Okay so we have neural activity in our brains, we have great big bushy neurons and kind of, not so bushy neurons. They look like summer trees and winter trees, and just like summer trees and winter trees, they can be less bushy and then more bushy. Dependant on the weather for a tree and the optimal living conditions for the neuron, however, unlike the trees we want our neurons to be as bushy as can be, during every season.
Hold your hand up in front of you, and imagine it as a tree looking neuron, your palm is the cell body, your fingers are the dendrites, your arm is the axon. Put your other hand up next to it, that is his neuron friend, his palm is his cell body, his fingers the dendrites and his arm the axon. The dendrites send messages to each other with a little something called synaptic energy, yes, the dendrites zap away to each other to transmit messages, they connect through signals of energy.
So what are you talking about BDNF for? because if we want summer trees (Enriched Neurons), instead of winter trees (Impoverished Neuron). We need to fast track to the protein that builds neurons, no matter how damaged or weakened, BDNF will regenerate them as long as they have a trunk and a branch, it will bring them back to bushy through enrichment (optimal living conditions).
What the bleep is BDNF?
BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a protein which is a part of the survival family of ‘Neurotrophins’. Basically they are the stuffs that make neurons happen. BDNF is especially important in Nerve growth. This is because when things ‘get on our nerves’ we are prone to illness, both mentally and physically, and BDNF, can support our re-growth of neurons, supporting our physical and mental wellbeing. You see, once upon a time, we thought we were stuck with the brain we had, that was it, we are who we are.
When in fact, we are learning all of the time and our brains have something which is all of the rage just now called ‘neuroplasticity’, it pretty much means, it is malleable, changeable. We often say, ‘you won’t change my mind’, but minds change all of the time.
How do we increase our BDNF?
We exercise our bodies and minds, get out in the sunshine and we eat our greens. Pretty simple, you know all of those things we tell our children to do, because they will grow up big and strong…
You are still growing- at all times your body and mind is renewing new cells and disposing of old cells, you are Dr freaking who.
Only you are growing this new body of yours with shitty old fertilisers, and its last cell memory, so it is living and dying the same life as its last cell production. Because you did no gardening.
BDNF is a fertiliser for a new you, if you want to change, then start with the foundations of liking yourself enough to treat your mind and body well, when you do this, you have enough new bushy neurological connections to achieve anything.
There is a mass of research telling us how people who are depressed have weakened synaptic plasticity (what would be the impoverished neuron in the image).
Move around more, eat more fruits and vegetables and learn something new. This is where your brain can become happier, smarter, and more confident.
So, to put it simply, if you want to be able to change quickly, you have to give yourself the conditions to grow.
I really like the SPICES tick list.
The idea is , if you have all of these spices, then if you run out of one spice, you have enough spices left to give your dish a good enough flavour, until you can restock the lost spice.
Abraham Maslow would call this the hierarchy of need, but it is not as cool as ‘spice up your life’;
We really need to start seeing every cell within us as something to nourish, grow, and if we give ourselves what we need, then we can easily become something freaking amazing! In fact beyond our wildest dreams amazing.
So lets give our BDNF some spices so it can be the best fertiliser in the world and grow you a brain, that knows happiness, feels joy, gets things right, trusts its instincts, works in harmony with its body, looks for opportunities, and freaking well loves its owner, not just in a ‘thanks dude’ way, but in a real, ‘I feel fantastic way’, and I want to shout out loud about it way.
Most of us treat our pets better than our brains, so treat your brain like a pet, walk it, give it toys, ensure it is learning new things, cram some good stuff in its diet and get it out in the sunshine playing with its friends.
Love your life! You deserve to 🙂