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Healthy Brain Habits


Feeding Your Brain:
Studies have shown that what we eat affects how we feel, how we think, and how much energy we have.

Memory, thinking, and attention are strongly influenced by food.
The most important nutrient for the brain is fat because the brain is actually made up of fat.  Fats that support brain health are monounsaturated fats and some forms of polyunsaturated fats, including the Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Protein is extremely   important to our brain function and learning.  It helps increase serotonin in the brain which improves feelings of well-being, hopefulness, organization, and concentration.

Move Your Body, Energize Your Brain:
Research shows that physical movement can enhance clarity, attention, and readiness for learning.  Physical movement increases oxygen flow to the brain, improving alertness, concentration, and receptivity.  Adding movement or physical actions to a learning activity increases recall.

Deep breathing and water are also  great brain energizers.  Deep breathing immediately brings more oxygen to the brain and encourages realization, improving  thinking and focus.  Water improves the electrical transmissions in the brain and nervous system, providing energy for learning and attention.

Words for the Heart
Every decision we make and everything we do is driven by our beliefs and by our emotions. Research shows us that there is physiological communication between the heart and the brain and that the thinking part of the brain is highly affected by the emotional part.  We also know that our words are very powerful. Feeling valued and in control will dramatically impact a person’s learning. Give specific comments to students about what you observe, enjoy, and appreciate about them.

  • Have student’s tell or write what they appreciate about themselves. True feelings of appreciation actually create chemical changes in the brain that empower us to have more clarity and calmness, a good combination for learning (and good health)!
  • Always keep in mind how powerful words are.  Negative words and comments can also trigger chemical changes in the brain that can stay with a student for many hours, disrupting learning and upsetting self esteem.
  • Validate students’ efforts and achievements during as well as after completing the task. Break tasks down into smaller, more easily achievable units as needed so students can feel successful often.
  • Help students see how far they have come by remembering where they began. This helps them to see and value their accomplishment.
  • Remember that a little success goes a long way. Pushing a resistant student in a negative way will likely get more resistance. But sincerely celebrating even the smallest success can make that same child sit taller and encourage him to try again.

At Pacific Learning Solutions, we find that integrative movements that cross the midline of the body are extremely helpful in bringing students to calm, alert, and a mentally and emotionally ready state for learning. We use  Balametrics. It is a very important part of training at PLS.  Call for more information

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