10 Tools for Neuroplasticity and Stress Management

  1. Gratitude Journal– 5 things every day, year round. Never repeat the same one.
  2. Write kind notes. Eleanor Roosevelt practiced this. Send 2-3 people a kind note every day.
  3. Meditate! There are many resources for learning to meditate. You can begin by simply sitting still and focusing on your breath, when your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breath. Do not resist your mind wandering, but do not follow it either. Just observe it and then bring your attention back to your breath. You can practice this for as long as you like but at least 5 minutes a day is a good start. You can also go to YouTube and look for guided meditations. These are an excellent way to learn and also to do just before going to sleep as they clear the mental clutter of the day and help you to have restful sleep. Many doctors have published CDs of meditations you can listen to. Some of my favorites are Joe Dispenza and Daniel Amen.
  4. Listen to music! Especially soothing and relaxing music. And when needed listen to sound frequencies that can help to heal areas of stress in your life. These too can be found on YouTube. *Note, many of the frequency healings on YouTube use binaural beats, there is some research that suggests this is not recommended for people who have epilepsy or suffer from any type of seizures.
  5. Affirmations. Learning to speak in affirmative ways rewires our circuitry and helps to eliminate unconscious control and belief systems. Louise Hay has many incredible books that you can use to begin your journey into an affirmative lifestyle.
  6. Get involved in a community! Church, clubs, dancing, whatever it is, social connection is one of the most important things we can do for our brains.
  7. Practice optimism. Try to begin to observe when you have automatic negative thinking. Try reversing this thought and see how that makes you feel.
  8. Exercise. Try adding yoga or Tai Chi to your routine.
  9. Learn something new. Games, puzzles, jump rope, color, dance, cooking, even taking an online class through Khan Academy (free academy and you can learn almost anything). It doesn’t matter, playing games and learning new things helps to keep a healthy, active brain!
  10. Practice forgiveness. Holding onto negative thoughts and emotions is toxic. Forgiveness is not for the recipient, it is for you. This does not mean you must pardon someone’s actions but you must learn to forgive the person. Many spiritual leaders have written on this subject. I encourage you to research this based on your own spiritual path and lighten your load every day.