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  • We've all heard the phrase, "get your creative juices flowing."

  • Weird as it sounds, there may be some truth to the term, "creative juices..."

  • which I will stop saying right now, because it feels weird to say.

  • Meet BDNF, also known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.

  • BDNF isn't a synthetic creativity juice you can just grab at Costco.

  • The role of BDNF is stimulating, maintaining, and supporting neuronal growth

  • in your nervous system, helping make more connections in your brain.

  • Those increased synaptic connections can help you get out of that creative rut.

  • And how is it released? Exercise!

  • And I'm not talking Crossfit, Zumba, or Milly rocking on every block.

  • Lighter exercise like walking can help you get some BDNF in your system.

  • BDNF is integral to processes of learning and memory,

  • and if you need more proof that it's important, there's significant evidence that

  • Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's Disease patients

  • have less BDNF in their brains.

  • So getting those levels up early in life could help stave off those neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Write a little, walk a little.

  • If you get blocked, take a walk.

  • If the juices ain't flowing, get up and get going.

  • Honestly, what am I doing here?

  • I should be writing science mixtapes and selling them in Times Square.

  • There's so much scrutiny from so many people into our lives, increased exponentially by social media,

  • that it could be doing damage to our mental health, increasing psychosocial stress.

  • All of that in turn affects our depression and anxiety.

  • But, that damage isn't irreparable.

  • Changing small things about your mindset and routine can affect you on a neurological level,

  • a.k.a. “neuroplasticity.”

  • Neuroplasticity is exactly what it sounds like: neuro, “brainand plasticity, “flexible.”

  • In this case, it means that our brains have the ability to change and adapt

  • in response to our environment.

  • We can help alleviate these symptoms of depression, anxiety, and psychosocial stress

  • by changing small things in our routine.

  • It doesn't have to be a reboot of your entire life - #NewYearNewMe;

  • it could be a small change that makes things better...

  • #NewYearSameMeButILikeChangedSomeStuff...?

  • That's clunky, we gotta fix that in post.

  • Hop off social media for a while. Take a trip.

  • Change your work environment.

  • Cut that messy friend who talks all kinds of trash out of your life,

  • or stop being that friend.

  • All of these things will not only positively affect your physical health,

  • like your heart and immune functions, but also your psychological health.

  • Finally, I cannot STRESS this enough:

  • GO TO SLEEP.

  • If you gotta cut this video off now and go to sleep immediately, do it.

  • I'll be here when you wake up.

  • Welcome back!

  • I realize that there's extenuating circumstances to getting enough sleep:

  • work and family stuff, being a college student trying to survive in a capitalist society, et cetera.

  • But important things happen in your brain when you're asleep.

  • First, cerebrospinal fluid is cleaning toxins out of your brain while you sleep.

  • The more time asleep, the more thorough that cleaning can be.

  • Second, it preserves and encodes our memories in our hippocampus,

  • in turn helping us keep track of our day, the next day's agenda, and who owes us money

  • (Steve, I know you saw the Venmo charge, so text me back).

  • Third, it solidifies new information we've learned over the last day.

  • This especially goes out to all my people still in schoolyou've learned so much information

  • in your last day of classes; just go to sleep to help remember it,

  • stop playing FIFA, Fortnite, and 2K all night (yeah, I was you once, I know what you're doing).

  • These are small tips that have science to back them up.

  • Try all of these for a month and track your progress.

  • Did you finish a project?

  • Did you write that supahotfiyah science mixtape that went double platinum, no features?

  • If so, keep at it, and let's make #NewYearSameMeButALittleBitBetterThanBefore

  • trend.

  • One mechanism to deal with stress that I didn't mention is mindful meditation, which, if you

  • which, if you have a friend who doesn't shut up in line at brunch, you've probably heard about.

  • But is there ANY scientific truth to that?

  • Check out this episode right here to find out and while you're at it,

  • subscribe to Seeker for all new stories about science, all the time.

  • You know what you like.

  • You know why you're here.

  • Thanks for watching.

We've all heard the phrase, "get your creative juices flowing."

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How Stress Rewires Your Brain and What You Can Do About It

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/18
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