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A Day in the Life of Your Brain
WHAT WOULD ONE WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FROM INSIDE YOUR BRAIN?
Have you ever considered what today looks like from inside your brain? Take a look and you’ll also improve your communication and sharpen several mental skills.
You can capitalize on what you see inside to improve your overall well-being.
OK, so it’s 6 AM and you awaken ready to play ball or slay a buddie. The brain decides.
You’ll feel groggy if you awaken your brain in the middle of one of its sleep cycles and rhythmic patterns, which last for 90 minutes. Patterns of sleep for the normal brain generally progress through three 30-minute sessions. Complete cycles tend to last 1 hour and 30 minutes, and don’t do well when they are broken or interrupted.
In the first 30, you sleep rather light.
In the second 30 minutes during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your brain restores levels of oxygen to the cornea, while you dream.
In the third 30 minute phase you move back into a lighter sleep. You will shorten the REM staged through stuffing yourself, drinking just before bedtime, or taking some medications, but you can enhance your wake up time
If you plan your sleep in 90 minute chunks and you’ll feel better when you wake up. Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier, than to start into a new cycle and then have your alarm go off like a fire engine at a slumber party. Sleep in a darkened room and you’ll have a better chance of your brain releasing enough melatonin to get the rest you need, so you awaken refreshed, rather than feeling like a truck hit you.
You’ve probably noticed that when you sleep for the same amount of time each night, that you will no longer need the alarm since your brain has its own built into alarms once it learns your patterns.
Forget where you put your keys again? Your rote memory is at its sharpest here, so you can take advantage of this alertness by reviewing those three facts you need to know about the car engine you plan to repair or the tricky recipe you expect to create for dinner. Run over three key talking points in bullet form to prepare for a Rotary meeting today, and you’ll be surprised how poignant details stick to your brain to help you make your points when you arrive at the meeting later that day.
Your pulse rate and blood pressure rise sharply at this point in the day also. If you rested well, your brain rewired itself overnight and it is completely ready to go! You are now poised to have some real fun, while you learn about and express your world in at least 8 distinctive intelligences or perspectives. Ask yourself how you plan to use a few of these intelligences to throw something fun or silly at a serious job you plan to do today, and watch creativity kick in! Look ahead, and tell your partner to look forward to a swim together at the part after work, or throw an aerobics tape on and get the blood hopping for a few minutes.
You’ll be interested to know that blood clotting problems can occur more frequently in this period of a day, so you may want to exercise and drink lots of water to give your health a heads up before you start your routines.
Stuck in a rut, or leading the pack? Your best mental tools are your multiple intelligences and they will flex and flourish more and more as you use and play with them. Expect new answers to old questions, and start with an issue or event that piques your curiosity and stirs some wonder. Remember, overnight your brain completely rewired itself, and you grew new dendrite connector cells, which allow you to move forward faster now with the inspiration you stockpiled yesterday. So imagine yourself going after that special project or plan you’d like to achieve today, with the same determination Tolkien’s hobbits went after their precious ring in, Lord of the Rings.
Travel the same road to work or try a new route?
You’ve likely enjoyed moments here and there when you think and act different from others. Moments when your approaches to knowing and expressing your world show how your brain is fearfully and wonderfully made. Look daily into new rooms in your brain for a new way of solving an old problem, and you’ll also spot resources and spaces that successful people enter into and make use of daily.
It is clear that when you use multiple intelligences during any day, that you add a degree of flexibility to your brain, so that it works harder for the results you desire. You’ve learned to value these differences in yourself and others, so that your brain becomes much more effective as an integrator of ideas on the one hand, and of communicating more effectively with many people on the other. See yourself in win/win situations today and then use multiple approaches to make that happen whenever new opportunities arise.
Do others see confidence and caring in you? While you will have emotional reactions to people and to events, you can work these in your favor if you lead with your strengths, and if you take a few steps to reduce cortisol (That limits your confidence) and raise serotonin (that increases your chances for success). These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, seep through clefts in your brain. They convert to electrical impulses and effect emotions. They also impact learning for good or bad, and they help you to create a safe learning environment for yourself others at home or work. Do you remember the last time you created satisfaction and reduced panic for you and others? While stressors will differ daily for all of us, nevertheless, the pathways to living a life of confidence, without stress look remarkably similar.
Leading with your strengths or losing ground?
Building on how to lead with strengths, boldly step forward to try a new skill today to help you achieve a complex task that comes your way. If cortisol seems to pop up and you feel panicked or anxious, play slower Baroque music in your background. Laugh at yourself, or at something you remember, and tell the joke to somebody you know. Choose one new intelligence to sprinkle spice into your day and then throw in three or four small activities that let you play with the experience. If you play music, also practice humming a silly tune, and listen to the sounds all around you without speaking for 5 minutes. Share this intelligence with somebody else and find out what they enjoy most about using different domains of their brain.
Take two folks from other cultures to lunch and ask how conflicts among different people could become solutions when you add multiple ways to knowing and solving problems together. Discuss how you could set a higher target for a project you could do together, then brainstorm ways to achieve that target through partnering with others and using multiple intelligences.
Your brain wave speeds have much to do with how successful you feel and what you accomplish. Try shifting your brain wave speeds to solve a problem that faces you. Slow down your Beta waves by daydreaming about a boating trip you plan. Take two or three minutes to picture the boat and hear the engines, as you feel the waves rocking you. Then speed up your Delta waves by imagining yourself standing in front of an opponent to defend your beliefs that differ dramatically from his. What is your opening punch line?
Create a great tone for this defense and you probably have moved your wave speed again to empower your mind for successful results. So you are ready to stand on your soapbox, but you also have a new desire to listen and relate to your opponent. You’ve simply rewired your capability so it’s no surprise you’ll get compelling results that turn your day into a series of new adventures.
Watch others around you with a new interest to know and be known by them. Ask questions about how they differ from you, and how you can both benefit from these differences? What can you learn from the other gender about a problem you face? Can you think of one way that women’s and men’s brains different brain patterns can enhance your day today?
Since each brain is wired differently, you can challenge yours at the moment with a question about how to optimize those differences for an interest you have. How does your observation lead to more unique contributions welcomed across cultures, genders and individuals? What will you do differently today because of this deliberate observation of others around you.
Grab a 20 to 30 minute nap and you’ll be surprised what you can do for your brain at this point in the day. It’s best not to nap in the evening, and you’ll want to avoid snoozing beyond that 30 minute-stage of your sleep cycle. Once you pass the 30 minutes, it’s best to sleep for 90 minutes and then you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world with new gusto!
You have both chemical and electrical impulses which can help you move into the latter part of your day with new creativity and expectation for better experiences. Increase your curiosity about a topic you enjoy through asking a question about its merit, to a fellow worker or a friend. Rather than sit around passively take a brief walk and think about one talent that you could use to enjoy your evening more.
Plan an hour alone and get to know yourself at a new level. Become friends with you and your brain with build many neuron pathways to success just like the greatest thinkers of our time do when they spend time alone. Imagine places you’d like to travel. Play music you enjoy. Build a table in the garage, just for fun. Pour a glass of your favorite wine and watch the scenes beyond your back deck for fifteen minutes to see what they can teach you about you!
Your brain will benefit from dinner more if you take your time, stretch out the experience and eat lightly. Enjoy others at the table and get to know what they did for fun today. Avoid unpleasant topics because your brain helps you to digest food better in a relaxed mode.
If you are dining alone, plan to make dinner an extra special occasion. Read a favorite book or take in a light article from a trade magazine that describes your interests. You might even enjoy listening to an upbeat CD and planning how you will spend an evening alone. Will you play computer scrabble, enjoy a video you’ve wanted to see, or call a good friend and go dancing? Whatever you decide, expect to enjoy the evening and your brain will multiply personal benefits from all the fun and adventure you plan.
Reflect on your day by listing the three most significant events to the left of a paper and jot down your response to the right. Return to your thought this morning, and reflect on how the three bullets you created added an exciting angle to your day. Use either words or simple sketches if you prefer. How might you do things differently, if you were to add a new intelligence into the mix? For instance, if your welcomed a lesson from a mistake you made, what might have happened as a result? If you met a conflict from a fellow worker, and you told a joke about yourself, what would have been the consequence. Congratulate yourself where you used music to find inspiration, or where you walked briskly for a few minutes rather than sat for too long in a chair. Look at your day through a new lens and you will try new approaches for better success the next time you are faced with challenges at home or work. Play a game with a young child, and start by asking the child what they like to play most. Then encourage the child to take the lead and you follow along.
You can increase your hormones for fun and well-being and you can decrease hormones that lead you to panic or make you feel afraid or anxious. Play with some of the activities you learned here and you’ll begin to control both states of your mind so that you feel satisfied and content in almost any situation. Then try another path to something you do well, so that you sit in a different chair to relax, read a paper from another city or write a letter to encourage a community leader.
In this part of your day your brain does best to laugh at the Jay Leno show, relax with a good book, enjoy friends, or prepare for the coming day. Listen to inspirational music or Romantic music from Schubert, Chopin, Tchaikovsky or Schumann. I like to play Debussy, Faure and Ravel’s impressionistic music in the evening, and you too will find this music puts you in touch with your inner beliefs and desires, and then discuss a book you just read with your partner.
Music in the evening adds peace and grounds you in the moment, and so it evokes quiet and affirming images in your mind. Laughter increases your ability to enjoy life and makes you feel better because the simple act of laughing at a silly thing you did, or at a joke you heard releases health-inducing enzymes into your brain.
You can often sleep better and dream about positive images if you imagine actual physical movements before you sleep. Visualize a pro skiing down the highest peak you’ve seen, or skaters on their final run at the Olympics, and you will sleep with fewer nightmares. The reason you dream is that you allow your brain to drop into zero management control as you sleep. Brain scans show no activity in the frontal areas of the brain, where you plan your day and enjoy deeper thoughts about life. Dreams are simply uncontrolled images, which bounce off each other and perceptions which activate without your help, during REM sleep. Researchers sometimes liken the dream state to be similar in ways to the mentally ill state, where you have poor control of memories and images. The difference of course is that dreams occupy only a brief and restorative mental state, and your mind will hand you back controls when you awaken, while mental illness prevents that control from happening at any time.
Want some exciting new insights to help your week? Then, ask yourself a specific question about something you plan to do tomorrow. Expect your brain to search and find some new insight overnight, from it’s capacity to rewire and to teach you new approaches to success while you are in the slowest brain waves, where enlightenment often happens.
With over 200 sleep clinics in the US it’s clear than many have problems when they try to sleep. To maximize the chances of restful sleep tonight, eat moderately, and avoid additives or fats before bedtime. Warm milk works wonders with the brain, and a little honey added gives it an even better taste. Make sure that glass of wine you had after dinner, metabolizes for at least one hour before you sleep and drink lots of water. Avoid caffeine in the evening, and exercise much earlier in the day, so that you are engaged in much less stimulating evening activities.
If you set the conditions correctly, your brain will decrease cortisol overnight and will release melatonin and increase growth hormones. Sleep deprivation is not a good idea, since the brain needs sleep to function well the next day. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep try to get at least 7 and 1/2 hrs, and if you want to wake up with your brain ready to go, set your alarm to go off at the end of a 90 minute sleep cycle, rather than interrupt a complete cycle. Have a great day, and make sure you help your brain to do so too.