Tips to Increase Neurogenesis (Growing New Neurons) in Adult Brain in order to stop your Eating Disorder
Tips to Increase Neurogenesis (Growing New Neurons) in Adult Brain in order to stop your Eating Disorder.This is what neuroplasticity is all about. Now, let’s look at 11 major principles of how we can facilitate the processes of neurogenesis (growing new brain cells) in order to stop your eating disorder.
Neurogenesis is growing new brain cells (neurons).
By now you probably know that eating disorders are problems related to emotions, perception and specific neuronal pathways in your brain which related to eating disorder behaviour. And that in order to stop your eating disorder you need to create new neuronal pathways responsible for good constructive behaviour to replace the faulty neuronal pathways.
1. Learn everything you can about how the brain works. Even some basic understanding will help you to appreciate your brain’s beauty as a living and constantly-developing structure with billions of neurons and its connections. When you understand what happens in your brain while you binge-purge or starve yourself – you will have an idea of how to reverse it. Until you understand this process you are like a blind person who is trying to find his way home walking through the debris in the wilderness.
2. Take care of your nutrition. Your brain consumes 20% of all the oxygen, nutrients and energy you consume. If you are an anorexic and don’t eat (or eat little) your brain starves. It can not function properly and that’s why people with anorexia stop seeing a clear picture of reality that other people see. They see themselves fatter than they are, they judge others by the way they look and how skinny they are. And their starving brain is a big contributor to it. The Brain can only function at its best when it has enough energy and nutrition to process the information.
3. Moderate physical exercise enhances neurogenesis (production of brain cells). But eating disorder sufferers have to be careful not to over exercise because many of them already do overexercise. Always remember that when you exercise the spending of energy increases rapidly and body needs energy to burn. Energy comes from the food we eat but when there is not enough energy from food, the body starts consuming its own tissue as an energy source. Fat burns first. But if a person does not have fat (or has very little) like an eating disorder sufferer, the body start burning muscles and other body tissues. And that is a dangerous process. It can lead to dystrophy and caxechia – the syndrome is what a person looks like who has just come from a concentration camp we have all seen the pictures. Please Remember: moderate exercise is great; I don’t mean running 10 miles a day. But you need to make sure that you have something to burn – not just burn your muscles and brain tissue as an energy source.
4. Practice positive, future-oriented thoughts, until they become your mindset. Look forward to every new day in a constructive way. Find and follow your main purpose in life.
Stress and anxiety, no matter whether induced by external events or by your own thoughts, actually kills neurons and prevents the creation of new ones. You can think of chronic stress as the opposite of exercise: it prevents the creation of new neurons.
5. Get excited and thrive on learning and mental challenges. You have probably heard the expression “Use it or lose it.” And – yes it does apply to the brain also. What relation this principle has on eating disorders, you may ask. The answer is – everything. You see, the brain of an anorexic – bulimic person is full of faulty neuronal pathways which are responsible for their anorexic-bulimic behaviours. There are pathways for binging-purging, for starving, for taking laxatives and diuretics, over exercising etc. When you start learning new constructive thing – like for example, how your brain works, its anatomy and physiology etc. – you actually will produce new neuronal pathways in your brain which will take the place of your old pathways and replace them.
Learning can be about anything you want to learn but it has to be good, positive and constructive. Something you can share with others and teach them to do the same. The more you learn this new thing the more it becomes your new mindset and the closer you became to eating disorder recovery.
6. Find a purpose. Aim high. As far as we know humans are the only self-directed organisms on this planet. This means we are the only ones who can make decision and exercise our own will.
If you don’t know what your purpose in life is – don’t worry. It will come if you keep focusing on finding it. And don’t forget to learn about how your brain works – it also will give understanding on how life has a purpose which is already created and imbedded in your mind.
7. Explore and travel. It has been proved that travelling to new locations forces you to pay more attention to your environment. This will pull your attention away from your eating disorder and help you to develop new neuronal pathways in the brain – different from what the eating disorder has created. It can also help to produce more good chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) which are responsible for your attention span. More attention will make your learning of new things easier.
8. Don’t succumb to the opinions of others. Don’t think that what is in the media, something said by your neighbour or what politicians say are true. Have your own opinion. Remember that media makes billion of dollars every week to program people’s mind by displaying woman’s body images that are impossible to achieve by any normal person. Most diets and other health care products which claim to improve your health don’t work or work on a placebo effect only.
9. Develop and maintain stimulating friendship. This is very important for eating disorder sufferers because generally eating disorder sufferers are withdrawn from others and prefer to spend time alone with their eating disorders. By
spending your time with good friends you take yourself away from the eating disorder. You will also develop different neuronal pathways which if exercised regularly can replace the eating disorder pathways.
10. Remember: Laughter is the best medicine. Spend more time laughing – it is healing and puts you in a different state of mind. I recommend you even to find jokes about weight and food , laugh at it and look at the funny side of it. For example, when you see the funny side of being anorexic or bulimic you will change your attitude to your abnormal behaviour. Laughter also improves hormonal status in the body – which normally suffers in anorexic-bulimic people. Laughter also helps to release good chemicals in the brain which can change your brain for the better.
11. Love. Love more, learn about what love is and how you can feel love and be loved. Learn how to give your love to people and receive the love back. I am not talking here just about romantic love (although this is the love too). I am talking about love as a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment.
Eating disorder sufferers don’t know exactly what these feelings are – and it is one of the reasons they have their eating disorders. So start educating yourself about this topic and you will discover miracles.
For more information on neuroplasticity and EDs go to