Thursday, October 25, 2012

Challenge Your Brain

Neirobics...means “challenging your brain with 
new and unexpected  experiences!
It can help keep it stronger into old age.
“Breaking with routine and using all your senses
is like having your brain cells lifting barbells,” says Manning Rubin.

Make life your “gym:  You don't need to use a computer or puzzle book 
or schedule a specific time to sharpen your brain.  Instead, think of ways you can 
break your usual habits throughout the day.

Close your eyes:   Listen to sounds in the park, take a shower, navigate around 
your house or try to identify objects by touch.

Use your non-dominate hand:  Eat, brush your teeth or write with the hand 
you don't normally use to give different  parts of your brain a workout.   
Or try to button a shirt, tie a shoe or get dressed using just one hand.

Vary your commute:  Get off at an earlier bus stop or drive down different 
roads on regular errands or trips to and from work.  New sights, sounds and 
smells will take your brain off “autopilot”.

Mix things up:  Have people sit a different spot at the dinner table, trade chores 
with another family member or rearrange dishes in a cabinet so you'll have to think 
about where you're reaching.

Try something new every day:  This can be something small ... tasting a 
different food or using chopsticks at dinner ~ or bigger, such as picking up 
a new hobby or tackling a new skill such as a foreign language.

Combine your senses:  Read a book while burning a scented candle and pay
attention to both.  Or close  your eyes and try to identify a food by the smell alone.

(from the Daily  Press)

Tips for Remaining Positive

Reframe:  Rather than labelling your situation as a disaster or tragedy, see it
as a challenge, an experience, an important part of your journey.

Let your feelings come, all of them and then move through them...again and again.

If plan  A has not worked, don't stop; begin plan B and then plan C'.

Be forgiving of yourself and others...not always scanning for flaws or imperfections.

Love yourself in spite of your shortcomings and love others in spite of theirs.

Appreciate little things each  day and do something to nourish  yourself:
read a poem, have a cup of good tea, listen to music, take a walk, watch a movie,
sing a song, hold a child.

Ask for a helping hand when needed and be grateful for whatever is offered.

When you feel struck emotionally... move your body; take a walk, exercise, 
dance or hug a loved one.

Pause and appreciate something beautiful around you.

Recall how you have made it through hard times in the past 
and remember your strength, capability, faith and resources.

Take one hour at a time; one day, one week
and pat yourself on the back for making it through.

(New York Times)

Implementing the foregoing “tips” will build a stronger character
and challenge your brain to react positively.

Is Perfection Possible?

“You  can't have perfection in an imperfect world,” says Elliot Cohen.   
“When someone demands perfection, either with themselves 
or with others, they create frustration for all involved.  It's important to realize 
there are some things you can control and some you can't.   
Our logical mind knows this, but our emotions step in and we think, 
'But I can be the exception to the rule.'  That demand for control is typically 
what creates anxiety about the future.” 

“When we try to perfect too many things, we lose the ability to go all out 
on the things that are really important to us,” adds Becky Beaupre Gillespie.  
 “Other people lose sight of their passions and deepest desires when they try to be 
the best at everything!
High achievers have a strong need to be the best, at everything;
others, that being best was not as important 
as being happy at work and at home.

Here are some tips:
Switch from being the best to doing your best.  This isn't settling or 
slacking off; it's honing in on the priorities and being realistic.

Never compare yourself to others.  Women have a tendency to look around 
at other women and compare themselves.  There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Embrace serenity. Cohen states, “Serenity is the middle ground between 
perfectionism and indifference. Once you find this, you will feel the difference. “
(Chicago Tribune)

“Pearl of Wisdom”
It's funny about Life!
If you refuse to accept  anything but the very best,
you will very often get it.
(W. Somerset Maugham)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . composed April 1, 2012
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