Well done for being here to explore your brain health - most people rarely learn about the quality of their brains. Even though they are critically important to everything we do. Here we share aboutfour important brain systems and what they do and also what can be experienced when one ofthese brain systems goes out of balance and what will then improve our brain health movingforward.
Prefrontal cortex (PFC)
Is quite literally the CEO of the brain. It controls focus, organization, planning, problem solving, impulse control, and empathy. Responsible for executive function, problems in the PFC result in trouble sustaining attention, distractibility. careless mistakes and conflict seeking. Low activity in the PFC has been associated with ADHD and brain trauma. Strategies to boost stimulation to the PFC include: goal setting, organizational help, intense exercise, a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet, and supplements such as EPA omega 3s. green tea or rhodiola.
Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (ACG)
Is the brain’s gear shifter and involved with cognitive flexibility. It allows people to go from thought to thought and idea to idea, and be cooperative by getting outside of oneself. When it is overactive, often due to lower serotonin levels, people tend to get stuck on negative thoughts or behaviors. They can worry, hold grudges, and get upset when things don’t go their way. They can also be argumentative or oppositional. Strategies to calm the ACG include istraction, generating options, intense exercise, a diet filled with smart carbohydrates (low-carbohydrate diets usually make ACG symptoms worse), and supplements such as DHA omega 3s and 5-HTP or saffron.
Basal Ganglia (BG)
Surrounds the limbic system. Its the integrator of emotions, thoughts and movements. BG issues can lead to anxiety, fear of judgment, conflict avoidance, workaholic tendencies, and muscle tension, such as headaches and back aches. An underactive BG is often seen in those with Parkinsons Disease. An overactive BG is associated with people who tend to freeze in overwhelmingly stressful situations. Strategies to calm the BG include: relaxation exercises, meditation, self-hypnosis. ANT-free thinking (see concept 6 on resilience), and supplements such as DHA omega 3s and GABA.
Limbic System (LS)
Is situated in the deep middle of your brain. It is responsible for memories, emotion, motivation, appetite control as well as sleep cycles. Less active activations in this area often leads to more positive and hopeful outlooks, while over-activity seems to be associated with sadness, negativity, and feelings of excessive guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Strategies to boost LS stimulation include: intense exercise, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. ANT-free thinking and supplements such as EPA omega 3s and same.