5 Ways to Care for your Brain
Prevent Addiction by Being Boss in your Brain
My aim here is deceptively simple: to let you know how amazing your brain is, and to inspire you to take care of it. Your brain is one of a kind; an unfathomable universe. When people talk about alternative realities, someone will say maybe we’re all just brains in a giant vat, all connected up. It’s never maybe we’re all just hearts connected up; or maybe we’re all just twisted intestines.
Care for your amazing brain in 5 easy ways: AEIOU.
Addiction and the Brain
It hurts to hear it, but you’re not always boss in your brain. Your limbic system is like an excitable puppy running after anyone who gives it a treat, making them boss for a while: fashion, peer pressure, your sex drive, your love of fast cars, ambition, greed, and more.
For you to be boss in your brain will mean developing skills as easy as ABCD:
Overcome Addiction: get pleasure not pain
Brain chemicals are manipulated by things that are addictive. That’s why anyone with a brain can get addicted. Amphetamines, for example, get the brain to release a heap of chemicals; particularly the pleasure-chemical dopamine. Dopamine hits feel fantastic. But drugs cheat your brain of real pleasure connected to purpose.
7 ways you can change your personality
Can pursuing pleasure make us miserable? (Weird concept.)
Have you ever felt all-movied-out?
After a chocolate or drinking binge, do you feel sick?
Do you secretly wish you could give up smoking?
Ever argued with someone because you drink or gamble too much?
Do you ever feel bad because you’ve manipulated someone for your own gain?
If any of these are you, then you know what it’s like to go for pleasure and end up in pain. Pursuit of pleasure is costing you. (WTF???)
There may be much you can’t change about your personality, but you can give it a workout to optimize its strengths and manage its weaknesses. Here’s how. You can’t change your DNA, temperament, culture, or childhood, but you can learn and practice skills to strengthen your character for a healthier personality. Know its strengths and optimize them; know its weaknesses, and manage them. Here are my top tips for things you can change in your personality.
What the frick's a personality?
Can you put your personality type in a box? Personalities are unique. Yours is. So is mine. Still, categorizing personality types is useful for understanding yourself and others. Just don’t let it limit you. Let’s look at different personality types.
5 Tips for an Anxiety-Free Diet
She’s got personality! He’s got character. They’re quite temperamental. But what do we really mean? Each of us has a personality; an enduring pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving to relate to ourselves, others and the world. Like the body, it’s unique, and it’s a vehicle to help you drive down the highway of your unique experience of life. It’s your style of driving; how you do life.
When values clash
I was at a 21st birthday. Family friends were catering. Beautiful food. Canopy-style rather than sit-down: Italian meatballs, Lebanese kebabs, Indonesian sate chicken, Tasmanian salmon with chips. Lovely. Delicious. But one guest was very annoyed. He bellowed at the service: What’s the vegetarian option? Quick as a flash, the server retorted, mate, the vegetarian option is “don’t eat the meat” but you can eat everything else. The guy fumed. You should cater for everyone!
Values: Am I living the way I want to?
It’s all well and good to live from your own values, but what do you do if your values clash with someone else’s? As with personalities, cultures, and beliefs, values can be in harmony or can be dissonant. Clash. It’s natural for people of the same family, community, country or group to share certain values, but, hey, we live in a world of diversity and that means diverse values and clashes.
How can I find direction in my life?
Last post, we applied values to goals. But there’s more. Values can help guide your priorities, decision-making and behaviours as well. They help you understand yourself and live more of the way you want to live. Building a life on values takes effort. But why put in this effort?
Do you know what your values are?
You know that values can help you live more effectively as your real self, but did you know they can bring more direction to your life? But how do I do that? To get more direction in your life, live out your values; apply them. They can make your life feel purposeful and good. To start, simply base your goals on your values. That’s what this post is about.
Love helps protect you against depression
Do you really know yourself? What you really want? This is the first of several posts on values. Values can help you limit anxiety and prevent depression in your life. Knowing your values helps you know yourself, and can guide your goals, priorities and behaviours to live more effectively. The aim here is for you to know what values are, and to know your own values.
Avoid Depression by Managing these 4 Risk Factors
Why does loneliness feel so bad? Of all the risk factors for depression, a lack of love – which ends up in loneliness – is the most destructive. Loneliness is a type of chronic pain, a chronic stress; it chronically makes us feel bad. We are social creatures who try to avoid loneliness; many people try to find relief in alcohol and drugs. But these only contribute to depression.
What are the risk factors for depression so I can help prevent it?
Depression and heart disease are related. What? You’re kidding me! But it’s true:
Depression can lead to heart disease
Heart disease can lead to depression
They share an underlying disease process called “inflammation.”
Strange. We doctors know the risk factors for heart disease really well, but the risk factors for depression are a little … well … hazy. Most researchers and clinicians would generally agree on these being the major risk factors. I have arranged them into an easy to remember acronym for you.
I’ve been a doctor for twenty years now, and I’ve seen lots of people with lots of mental health problems. Day one as a doctor was in psychiatry and, as I was in an area of need, I kept working in psychiatry even while I was doing cardiology, surgery, accident and emergency and all the other things junior doctors do. I became a consultant psychiatrist almost twelve years ago and soon learnt that we need to help people before they get problems, before they need to see someone like me.