I came across an interesting book recently and was immediately taken by how much it agreed with what I’ve said for years. That must sound aweful, but it’s true. What is it they say; there’s nothing new under the heavens? Maybe they’re right.

Anyway, this book is about making a good brain great and it employs the deceptively obvious observation that your brain is involved in everything you do. That is almost so obvious as to be trite, but the author, Dr Daniel Amen, draws some very practical user guidelines based on the perfectly obvious.

A portion of a description of the book says:

You probably run, lift weights, or do yoga to keep your body in great shape; you put on sunscreen and lotions to protect your skin; but chances are you simply ignore your brain and trust it to do its job. People unknowingly endanger or injure their brains, stress them by working at a frenzied pace and not getting enough sleep, pollute them with caffeine, alcohol, and drugs, and deprive them of proper nutrients. Brain dysfunction is the number one reason people fail at school, work, and relationships. The brain is the organ of learning, working, and loving – the supercomputer that runs our lives. It’s very simple: when our brains work right, we work right – and when our brains have trouble, we have trouble in our lives.

Luckily, it’s never too late: the brain is capable of change, and when you care for it, the results are amazing. Making a Good Brain Great gives you the tools you need to optimize your brain power and enrich your health and your life in the process. The principles and exercises in this book, based on years of cutting-edge neuroscience research and the experiences of thousands of people, provide a wealth of practical information to teach you how to achieve the best brain possible.

Fortunately, the book does just what the description says. If I had a negative criticism it would be the medical bias of the author, but that’s to be expected from an MD. As far as MDs go however, Amen is definitely one of the more enlightened.

I particularly like the basic soundness to Amen’s approach to brain health. It is about overall health. Let’s face it, if your brain is involved in everything you do (doh…), then we should expect a broad number of activities to be related to brain health. The book spells out things like eating a brain friendly diet, taking brain supporting supplements, practicing safety to protect your brain from injury, the value to your brain from getting plenty of physical exercise and enough sleep and, very importantly, the benefits to be obtained from exercising good thinking and eliminating negative thoughts. All great stuff!

If you get the chance, grab a copy and have a good read. As a reader of The Health Gazette I already know your’re very clever. Think of this as a tune-up.

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