Drink Water: The #1 Stress Buster & Brain Integrator

Water provides the hydration necessary to conduct the electrical impulses throughout the body, impulses that carry orders from the brain to the muscles and feedback to the brain. Without proper hydration, you'll feel short-circuited and will trigger a stress response, even without other stressors in your life! What's more, pure water is sensed by the brain while still in your mouth via receptors, and instantly corrects the body stress created by dehydration. So sip “instant stress release” throughout the day.

Water is essential for proper lymphatic function, helping to remove waste and toxins from the body. It also allows 1,000-10,000 times more oxygen to bind to the blood, reducing stress on the heart and lungs. An instant brain boost, drinking lots of water heightens energy, improves concentration, mental and physical coordination, and academic skills. It's especially helpful while working with electrical machines (e.g. computers) which can negatively affect our body.

If you have no medical limitations, doctors suggest one ten-ounce glass per day for every 30 pounds of body weight, and more if one is physically active or under stress. Therefore the average 150 lb. person needs at least five glasses of water per day. Caffeine and alcohol, by the way, are diuretics and you will need an extra glass of water for each cup of coffee you drink and two extra for each alcoholic drink. Raise your glass “to your health!”

Cross Patterning: A Jump Start to Brain/Body Integration

This Cross Patterning technique from One Brain is simple to learn and activates (in some cases re-establishes) communication between the two brain hemispheres and the whole body. It works by stimulating the brain to shift between integrated (both sides) processing, using a cross lateral (two-sided) march, and parallel (one-sided) processing using a uni-lateral (one sided) march. Use it whenever it's hard to “do” and ”think” at the same time.

Each brain hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. So by intentionally moving an opposite arm and leg across the midfield, we fire off both brain hemispheres at the same time, creating and myelinating better neural connections over the corpus callosum. This cross lateral movement stimulates the whole brain––the vestibular (balance) system, the reticular activating system (the brain's wake-up call!), the cerebellum (automatic movement), the basal ganglion (intentional movement), the limbic system (emotional balance), and the frontal lobes (reasoning). As already mentioned, slow cross lateral movement also increases dopamine levels in the brain (enhancing our ability to see patterns and to learn faster).

When we then switch to a same side arm and leg movement, we deepen the neural netting that assures our ability to quickly shift with ease and full access, to each individual hemisphere as needed. The intent is never to be “stuck” in any one pattern of brain communication. Multiple connections and instant flexibility are the key!

Not To Worry! Hold Your Positive Points™!

Whenever you feel under pressure, hurt or shocked, take the emotional edge off by holding your Emotional Stress Release Points, also called Positive Points in Brain Gym. Emotional Stress Release was first presented in Touch For Health in the early 70's, and involves holding the neurovascular holding points that balance both the Central (mental) and Stomach (digestive) energy meridians.

1. Put your fingertips gently on your forehead, above your eyebrows.

2. Tug up slightly on the skin, while you think through your problem, pre-rehearse a successful outcome, or talk it out.

The energy in your hands is enough to keep blood and warmth in your front brain, and stops the classic stress response (flow of blood from front brain to back survival centers) right in its tracks. Now you can perceive new ideas, and make creative choices in the light of what you already know, even when you're stressed.

Combining Mental Rehearsal with Positive Points creates a rocket trajectory to excellence. Mental rehearsal has already been proven effective by athletes, sports coaches, educators and psychologists. As already mentioned, new brain research supports the idea that what we imagine is as real to our brain as what we have actually experienced. Thinking fires off the same circuits as doing. Adding Positive Points to mental rehearsal assures we are programming our imagined action in as a whole-brained, integrated activity, with full power in the frontal lobes.

Quote of the day: " Stress equals diminished awareness. We humans make the big mistake of believing we're in conscious control simply because we're still conscious. Not so: Under stress we're into knee-jerk duplication of learned re-actions based on negative emotion. Under stress our limitations increase drastically...The worst way to handle stressors is to deny they exist." -Gordon Stokes/Daniel Whiteside,