We work longer hours than previous generations, push our brains and bodies harder, all while being exposed to toxic environmental and lifestyle factors that can seriously affect mental and physical performance including:
- focus & drive
- Low Energy
- Premature Aging
- Hormone balance & Libido (for both men and women)
Hack Your Brain, Hack Life by Managing Brain Stress
Here’s the thing: we can’t escape stress. It’s just not a possibility even if you went to live on a remote desert island, there will always be some trigger for stress because ‘stress’ as we feel it is actually in our brain (this is what we can change!) vs. ‘stressors’ are out there in the environment (these we have no or less control over).
When you decrease brain stress, it has huge rewards for:
- Improving Focus
- Improving memory
- Enhancing Motivation
- Working better under pressure
- Having ALL Day Energy without afternoon crashes
Turning Bad Stress Into Good Stress
It’s all about shifting your spot on the Curve called The Yerkes Dodson Law.
This was discovered in 1908 and tells us that we need some level of stress to perform at our mental and physical peak, but if the stress (in the brain) becomes too hard to handle, it turns into ‘toxic’ or bad stress and hampers our performance (ie it starts getting into burnout territory).
So Bad Stress — overwhelms the brain and body’s ability to cope, leads to burnout, fatigue, anxiety, sleep disruption and health problems, and inflammation
Vs. Good Stress — helps you adapt, enhances your resilience, called ‘EUSTRESS’
We can actually shift how much stress we can handle effectively by working on a brain level with how the brain copes and processes stressors, shifting our spot on the curve.
In other words we want to make more Good Stress to Become Ultra Resilient and to perform at our peak and thrive in modern life.
Unique Issues for Men & Performance
Men are different from women when it comes to the best supplements, neuronutrition and hacks that support mens health and hormone balance and prevent low testosterone, one of the things that even in mild forms can have a dramatic effect on men’s energy levels, mental focus and clarity, mood, libido and body fat percentage.
And despite what you may have heard, most men don’t need testosterone pills or shots to boost their levels without the potential dangers and side effects (ie infertility, mood swings etc) of testosterone injections/pills.
Unique issues For Women & Performance
Women’s hormone balance is also affected by stress and feeds back into affecting our mental clarity, emotional balance and stress tolerance levels and for women this balance changes at different times in our menstrual cycle. (Read more about women’s hormones and stress resilience here).
How to Hack Brain Stress
We used to think we were stuck with the abilities our genes gave us and that the effects of stress are unavoidable, so unless we have time to meditate hours a day or quit corporate life it’s something we have to live with.
The truth is, with modern brain science and neuronutrition as well as advanced brain neuro supplements that are made in high tech labs but are natural brain boosters, we can overcome flaws in our genes, perform better under high stress and pressure and enhance performance without giving up your city life and fast-paced lifestyle that is the reality for many of us.
Poor Focus & Concentration Have Specific Brain Signatures
Many people have experienced symptoms such as poor focus/attention, mental fatigue, low drive/motivation, increasingly bad hangovers as they age and inability to function consistently at your peak under pressure.
We can see these issues on brainmaps.
Low posterior Theta waves: This signature is a common signature seen in ADHD.
High Frontal Alpha: High alpha at the front of the head is a a sign of the executive centres / idling and not being active.
Low beta wave activity: Low beta, especially at the front of the head, is another indicator that the brain is having activating and focusing problems.
In addition, High Theta to Beta ratio and high High Delta to Beta ratio are also common poor concentration markers.
Neurofeedback Studies for Enhancing Cognitive Performance Metrics
These above patterns causing poor concentration are all brainwave patterns that can be changed using a combination of targeted brain nootropic supplements (ie ‘stacking’ or ‘brainhacking’, mindbody techniques and food based programs and neurofeedback brainwave training.
Problems with focus and concentration are just a ‘final common pathway’ and some people have different patterns causing these issues that need to be addressed from a brain level, which is now possible to do directly in ‘real time’ with neurofeedback brain training.
Canadian Researchers led by Dr. Tomas Ros wanted to see if neurofeedback would affect mind-wandering–the brain’s irritating tendency to get distracted and decrease focus (Ros et al., 2012). And it turns out it did—big time.
After a 30-minute session of alpha-wave training, participants displayed better cognitive discipline compared to a control condition that was given false feedback. After the training those who’d received neurofeedback had enhanced performance on a test of attention. Supporting Research
Neurofeedback has been proven to enhance memory through multiple effects on the brain’s learning and memory centre such as decreasing cortisol in the hippocampus, the centre for learning and memory and increasing the brains capacity to retain and categorize information and consolidate old and new memories. Supporting Research
Neurofeedback has been proven to increase grade scores and IQ scores and the ability to learn new things faster with better retention. Supporting Research
Enhanced Problem Solving Under Pressure
Ros et al. (2009) gave ophthalmic micro-surgeons eight 20-minute neurofeedback sessions, then tested them against those not given the training. After the neurofeedback training, surgeons were more accurate AND also 26% quicker. So not only did they get more precise they also were able to do it faster. Supporting Research
Adult symptoms of ADD/ADHD & Concentration
Neurofeedback helps you work better, for longer with more mental clarity and conquer attentional problems & ADHD. Training can increase a particular brainwave frequency seen in elite athletes, professional speakers and other peak performers’ called the Sensory Motor Rhythm, or SMR or ‘low beta’ and reduces excess ‘high beta’ which is detrimental to concentration and focus.
Training the brain towards increasing alpha + theta in neuromeditation sessions heals the sympathetic overdrive in the limbic system and hippocampus memory centres for better memory.Supporting Research
Neurofeedback is now recognized as a category A treatment for ADHD by the AMA (American Medical Association). Dozens of published studies in mainstream medical journals in both Europe and North America on the use of neurofeedback for ADHD have shown impressive results, including long term major academic performance and better grades, improved school and home behaviour and impulse control, anxiety, learning disabilities, reading comprehension, math skills, and social skills that last years after the final session of neurofeedback training.
Neurofeedback works for focus and concentration by adjusting neural networks that control attention processes and then change the way these networks work so that the changes last.
This is done through a process involving long term potentiation into stable (attractor) states within specific brain networks and areas.
Neurofeedback also creates in the brain an enhanced capacity to regulate ‘state changes’ and gated neural signals between brain attentional control areas, much like the operant learning process of learning to ride a bike only on a more complex level.
Basically it gives you more control of your mental and physical states over time and ability to ‘self regulate’ and ‘self correct’ after a stressor.
3 Tips to Start Handling Brain Stress Better for Mental Performance
- Plan your workday in advance and avoid checking email or messenger apps first thing. Don’t let your email inbox dictate your workflow, as this leads to fragmented focus, increased stress on the brain due to multitasking and prevents ‘deep work.’
- Build mini-meditation 1 minute breaks into your workday to do a quick ‘brain reset.’ Start with a simple breath-focused meditation and use a watch vibration alert as a reminder, add up how many you do in a workday-aim for 5 or more.
- Avoid the caffeine-alcohol cycle-ie coffee to perk up in the mid-afternoon followed by a glass of wine to ‘relax’ after work every day disrupts both your deep non REM sleep (caffeine) and decreases your REM dreaming sleep (alcohol) both of which lead to reduced stress tolerance and impaired cognition, problem solving and EQ the next day.
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