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Be Still: 12 Intuitive Signs of a Low State of Mind

Be Still: 12 Intuitive Signs of a Low State of Mind

    (Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life. Garret is the founder and managing partner of Inner Sports, LLC. His revolutionary approach to performance has transformed the careers of professionals athletes and coaches, Olympians, and collegiate players across a multitude of sports. Kramer’s work has been featured on WFAN, ESPN, Fox, and CTV, as well as in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications. For more information on the author visit http://www.garretkramer.com, and you can follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.)

    Awareness. That’s the subject of many of the questions I’ve received lately. Readers are wondering about the signs of a low level of awareness, consciousness, or state of mind. As one reader recently asked, “If I’m not seeing life clearly and prone to making poor choices from a low mind-set, then how do I know when I’m low and, therefore, stillpower is the best option?”

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    Good question. Here are twelve intuitive signs that you’re making decisions, changes, or corrections from a low state of mind and it’s time to ease off the gas and let the mind settle.

    1. You notice your thinking.

    Productive states of mind are the result of fluent or undetectable thinking. Contentment, consistency, and excellence spawn from intuition or insight — never the intellect.

    2. You feel bound up, anxious, or angry.

    Feeling out of options, lacking confidence, and volatility are clear-cut signals that your viewpoint is temporarily blurred. Insecurity is a normal byproduct of the fact that you think (and thus, at times, will overthink) — it is not related to the events of your life.

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    3. You are judgmental of others.

    Judgment is the effect of a low state of mind; it has nothing to do with other people or their actions. From a high state of mind, you will have compassion and understanding for the same person whom you judge or disrespect from a low state of mind.

    4. You are blaming your circumstances for the way you feel.

    Whether you grasp it or not, all people discern the world from the inside out, not the outside in. The way you feel about your circumstances (past and present) is solely determined by the quality of your thinking — which is always changing. That’s why you’ll perceive the exact same circumstance differently from moment to moment.

    5. You keep looking outside of yourself for answers.

    If you are on a constant quest for fulfillment; jumping from relationship to relationship, team to team, school to school, city to city, guru to guru, self-help technique to . . . you get the idea, then you’re only preventing your mind-set from ascending on its own. Remember, if allowed to sit still, a glass of murky water always becomes clear.

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    6. You try to think positively.

    Negativity is a fundamental and necessary part of the human experience. Those who understand the arbitrary and meaningless nature of thought would never try to change or fix their thinking. If you combat wayward thoughts by trying to override them with positive ones, you will only energize and prolong the negativity.

    7. You are focusing on the illness and not your health.

    Waging a continuous battle to overcome your perceived deficits is like fighting a paper tiger. From a high state of mind, we recognize our innate health and empower it; from a low state, we detect illness, and, if we buy in, it becomes the standard.

    8. You take things personally.

    When in a low mind-set, we take things to heart; we’re sensitive and defensive. When in a high mind-set, outsiders can’t touch us. It’s okay to feel vulnerable; it will happen as you experience normal fluctuations of consciousness. But don’t forget, your feelings are a barometer of the quality of your thinking, not a barometer of the quality of your life.

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    9. You are intimidated or afraid.

    Fear is an intuitive signal. When fear is real, we instinctually respond in the moment — with no thought or tension. If you’re thinking about another person or situation and are intimidated, then what you’re thinking is a self-created illusion born from your momentarily low psychological perspective.

    10. You can’t find your passion.

    Passion is 100 percent an inside job. We are passionate when our consciousness is elevated; we are passionless when it’s deflated. So, when you lack drive or enthusiasm, don’t look for the explanation in your career or your life. Consider it this way: Young children are passionate and wondrous about everything. Why? Peace of mind and consciousness are their norm.

    11. You believe that you’ll feel better when…

    External events or milestones have no ability to regulate your level of satisfaction or joy. Your state of mind creates your experience; your experience (fortune, fame, health, or lack thereof) has zero effect on your state of mind.

    12. You are practicing awareness.

    Often, this final sign is misunderstood. If you practice awareness, you turn a built-in process into a forced strategy or technique. Thus, your thinking revs up, intuition is stifled, and your perceptual field (options, opportunities, hope) narrows. Understanding that there is a direct connection between your state of mind and your perceptions is the only key to productive decisions.

    (Photo credit: Woman Practicing Meditation via Shutterstock)

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      1 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 2 Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power 3 12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power 4 13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride 5 8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

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      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

      Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

      Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

      Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

      If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

      When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

      In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

      1. Salmon

      Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

      It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

      Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

      Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

      Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

      Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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      2. Blueberries

      Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

      Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

      Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

      Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

      Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

      3. Turmeric

      Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

      Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

      Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

      Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

      Curcumin has also been shown to:

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      • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
      • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
      • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
      • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

      4. Coffee

      Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

      Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

      Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

      Coffee can also:

      • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
      • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
      • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
      • Improve your memory.
      • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

      5. Broccoli

      What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

      Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

      Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

      Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

      Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

      6. Bone broth

      Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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      Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

      Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

      Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

      Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

      With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

      Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

      7. Walnuts

      Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

      Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

      Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

      Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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      8. Eggs

      For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

      Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

      Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

      9. Dark chocolate

      You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

      Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

      Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

      Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

      Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

      Conclusion

      Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

      In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

      If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

      More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
      [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
      [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
      [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
      [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
      [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
      [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
      [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
      [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
      [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
      [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
      [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
      [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
      [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
      [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
      [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
      [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
      [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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