Brain

25
Sep

Multitasking Uncovered

The most important thing about Multitasking is how it effects and rewires our brains! Our brains are not wired to do multiple tasks at the one time.

Think about how our brains work, they are already really busy with relying information across to where it needs to go, storing information, processing and acting on outside stimulation, processing and acting on inside stimulation and the list goes on. We are constantly thinking at the rate of approximately 70,000 thoughts (conscious and sub-conscious) in one day. That is huge and very energetically taxing. Now think about if we add in the process of doing more than one task at a time, in its already busy state, the brain will get confused and will slow down its processing. As the brain swaps between the different tasks we are trying to complete quickly it will cause our brain to become confused and stressed!

Studies show that the human brain can’t handle more than one task at a time. Even though we think we’re multitasking, our brains are actually switching rapidly between tasks”. (The Myth Of Multitasking, Scientific America. 2009, July).

Our brains are changeable and are constantly changing through our daily activities. We are able to change the way our brain works by doing repetitive activities, which allows the brain create the new pathways. Think about that and the effect that long-term Multitasking will have on your brain. Through Multitasking we are actually training our brain to not focus on one thing (especially on the smaller details) and our memory (as our brain is switching between tasks it will leave very little time for a memory to be created). Before I began my no-multitasking mission, I was beginning to notice that I was forgetting things and I thought that my memory was failing me! This frightened me as it was becoming quite bad that I would put something down in the house and 5 minutes later I could not find it and I would forget play dates or coffee dates I had organized with close friends and family. There was nothing wrong with my memory – the problem was that I was not focusing my attention on one thing! It got to the point when I was talking to friends or family, I was actually thinking about what I had to do later, which meant that my mind was not present, so how could I possibly remember the interaction we had. Unfortunately and fortunately it is through this that we train our brains how to think, react and remember things by the way we engage in current life. So I was actually teaching my brain not to remember as I was not allowing it to focus on any one thing for too long.

This is supported by Dr David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, agrees with another US psychologist Dr John Arden, that when humans multitask too much, they can experience short-term memory problems or difficulty concentrating. Of course, what else would the brain do but what we teach it to do!

As you now know Multitasking causes us to feel stressed and anxious on an emotional level and a Brain level! For example when you are going from here to there for all different tasks you get stressed out, especially when one thing does not go as smoothly as you had imagined. I know I was guilty of this when I was trying to still be a bookkeeper for clients at home and trying to squeeze in the time to get it done in between doing washing, tending to the kids, answering messages and even checking facebook. This caused me great stress as at the end of the day I would say to my husband I feel like I have done nothing all day today, but I have been so busy. Then this thought would cause me more stress as I did not get the work done and the deadline was looming. My next thought was that the same thing was going to happen tomorrow. So as you can see my bookkeeping work ended up being like a huge task when in reality it was only about 8-10 hours a fortnight, but when you break down the work into little chunks it was much longer than that as it would take me twice as long starting and stopping and I felt like I was constantly doing it as I was squeezing it in between everything else.

So once again, we are actually wiring the brain up for stress and anxiety around getting tasks completed, as it does not know how else to process tasks if we are always doing multiple things at the same time!

How can you incorporate more single task activities in your daily routines to allow your brain a chance to think clearer and more concise over the one thing?

This has been a excerpt from my “Ignite Your Possibilities” eCourse, Be More Effective With Your Time section. For more information on this please click here.

Until my next blog enjoy your children.

Signature -Debbie

18
Sep

Improve The Function Of Your Brain

Brain exercises are an important way to maintain and improve brain function. Brain Gym are physical exercises that stimulate different areas of the brain and help the brain to be function calmly. When the brain is calm it is much more effective in its ability to do things with ease.

 

Brain exercises are really effective with children and their learning. They are also equally effective in adults and in maintaining their brain health and brain activity. If we do not use our brains then we will lose its ability to do things. Our brain are amazing as they can be changed and taught how to do things. It just takes practice and repetition.

 

Here are the main 4 brain exercises for you to practice on a daily basis:

1234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water – water is vital for brain function. When we become dehydrated (even just a little) our thinking becomes foggy and tired.

12345

Brain Button – This is a stimulation point for the brain. It is great for eye tracking, processing of sensory information, enhanced energy level, hand-eye co-ordination.

Simply rub on the sternum (as shown in picture), then hold your opposite hand still on your belly button. Rub for 30 seconds and then swap your hands over to repeat using the opposite hands.

123456

Crosscrawling – Improves the communication between the left and right side of the brain (logic and gestalt areas). It is great for whole body co-ordination and increased learning capabilities.

This is a marching on the spot brain exercise. Using the opposite arm and leg to cross over the midline of the body to touch one another (elbow to knee). Continue marching for 1-2 minutes.

1234567

Hook-ups – Are a relaxing and energizing exercise. They are great for emotional calm and self-esteem. Especially good for improving attentiveness as it encourages the brain to be calm and focused.

This brain exercise is broken down in 2 parts. The first part is cross your hand and feet over (as shown in diagram) and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Hold this position for 30-40 seconds (remembering to breathe). The second part is to place your feet flat on the floor with your finger tips touching and your tongue on the bottom of your mouth (as shown in diagram). Hold this position for 30-40 seconds (remembering to breathe).

Give them a try on yourself and your children. These are best done in the morning each day before work or school begins. They are a great way to wake up the brain!

This is an excerpt from my “Ignite Your Possibilities” eCourse, Self-Care Made Easy section. For more information, click here.

Until my next blog, enjoy your children.

Signature -Debbie

10
Sep

Sweet Dreams – How To Beat Insomnia!

Did you know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture! It makes sense because how often do we feel anxious, stressed, moody, fatigued, cranky, unmotivated etc. etc. (and the list goes on and on) when we do not get enough sleep at night.

Sleep is important for restoring physical and mental health, it will refresh the mind and repair the body.

Sleep is as essential for good health as is oxygen, food and water.

Often we struggle to fall asleep, as we think things over and over in our minds. We relive the events of the day – what we did and what we did not do. We also start to think about all the things that we need to do tomorrow. Both of which are really pointless thoughts as often we don’t remember what we are planning or revisiting the next morning anyway (unless you are like me and have a pen and paper by the bedside to catch these ‘important’ thoughts)!

It is these random thoughts that keep our mind stimulated and prevents us from falling asleep. Yet how do you stop these thoughts without getting anxious and starting to look at the clock worried that you are not asleep yet and should be.

A technique I learnt through my counselling kinesiology which I use and I encourage my clients to use is a combination of counting backwards and catching yourself thinking. The repetitive task of counting backwards requires you to focus on counting which takes your focus away from these random thoughts.

If we were untroubled by thoughts, then we would bore ourselves to sleep!

Troubling thoughts will wake us up and when these thoughts come up again they prevent us from counting – we forget where we are with our counting and we become aware that thoughts have crept in again. By gently returning our focus back onto the counting task, we teach our mind to let go of arousing thoughts to enable us to fall deeper and deeper into relaxation and sleep will follow.

This exercise:

  1. Write in your mind’s eye 100
  2. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  3. Write in your mind’s eye 99
  4. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  5. Write in your mind’s eye 98
  6. Write in your mind’s eye deeper
  7. Continue on slowly and if your thoughts appear again then that is okay, just release that thought and begin again.

Please note when I have mentioned mind’s eye – I am referring to your imagination or your thoughts.

Often the first night you practice this, it will feel like this exercise is actually keeping you awake at night. After a few nights of practice you will get into the groove of the counting and find it more and more relaxing the more nights you practice it. I have even gotten my daughter to do this one (whom is often lying awake for hours thinking) – she can now only count to 95 and then she will be fast asleep!

Give it a go and see what number you can reach?

This is an excerpt from my “Ignite Your Possibilities” eCourse – Self-Care Made Easy section. For more information on this and others ways you can make self care easy, click here.

Until my next blog, enjoy your children.

Signature -Debbie

 

22
Jul

Bad Habits

Did you know that we train our brain to think, believe, act, react and behave? We have been training our brains for years and often we do not even know how or where it started. Our thoughts and self-beliefs just become a habit and often a bad habit which we struggle to break.

For me, I trained my brain to think that I was not good enough, which was as a result of the childhood bullying I experienced. Even though the bullying finished many years ago, the effects of low self-belief and little self-esteem remained with me for many years into my adulthood. These thoughts had become a habit for me to think and what my brain knew to keep me safe from harm.

I am writing this blog today as it often helps when breaking these negative self-beliefs to see them just as a habit and something that the brain does, to avoid us getting caught up in the drama and emotion of the feeling.  Once our brain starts to think about the emotion and drama of the feelings, it will get caught up in it and we will start to relive the event. Our brain will no longer be able to tell what is fact or your perception of the facts!
Brain

The left side of our brain tends to dominate our thoughts and daily routines, as it is the side of the brain for logic, reason, routines and thinking. It is this side of the brain that will reference what happened in the past to justify why you are feeling what you are feeling in the present moment. The left side of the brain is also where habits are formed and maintained through proving what we believe to be true!

The right side of the brain is the bigger picture side, imagination, instinct and creative side. It is here that we can see a different perspective to our current negative thoughts and beliefs by seeing more than just the problem at hand. It is through our creativeness and imagination that we can create and explore a new belief and image of ourselves and step away from the old one that no longer serves us.

This knowledge really helped me break through my old beliefs around not feeling good enough, as it allowed me to see it for what it was, an old habit that my brain felt safe in.

It was not true, but I believed it to be true for many years, because I was too involved in the emotion and drama of the feelings that I could not see what was true or not true.

Once I can see this logically, I can start to break down the barriers and negative beliefs of myself. I can start to change my brain to create and explore positive self-beliefs that I am good enough! And you know what I always was!!

I challenge you today to start to look at the habits that your brain is thinking and how they influence your life. How can you break the old habits that no longer serve you?

Until my next blog, enjoy your children.

Signature -Debbie

 

Beyond the School Yard

Meditation Made Easy!
Bring Calm & Focus to Your Life