What are the root causes of disconnection between our mind, body and spirit? How can you understand your bio-rhythms and free yourself from patterns that block you from going deep into your healing practice?
For centuries, healers have sought to uncover the connection between mental and physical health. The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world greatly impact your biorhythms. This tells us that our thoughts, habits, and emotions produce either a negative or a positive affect on our mental and physical state.
In this episode of the Think Clever Podcast, Stas is joined by a doctor of integrative medicine, licensed acupuncturist, integrated physician and herbalist, and the owner of the Kai Wellness Center - Dr. Karina Klimtchuk. She unravels for us her journey of self-discovery and shares how you can embark on a journey of your own. Karina and Stas help you understand what causes disconnection between mind, body, and spirit. But more importantly, they supply you with practices and tools to help you attune your mind, spirit, and body connection; yield energy; raise vibrations; and honor your intuition.
Click here to listen to this week’s episode of the Think Clever Podcast and start your deep healing journey.
Abe Lincoln once said, "Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be."
And yet, it's not uncommon for people to think about happiness and find that even with all the focus and desire for happiness, it can still allude them. How is that possible?
If you've read my story on the site, you likely know that my passion for coaching and supporting others was born out of my own experiences in overcoming depression, finding my purpose and implementing various changes. One of those changes was re-wiring my brain to be happy and I wrote about the experience most recently for TheAscent.com
In the article, I offer a few strategies you can take to start re-wiring your brain. The transformation and change is possible with consistency, commitment and compassion for yourself. I'd love for you to comment below and let me know if you will try all of the techniques or just one. Perhaps you even have one of your own that has helped too.
There’s an excellent chance that you’ve heard about the importance of “a good night’s sleep” a million times, yet statistically we adults spend less time prioritizing this than we do work, socializing, even Netflix… Since it takes some time before we start noticing our health deteriorating as a consequence of sleep deprivation we look for short term solutions like loading up on stimulants in the morning to make up for low energy levels. It probably doesn’t help that our culture rewards people who work 16 hour days and sacrifice their precious rest so they can squeeze in more tasks in the day. However, all of this comes at a high cost and eventually your body will come to collect. So why not stay ahead of the game and instead listen to the signals your body gives you throughout the day? Sometimes we just need to pause, take a deep breath, and really start building that solid foundation: a good night’s sleep.
What can a good night’s sleep do for you?!
1. Improved concentration and productivity. Different aspects of your brain function depending on the quality of your sleep cycle. These are aspects like concentration, cognitive performance, and productivity. To have enhanced memory and proper problem-solving skills, you need quality over quantity of sleep.
2. Many of our hormones replenish during sleep. So if you struggle with anxiety, depression, brain fog, or fatigue - you may want to look into the quality of your sleep
3. Quality sleep is essential for the healing of damaged cells.
4. Sleep helps you recover from physical activities done during the day.
5. It helps boost your immune system.
6. It recharges your cardiovascular system and heart so you can go all in the following day.
What's a Sleep Cycle?
A sleep cycle consists of recurring phases - Light, Deep, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM). Light sleep takes up about 50% of our sleeping hours and that’s when we process memories, emotions, and improve metabolism. Deep sleep occupies about 10%-25% of our total rest every night and helps the body repair growth tissues, reset the hormone system, and restore its energy. REM sleep is what our mind needs to process and consolidate stress, emotions, and memories while we dream. This phase, which usually takes up between 20-25% of sleeping hours, is thought to be vital for learning new skills.
You may have experienced moments when you went to bed early, slept for 10 hours and still woke up feeling groggy. That’s why it is essential to measure the quality of your sleep to see if you may be missing out on some of the cycles. Fitbit, Oura Ring, or Apple Watch can help you do that. Collecting your sleep data for a week or two can open up a whole new world of insights into faster recovery and lifestyle upgrades.
What 's an ideal sleeping environment?
An ideal sleeping environment should be comfortable, quiet and cool. It should actually be a pitch black room. You should also have your phone in an airplane mode, and the Wifi turned off. This helps minimize the emission of radio frequencies from cellular phones. Personally, I keep my phone in an airplane mode the first hour of my day, so I can do my morning practice and have a few small victories behind my belt before I address the outside world. It may also be a good idea to look into a white noise machine, humidifier, and air ionizer for your room. And of course the best source of clean oxygen - plants!
How can you prepare for quality sleep?
Here are some tips you can use to help you enjoy rest like never before:
• Avoid setting your eyes on televisions, computers and/or phone screens a minimum of 90 minutes before sleep. And if you must, then wear the blue light blocking glasses, such as True Dark or Swannies.
• Take an Epsom salt bath with lavender to relax your nervous system and get rid of any stiffness in your body.
• Listen to soothing music
• Write a few thoughts in a Gratitude journal; this helps you summarize the day and focus on the positive events. It has been researched and reported that whilst the mind is in a state of gratitude, it cannot simultaneously feel stress nor worry.
• Take sleep supplements:
As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30% of people do not enjoy a perfect night sleep as a result of stimulants, anxiety, chronic pains, and allergies (amongst other things). To help overcome these conditions, there are a great variety of sleep support supplements; for example passion flower, valerian, magnesium, chamomile tea, and 5-HTP. You can find these supplements in a variety of different sleep-inducing products.
In conclusion, sleep is the most powerful rejuvenation tool our body is equipped with. It’s free and is available to all of us. USE IT! I hope this article will at the very least serve as a reminder of the importance of quality sleep for your mental, physical and social well-being. As you can see, some small changes and habit adjustments, should help you both enjoy your sleep, and make the most of it!
*DISCLAIMER: information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical advice
We give a good measure of time worrying about our bodies and making sure we look good, but very few of us peak underneath the hood. Even fewer look into the neurobiology of our brain and what it needs to function at its optimal level. With an increasing number of eye-opening documentaries, health coaches, and food bloggers, most of us already know that it is important to eat organic food that you prepare at home. By this point, many of us have eliminated dairy and gluten from our lives. And hopefully, we are all winning the battle with sugar. But there is still so much more we need to do if we want to be in control of our day and not become victims of fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, and anxiety.
The tasks of the human brain outnumber all other organs in the body even when combined. Our brain is working every second of the day, even during our sleep through the dreaming cycle. To function well, it requires massive amounts of energy and essential nourishment. It's vital that we fuel our brain with clean and healthy food.
This article contains suggestions on various lifestyle adjustments that worked for me and significantly improved my brain health and overall wellbeing. While going through some of these suggestions, it is essential to keep in mind: Bio-Individuality. Figure out what works for you. There are over 150 diets out there, and they are all valuable because they changed people's lives. Your responsibility is to figure out which approach works best for you. Which lifestyle adjustments make you feel like a Superman or a Wonder-woman and which drain your energy and make you want to stay in bed all day numbing yourself with Netflix.
Some of these action items are easy to implement while others will require discipline to change unhealthy habits. Even if you only use a few of these action items, I'm confident you will experience long-lasting energy levels, clearer mind, and more positive outlook on life.
Superfoods in Your Morning Smoothie
This category alone can create a huge positive impact on your wellbeing by increasing your energy levels, mood, focus, and confidence. Some of the most valuable superfoods to consider are cacao beans, maca, spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, alfalfa sprouts, kelp, ginseng, and goji berry. These and host of others are fantastic sources of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and other nutrients that will promote your wellbeing and transform your life forever. Aside from being very palatable, they are nutritious and rich in powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanidins. This specific antioxidant has positive effects on the brain, relieving and shielding it from stress, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The best way to consume all these ingredients is to put them in your morning smoothie. It will give you an immediate boost of energy and will keep you sharp throughout the day. Superfoods is a vast topic that needs a lot of attention, and if you want to learn more, I suggest following David Wolfe. He is a proponent of superfoods and has an abundant wealth of information on this topic and great recipes for your kitchen shenanigans.
Eat Your Mushrooms
For thousands of years, mushrooms have been used to keep our natural defense system up and maintain our wellbeing. They can also enhance our cognitive function. One of the essential mushrooms you may want to look into is Chaga, Lion’s Maine, Reishi, and Cordyceps. You can find plenty of research on these four mushrooms and their astonishing effects. They improve your sleep, reduce your stress levels, and strengthen your immune system.
Mushrooms deserve a separate article because there is so much to say about them. If you're interested in exploring more, I suggest following Dr. Andrew Weil and his research. You may explore further, following this link: https://bit.ly/2AKFGLg
Choose Your Fish Wisely
Mercury levels are on the rise, and much of it is in the fish we eat. Swordfish, Tuna, Halibut, and Sea Bass contain the most mercury out of all the fish. Salmon and sardines are a much better way to go if you are a seafood fan. Mercury is not something you want in your body because it has adverse effects on our nervous system and is closely related to chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and even depression.
Also, mercury level is something we need to consider choosing a fish oil supplement. You see, our brain is comprised of a lot of fat, and twenty grams of that fat is DHA fatty acid. The concentration of DHA is higher in the brain than in any other organ. If the DHA levels get low, (which are linked to our serotonin levels) we will inevitably suffer from emotional episodes and bouts of depression. Taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids helps address this problem and nourish our brain. However, because of concerns with the industrial pollution of our oceans, it is imperative to buy an Omega 3 supplement that has been through the process of molecular distillation to remove the impurities. These most dangerous contaminants are lead, mercury and the PCB’s. This process is the only method of eliminating cancer-causing PCBs. The oil that remains after this process is the purest you can buy.
Invest in a Good Water Filter
Even if you are drinking bottled water, there is a good chance you are consuming all kinds of pathogens on a daily basis. Arsenic, lead, fluoride, and even pharmaceuticals are the commons toxins in the water. After conducting plenty of research, I invested in a Big Berkey filter. It’s a great addition to my kitchen, and now I use clean water to make my tea, wash my veggies, and stay hydrated throughout the day. By the way, even if you buy your veggies and fruits from a farmer’s market, it’s a good idea to wash them with a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water to get all of the dirt and pesticides out of your produce.
Also, don’t forget that your body hydrates through its pores, so if your tap water shows high levels of pathogens, you should look into getting a shower filter as well. You can order a water test kit from Amazon and see if that’s something you need to look into for your home.
Get a Good Night Sleep
Good sleep is the best thing you can do so your body can detoxify and recover. It’s a key ingredient to living a fully optimized lifestyle. But it’s important to look into the quality of your sleep. How many of us spend our last hour on the phone, laptop, or binging on Netflix? I am guilty of that myself, but I found a way to work around this- Swanwick Sleep. Blue-light blocking glasses can help you reduce the negative effect of late night browsing. Research has shown that blue light exposure is the worst before going to bed because it tricks our pineal gland into thinking that it is still daytime, and there’s no need to produce melatonin.
It’s also important to monitor the quality of your sleep and the amount of time you spend in REM, Deep, and Light Sleep. All three of these stages are essential for your recovery – physically and emotionally. I use Fitbit at night to track the quality of my sleep. It also helps me develop a consistent sleep schedule where I get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
How is your Gut Health?
There is a close relationship between the brain and gut health. Some experts even call our gut - our second brain. Unfortunately, many of us dismiss digestion issues as a critical signal from our bodies and instead cover up these symptoms with digestive enzymes and anti-bloating medicine. We should pay close attention to our gut health. It is one of the best ways our body can send us messages that something needs attention.
You may be allergic to a particular type of food, and your body wastes a lot of energy going to battle with it every day to keep the inflammation down. Also, there may be a dis-balance of good and bad bacteria in your stomach, which leads to toxic waste overworking your kidneys and liver. If you are experiencing issues with digestion, try reducing your sugar and alcohol intake for a few months, so your body can build back up its defense system. Probiotics will help you build up good bacteria in your body much faster while prebiotics will help you feed that good bacteria.
Don’t Forget Your Supplements
Look into supplements that help strengthen your natural defense system and detoxify your body. As for me, I use Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Selenium (found in Brazil nuts), and an excellent Vitamin B complex, daily. N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine (NAC) and Alpha-Lipoic Acid are must-haves for people with a high level of toxic metals. Both of these supplements are essential in removing heavy metals from our bodies. Also, high-quality fish oil, Omega 3, offers terrific benefits for your brain, gut, and cardiovascular system. Gingko Biloba supplements are great for enhancing your memory, while caffeine supplements in small, carefully regulated doses can help improve your focus. Do remember to consult with your physician before you begin taking any supplements.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics (also often referred to as “limitless pills”) have been surging in popularity for the support they can potentially offer for brain wellness and functioning. These brain enhancing supplements can help improve mental energy and promote productivity – something that much appeals to students, professionals, and entrepreneurs, and just about anyone looking for peak brain performance.
Nootropics contain natural substances, nutrients, and herbal components such as caffeine, L-tyrosine, and L-theanine, which synergistically work to boost cognitive properties and stimulate the brain and the central nervous system. A healthy balanced diet is a must in one’s brain health agenda, but in some cases, it may not be enough to power up one’s brain power – it could also potentially use some help from supplements that work to enhance focus, energy, and wakefulness when and where it counts. Again, this is something you want to discuss with your physician to make sure this is something you should consider.
Cold Press Juices
When you do a juice cleanse, you will find that you feel great, clearheaded and light (in your mind and your body). You can get amazing results with juice cleansing, but the maintenance of those results, of course, is up to you. Do your proper nutrition research, make a plan, and stick to that plan.
Cold-pressed juices have tons of great benefits:
Improved cardiovascular health
Stabilization of bowel movements
Elimination of stored toxins
Better quality sleep
Stabilization of blood pressure
Nutrients available to the brain have a significant impact on the healthy functioning of our brain cells or neurons. Nutrients affect neuronal function either directly, being metabolized without precursors, or indirectly, by altering the production of other substances in the brain that determine brain cell function.
The billions of brain cells or neurons communicate via neurotransmitters — including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — that send signals through the brain’s complex of pathways. Brain function is determined in large part by the action of these chemical messengers. Losing mental agility in old age, for example, may result from the brain cells failing to communicate effectively. Proper brain nutrition influences the production and action of neurotransmitters. For instance, research shows higher levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in lab rats that are fed blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants. Dopamine, in turn, is essential for cognition, motivation, mood, attention, and learning.
Other examples of nutrients which affect brain function include tyrosine, an amino acid found in protein which also supports the action of primary neurotransmitters; the mineral magnesium, which can reduce hyperactivity and irritability; and omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve mood, attention, and alertness.
Nutrition has an enormous impact on how we feel, think, and function. Our emotions, our memory, our ability to concentrate and accomplish tasks, and hence our lives are heavily impacted by what we put into our bodies, be it food, nutritional supplements, or drugs.
Makes you think twice about eating that big mac or drinking that coke, doesn’t it? Makes you want to check the nutritional information of everything you buy at the grocery store, right? It makes you want to find out exactly what foods and supplements are beneficial for brain function and which are detrimental. You might think to yourself: what a drag! Well, the negative impact of ignorance on your brain is an even a more significant drag. Knowledge is power. Now go and use brain nutrition to empower your mind and your life!
*DISCLAIMER: information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical advice