When was the last time you felt truly happy and whole, clear-minded, rested, and deeply connected to yourself?, with people and with the world?
If you have been a workaholic for a long time, have trouble sleeping or are chained to your digital devices, your brain most likely needs a ‘tune-up’, according to Drs. David and Austin Perlmutter, father and son, and specialists, from different angles, into the ins and outs of the human mind and behavior.
David Perlmutter is a neurologist, fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and a renowned researcher of neurodegenerative conditions. Austin is an internist and his academic interests focus on studying the effects of burnout, depression and the management of chronic diseases.
“Modernity offers us infinite opportunities to satisfy our desires, but in a world saturated with screens, immersed in a routine that prevents us from feeding, resting or exercising properly, our brain fights a tough battle,” they explain. And “the result is that we live feeling lonely, anxious, depressed … and prone to disease and being overweight,” they stress.
That is why they created a plan to detoxify, cleanse and strengthen our brain and reconnect with the prefrontal cortex, a part of our brain mass that is crucial in decision-making processes and the ‘cornerstone’ of cognitive agility.
(Also read: Ten tips to relieve stress in the pandemic)
It is not about eliminating technologies from our lives, but about finding a new balance and changing the use of devices
This hands-on program is described in a joint book entitled ‘Clean Your Brain’, based on the latest scientific findings. The plan has two basic components: reducing digital distractions and living a life closer to nature. And the promise of the Perlmutter Method is a calmer, fuller, happier and healthier life and “regain control of our brain.”
“You have to establish barriers between our brain and the incessant influence of digital distractions. It is not about eliminating technologies, but about finding a new balance ”, they explain. “By doing this, we will get what we need from technology and limit its ability to hijack our time and our brains.” And to achieve this they propose to implement the following actions:
1. Review and disable notifications non-essential (the ‘apps’ for occasional use and email, among others) of the mobile phone and the computer. This will free your mind and allow you to focus on the most relevant tasks.
2. Check and delete unnecessary applications of the telephone.
3. Activate the ‘do not disturb’ function by default the cell phone and the computer.
4. Start using ‘airplane mode’ during meals and important conversations, and also while you sleep.
5. Set your devices to prevent them from interfering with your sleep. Activate the night mode feature to reduce blue light exposure at night, and if your phone doesn’t have that feature, download a night mode app.
6. If social media is not essential for your business and your life personal, consider refraining from using them or substantially limit the time you spend on them. If you must use them, determine the minimum amount of time you need to meet your goals and schedule it as part of your day.
7. Reserve specific periods of time each day to reply to messages text, emails, and phone calls – and stick with them. Observe these limits at all costs.
8. Start reducing the time you spend watching television. It’s a great opportunity to catch up on books, conversations, and even audiobooks and podcasts that promote mindfulness and cognitive growth.
9. Eliminate any online purchases that is not essential.
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And give yourself 30 minutes a day with nature
Being in contact with nature has been shown to significantly lower stress levels, and while researchers are still trying to determine precisely how long we need to spend in contact with nature to reap these benefits, Perlmutter doctors add to the most recommended average: at least half an hour a day.
“Nature is within everyone’s reach if we make the effort to go outdoors; and even in urban environments it is possible to enjoy its benefits. And if you have no other option, just leave the office or house and take a walk while observing the landscape ”, they point out.
His recommendation is to take a slow walk in which you take time to appreciate the diversity and complexity of nature, whether you are at the beach, in a park, or walking around your neighborhood. “Find a corner in a nearby park that attracts you and spend some time enjoying it,” they propose.
(Also read: ‘Burned-out’ worker syndrome: what it is and how to cope with it
The key, they insist, is to try to relate consciously with nature: “to register with all the senses the sounds, landscapes and aromas of the plants that surround us”, they advise.
In addition, there are many things to do outside, such as meditating in the park, inviting a friend to chat for a picnic, bringing a book, drawing pad, or journal, or attending a practical meditation class. , tai chi or yoga.
“The idea – they finish – is to open up to the multiple benefits of being close to nature, which implies silencing the cell phone and paying full attention to the beauty of the natural world around us.”
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MARÍA JESUS RIBAS