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3 Tips to Carry You Through the Week After The Election

3 Tips to Carry You Through the Week After The Election

So the election is over and you woke up the morning of November 9th possibly experiencing a wide range of emotions. Most of us understood that this election represented more than just two sides. There were hundreds of combinations of reasons, beliefs and motivations that contributed to millions of individual selections and yet the morning after, millions of people have suddenly been shoved into two categories – one side against another. Is this fair? That is your call. So what do you do now?

Be Mindful

  • Awareness and gratitude. Try not to spend so much time focusing on things you have no power to change. Imagine a life where instead of focusing on those things, you switched your attention and directed all of your energy to the things that were in your control. Try it. Then top it off with a heavy serving of awareness and gratitude. Be aware of all that you have and don’t have. Be grateful for the challenges and opportunities you are fortunate enough to have experienced, are presently experiencing and the ones that you have yet to experience. It is those things that have helped you move past where you were, helped you get to where you are and that will get you to where you need to be.
  • Reality. Learn to take things for what they are and temper your expectations. Doing so limits disappointments. Reality is what you can control and influence. Everything else is out of your hands. Recognizing life is already hard enough to handle, try not to give yourself more than you can reasonably (and unreasonably) control. Outcomes and results don’t determine peace (or your efforts to create it), happiness and the ability to have and spread joy. Don’t get lost in the shuffle; stay focused.
  • Leisure. Dedicate yourself to working vigorously and purposefully on your self-development instead of allowing the media and other distractions in your life to consume you. How you spend your downtime says a lot about you. The key here is to always be growing in some way whether it be personally through reading and learning, growing by giving to and developing others, or any mixture of similar acts. If your thoughts and actions are pure and with good intention, your downtime will likely reflect that.

Surround yourself with great people. Being around great people, listening and learning from them will have positive effects on your life. Receiving advice and counsel are also other benefits. Just being around great people can penetrate your being if you pay close attention to things like what they put their effort in to, what they avoid and their mannerisms.

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It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with great books. Reading is fundamental to the process of self-development and mindfulness. It facilitates the exchange of thoughts and understanding. It also allows you to learn from others in a way that allows you to prepare for things that may happen in your life or gain a different perception or interpretation of things that may have occurred in your life.

We’ve had elections before… many of them in fact. What are some of the lessons you could have learned or have observed through history that could have prepared you for what you are feeling today?

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“Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable anymore.” – Herman Melville

Be open to what arises moment after moment and accept that life is constant change. Realize this: change is good and a part of everything, for nothing remains the same. Every day of your life is change, every period of your life is change, we are and always will be in a state of change as will everything around us. So, embrace change, for it is natural and there is no true benefit in anything remaining the same.

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3 Tips to Carry You Through the Week

Pause – Breathe – Listen

When you feel yourself needing to release some potentially regrettable words, opinions, or aggression…PAUSE! Take a few long seconds before doing anything or addressing anyone. Notice where you need help or where others need help. If you have to communicate that you need some space, then do so. But before you do anything, clear your mind and BREATHE!  Agree or disagree. Whatever side of things you find yourself on in the next hours, day, weeks, and months; respect people’s rights to have an opinion. Not everything needs a response, consider others’ perspectives as deep as you can and just LISTEN!

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Tyrone Robinson

Life, Career, Executive Coach & Business Consultant

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Last Updated on June 5, 2020

How Do Memory Vitamins Work? (And the Best Brain Supplements)

How Do Memory Vitamins Work? (And the Best Brain Supplements)

There are a whole bunch of alleged memory vitamins and supplements to help you concentrate and boost your brain function. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation, dodgy studies, and things we just don’t know when it comes to which vitamins actually help with memory and concentration.

This article will dig into the current research to pick four of the best vitamins and supplements to boost your memory and overall brain function.

Vitamins Vs Supplements

First, let’s talk about the difference between a vitamin and a supplement. Vitamins are simply organic compounds that are necessary in small quantities to sustain life[1]. We’re talking the vitamin A, B, and Cs here. Vitamins are in the unprocessed, healthy foods you eat every day and are also available as daily supplements in pill form or as chewy, edible cartoon characters.

Supplements are just extra pills, liquids, or cartoon characters that you consume in addition to the actual food you eat. Supplements can include but are not limited to vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, hormone building blocks, and other compounds that are synthesized or extracted from natural sources.

What Research Says About Vitamins and Supplements

Now, we need to talk about the current state of the research on memory vitamins and brain supplements.

The only real consensus seems to be that much more research needs to be done to truly answer which vitamins and supplements are best for your memory.

Supplements are big business. In 2015, Americans spent 643 million dollars on supplements, and a quarter of Americans over 50 take them regularly[2]. That’s a lot of money spent on an extremely unregulated and under-researched industry.

Here’s what we do know:

The brain needs vitamins and minerals to function properly. We also have some studies on rats and in small samples of humans that show preliminary glimmers of hope[3] that certain memory vitamins and brain supplements may also have positive effects on our brains.

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How Do Memory Vitamins and Supplements Work?

Vitamins and supplements work in many different ways to improve memory and brain function. So, let’s break down how some of the major vitamins and supplements work.

Nootropics

Any vitamin or supplement that aids memory falls into a category called nootropics. Nooptropic is now a term that refers to any natural or synthetic substance that has a positive impact on memory.[4]

Each type of nootropic works differently in the body to affect memory.

Antioxidants

Some nootropics are antioxidants. Vitamins such as vitamin E fall into this category.

Antioxidants help memory by protecting cells from free radicals. When free radicals build up in the body (a natural by-product of metabolism, aging, and exposure to environmental toxins), they cause cellular damage, so antioxidants help memory by preventing and reversing some of this damage.

Regeneration

Some nootropics help memory by going a step further than antioxidants. Some, like Lion’s Mane mushrooms, may help stimulate new cell growth. This regeneration would help memory by stimulating new neural growth.

Memory relies on strong neural pathways, so nootropics that stimulate cell growth might be especially effective supplements.

Stimulants

In order to remember, we have to be awake and alert. The first part of memory is perception, so nootropics such as caffeine help us wake up enough to perceive in the first place. These sensory perceptions can then be turned into memories.

Adaptogens

Adaptogens are believed to regulate your adrenal glands, which helps your body deal with stress. More research is needed, but some think that adaptogens help control hormone levels, which helps your immune system, energy levels, and brain functioning[5].

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Inflammation Reduction

Another way some nootropics help memory is by reducing inflammation in the brain. Memory relies on strong neural connections, and inflammation hurts these connections. So, nootropics that relieve this inflammation may be helpful for people to improve their cognitive functioning and memory.

Improving Sleep

Research is starting to show that sleep may also be critical for memory. Studies show that memory may require an active forgetting process during REM sleep[6].

While we sleep, we are actually clearing out less important memory pathways. This helps strengthen the memories that do matter, so sleep is a critical component in memory. Any nootropic that improves our sleep may also be helping to strengthen our memory and brain functioning.

So, which four memory vitamins and brain supplements top the list?

The Best Brain Supplements

If you’re looking to boost your memory, try any one of these supplements.

1. Vitamin E

If we’re just talking about vitamins, I’d put my money on vitamin E to boost memory.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it protects cells from free radicals. When there are too many free radicals in the body, they cause cellular damage. So, vitamin E helps slow the aging process (cellular damage), including the onset of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

Studies have shown that people with adequate levels of vitamin E performed better on cognitive and memory tests and significantly delayed Alzheimer’s-related dementia. To boost vitamin E’s effects even more, some studies have also shown that it performs better with adequate levels of vitamin C[7].

2. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane mushroom has been around in Chinese medicine for thousands of years but may not be on your radar just yet. Some preliminary studies on rats have shown that it may improve memory and protect the brain.

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Lion’s Mane has anti-oxidizing effects in the body, fighting off those free radicals, but it may also stimulate Nerve Growth Factor. As Dr. Mary Sabo L.Ac DACM explains:

“These proteins stimulate the production of new brain cells and support the health of existing ones. They also support myelin and brain plasticity.”[8]

Myelin is the fatty substance around nerve cell axons. Axons are like the wires between cells, so when we’re talking about memory, protecting the axon coverings is like protecting the plastic covering of electrical wires. When the covering is compromised, the wire itself is, too.

Like all the other nootropics, much more research needs to be done on Lion’s Mane, but the early studies seem encouraging. It may help stimulate neural growth, protect brain cells, and remove free radicals, which may help improve your memory.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A lot of research has been done on fish oil and how it affects overall brain health. Just like vitamin E, we should be getting the fatty acids in fish oil in our actual diet. But if you don’t, a supplement might be just what the doctor ordered (and again, please check with your doctor before taking any supplements).

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. The 3 in omega-3 refers to the 3 different fatty acids in omega-3: EPA, DPA, and DHA.

There still needs to be more studies to clarify which fatty acids have which effects on the brain, but preliminary studies show that omega-3, especially DHA, is the most important fatty acid for the memory of non-impaired adults[9].

Omega 3s are found in cell membranes, and studies have shown that consuming them may help protect cell health in the brain by helping build cell membranes throughout the body[10].

4. Rhodiola Rosacea

There’s an herb called Rhodiola Rosacea that may also help mental and physical fatigue. Rhodiola Rosacea is an adaptogen, which means it helps regulate the adrenal glands. This helps you deal with stress better.

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According to Dr. Sabo:

“One double-blind, placebo-controlled study on physicians working night shift showed it [Rhodiola Rosacea] was helpful in boosting cognitive cerebral functions when taken daily in supplement form.”

So if you’re looking for a supplement to help with your cognitive endurance, Rhodiola Rosacea may be the thing for you.

The Bottom Line

So, what should you keep in mind when considering memory vitamins and brain supplements?

There is still not enough research to definitively say which memory vitamins are best or which supplements will boost your brain the most. What most doctors agree on is that a healthy diet with natural, unprocessed foods, a physically active lifestyle, a good night’s rest, and strong social relationships are actually the best things we can do for our memories and our brains more generally.

However, if you’re making those positive changes with your diet, exercise, sleep, and relationships, you may also still be considering supplements. Consult your doctor first because memory problems may be a sign of something much more serious. As Dr. Sabo explains:

“Problems with memory and concentration can be symptoms of other conditions such as hypothyroid, anxiety, depression, or insomnia. It can also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia in the elderly. While some supplements can help with these symptoms, getting the right diagnosis and medical care from an MD and targeted support from a holistic practitioner can be the best path for ongoing care.”

So seek an expert’s opinion and ask informed questions about nootropics, adaptogens, and antioxidants to land on your own decision for which memory vitamins and brain boosters are best for you.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Sweet via unsplash.com

Reference

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