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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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February 2012 Publisher Letter

Jan 30, 2012 10:32AM

Please join us this month as we focus on how to keep our minds nourished, healthy and functioning in the fine-tuned, self-sustaining mode our Creator intended. What is true for other parts of our body is just as true for our brain; this vital organ must be continuously fed—mentally, physically and spiritually—in order to function optimally for as long as possible.

We can enhance, strengthen and grow our mental capacities and abilities in myriad ways. Some of my stimulating favorites include reading, problem-solving and figuring out tricky situations and prayer. Note that periodically accessing wholly new challenges is key to mental flexibility. Such mind exercises keep neurotransmitters firing and work to rebuild cells, allowing the brain to properly communicate with itself, our Creator and the rest of the world.

We must also furnish our brains with nutrients; just as we fuel our bodies in preparation for strenuous physical activity, we need to feed that which houses our thought processes and ultimately, every individual movement and action. Because the brain is made up largely of fat, it is important to sustain it by maintaining healthy fats (emphasize healthy) in our diet. Some of my favorites include avocado, fish flush with omega-3 fatty acids, and a special treat of raw nuts and seeds.

What else sustains mental health? Lisa Marshall’s Healthy Kids article, “How a Brain Grows,” hits it on the head (pun intended) with three little words: “Hooray for recess.” Children love a recess in the midst of everyday busyness with good reason.

I ask: Why not make recess a mandatory part of our day, as well? I’ll bet that, as adults, our mental clarity would improve and our brains could function better if we granted them a regular rest and play period.

Effectively unplugging necessarily involves spiritual timeouts, as well. When a car battery runs down, you plug it into the charger to regenerate its oomph. Just so, when we commune with our Source, we feel better, more centered and at peace, more aware of infinite solutions and possibilities for good. Whether on the athletic field or in the game of life, the rule of thumb for operating at prime is: fuel and recharge and train your body properly and then… rest. Rest in order to sidestep a potential injury; rest to enable peak performance.

This month’s articles carry actionable ideas to keep you in tip top shape, including, “Exercising to Best the Blues,” “How to Improve your Snooze” and “What’s Local, Organic and Delicious? Milk.” Of course, as our cover counsels, remember to laugh as you go about loving both your fellow citizens and our mutual home of Planet Earth, a magnificent gift that sustains us all.

Starting today, why not give our mind a rest in order to avoid a ‘mental injury’? Perhaps we would all experience a little less memory loss and much less stress and gain a lot more life!

To healthy minds, bodies and spirits!

Bernice Butler, Publisher

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