Prevent Burnout: Seven Key Factors
7 Key Wellness Factors
Supercharge your inner spark
Try to get to sleep before 11 pm at night and reduce exposure to blue light - TV, Smartphone screen, computer screen - in the 2 to 3 hours before bed. By doing so, you (a) allow melatonin to release and create drowsiness, (b) have more chance of entering a deep sleep to allow your brain to restore with astrocyte "cleaning" of the brain, and (c) you align with the circadian rhythm resulting in better mood, less anxiety, and better memory the next day. Sleep at least 7 hours a night, as 5 hours or less a night can lead to cognitive impairment equal to driving impaired.
Exercise boosts energy, endorphins, serotonin, and BDNF. Movement resets your body chemistry. More mitochondria are produced, and "autophagy", ie destruction, of unhealthy cells is increased. Sweat has been proven to release excess molecules from the body. These excess molecules include phthalates and bisphenol A - these are endocrine disruptors and we get them from food containers and beauty products. Exercise also helps puts your body in "rest and digest" mode which is the opposite of "fight or flight" mode that we are often in at work or in stressful situations.
80 to 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut, not in your brain. So, it definitely matters what you eat, and how the "ecology" of your gut is balanced. Other brain chemicals, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA are also produced in the gut, more than the amount created in the brain. In North America, we consume over 290 pounds of sugar per year, and sugar may be linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Yet sugar is difficult to stop eating because it is more addictive than morphine. It also quickly raises serotonin, but then quickly depletes serotonin. You may already do this intentionally, but consider doing it intentionally: intermittent fasting. When you fast for about 8 hours every few days, easiest done by not eating in the morning, then you (a) increase BDNF which helps the brain grow, and (b) slow disease processes.
4. BRAIN HEALTH
Stress increases cortisol, and cortisol increase leads to an imbalance of testosterone and progesterone. High cortisol is also associated with earlier aging of the skin, hair loss, and loss in brain cell branches and connections - these can grow back with relaxation and exercise. Do you know your brain needs rest? You actually can't just be "on" all the time. Those who try to power through work for hours without stopping actually end up making more mistakes. Give your brain a rest every hour or so, just shut the screens off, go look out the window, gaze at the ocean or other body of water, for a couple minutes. By daydreaming, you enter an alpha rhythm brainwave state that allows your brain to recharge.
The way you think about things is directly related to your success. More and more, research shows that "emotional cognition" subconsciously directs motivation, decision, and how much self control you have. You can increase your success by practicing mindfulness with deep breathing to start to "see" your emotions. You then become more aware of how your emotions affect your logic. Wellness psychotherapy and coaching can get you that keen edge on your day, your career, your lifestyle and ability to seize opportunities. Psychotherapy helps you rewire your brain for success.
Your brain emits a weak magnetic field that can be altered with a magnetic field that is placed near the brain. New studies show that magnetic fields can re-wire people with addictions to stop cravings. Our heart emits a magnetic field that is more powerful than the brain. So, maybe, changing how you feel in your heart, by focusing on compassion, kindness, and gratitude, can rewire you into a better frame of mind. Mindfulness and heart math are powerful tools to make this happen.
Nature is powerful. The ocean calms us through its colour, the rhythm of the waves, possibly through negative ions, and heals skin and hair with its salt and minerals. Forests release aromatic particles called "phytonocides" that boost immune function, including immune cells that kill cancer. So next time you feel run down, commit a day off to a hike, a forest walk, a beach soujourn, or a retreat by the ocean.