People with anxious, stressed minds make bad decisions and suffer the consequences. How do you protect your brain when the world feels dangerous and your life uncontrollable? Rest your brain and improve your mental health with these practical tips and tools.
When your plans change unexpectedly, send your brain out for coffee
Research shows that anxious, stressed minds make bad decisions. Stress increases the likelihood you’ll choose a risky, high-cost, high-reward option. Reduce anxiety by taking a slow, deep breath. Imagine you can feel the stress chemicals drain from your brain. Choose to approach unexpected events with a relaxed, curious, open mind.
Refuse to let your brain go to battle
According to experts, if you’re focused on fighting the reality of your situation (for example, that you didn’t deserve to be fired) you may fail to change the situation—and you may just aggravate the problem by preventing yourself from responding intuitively and creatively. Acceptance, on the other hand, increases the cognitive and emotional energy you need to move forward. Acceptance relaxes your brain and lets it breathe.
Rest your brain in the field of unknowing
What if a disappointing or devastating event actually saved you from something? Something you could never imagine or discover. For example, a “ruined” vacation cut short might protect you from a health problem or disaster. Heavy traffic or unexpected delays might save you from an accident down the road. You may never know what you were saved from, but you know you’re here now. You’re okay. Trust that your life is unfolding exactly the way it’s meant to.
Get a natural brain boost
Air, noise, water, and soil pollution is damaging the mental health of city dwellers. The good news? Neuroscience research also shows that the diverse microbiomes in the soil and air have a positive effect on depression and anxiety.
Bury your hands in the soil, fill your lungs with fresh air, feast your eyes on leaves, and examine the bees. Every moment counts.
Written by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen