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6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

    Does your brain feel tired sometimes?

    Do you sometimes feel that your brain’s capacity is not up your daily demands?

    Do you sometimes become forgetful because your brain is overtaxed?

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    Is your memory sometimes weak?

    Can focusing be difficult for you some of the time?

    If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are like the rest of us, struggling to be productive in an extremely fast paced and complex world.

    The good news is that there are ways to protect your brain from excessive demands so that you can function at your best.

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    How To Help An Overtaxed Brain

    Lifestyle choices make a big difference in your mental resilience. Poor food and unhealthy daily practices are an unnecessary burden to your body including your brain – like trying to jog with 50 pound weights.

    However, we all know that our circumstances are less than ideal and that we cannot always make ideal choices

    Medicinal herbs can overcome excessive amounts of stress and lifestyle challenges to help you function at your best. Here is a list of herbs for the brain that will help you get rid of those 50 pound weights.

    6 Top Brain Herbs

    1. Brahmi is the top herb for rejuvenating the brain and nervous system. It helps the left and right sides of the brain to work together. Brahmi improves all aspects of mental functioning including the ability to learn new information, to retain what we learn and our ability to remember.Brahmi packs a double whammy of benefits because it supports our intelligence while reducing the effects of stress on the brain. It offers 4 primary benefits:
      • improved capacity for attention and focus,
      • improved ability to withstand emotional stress
      • reduction in nervousness and anxiety
      • improved immune system function.

      Brahmi also helps with insomnia, helps prevent senility, and heals adrenal grands debilitated by stress which can lead to adrenal burnout. Although brahmi is sometimes called gotu kola in english, gotu kola is actually a different herb.

    2. Gotu kola is another herb that has high impact on brain functioning.  Known as mandukaparni in sanskrit, it also balances the brain and helps all aspects of brain functioning, but is best known for its ability to improve blood circulation and memory.
    3. Ashwaghandha is another top herb for the brain. It reduces the effects of overwork and is one of the best for promoting mental clarity and cognitive functioning. It boosts the brain’s memory and is very helpful in supporting the immune system.Ashwaghandha does wonders for nervous exhaustion and protects the brain against brain cell deterioration.  It is an important protective herb.
    4. Vacha which means “speech” is an important herb for the brain.  It promotes better concentration, clarity and speech. It has a stimulating effect which means that it treats depression and mental sluggishness. Vacha promotes mental clarity and a strong memory at the same time it detoxifies brain tissues.
    5. Tagara known as Indian valerian helps emotional and nervous conditions.
    6. Tulsi oxygenates the brain and improves circulation which improves feelings of well-being and mental cognition.

    Essential Oils For The Brain

    Essential oils are an excellent way to treat mental fatigue and to boost your mental capacity. Here are three that can be a useful supplement to herbal remedies for times when you need to stimulate your brain.

    1. Rosemary is a bright and sharp essence that improves clarity in the mind and emotions.
    2. Peppermint is stimulating It enlivens the mind and  is one of the best oils to boost energy, creativity and learning.
    3. Basil improves mental fatigue and focus.

    Improving Your Brain’s Performance

    Nourishment is essential to your brain’s functioning. The circulation of your brain and amount of oxygen in the brain are also critical for its functioning.

    It is important to realize that your body is an ecological system and naturally, your brain is part of that ecology. So when you think about your lifestyle choices, you can then keep in mind that food in your stomach will affect all parts of you including your brain and mental functioning.

    When you understand that your brain is part of your human ecology, then you will naturally consider its needs.

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    Basic health practices of good food, exercise and rest are necessary for good brain health.  Relaxation techniques like meditation help as well.  However, in our mentally intense modern world it helps to support your brain with herbs and essences that minimize the wear and tear of overwork and stress.

    Many of the herbs listed above are available individually or in combination with others so that you can select herbs that target a specific issue or use a herbal preparation that supports general mental well-being.  I find that both approaches work.

    Taking care of your brain has so many benefits. A healthy brain makes good decisions and therefore supports your life. When not functioning well, your brain can create problems for you.

    Essentially taking care of your brain makes your life easier. These herbs can help you get there.

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    (Please note: The information in this article is general information and not a substitute for medical care. As always, consult your own physician should you have any concerns.)

    (Photo credit: Brain via Shutterstock)

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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