Beauty + Brains
Lucid Talk: All Things Tend Toward Clarity
Photo by Taren Maroun
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Systems may tend towards chaos, according to some scientists and the laws of entropy, but our minds desire understanding and clear thinking. Humans are meaning making machines, and without clear-headedness we scramble and cower, wild eyed, grasping to make sense of situations. My crusade this past year has been on lucidity and clear-thinking and how we can achieve it by focusing on the true derivation of mind/body connection. And I have failed brilliantly, over and over, to achieve it at times. This time of year is wonderful for focusing on this. While winter can simply be brutal it is also our new year, our new start, so to speak.
Hormonal UNclarity: The stress of our daily lives is causing extensive physiological conditions, among them nutrient deficiencies, inflammation and brain fog. Yes, that’s a real thing, not just an excuse. The brain relies on a steady stream of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, in addition to getting enough rest and relaxation. The main contributors to brain fog are inflammation and changes in our primary hormones – dopamine, serotonin and cortisol – caused pretty much by living these days. We must focus on what we consume, our immediate environment, our pastimes and even our thoughts.
Following are some of my primary focuses for lucidity, in addition to diet, as I’ve struggled to regain a foothold in the ole clear-eyed, focused mind game after trauma and prolonged stress myself:
Meditate: It’s not a wellness gimmick. Many people on the go, which is to say virtually everyone, like to start with the take-with-you-anywhere prompts of Headspace. Their programs certainly got me into a groove of allocating time for mindfulness, which led me to the Holy Grail of meditating – Transcendental Meditation. The neurological and physiological effects of TM have been studied by doctors around the world, and the results on our hormones, productivity and LUCIDITY are staggering. Spending moments each day just breathing and attempting to clear your mind is a great start, don’t discount it.
Journal: This is an act of excavation, of digging up what we’re truly thinking and feeling. It’s not uncommon to go through an entire day, or an entire life, somewhat uncertain of what we’re really feeling and experiencing. Journaling is a simple way to uncover that. Through the words we put down on a page, we can make adjustments in our life, realize what truly makes us happy, what is causing us pain, and what we do and don’t want.
Keep a consumption diary: Write down what you consume. This will be illuminating as you see changes in your skin, mood, weight and ability to reason and be lucid. You’ll find a lot of your answers here as to what might be causing fluctuations in your concentration.
Adaptogens and Probiotics: I can’t stress these enough. ADAPTOGENS AND PROBIOTICS! And never take them out of your daily diet.
And of course, heart rate-raising exercise: This gets you out of your head for a spell and then into a whole new brain space as you recover and enjoy the chemical benefits that course through you post workout.
*My online Lucidity Is Brilliant online practicum will be available December 17 and can be accessed anywhere in the world!*