love-your-brain

Love your hippocampus. A recent conference really got me thinking harder about the vital importance of managing time and priorities for the benefit of my health – my engine, the brain and the body are the only 2 engines I can really control myself. I have worked hard to bother looking after my wellbeing, throughout building my first company using sports, as a release of frustrations, and playing in team games to build a social community – nothing better than a complete disconnect from the daily, relentless pursuit of building a global enterprise. I recently attended a conference on ambition, something I have never been short of, but as I age as I see the results of my 50 years old health check, and as I look at the momentum and trends in wellness I am amazed why we do not all work harder on prevention.

Triggered by recent learning and experiences, I feel more and more strongly that the sweat effort counts. So does the value we pay back to our teams when we are honest about the brutal hard work of being in an enterprising company – I state that I get my ounce of flesh, but in return I work hard to give freedom, flexibility, endless learning opportunities and I remain reasonable and balanced about the importance of today’s individuals requiring an agile and flexible approach to work. Irrespective, individuals also have to give their own return on my investment, called employment?

An incentive perhaps to think differently. Do we know enough about the importance of the hippocampus in relation to the power of brain and memory – plus how we must work hard to maintain and develop our grey cells? I want teams with great brain power, putting focus and effort into everything we do, to race in the game of fast moving wellness awareness.

The bad news about brain wear and tear is that the cortex shrinks at 0.5% per year after 50yrs old. I just turned 50. All the things that affect this are Sleep apnea, obesity, stress, insomnia, depression, and concussion all add to shrinkage. (I think here of the rugby game at Twickenham I watched last weekend, is that entertainment any longer?)

Good news: you can though literally grow your brain using and doing exercise and size does matter with the brain part called the hippocampus. Apparently, walking a mile a day reduces the chance of getting Alzheimer’s by 48%. Other good things that help your own brain care are vigorous exercise, eating food with fatty acids, some advise taking omega 3 supplements, personally I have a belief in eating a balanced diet that includes a little luxury, mine, dark chocolate. Continually working at using your brain does matter so, learning something new and my determination to build a company at the cutting edge of change pays off in more ways than one. Good sleep, daily meditation, a positive mindset and doing what you like has good effect on brain – in other words it’s utterly worth it, working to be happy.

I have recently listened to a lecture on the fact that you can literally create your own brain fitness program, a personalised set of interventions, monitoring, meditation training, brain training, even invest in sleep counselling if necessary.

It made me think again about the vital importance of teaching mental resilience and building time into life to sit back and enjoy and share new experiences. Today I am having a day off (ha, just read a shareholders agreement in Starbucks St.Pancras). I am watching my daughter play squash later, but madly trying to fit work round the time off. Madness, a day off should be a real day off, including off technology and really immersing myself in things I love to do, some I like to do and simply caring for myself by properly switching off.

As I meander through this blog, inevitably I wonder about how these things around us effect the business? Should I rename our Scentered balm products? Should de-stress be called hippocampus health or even better brain? Can we get more people to think about actually working on their own mental wellbeing and that of others. Working on your brain & growing your hippocampus you can DEFY aging and lead a better healthier old age. Old age is coming more to all of us as medical intervention helps us live longer, I want to continue with good health enjoying every moment.

Think about organisations like “WE day.” ** Check it out at weday.com  What are the things that make you feel better, the actions you take that give you personal reward? My mum taught me to try and make everyone you meet smile – whatever the environment. I cannot tell you the value I feel as I create better exchanges whether with a ticket seller or a person at a check-in desk. The effort is not huge but the results can be very rewarding.

The objective of the weday inventor was profoundly timely. Making doing good do-able. Perhaps make a date for involvement next year, time though to consider more about the value of what happens when we put effort into life, putting back and thinking of others always reaps better outcomes.

The more I read the press, the more I hear about the block chain revolution. Life expectancy has doubled in 100 years, solar power is now 250x cheaper than in 1975. We are seeing an exponential rise in everything and the digital social connectivity although positive, certainly comes with brain challenges and deep concerns for the young people, including my teenagers whom think being in their rooms and building a community online makes for a happy and healthy life. Thank goodness for two dogs, fresh air and the importance of seeing what is going on in nature. I feel lucky to live in the countryside, but the parks and places we seek out can be unbelievably valuable in resetting mood.

Nothing is slowing down unless we choose to be in control. In 1900 there were 8000 cars. Then this rose to 8 million cars in 1920. Today someone was killed in Arizona by a driverless car. Yet core change will come as we consider exponential growth and the impact of digitalisation, robotics, nano tech, change in our understanding of how we operate through micro biome study….Holy cow so much to absorb. I know too little about everything but am desperately trying to keep up with the digital revolution – where should I start with data capture, AI utilisation and the currency of data whilst being legal, understanding impact of GDPR and following rules of data management.

Perhaps I should start with re-writing my things to do list and talking the rest of the day off to enjoy spending time with Tamsin.

Written by Vicky Charles

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