Are people behaving badly or in poor brain health?
How many times have we frowned upon people behaving badly? For millennia, the main lens we had to understand the brain was by observing behaviour. We have spent decades devising strategies to shift, nudge and change people's behaviour. Pause for one second, now imagine, you have a window inside the brain when someone is behaving badly. You would immediately see that the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex is not lighting up (Davidson and McEwen 2013). Then we see that the amygdala and hippocampus are going off like an alarm bell. These parts of the brain play a major role in bad behaviour, such as screaming at someone that cuts you off in traffic. We know that the prefrontal cortex is required for healthy brain function and plays a role in good behaviour. Healthy brain function can be measured through our executive functions (EFs). Strong EFs arise from the physical connections in the prefrontal cortex functioning and communicating well. When EFs are strong we maintain attention longer, remember what we are told and can manipulate mentally allowing us to follow instructions. This improves our ability to make short term decisions and long range plans, and most importantly we can say no to unhealthy things for ourselves. Strong executive function in the brain allows us to monitor ourselves and as a result prevent overreaction, or acting out, eating unhealthy food, and drinking too much. What is our collective responsibility with this new knowledge? Do we work out ways to increase the activity of the brain of someone behaving badly to bring the prefrontal cortex on-line or not? This is the philosophical dilemma we are facing as the new knowledge streaming in from brain science research is quickly changing our mind about what leads to good and bad behaviour and mental health disorders. The evidence is mounting that good and/or bad behaviour arises from the health of the underlying physical brain. We are born with a unique brain architecture. To put this into a different context. Let's think about when we are cooking and use a recipe. To prepare a meal we start with the recipe, follow the instructions, buy the ingredients, put them into an empty pot. After stirring the ingredients, we have made a beautiful chicken kiev. You are now asked to make fish and chips but this time you start with the meal you have prepared, the chicken kiev, rather than starting with a new recipe and the ingredients. How may you ask? Now to translate this to back to the brain’s architecture and people. People are born with a predetermined meal from a recipe built from generations of ingredients. This means when we are asking people to change their bad into good behaviour immediately, it is like turning a chicken kiev into fish and chips. It takes innovation, outside the box thinking, time and effort. Where do you start from? How neuroscience helps us understand how to change behaviour. Meet Molly and Maisy The fundamental structure of the brain is guided by an inherited blueprint or hardware, and we share this in common. Having a common hardware is important for basic activities like eating, drinking, and moving our bodies. What makes us unique is the software, or the parts that are plastic and coded from our life experiences. Such as the places we are born, parents, diet, love and attention we have received. Because our life experiences are varied, this means people have different starting blocks, there is spectrum that exists from a little to an extreme resilient neural network. This means that everyone handles stress differently. Now consider how this translates into differences in our ability to learn and succeed at school, in relationships, and across the lifespan. Let’s meet Molly and Maisy. Molly and Maisy are two students starting school for the first time. Molly comes dancing into the classroom on time, sits down, and is happily paying attention to her teacher. The teacher and classmates talk about Molly as being the smart, easy going and well behaved one. Next to Molly sits Maisy. She often arrives to school late, often while finishing a can of coke, and sometimes wearing different coloured socks. Molly strolls into the classroom, poking faces at her classmates, and ignoring her teacher. The students love Maisy because she makes them laugh. Her teacher thinks she has her work cut out for her with Maisy. Unlike Molly who has been reading to her parents since she was 3 years old, Maisy has just started reading. The teacher and classmates talk about Molly being the naughty one. Maisy is the poor student and she has just started school. For a moment, let’s turn to what’s happening inside the brain of Molly and Maisy. There is burgeoning evidence that the brain's physical structure or architecture is pre-determined and can be shaped by good and bad experiences. Adverse or bad life experiences tend to leave an indelible mark on the brain and impact on long-term mental health and illness across the lifespan. Healthy or good life experiences promote brain health that contribute to building stronger brain architecture that buffer toxic stress. If Molly and Maisy are in the playground and they trip over and scrap their knee, we would race them to the first aid station and attend to their knees. When we start to view Molly and Maisy through the lens of the quality of their brain health. How do you now view Molly and Maisy’s behaviour? The main impact of toxic stress is on the prefrontal cortex, the area at the front part of the brain that drives our executive functions (EFs). The components of EFs that are important for success in health, career and life are attention, inhibition control, and working memory. If we are born with a brain architecture that is impacted by stress over a long time the parts of the brain that support EFs are likely not as strong as someone who has come from a loving and supportive home. Let's return to Molly and Maisy and think about the differences in their life experiences and how this impacts their ability to sit still in class, listen to instructions, and have "good behaviour". Think about having the ability to shine a light on activity in the prefrontal cortex of Molly and Maisy. What do you think you would see? Would you think about the impact of Molly and Maisy's life experiences on their ability to learn, sit still and behave well. How do we translate this knowledge into understanding and actions that would benefit both Molly and Maisy brain health at home, school and for the rest of their life? The good news for Molly and Maisy, we are learning tools to harness the brain’s plasticity. This is ripe avenue of research and it is being shown that physical exercise is one of the best ways to improve EFs and brain plasticity. There are many others including nutrition and cognitive brain training. By promoting brain health and executive brain function we lessen the cumulative impact of "toxic stress" on the ability of the brain to learn and as a consequence facilitate good behaviour. How to tap into the brain's plasticity over the lifespan The hidden potential of the brain for change has been known for a long time dating as far back as Lao Tzu and Buddha. In fact, the Buddhist monk’s brains have now been scanned by Dr Richard Davidson’s research lab. They discovered that mediative practices expand parts of the top part of the brain- the prefrontal cortex- making them less impulsive and more able to handle stress. The famous author Viktor Frankl who wrote, “Man’s search for meaning” survived the holocaust concentration camps in the 1940’s. He writes about having a strong mindset combined with purpose that helped him survive the horrific treatment and conditions compared with others that did not survive. He was describing how he developed a form of brain training to train his mindset to not only cope but to thrive beyond the camps.
The Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof got his nickname “The Iceman” by breaking several records related to cold exposure including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle barefoot, and standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for more than 112 minutes. Wim Hof discovered neuroplasticity to become more resilient. From this discovery, he went on to create the scientifically validated Wim Hof method, that involves simple techniques that include breathing, ice exposure, and conscious control of his body temperature and immune system. Wim Hof has now trained thousands of people around the world with his simple techniques, published in top scientific journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. There is growing evidence that exercise, meditation, nutrition and cognitive brain training can be applied to improve executive functions. Imagine when the view of the brain is more akin to being like a muscle and needs daily training and is incorporated into physical exercise programs. Taken together understanding and assessing the health of the physical architecture of the brain will amplify our understanding of why people do what they do, both good and bad. By only paying attention to behaviour without considering the underlying health of the brain then we are missing a great opportunity to improve people’s lives. Neuroscience and technology have revolutionised our understanding of what drives bad behaviour. The trick is improving the health of the brain first.
BIG IDEAS flow when they are simple and engage people
What does it take to turn an idea into a big idea that captures people’s imagination and then changes global behaviour? How did Airbnb and Uber become iconic global businesses compared with MySpace and Couchsurfing? How did Watson, Crick and Franklin solve the chemical structure of DNA through the design of the double helix compared to hundreds of scientists before them? A spectacular example of how to engage people in a BIG Idea is the recent UK exhibit at the Dubai World Expo. The big idea was to create an exhibit to showcase UK innovation highlighting artificial intelligence and the space sector. Es Devlin is the artist and designer who created the UK exhibit called the PoemPavilion that coalesces AI technology, architecture, engineering, neuroscience, music, and poetry into an immersive exhibit that engages senses and embeds a collective sense that humanity will create a better world. Every visitor to the Pavilion donates a word that is fed into an AI-generated collective poetry algorithm. The word is written into couplets by an algorithm trained on 15,000 poems from more than 100 British poets. The genius lies in how it is possible to design a building that interacts with its visitors. Upon entering the exhibit, the donated words appear on lit-up tiles that are part of the building, and the words are part of a collective AI-generated poem. People can sit and become engaged immediately in the display, eagerly searching for their donated word. The shared humanity is palpable as hundreds of people sit together engaged in both the building and the collective AI-generated poem. After leaving the exhibit, the donated word appears on the front of the building. It becomes part of a poetic ‘Collective Message’ projected onto the front of the Pavilion’s cone-shaped structure. You may not be able to attend the Dubai world expo, but you can be part of a poetic collective message by experimenting at the boundaries of AI and human collaboration at https://artsexperiments.withgoogle.com/poemportraits designed by Es Devlin in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture and creative technologist Ross Goodwin. It originated from a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 2017. The big idea behind the Poem Pavilion is a human ‘Collective Message’, inspired by Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Message, which asks: “If we discover other civilisations out there, what message could we send that represents humanity and planet Earth?” My word was neuroscience, and my AI-generated contribution to the poetic collective message became, “your neuroscience have been delicate and lovely, the commons of the soul are still”. The big idea is distilled into a simple message.
What word would you donate?
Beat stress to loose kilos
Retraining the brain to beat stress is the key to losing weight and keeping it off. There’s overwhelming evidence that many people who lose weight through dieting quickly regain it. This is because people have learned to ignore their brain – an organ which has been dictating behaviour since prehistoric times – and have accepted emotional eating that comes with living an over-stressed lifestyle, according to Professor Selena Bartlett from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. Diets can in fact make us fatter and more stressed, says Prof Bartlett “When we are stressed our brain seeks pleasure and that’s the problem,” says Prof Bartlett. And the more stress you experience, the more your brain seeks pleasure to counter it. Choosing to beat stress in order to loose weight has long been advocated by US neuroscientist, Dr Caroline Leaf. Stress, like real food, is not inherently bad – it makes people alert and ready for action. But it depends on how a person reacts to stress that determines the outcome of a situation and in this case weight loss, according to Dr Leaf. “Thoughts are real things that occupy mental real estate,” she said during her 2015 TEDx talk on the power of our thoughts. If a person chooses to react wrongly to a challenging situation, they enter stage two of the stress reaction. “During this stage, high levels of cortisol circulate in the blood for extended periods of time, in turn contributing to prolonged high blood sugar that can also lead to insulin resistance, pre- diabetes, and weight gain, since prolonged high levels of cortisol lead to the accumulation of fat instead of fat breakdown. “In this toxic situation, fat tends to accumulate around the middle of the body and is a risk factor for heart disease,” writes Dr Leaf. In fact, prolonged, high levels of cortisol can lead to Cushing’s Syndrome – characterised by fat accumulation around the middle and back of the human body. The good news is that it’s possible to override the way the amygdala – the emotional part of our brain – responds to stress, says Prof Bartlett. “When the rational brain is in charge; sustainable weight loss is possible,” she said. PROFESSOR BARTLETT’S FIVE STEPS TO HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN: 1. Be compassionate to your brain – it is an amazing organ that can be severely damaged by stress, especially in childhood while it’s developing. 2. Get to know the brain – an awareness of how the amygdala – an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobes – drives your behaviour is critical to overriding unhealthy impulses. 3. Identify when your amygdala is taking over in stressful situations and acknowledge when you’re tempted by the urge to eat comforting food, like sugar. 4. Replace food and alcohol with deep breathing, stretching, walking, running or any movement that feels good. 5. Reduce sugar and alcohol intake and increase cardiovascular and high intensity exercise – these will help to heal your brain of its stress-induced damage and build a strong, healthy body.
Becoming aware of the slow silent foods and drinks that harm us
With Dr James Meucke AM Imagine knowing that there are ingredients in food and drinks that when consumed over time are slowly and silently leading toward type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and in the worst case blindness. In this powerful episode with Dr James Muecke AM who is the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and an Adelaide-based eye surgeon, we discuss how a poor diet is the leading cause of death. The startling understanding is that type 2 diabetes may be preventable through changing our diet. A pivotal moment happened for James when his patient Neil, woke up and was blind in both eyes, as a result of his type 2 diabetes. Further still, even if you have type 2 diabetes, imagine knowing that it may be possible, in some cases, to change your diet and have remission?
James is Australian of the Year for 2020 for his 32 years of humanitarian work. He is using this powerful platform to raise awareness of our poor diet, laden with sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods, which is devastating the health of Australians. Not only is he improving awareness in Australia through his influence with government and other organisations. He and I discuss how we were both addicted to sugar and what we did to reduce it and improve our health.
Dr James Muecke here graduated with Honors from Adelaide University Medical School in 1988. Following his internship at Royal Adelaide Hospital, James lived and worked as a volunteer doctor in Kenya in 1989. After completing ophthalmology training in Adelaide in 1995, James worked as an eye surgeon in Jerusalem for 12 months. James furthered his expertise with a Fellowship in Ocular Oncology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He returned to Adelaide in 1998 where he has been a Visiting Consultant and Senior Lecturer at Royal Adelaide Hospital (retired 2020) and Women’s & Children’s Hospital (retired 2016). James established the Ocular Oncology Units at these two centres upon his return. James has taught the diagnosis and management of eye cancer in ten countries in Asia. He founded not-for-profit organization Sight For All in 2008, turning his boundless energy into a fight against blindness in the Aboriginal and mainstream communities of Australia and many of the poorest countries of the world. Sight For All’s comprehensive and sustainable projects are now impacting the lives of over one million people each year. His commitment to social impact and humanitarian endeavors has earnt him a number of awards including an Order of Australia in 2012, the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Leadership Award in 2013, and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur for Australia in 2015. Degree of Doctor of the University (honoris causa), University of Adelaide, 2021 Australian of the Year , 2020. South Australian of the Year , 2019. University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Award , 2019 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Australia, Social Category), 2015 Finalist, Pride of Australia Medal , 2014 President’s Leadership Award for blindness prevention in developing countries - Australian Medical Association, 2013. Rural Health and Wellbeing Award for service to Aboriginal eye health in South Australia. Member of the Order of Australia for the provision of eye health services to Asian and Australian Aboriginal communities, 2012. Learn more about Dr James Muecke AM here.
Conversation with James Rhee about why love and kindness at work matters.
Most people would say love has nothing to do with money or work or joy. Have you considered what is their money: joy: love equation? What ratios would you devote to each of these. If you are like the majority of people in high performing organisations, you would rate love as the least important. James Rhee now has 1 million views on TED, for his kindness at work talk. This is not the “being nice” version of kindness nor the “Love Eat Pray” version of love. This is about the human need to be seen and heard and the feeling of safety generated that leads the people and their brain health toward creativity, innovation, and purpose. James is an expert at building back businesses, especially when they on their knees, through optimising the unmeasurable, “goodwill” of its people and translating this into the balance sheet. In the process of turning around Ashley Stewart, a near bankrupt, consumer women’s clothing brand for plus size, moderate income, black women. He captured “goodwill” by operationalising our collective human ambition to be better. In this interview, we discuss businesses that operationalise “goodwill”, through kindness and love toward their people. In contrast, workplace stress, does completely the opposite, as Forbes recently published an article showing the main reason people want to leave their job is an awful boss or a toxic and stressful workplace. Similarly, people remain in jobs because they feel appreciated, thanked, and feel part of driving the purpose of the business. Goodwill pervades every aspect of the business, and it is almost akin to that feeling you have when you are part of something much greater than yourself. Some refer this feeling to “energy or soul or spirit”, words not often used in business. The synergistic benefit derived from the “combined human capital” of a team behind its leader is notoriously difficult to measure, and unfortunately, when it leaves, it is felt fast and furious. James has learnt that authentic leaders, not only lead by example, but capture and bottle the essence of the communal nature of human capital. He discusses how kind people across a business, raise the whole business to unforeseen levels, drive thriving processes and balance sheets and most importantly build better future leaders. We talk about ways to transform the inevitability of a future being a technology driven and much-touted universal base income, a concept of providing a low payment to everyone, due to the disappearance of work to giving individuals opportunities and knowledge to grow businesses that build back better Societies. Within each of us, lies a renaissance opportunity springing forth in the post-pandemic 2022’s. James was given a red helicopter when he was 5 by a father of his friend at his school, to say thank you to James giving his son something to eat at lunchtime. The red helicopter materialised “goodwill” and gave James his most important lesson for life, and that is, how to make tangible the intangible nature of human capital component of “goodwill. James is the founder of Red Helicopter, a media EdTech start-up to accelerate business school education for all, he teaches at MIT Sloan, and Howard University. The first assignment the students are given is to answer the question: what their optimal money is, joy, love equation for life. What is yours? Join us on an exciting episode #79 of the Thriving Minds podcast.
Day #13 Brain Health Challenge. You are one ride away from a good mood.
If you're looking to challenge yourself and try something new, I encourage you to start small and be consistent. Don't expect overnight success, but rather focus on the process of learning and improving every day. And most importantly, enjoy the journey! Destin, from getting smarter everyday did an experiment where he tried to ride a "backwards bike" which had its handlebars reversed, making it turn in the opposite direction. It took him 8 months to learn how to ride it! This experiment shows what it takes to make our brains learn and adapt to new challenges. And it also shows the importance of consistency and patience when it comes to learning new things. To understand the power of brain health and fitness. Try any of brain health challenges Try any of the 31 day brain health challenges You can also invite them to leave a comment below your post.
Designing teams that flow
Imagine exiting a train station and rounding the corner in an urban part of London for the first time, on your own, without knowing a single person to start studying in a Design School after growing up in a small town. This is exactly the unlikely path taken by Lisa Scharoun, now Professor and Head of the School of Design at QUT. This never occurred to her growing up as one of 5 children in the middle of rural U.S.A. As Steve Jobs famously quoted, you can only join the dots looking backwards. What comes to your mind when you hear the word design? At first, it invokes fashion, architecture, and iPhones. Then, after talking with Lisa on the Thriving minds podcast , it became clear that expert design is the gateway that provides the simplest solution for complex problems. For example, it was the discovery of the design of DNA, the double helix, consisting of two strands that wind around each other like a twisted ladder that led to the scientific and genomics revolution. The simple design was discovered in1953 by a team of scientists putting together the pieces of a puzzle built by hundreds of scientists, starting with Friedrich Miescher in 1869. Watson and Crick, with the help of Rosalind Franklin, and others, used cardboard cut-outs on a table of the individual chemical components of the four bases (AC TG) and other nucleotide subunits that make up the chemical structure of DNA. Watson and Crick shifted molecules around on their desktops. It took a team working together inflow to discover the double helix structure of DNA built by nature’s simple design. Together they solved one of the most complex scientific problems, being the way in which all living forms are connected to each other (see Pray et al., 2008). What could be more complex than designing teams to achieve flow states? The ability of team members together to flow arises from a complex array of small daily decisions each member has made. From choices of how to get up in the morning, amount of exercise, and the food being eaten. In Lisa’s case, her life flowed from exchanging letters with a family friend at 10 years old in Germany into studying and working across the USA, UK, China, Singapore, and Australia and becoming International expertise in design. Her team flow was designed by creating a collaborative environment with a mantra of ‘change comes by design’. They created a set of promotional posters for the Olympic Village that highlighted the history and significant contributions that Australian Paralympic athletes have contributed to the sport. This set of posters, created for the London 2012 games, has subsequently been showcased at the US Embassy in Canberra as well as at every subsequent Paralympic Games. As we enter the post-pandemic COVID-19 era, the dominant design we face is how to live sustainably within an economic model that demands consumption and growth. A design solution to this complex puzzle is greatly needed, for example, how would we re-wild the Earth as proposed by David Attenborough. Please join Lisa and I as we discuss how to design teams that flow. Citation: Pray, L. (2008) Discovery of DNA structure and function: Watson and Crick. Nature Education 1(1):100
Escape from stress
With Sarrah Le Marquand, Editor in Chief Stellar and Body and Soul Magazine. There is no doubt, to be human right now is not easy. It is almost impossible not to feel the shift underneath in the world order and the feeling is palpable. For us in Queensland and NSW, this is on top of catastrophic floods, and the pandemic. It is OK to be human and feel the suffering. It is also OK, to escape for a few minutes into worlds that seem far removed from danger, clean-up, masks, and strife. This is the beauty of creating worlds for others to escape to. Join us today with Sarrah Le Marquand is the founding editor-in-chief of Stellar, the country’s most read Sunday magazine, and also editor-in-chief of Body+Soul, Australia’s leading health media brand. Sarrah is also a weekly panellist on the Today show and is a regular co-host of The Project. She has appeared on Sky News, Q&A, The Drum, Studio 10, The Morning Show, Sunrise and is a frequent guest on ABC Radio. In 2021 she was announced as the first ever ambassador for Women’s Community Shelters, an Australian charity providing crisis accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Thank you Sarrah for everything you are doing to help others have some relief. This is the guest on Episode #82 on the Thriving Minds podcast.
How exercise helps us remember better and extends our lifespan
With Dr Tara Walker, neuroscientist I can hear you now. I don’t run, or I am too old to run or the classic, I want to protect my knees, and the list goes on. This is exactly what I use to think. Exercise is the one thing shown across several studies to help the brain produce new cells or neurons, also called neuroplasticity. Dr Tara Walker, a neuroscientist, at the Queensland Brain Institute has spent the last 20 years trying to work out how running helps the brain’s memory centres function more effectively. In a recent high-profile journal, she and her colleagues published a remarkable discovery, that a trace element, selenium, they found in the blood leads to the production of more brain cells in the part of the brain, called the hippocampus, that helps us learn new things and remember old ones. Selenium can be found in nuts, grains and fresh fruit and vegetables and particularly in brazil nuts. For example, one brazil nut a day is enough. Having brazil nuts does not help and can lead to problems. As much as we might like to take a supplement rather than run or exercise. There will never be enough benefits conferred from supplements that are equivalent to exercise. The main reason is that exercise gets the heart pumping blood and oxygen to nearly every place in the body and keeps the heart and body fit. It activates skeletal muscle that helps with insulin sensitivity and diabetes. The benefit list goes on and on. There is a lot of debate about how much exercise is the right amount. Can you do too much exercise? The right prescription of exercise has not been worked out. But there is no doubt that some form of movement everyday matter to stay healthy. For those of us not able to walk or run, then we can move our arms. If this is not the case, then we can learn something new, like a language, or meet new people. The brain needs a lot of novelty, and learning to stay healthy. Dr Walker has gone one step further than many of us and that is to work out through experiments how exercise improves factors in the blood that leads to changes in the brain. This was ground-breaking research. The most surprising discovery was just how much memory is improved with aging from adding exercise and the supplement, selenium. This leads to the idea that what you eat matters to getting the brain benefits from exercise. Dr Walker also didn’t think she could run. She was a swimmer when she was young. But by taking small steps, she slowly built up to running. She thought a 10km fun run was her limit, but then came the half and full marathon and now she is training for a 60 km trail run in the mountains in Brisbane. While she runs, her best ideas come, and this is how she decided to examine the blood of animals exercising to discover that proteins related to selenium are changed. This was the beginning of an 8-year project to demonstrate how exercise changes the brain. It takes a village running together to make breakthroughs in neuroscience. What amazing work, and how lucky are we to interview her on episode #80 of the Thriving Minds podcast.
How to start a brain healthy conversation
Imagine our communities learning how to start healthy conversations about the brain, in the same way, as we would talk about where we went on vacation. The stigmatization of mental health and illness left the brain being outsourced to a few people. We have tended to focus our efforts on all the things that have gone wrong. The main problem, we cannot change the past. One thing for certain, we can learn a few tricks today and going forward. The first thing to start thinking about, is the brain has untapped potential. Because in the past the brain has been viewed as weak, we have been afraid to talk about the brain to our family and friends. This is changing. We have entered the decade where brain imaging technology has allowed the brain to be displayed for us to see inside it. Try experimenting with the brain's plasticity, and attempt to train it, in a similar way to training other muscles in the body.
Try a new type of conversation, rather than focus on stress and your worries and problems, reframe the conversation to an exciting healthy brain conversation. It may be as simple as: Guess what I did this morning when I woke up? And lead with something like: I looked out the window, into nature, and thought about 3 things I am grateful for, then I did 2 minutes of deep breathing exercises. I noticed that when I directed my attention in this way. I felt a lot better compared to the previous week. I have come to see that I can control what my brain is paying attention to. Before this, I would reach for the alarm on my phone, and then immediately turn my attention to the latest bad news, and then social media. I did not realize that a simple activity like thinking about where my brain is paying attention, can have either a major positive or negative impact on the rest of the day. Learning how to train my brain, with a simple change in my morning routine, was simple but not easy to do. It took me a few weeks for it to become my new normal routine. This change to brain health and fitness in our conversations, focusses on the power of the brain and the control we have over it. Everyone has the opportunity to learn how to become the boss of their brain. Try it and see. Let's make brain health become everyone's business