THE BLOG
09/11/2014 02:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Improving Brain Fitness in the Growing NeuroEconomy

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Studies have proven the benefits of physical fitness time and time again. However, doctors and scientists are now beginning to point out the oft overlooked aspect of brain fitness on a person's overall health and success.

The Importance of Neuroeconomy

Dr. Sean Orr, a neurologist who has worked with athletes, politicians, executives, entertainers and professionals from all industries, has discovered through his research the importance of neuroeconomy.

The basis of neuroeconomy is the belief that the economic success of a nation, and subsequently its people, depends on the ability of the citizens to use their minds to manipulate their environment and create success. In other words, a healthy neuroeconomy leads to a successful nation or person.

How a Fit Brain Positively Impacts a Life

It is easy to understand how a physical ailment can negatively impact your ability to earn money.

For example, if you have a sprained ankle, you will have difficulty finding success if your job depends on your mobility. In the same way, a brain that is not fit will make it harder for you to succeed.

Problems such as being frustrated, overwhelmed or experiencing burnout can hinder the brain less effective, thus making it harder for you to have to success on any given day.

The Danger of Burnout and How to Recognize It

Burnout is another term that is given to general mental exhaustion. This lethargy is often brought on by demands on the body and the mind with not enough positive elements such as rest coming into play.

The three signs listed below indicate mental burnout is imminent.

Extreme stress, insomnia, headaches, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness and living at a heightened level of stress. This first stage of burnout sometimes goes unrecognized by those who are experiencing it, meaning they oftentimes slip right into stage two without being aware they are even heading down the road to burnout to begin with.

Procrastination, decreased sexual desire, apathy: These symptoms are a result of the body trying to conserve energy that is lacking in the brain. In this stage, people will often develop a dependency on alcohol, caffeine or coffee as a means to jolt the brain into a higher level of functioning. Another term for a person trying to remedy a problem through their own, such as energy drinks or coffee, is called biohacking.

Exhaustion, dropping out of society: If a person makes it to the third stage of burnout, they stop functioning normally and essentially drop out of society all together. In some cases, this leads to depression and can even go as far as suicide.

Biohacking, it's Not All Bad

Biohacking, mentioned above, is a way that people attempt to jumpstart their own neurological system and attempt to get their bodies and brains to work better. In some cases, biohacking is positive.

For example, working out and eating right is one method for achieving better brain and body function, and that is positive. However, drinking caffeine, coffee or becoming addicted to alcohol while trying to achieve the same end is negative.

How to Positively Counteract and Overcome Burnout

Burnout is similar to a brain injury in many cases. Therefore, to treat burnout, it is crucial to act as if you are recovering from a brain injury. Dr. Orr believes the best way to overcome burnout is to focus on the following brain building strategies:

Sleep, diet and exercise: The first phase of burnout recovery is getting a proper diet, sleeping enough and exercising.

Brain optimization: This step takes a person from a negative situation and gives them better awareness. It includes changing behaviors and patterns, which encourages normal brain function.

Neuro-enhancement: This step comes in once the other changes have been made. Therefore, healthy sleep patterns and eating will be in place in addition to an exercise regimen. The basic neuro-enhancement strategy includes deep meditation and nutraceutical products, which are pharmaceutical grade nutrients. After this, devices and other medications are used to enhance brain function.

The Difference Between Brain and Physical Fitness

Focusing on brain fitness is just as important as achieving personal fitness. However, the brain is often ignored or its importance is minimized, which is unfortunate.

Success, happiness and many other significant aspects of life are negatively or positively impacted by the brain. In other words, physical fitness is of no use if your brain is not also fit.

Although personal fitness and brain fitness are two different elements, they are not all that different, because in order for the brain to function correctly, it needs a lot of the same things that your body needs, such as exercise, healthy food and proper rest.

Regardless of what you choose to do to enhance your brain function, bit it rest, exercise, eating right or brain exercises and optimization techniques, just understanding the role brain health and a positive neuroeconomy plays in your success and happiness is of paramount importance and should not be minimized.