Have you ever wondered why the same stress factors affect people differently?
"Some people after a head injury, seem to really be affected, while others don’t” (this is a direct quote from "Magnificent Mind at Any Age" by Daniel Amen, M.D.)
The above statement got me thinking about my own battle with TBI. My injury was very severe, but the repercussions of my brain injury appear mild (most people, I’m told, don’t even know the severity of my injury by just looking at me).
Why do I handle my life with TBI so well?
According to Daniel Amen, M.D., a brain healthy life will increase your reserve or hardiness to deal with pending stresses or trouble. In his book, he lists ways to increase your brain reserve. As I read through this list, I quickly recognized that I did have a brain reserve before my accident which has helped me to recover.
Here is part of Dr. Amen’s list and how it has improved my own brain reserve:
1. Maintain positive social connections
I enjoy maintaining social connections. People generally like me, and I generally like people.
My home was and is full of positive energy. Some people hate their family. I love mine! When I was a child, my cousins were my best friends. Even now, I talk to my mom nearly every day. Love is in the Mosher household – enough said.
2. Engage in new learning
Formal education was very important to me pre-accident. Admittedly, I spent too much time studying in high school and college, this combined with a strong work ethic, always seemed to keep me engaged in something having to do with learning.
3. Take a daily vitamin
Isn’t every mom like mine, and make their kids eat a multi-vitamin before eating non-sugar cereal in the morning? (I’m not talking about the cartoon-character, colored, sugary flavored ones either! Ours were not flavored, not chewable, and straight from the health food store).
4. Avoid too much television (our TV broke when I was a child and my parents refused to fix it. I spent most of my youth without TV).
5. Express gratitude
All members of the LDS church are taught about gratitude from a very early age.
“It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.”~ Naomi Williams
6. Exercise regularly
I can’t remember a time when members of my family were not “gym addicts” (especially my dad).
7. Maintain a healthy diet
I like vegetables, quinoa, and olive oil