Cognitive health and wellness is a big deal.
But you probably don’t understand it well enough.
There is lots of talk these days about wellness – and for good reason. But, what really is it? It’s no secret healthier people tend to live longer, are happier, smarter and perform at higher levels than others. However, healthy doesn’t happen on its own; it requires active participation. This is where your wellness habits enter the story of your health. Wellness is a term that describes not necessarily the absence of illness, but a state of general health and well-being. Wellness is an active pursuit that leverages healthier lifestyle choices to ensure you perform at peak intellectual and physical levels and are capable of responding effectually when health threats and challenges are present.
Thinking of wellness strictly as a physical pursuit is a common yet flawed premise. There’s far more to wellness than eating well and regular exercise. Scientists generally agree brain and mind wellness should be the forefront of every wellness strategy. However, few understand cognitive wellness sufficiently and it’s underrepresented in almost all wellness strategies. Psychoactive inhibitors like anxiety, stress and fear drive both psychological conditions like depression, sleep disorders and PTSD and also physiological processes associated with many conditions and diseases. When considering wellness from a holistic perspective, the enormous role the brain and mind plays in human health is neither questioned nor is it ignorable. Physical wellness without cognitive wellness is incomplete and ineffectual.
Let’s take a closer look at cognitive wellness. Cognition describes your ability to learn, think, process, recognize, know, react and respond to your world intellectually, or simply think! Cognitive health determines your decision, solution and problem-solving effectiveness. Even minor anxiety and stress disproportionately inhibits the quality of cognitive activity. Diminished ability to concentrate, focus, and comprehend with clarity also suffer. In the end, diminished cognitive capacity inhibits life quality, personal performance and work product. This is one reason companies are focusing much more on employee wellness. Research has shown the average American adult functions at far less than 1% of his or her cognitive potential in a normal state. A moderately stressed individual will be reduced to less than one-thousandth of a percent! While the brightest among us function at no more than 2% cognitive efficiency, even small improvements in cognitive wellness delivers substantial benefits in terms of decision-making, problem-solving, solution creation - and life quality.
Cognitive wellness determines much more than personal performance. Let’s face it, we love being around happy, energetic, interesting, active, bright and passionate people. Their attitude energizes us; we feel more alive and in the moment. They’re also better performers both in their personal lives and at work. It should come as no surprise productive and more content individuals tend to experience fewer effects from anxiety, stress and fear - or at least manage them better. As cognitive wellness improves, so too do things like behavior, attitude, perceptions of our world and senses of well-being. In short, we’re nicer, healthier, smarter, more productive and happier. .
It's time for smarter cognitive wellness.
Being at your cognitive best starts by reducing as much anxiety, stress and fear as possible. It’s important to understand the causes of anxiety and stress in your life. A quick life experience assessment often reveals areas you can improve with simple changes that will increase your cognitive wellness. Does your job, partner, neighbor, family member, friend or someone else cause anxiety, stress or fear? Although you’ll rarely eliminate every source, exploring potential changes that can minimize or eliminate cognitive interlopers is the perfect place to begin your wellness journey. Some sources of anxiety and stress, like children, close friends or even your spouse or life partner aren’t as easy to wisp away. That being said, you can often alter their adverse effects in ways that lessen cognitive stressors by modifying environments, behaviors and responses. However, each of us has some degree of underlying anxiety and stress – and some is important.
People often avoid addressing cognitive wellness until problems appear. By that point, cognitive issues are entrenched and much more difficult to address. Compounding the problem is the feckless social stigma associated with mental health. The key is addressing cognitive performance before it becomes symptomatic or systematic. The first step is recognizing the clues your body is telling you. For some, the inability to concentrate, remember or having have problems sleeping or sleeping more than usual are canaries in the coalmine in terms of consequential stressors. Evidence of more significant problems often include behaviors like binge eating, shopping, substance abuse and avoidance behavior. Not dealing with cognitive health is a losing proposition. Left untreated, cognitive inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening issues. The fact is neither the human body nor the mind tolerates anxiety and stress well for long – the two are inextricably linked. You may adjust temporarily and believe you feel okay, but your body doesn't respond that way. Unmanaged anxiety, stress and fear damage your mind and body – and can kill you. Period.
Cognitive performance is defined by cognitive wellness. Even slightly impaired cognitive health significantly degrades decision-making, solution creation and problem-solving activities. Performance, both cognitively and physically, also suffer. In short, you can’t have one type of wellness without the other; cognitive and physical health are inextricably linked. You’ve made a commitment to your physical wellness. Now it’s time to manage your cognitive wellness. .
Life Environments changes your relationship with stress.
Making smarter nutrition choices and getting active are essential starting points for every wellness plan – but they’re not enough. Managing anxiety, stress and fear are top priorities in smarter cognitive wellness strategies because they have such significant influences on the rest of your body. The great news is managing these inhibitors can be an easy and simple process. Refreshed!™ is our life course by cognitive expert Ian Breck. Refreshed!™ reveals the foundations of anxiety and stress and shows you how to manage them effectively and safely using new scientific discoveries. Knowing anything in its entirety allows you to become creative with it – and Refreshed! is an essential course that can get you there!
Once existing stressors have been addressed and mitigated, one super-drug can deal with what remains in terms of cognitive stressors. We call this drug Vitamin N. You know it as nature.
Have you ever wondered why you feel better when you’re outside, on a beach or in a forest? That’s your brain on nature. Scientists have proven nature’s experience regulates critical cognitive processes far more effectively and safely than pharmaceuticals in most cases. While we don’t know all the reasons why, nature’s experience inhibits stress, anxiety and fear while enhancing our sense of well-being. The result is a naturally fresh, safe and effective cognitive reset with compelling benefits. With nature, you’re smarter, nicer, happier and higher performing in all aspects of our lives at work and home. Nature is a nearly perfect antidote to life’s stressors, which explains why most scientists agree that nature’s experience is an essential element of human development, wellness and a thriving life experience.
Unfortunately, nature is not always convenient or present. Life without nature is quite different; it’s simply less healthy. The problem for more than 80% of American adults is nature is either too inconvenient or impossible to access thanks to increasing urbanization and ever more hectic lifestyles. Scientists have observed dramatic increases in anxiety, stress and depressive disorders and greater incidences of serious conditions and diseases among those who don’t experience nature enough. Not only have scientists verified nature’s cognitive benefits, they have also revealed the profound costs of its absence in terms of wellbeing. The body of evidence is now so compelling, many physicians are writing prescriptions for walks in the park instead of often dangerous psychoactive drugs with questionable efficacy and often unknown mechanisms of action. Nature is clearly an element of human wellness. However, it’s not always practical.
Until now, leveraging nature’s experience required being there. There is simply nothing healthier than nature in the raw. Unfortunately, few offices exist in forests, surgery suites on beaches or workshops in meadows. To compensate for nature’s absence, many people turn to what they believe are reasonable reproductions of nature or gimmicks like “colors” of sound (white, black, grey, chartreuse, etc.) to ease anxiety and stress. The problem is conventional recordings and gimmicks simply aren’t nature – and your brain knows the difference - and responds accordingly. Studies have shown conventional nature recordings often frustrate the brain after only a short time, which is contraindicated for relaxation, refreshment and healthier sleep. These technologies provide nothing cognitively, and certainly have no ability to mitigate anxiety, stress or fear. So, what do you do when nature isn’t where you are?
Life Environments Refresh!™ Immersions 2™ are ultra-lifelike aural experiences that deliver many of nature’s cognitive benefits any place, any time and any way you like. Immersions™ leverage proprietary audio technology that delivers natural environments in lifelike ways your brain engages with. These engagements can inhibit anxiety, stress and fear while enhancing activities that increase senses of well-being. In as few as five minutes, anxiety and stress reduce noticeably as refreshing feelings begin to emerge. Life Environments aural technology stimulates your brain in healthy ways traditional recording simply can’t. More importantly, it’s easy, virtually effortless and a pleasure to use. Simply listen. All that’s needed are headphones or earbuds, an Internet-connected device and a subscription. Improving cognitive wellness has never been more effective, simpler or more delightful.
Originally developed to help healthcare patients feel and heal better, the Refresh!™ cognitive wellness program has found a welcome place within the wellness strategies of a growing number of customers and companies. Life Environments Refresh!™ began with research that revealed patients undergoing medical procedures who felt more comfortable and refreshed experienced considerably improved clinical outcomes. Explorers Like Us Cinema and Sound began exploring ways to decrease patient anxiety and stress without pharmaceuticals. While the challenges were profound, years of research and development resulted in today’s Life Environments Refresh! program. While nothing can replace a walk in the park, a forest or along the beach, Life Environments Refresh!™ delivers a compelling alternative when nature is no place to be found. It’s simplicity, diversity and ease of use is making Life Environments an essential element of smarter wellness strategies worldwide.