"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Martin and Jan's new area of interest is neuroplasticity. Jan worked with Dr. Kim Ward for 14 years since meeting her at Sanoviv and they continued their connection with USANA businesses.
Below is a photo of Dr. Hilary Stokes (left) and Dr. Kim Ward (right) with Jan and Martin in San Diego. We hope you enjoy their article to follow from Authenticity Associates.
4 Essentials to an Authentically Happy Brain
By Dr. Kim Ward & Dr. Hilary Stokes
We often hear people talk about changing their mind, but do we ever hear them talk about changing their brain? People sometimes use the words interchangeably, but actually they’re not. Understanding this difference is important to being authentically happy.
Brain: The brain refers to the actual physical 3-pound organ that is housed inside your head. It contains 1.31 trillion cells, including 100 billion neurons. This amounts to as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Each neuron, receives approximately 5,000 electrical connections and fires an electrochemical charge 5 to 50 times per second. This results in an extraordinary number of connections communicating information throughout your body. This is where the mind enters the picture.
Mind: The information traveling in the 5,000 synapses of the 100 billion neurons at the rate of 5 to 50 seconds is what can be referred to as the mind. Your mind is the driving force of your will, or mental energy, directing your brain and body. It’s part of the invisible world of consciousness, thought, feeling, emotion, belief, and imagination.
How to Use Your Mind to Change Your Brain
Simply put- you sculpt your brain with your habits of thoughts, feelings, belief and imagination. To this end, your brain is more of a disciple of your mind’s attention. We can intentionally use this knowledge to strengthen our tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic. According to brain science, when you consistently focus on negative thoughts and emotional stress, you strengthen the part of your brain associated with pessimism (right prefrontal cortex). Conversely, when you engage in practices that increase feelings of joy and happiness, you increase activity in the optimistic part of the brain (left prefrontal cortex). Thanks to neural plasticity, as you continue to feel happy, you strengthen this activity and solidify brain pathways that make it easier to replicate feelings of happiness.
Think of it like creating a path. The more you walk down the same path, the more defined the path becomes. If you have paved your path with negative thoughts and feelings, you will have to walk your new happy path many times before it begins to become the most defined. The discovery that our mind changes our brain, has been used to successfully treat issues as challenging as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety.
Many strategies focus on changing thoughts without first considering the dynamic influence of the body and emotions on those thoughts. What happens for most people is they repeat their affirmations, yet at the deeper level of their subconscious mind they don’t believe them. Also, on a day-to-day basis, they are stressed out and overwhelmed. These two factors greatly limit long-term success with positive thinking. When we attempt to experience happiness solely by changing our thinking, we miss out on the innate intelligence and infinite resource of our whole self: thoughts, emotions, body, and spirit.
4 Essentials to an Authentically Happy Brain
Present moment awareness, emotional connection, belief and a sense of control are precursors to being authentically happy.
Presence – since we can’t undo the past or change the future, what you are thinking and feeling now, not tomorrow or yesterday is what matters most. Notice what you are thinking and feeling in this moment now. Intentionally tune into desired positive thoughts and emotions and focus on them.
Belief – if you don’t believe in what you are thinking, you might feel like you are momentarily moving forward but the results are short lived and you find yourself back where you started. Notice if you believe your positive thoughts or if you feel as though you are faking it. If it feels fake, identify what you do believe that is as genuinely close to your desired intention as possible.
Emotion – thoughts without emotion have no real power to create anything new. Engaging the emotion behind your thoughts is necessary to cause more neurons to fire along your pathways. Notice if you are thinking but not really feeling it. Play around with what you are thinking to find those thoughts that activate your positive feelings and then savor them.
Sense of control – studies have shown that a sense of control turns off the stress response. This is a necessary step in order to shift from the right to the left side of your prefrontal cortex. Notice whether you feel you can control or manage your current circumstances. Consider, the only thing you have control over is you and what you are thinking, feeling and doing in the present moment. How can you begin to increase your control in these areas?
Fitness - T or F? You need a lot of time to get fit.
FALSE - here's why:
Fitness is cumulative. Even if you do a bit here and there throughout the day, it still counts at the end of the day (that's from Kathy Kaehler, fitness expert to some of Hollywoods greatest celebrities and USANA spokesperson).
Kathy recommends a shake before exercise because its a little lighter and you are not working out on an empty stomach or on a full feeling belly. You will want to take this 20-30 minutes before intensive exercise. Her favorite is called "Kathy's Colada" (see recipe below).
1 cup Water
3 scoops USANA Nutrimeal Free (15g protein, 8g fibre)
1 cup Coconut Milk or coconut water
Coconut Extract (optional)
Blend and enjoy!
Manifesting Grace through Gratitude
Martin and I often feel grateful for the many blessings in our lives. Sure we have times that our thoughts involve fear about the future or perhaps regret about something in the past. Being present in the moment has become a challenge we all face. A joyful, meaningful life – a life filled with grace – may seem perpetually out of reach because there is always something more we need to acquire or accomplish.
Starting July 13, Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey will reveal the keys to bringing true, lasting grace into your life – here and now – in their latest, FREE 21-Day Meditation Experience, Manifesting Grace through Gratitude!
Grace is the benevolent, powerful, unwavering energy of the universe that guides you to the best version of yourself. When you shift into a state of gratitude, grace opens itself to you – it responds in turn by bringing you even more to be grateful for. Your day-to-day becomes increasingly effortless, more enjoyable, and more vibrant. It is a blissful, life-affirming state of being that is available to everyone, all the time.
Join us on this illuminating journey of the heart to discover the secrets to making gratitude an effortless, joyous practice that infuses each moment with the wondrous power of grace and invigorates every dimension of your life. Martin and I have enjoyed these meditation series with different themes over the past few years. We appreciate the flexibility of the time of day you can choose to connect to the 15 minute meditation.
It’s easy and free to embark on this joyful new journey. Register nowand invite your friends and family to manifest grace with you!
Blessings from Jan & Martin
Protein Drinks and Great News!
It has been 29 years since my MS diagnosis, which is usually a progressive disease. When I was in Vancouver for an MRI a few months ago, the results were compared to previous tests, showed no progression over the past 3 years! I attribute this to the USANA nutritionals and a gluten free and dairy free diet which seem to be working. And now here's more proof....
I was limited to a liquid diet due to pain from MS-related trigeminal neuralgia. The inability to chew or eat solid food lasted for almost 2 months - the main source of nutrition came from USANA's Nutrimeal Free which is a plant-based meal replacement shake.
My doctor was concerned about potential for nutritional deficiencies and took multiple blood tests of more than 40 items. The results came out shockingly well (which was no surprise to me!). All levels from blood tests and lab results were within normal range and it further reinforced my gratitude to USANA Health Sciences. If you want to read more about this amazing product, click here
"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."
Vegan Veggie Lasagne
it's not just a winter dish!
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
10-12 large mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. anise
1 large jar homemade pasta sauce
1/2 box organic baby spinach
400g soy mozzarella cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 400C. Saute onion, celery, mushrooms, cinnamon & anise in coconut oil for 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat.
In a large pot, add 4 quarts water and 1 tbsp. salt then bring to a boil. Add rice lasagne noodles. Cook 3 minutes and then remove from heat and let sit for 8 minutes.
Add pasta sauce to sauteed vegetables and stir for 1 minute.
Drain and rinse noodles. Lightly oil glass lasagne dish with olive oil. Layer noodles, sauce, spinach, noodles, sauce, noodles, cheese and bake for 25 minutes at 400C.
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
One Mess at a Time
Spending an entire day organizing your home isn't a realistic or desirable option for many of us but getting organized can be simple if you take it one mess, or habit, at a time:
Start by paying attention to your normal everyday routine.
Make a list of 10 things that annoy you on a regular basis. This can be anything from the piles of paper on your kitchen counter to never being able to find your keys when you need them. Take a minute to write them down.
Now, write down at least one solution for each annoyance. Look at this from the perspective of "How can I make this easier, faster or less frustrating?"
If you can eliminate one annoyance each week you will be well on your way to living a simpler life!
Linda Andersson has been helping people simplify their lives for over ten years. Her business, Organizing Help, provides home and office organizing services for busy people throughout the Okanagan Valley.
Martin and I know that making choices when it comes to your health can be overwhelming (to say the least!) We have something that can help. The True Health Assessment is a free, cutting edge health assessment that provides you with a personalized approach to measuring your health and offers real-life solutions to help you improve your lifestyle and nutrition.
After answering the online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes) , you will receive three customized reports developed by the Doctors and Scientists at USANA Health Sciences.They will outline key health risks, lifestyle suggestions and nutritional recommendations. When you complete it, I will offer a complimentary personal consultation to help you understand and apply the recommendations in your True Health Assessment.
Please accept our gift of 3 Free Health Assessments. We hope you choose to TAKE THE TEST!
In Our Next Issue...
Watch for Martin's 28 Day Food Guide and Journal (free download) in the next newsletter.
We hope you enjoyed Volume #5 of our Newsletter!
Please send us a note with any questions, feedback or suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org