Five Steps To An Optimal Mind
One of the most important parts of the Avocado Ninja Lifestyle is having a healthy and balanced mind. The areas covered here are a really good start to help with this.
Mind Friendly Nutrition
Most people’s minds are dull and sluggish primarily because they aren’t giving the brain the nutrients it needs to function effectively. They need to come from nutrient dense whole foods but can also be enhanced by natural supplements.
The foods and supplements you consume in abundance, through the Energise Lifestyle, contain brain friendly nutrients including Vitamin C, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron and Zinc; as well as the alkaline minerals Magnesium and Calcium. These are independently proven to contribute to:
- Psychological function
- Mental performance
- Cognitive Function
ACTION: Drink a Ninja Avocado Shake every day, or if you don’t have the time, use one of our Green Drinks. Supplement with 2-3 litres of green drink per day.
It may seem obvious to make sure we drink enough water, few people actually do. Sometimes we really need to re-focus and re-learn the basics, because we can become nonchalant about them, even though we know they are so vitally important.
Water and brain function are integrally linked. Over 70 percent of your body is composed of water and every function in the body is dependent on water, including the activities of the brain and nervous system.
Researchers Matthew Kempton and Ulrich Ettinger, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London found that failing to drink enough water can make your grey matter shrink, making it harder to think. Research shows that dehydration not only affects the size of the brain but also how it works. Just 90 minutes of steady sweating can shrink the brain as much as a year of ageing, researchers believe. Starved of water, the grey matter is also forced to work harder to process the same information. Over days and weeks, lack of fluid could impact on performance.
A 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30% loss of energy in most people.
Ensure your mind has sufficient water to operate efficiently, by providing it with Mineral-rich, toxin-free, filtered water with a pH of above 7 (preferably 9). When the water fits this description you will really see a difference.
You can create this water by using an alkaline water filter, water distiller, water ionizer, or by filtering and adding alkaline ingredients (such as pH drops).
Mindfulness / Presence
Nutritional energy is just the fuel, and I’ve found that from the past 8 years in my own life, and of coaching others, there is another really important element.
That it is your ENGAGEMENT or PRESENCE in your life which makes all the difference with how our minds function and what our mood is. Now what do I mean by that?
What makes your day magical isn’t all of the activities you do. Its doing them all with presence. So, being fully alive, being really here and now to experience your environment, to feel your body, your emotions, and to be fully present with other people. To care for them, to be interested in them and to connect and feel for them.
If you have more energy, you are ready to go out each day and accomplish more. You also need to have more presence in the moment, with your thoughts, your feelings and emotions. With your body and how it feels. With your tasks, and your dreams. And you have enthusiasm for the future too, then this will make your day becomes something magical. What is usually really missing in our lives is our ability to show up fully and live them as if they really mattered. The moment is the only time we get to live, which is right now.
Mastering “the moment” is not only be life changing, but also has amazing benefits to our physical and psychological wellbeing.
This mastery is called PRESENCE or MINDFULNESS.
I have researched both Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), as well as research projects and experts from around the world and I think you will be blown away by the effect it has. Again, I have included this as I have seen all of the most successful, happy people I model use this on a daily basis.
Mindfulness has now been researched at prestigious Universities and research institutions around the world, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK, UMass Medical Centre in the USA, University of Toronto in Canada. It was originally devised to help people overcome anxiety and depression, for which it is incredibly effective. But the practice will enhance your life wherever you are.
Mindfulness has may proven benefits, but when it comes to the mind, it can:
- Reduces stress, anger and fatigue (including hypertension) (6)
- Reduces anxiety and depression and irritability (3)
- Improve memory and reaction times (4)
- Enjoy better relationships (5)
Mindfulness is cultivating the realisation that thoughts come and go within you; and that you are not your thoughts. You can see them arise, like a cloud in the sky, then just pass and disappear. You eventually experience that thoughts are transient – they just come and go. And you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.
You simply observe your thoughts without criticism or judgement. Instead you develop compassion for yourself. This is especially effective when negative thoughts arise, you detach from the emotions associated with them and watch them as they drift by.
From a much more practical perspective, you will learn techniques to interrupt the normal reactive part of your mind. You catch yourself before the negative thoughts start a downward spiral. This then gives you the control back over your life.
Over time, this brings about long term changes in mood and wellbeing. Research has shown that this then forms new neural pathways that allow you more and more to automatically process stress, anxiety and negative feelings so that they do not have so much of an impact.
ACTION: One per day, try to be “in the moment” while you are doing a routine activity (such as cleaning your teeth). Try to experience only this activity. The taste, sound, smell and feelings. Try to extend this frame of mind more and more during the day, to fully experience each moment without over analysing or thinking of the past or future.
Reduce Nutritional and Physical Stress
People tend to only think of stress as a mental factor. However, our body has to deal with all kinds of stress, with each one adding to the other. An area that we can start to take control of is the physical stress we put on the body.
Physical stress not only affects the body, but takes it’s toll on our minds too – how well the mind operates is affected as well as our mood.
Through the food and drink choices we make on a daily basis, we start to load our bodies with this physical stress. One of the biggest culprits is the amount of legal (and illegal) stimulants we have become reliant on.
When we use stimulants (such as nicotine, caffeine, refined sugar, etc.) we start a cycle in the body that causes many issues. These stimulants activate adrenaline and cortisol in our systems which cause many issues, such as weight gain, sleeplessness, nervousness, irritability. Metaphorically, they are like spending on a credit card. You may get the energy, but you will need to pay this back at some point.
Start to get your energy from nutrient dense whole foodsand supplements. These will provide natural energy by providing the body what it needs. This way you won’t feel the need to use stimulants to give us that short term boost.
ACTION: Check out our recipe section and try to add more nutrient dense foods into your diet. As you feel your energy rise, start to cut back on stimulants such as caffeine and sugar.