What do I do with all this information???
I follow Dr. Mark Hyman on social media. He is a functional medicine doctor who is also a bestselling author. He just released a new docu-series that you can watch for free just this week called "The Broken Brain". I was able to watch the entire series a few months ago. The series contains a lot of really helpful information about how we can optimize our brain health (and hence, our overall health). It is exciting and promising information that confirms we have more control over our future than we think.
While I think the information is valuable and credible, I also think it is also TOTALLY OVERWHELMING for most of us. It is an 8-part series and each episodes parades expert after expert, extolling the dangers of our modern society and culture and prescribing new ways of healthy living. It is information-overload at its finest. The format is designed to convince you think that our global health is completely down the tubes, and that the only way to solve the problem is to completely overhaul our health habits, both individually and collectively. Even the title, "The Broken Brain" is designed to scare you into making changes.
While all that may be completely true, each hour that I watched, I thought -- how am I supposed to implement ALL of this material? How can I really do EVERYTHING they are prescribing? Is that even realistic? There is so much! Maybe I just shouldn't even try!
And I'm sure I'm not the only one with this reaction!
I have talked to many people who have had similar experiences when they've read books like The Omnivore's Dilemma or The China Study, or watched documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, or Food Inc. -- just to name a few. It either freaks them out when they watch it. Or, the premise scares them away from even attempting to watch it because they don't want to be responsible for the information -- "I don't want to know! It's too stressful!"
Like these friends, we can look at the overabundance of health information that is continually thrown at us, get completely overwhelmed, and just want to give up. We put metaphorical blinders on and pretend we don't see.We want to just go on living life the way we have been. This can feel much easier than trying to sort out what the experts are saying, or trying to figure out how to realistically fit it into our lives.
If you have ever had this experience of total overwhelm when trying to figure out how to be more healthy,
There IS a way forward.
Instead of trying to do everything at once, or simply just giving up all together, we can just choose ONE SMALL, SIMPLE THING to do today that improves our overall health.
For instance -- drinking water.
Everyone knows we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. After all, our bodies are made up of 55-60% water. That's a lot!
Drinking plenty of water helps us to:
1. Reduce fatigue
2. Increase energy
3. Promote weight loss
4. Flush out toxins
5. Improve skin complexion
6. Maintain regularity
7. Boost immune system
8. Prevent cramps and sprains
9. Improve mood
10. Reduce headaches
-- And that's just a few of the benefits!
And yet, how many of us still don't drink enough water every day?
This is totally human and natural. For most of us, knowledge does NOT equal action.
So while I would highly recommend watching this series -- you will learn all kinds of things about brain health. There will be lots of useful information about how to improve your brain health. I would also caution you to watch out for information overload. Your brain will naturally start to reject all these new "shoulds" that are being thrown at you because it's simply too much (rather ironic since the series is about brain health!)
Remember -- most of the time change does not come all at once. If you watch the series, pick ONE THING that stands out to you from the information presented that you want to try implementing in your life. Work on creating a new habit around that one thing. Once that new habit is established, then go back and pick another.
If you don't watch this series, then maybe start with water. Fill a pitcher of water, put it in your fridge, and commit to drinking the whole thing before the end of the day -- a simple, straightforward, easy step that will make a huge difference in how you feel each day.
Each small change we make is powerful in and of itself, and has a profound effect on our mental and physical health. And with each small step, we find success and motivation to do a little more.
We don't have to become experts in brain health this week. We don't have to do EVERYTHING the experts tell us in order to be healthy today. (That's actually impossible since experts disagree and contradict each other, but we'll save that for another day.) Just do ONE THING today. Start small and stick to that goal, even on the days you don't want to. This is the way to ultimate success.