Things you didn’t know about your brain

Mental health. It’s a tricky thing. We can’t see it, we can’t really define it, but when it’s there, it’s there. It’s a constant battle between yourself and yourself, and when not acknowledged you slowly let these feelings contain you. What is mental health? How does it start and how does our brain work when it starts to anchor in a sneaky thought?

What are emotions and feelings?

Emotions and feelings are both responses to circumstances. How we respond to different situations is completely individual and can be based on a variety of things such as our personality, past traumas, anxiety, or habitual thought patterns. This is why feelings are such a tricky thing because nobody will experience the exact same emotional response to the same situation. Why is this important to know? Because when you understand why and what triggers your feelings, it’s easier for you to stop yourself in your track and go like “ok queen (or king), this is why you’re feeling this way”.


Thoughts becomes habits.

I’m the shit. I’m the absolute bombshell of the world. People should feel blessed to be breathing the same air as me. Those are the words I want you to burst out to yourself every morning. And when you feel in doubt, I want you to repeat them even louder! Our thoughts are sneaky, and they are shapeable. A bit too easy to shape, to be honest. Once you start a thought pattern it stays to grow and all of a sudden you’ve created new connections in your brain to either the positive or the negative.

It’s hard to tell someone with negative thoughts and poor mental health to “think positive”. “Fake it until you make it”. Honestly, if you’re not begging for a slap across the face it might be the worst thing you can say to a person in a bad mental state. So how can you break free from current negative thought patterns?

Recognize them. You feel out of shape, maybe both mentally and physically. You’re isolating yourself or slipping back into bad habits. The first step is always to recognize this. And become okay with the fact that you’re not on your a game right now.

2-minute window. A thought lives in your brain rent-free for around 2 minutes. What you decide to do with this thought after that is up to you. You can either let it sit there and consume you or you can switch it to a setting completely different. Even if you don’t believe it as you start thinking it, keep it for another 2 minutes and let that thought let loose in your brain instead.

Journal to trick your subconscious brain.

I preach journaling from the bottom of my heart. It’s extremely underrated and everyone should be doing it like two years ago already. I’m not talking about writing a 6-page essay about your day every night, but take 5 minutes every morning and write down how you are feeling and what you want from the day ahead. While you’re at it, add in some positive affirmations as well! Something simple as this subconsciously sets your brain up for a successful day. If you wanted your day to be filled with laughter, you’re more likely to actually bust out a few laughs during that day.


Identify your triggers.

Our brain is smart. It remembers situations that caused anxious feelings and will hold on to them with all its power. Why? Basic survival. If dogs trigger your anxiety the brain will continue to feel this just so you should stay alert in case you know, you die. Triggers can come from anywhere and be literally anything. It’s not an easy thing to identify these, especially if you’ve been living with them for a long time. It all comes down to awareness. As soon as you can identify your trigger it’s easier for you to start the work to rewire your brain’s emotional response. As mentioned before, our brain is very flexible and shapeable – in fancier terms known as brain plasticity. Knowing this you have the power to shape your brain into new habits, new thoughts, and a new state of being. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s doable.

Why does the brain hold onto negative thoughts?

It’s easier to be anxious than to walk on happy-go-lucky clouds every day. We remember negative situations better than positive ones. Why is it so hard to just be happy? As I briefly mentioned before, it’s all about survival. Humans have evolved through a lot of stressful environments where our survival literally depended on how well we adapted to these environments. Because of this, we needed to know what killed our mates, and this has shaped our brain to hold on to anxiety, just as a survival mechanism. Today we don’t need this as much since we’re not as likely to be eaten by a bear. Instead, we attach anxiety to other habits such as work, social gatherings, past traumas, you name it. It sucks, I know. But, this can also be a comforting thing to know. When anxiety strikes it’s just your brain trying to keep you alive.


It’s okay to not be okay.

Mental health is no joke and if you’re seriously feeling very down and have been for a while, please talk to a professional. Today it’s more common than we think that people are walking around with anxiety and depression every day. The perfect filtered social media and the pressure to be so damn great all the time is not making our current environment an easy place for our brains. Turning to help is not a sign of weakness, actually the opposite. We need to normalize even the “smallest” mental issues as serious. Go talk to someone. Start talking about mental health amongst your friend group, and if they think you’re lame for doing this – tell them to fuck off. In a polite, friendly manner of course.

The brain on exercise

Exercise. A word, an action, a physical decision to create movement.We love it and hate it at the same time. Some people really hate it, and others really enjoy it. It’s a process of pain to pleasure. Something we, in this day of age need to learn and discipline ourselves to love.

When we think about exercise we usually associate it with weight loss or getting fit. A little spoiler alert, exercise is not the most effective way for weight loss. It actually makes you put on weight, but in the form of muscles though so it’s going to help your muscles burn more calories during rest. Diet is a crucial part in your results if you’re looking for weight loss.


Does this mean that you should boycott exercise? HELL NO! As mentioned, it helps you tone your muscles, increase your resting metabolic rate and it has a huge positive impact on other parts of your body. Not to mention your brain!! It’s activity time to crank up the cookie jar and see why exercise is so powerful when it comes to our brain.

Neurotransmitters – There are three specific neurotransmitters that exercise has a huge impact on, which will effect our body in a positive way.
Dopamine – Responsible for motivation and reward. The dopamine gives us motivation to focus on the reward, whatever it might be. When you brain is running low on dopamine you will feel, well, unmotivated to do pretty much anything. Exercise fires up this bad boy and makes it flow around like a kid at a rave.
Serotonin – This guy alters our mood. Low levels of serotonin leads to sadness, anxiety, and could be so bad to end up in depression. Yes, you guessed right, exercise will boost our serotonin levels as well!
Norepinephrine – Prepares our body for activity or to take action. Pretty necessary if you want to get shit done, or just survive in general. When you get scared your brain will produce a bunch of norepinephrine to get your body ready to take some action in case danger occurs. Exercise will increase these guys since it requires your body to get moving.

These are the holy trinity of mood boosters that our brain needs for us to remain happy, energized, motivated individuals. Exercise lights the fire up and creates a mood boosting party up in there.


You won’t forget shit –  When we learn new things our brains need to grow.  When we exercise our brain produces a protein called BDNF – Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Enough of this guy and we allow our brains to produce more neurons, improve their growth and protect them from cell death, which happens naturally as we age.

Stress out – And I mean like stress ooouuutt. Like adios amigos, bye bye lil fellah, see yah later alligator! When we get stressed a rush of cortisol is bombarded out in our body which is what leads to stress. Exercise reduces the amount of cortisol and will replace it with all these feel goody nice neurotransmitters instead. Isn’t that just lovely?!

Stronger heart – So you can spread more love to everyone around you! Yey! Okay, not really, but exercise will make your heart stronger and bigger. The heart is a muscle so it’s capable of some real gains. A stronger heart means that we get more blood an oxygen flowing around in our body which help us to absorb nutrients better and to keep the right amount of oxygen to our vital organs. This will increase the glow of our skin as well.


Physical activity should be incorporated at least three times a week for children who are in school learning, and it should also be a part of every grown ups work schedule. Not only will this promote healthier people, but it will also lead to better productivity which in turn will lead to better results, which equals more profit! Nobody can complain about getting more money. Am I right or am I right?

If you try to focus on exercise as more than just a tool to “look sexy af”,  it can be easier to actually get it done. You don’t need to run marathons every day to get the benefits exercise provides. Getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes three times a week will do the trick. Also, something is always better than nothing! A five minute brisk walk or a hard core dance session while cleaning is so much better than just sitting on your sweet booty all day. Boost your brain! Go get moving, RIGHT NOW!!

Feed your light bulb

You’re a smart ass, and you know it. But sometimes, even the smartest of asses can have brain fog, feel tired, and not be as sharp as they normally are. You know what I’m talking about, right?

It’s important and really helpful to be on your A-game all the time, or at least as often as possible. What you eat plays a huge role in your brain function, of course. Your gut and brain are really good friends, and they connect with each other on a deeper level. Our “second mini brain” is basically our gut, hence our “gut feeling”. Food plays a huge role in everything. Okay, food might not be the lead actor of the newest Marvel movie, but he is definitely the lead role in our bodies.

Blueberries – These guys are an army of antioxidants. Small, but deadly, in a good way. Blueberries, together with other berries are one of the most healthy things you can stuff your face with. Filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. Eat them daily! Slam dunk some on your morning granola, oatmeal, or straight up in your mouth.


Walnuts – With a shape similar to our brains, it’s a no brainer that walnuts are good for our thinker. They are an amazing source of plant based omega-3, vitamin E, fiber, and the healthy monounsaturated fats. Our brain loves this!!


Greens – Greens are just great for everything. They always top the lists of everything health related. They’re like the Drake, or Beyonce. Whatever they do, it’s just going to be good. Kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, grass. Okay, maybe not grass, that was a dry, stereotypical vegan joke. But, all our leafy greens contains a lot of vitamin A and K, plus a ton of fiber. They also slow down the process of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Avocado – Our brain is basically a little fat boll, and it needs the good fats to thrive! Avocados are another magical little fatty for our brain. Containing the helahty monounsaturated fats, it protects us against strokes, and with vitamin E and K it keeps our skin glowing. You can’t go wrong with avocados. Ever.


Beets – Not Beats by Dre, but the red, always staining your clothes kind of beets. These guys are one of the most healthy vegetables you can eat! They clean our blood form toxins, and increase the blood flow to our brains, which aids in mental stimulation. Beets are our brains hype man, and a pretty damn successful one.


Chocolate – Yass, bitch, yaaaasss!!! You are reading right! Chocolate is an amazing little antioxidant, which our brain obviously loves. But, just the dark kind. The chocolate made with only cacao beans, and cacao butter. No added milk fat, or sugars, or all that other crap. The darker you go, the better. Black guys are going, “oh hell yeah” right now (and so you should, because you guys are pretty gorgeous).


Turmeric – Another bad bitch. Turmeric heels everything. Know as one of the most ancient natural medicine, and still is, this magic root will slow down the aging of the brain, and keep your skin young and glowy. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is an antioxidant with amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Eat it together with black pepper for maximal absorption.


Green Tea – Another great antioxidant in liquid form. It slows down the aging of both your brain, and your body. And yes, matcha is definitely a green tea, and an extra powerful one for that matter.


Our brain pretty much thrives on antioxidants and good, healthy fats. The more wholesome foods we eat in general, the more healthy our body will be, and in turn, our brains as well. In the end it is all connected. A healthy body, is a healthy mind.