinders!

Here are a few tips ...

Firstly, taking breaks from caffeine on regular basis, this could mean cycling caffeine out of your routine every couple of days just to give your brain rest. A week without caffeine can pretty much reset your entire caffeine clock as well!

Secondly, reduce the sensory overload we induce on ourselves. This means taking more regular breaks away from screens to help rest the brain! (also less screen time in the evenings, but we will cover sleep in another episode!)

Lastly, an increase in healthy fats and amino acid intake from our diet, which helps to repair the neurotransmitters. This includes foods such as Avocados, Walnuts, Organic Free Range Eggs & Dark Chocolate. Also, you can supplement with Amino Acids or Vitamin B12 which helps as well. You can learn more about this all here from an awesome article.

If you can start to optimise your brain with the few tips, I can guarantee you will start to gain more mental clarity, feel less tired and be able to cultivate more energy in your brain and therefore your body.

Well, there you have it! We have reached the end of the first episode in the Brian Series in my Strokes of Insight Newsletter. I hope you enjoyed that and experienced a few aha moments. As well, are already contemplating changes you may make to help those neurons keep firings.

If you want me to explore a different topic then drop me a line! I'm always keen to learn and share. Lastly, if you think anyone else could benefit from a bit of brain health tips, then forward this on to them!

Til' next time, where I will start to explore how you can wire your brain for happiness.

Stay healthy, because health is the true wealth.

Leyth x

p.s. I love feedback, any thoughts please do feel free to share them with me.

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