Making a good brain great
Making a good brain great is a book by Dr. Daniel Amen. He is the founder of the Amen Clinic in Cali. The book discusses all aspects of the brain, why it functions the way it functions, complete with brain scans and why people act the way they do as result of chemical imbalances in their brain. This book is good for understanding how our brain functions and gives great info to explaining other people's behavior around us. I highly recommend this book. The last chapters also include what you can do to keep your brain active and healthy. The book is available in most stores and on Amazon.

Here is a readers preview.
Quote:Dr. Amen begins this book by stressing the importance of the brain. The brain is where "you" reside. It's the seat of loving, living, being, learning, thinking, working.... The brain weighs three pounds, but uses 30% of the energy the human body consumes. Yet, the brain is a fragile miracle housed in a thin-walled bony bowl. It's easily damaged by physical trauma, emotional trauma, drugs, disease, and poor dietary habits.

Because of the brain's fragility and the common disregard for it, brain dysfunction is so widespread that it's normal. Perhaps it's because we don't see our brains, but most of us never address the issue of actually caring for our brains. Many brain-related problems are preventable. With a healthy brain, you can fully engage in life, meet its challenges, and be happy. Few of us choose this option, and that's probably due to a lack of good information on the subject.

Dr. Amen has analyzed thousands of brain scans. Consequently, he's been able to correlate specific brain dysfunction with specific actions people take. He has been able to go beyond observing outward behavior to observing inward behavior--how the brain responds to what is done to it.

What are some ways you may be drilling holes in your boat as you float along in the sea of stupidity? To avoid sinking, become familiar with these and don't do them! Here are some paraphrased examples from Dr. Amen's book:

Doing cigarettes. Whether you have one in your mouth or someone else does, you are still breathing in the same chemicals. The resulting vasoconstriction reduces blood flow through the carotid arteries, but also reduces blood flow through the brain's blood distribution system. In addition, this reduced blood is diminished because it's loaded with carbon monoxide rather than oxygen. While smokers may temporarily experience increased concentration, their overall brain functions are reduced dramatically. If you want to be stupid, smoke.

Eating highly-processed foods. These are "nutrient-challenged," to say the least. And they trigger whole set of hormonal and other effects that work against proper brain function. Shop in the produce section, and avoid foods that come in boxes.

Avoiding tough work. Brains, like muscles, follow the "use it or lose it" principle. If your job doesn't provide a good brain workout (and most jobs don't--they mostly challenge your ability to deal with bureaucracy and rudeness), find something that does.

Doing the same things all the time. When you try something new, you stimulate your brain into forming new connections. This activity increases overall brainpower.

Being a sloth. The brain is a physical organ. Physical fitness is a "doorway" to mental fitness.

Avoiding coordination-based activities. When you reinforce the brain-body connection by learning a new physical skill, you provide the brain with massive stimulus. If you are already a regular participant in a particular sport, that's great. But, you've already built those brain pathways and much of the benefit is already "cashed in." Now find another sport to build more brain pathways. Look for a sport that requires a different set of motor skills.

In this book, you'll also find a wealth of information on positive actions you can take to maintain and improve brain health. I'm pretty excited by this whole topic. Now that I've learned about the Amen Clinic, I'm going to investigate them further on their Website--and consider getting a brain scan myself.

A note on the writing: I was pleased that Dr. Amen and his publisher made this text clear and followed the rules of grammar. This shows they care about their message. After reading this book, I can see why they do.

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