Dr. Helena Popovic MBBS: Ways to Train the Brain for Your Well-being | Doing Well #30

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Dr. Helena Popovic, a graduate of the University of Sydney who has spent over 30 years researching the brain and teaching people how to reach their full potential

Emotional well-being is frequently compromised as individuals grapple with the demands of a fast-paced and stressful lifestyle. Using these practical tips, one can train the brain for well-being and achieve a harmonious balance in various aspects of life.

Meet Dr. Helena Popovic MBBS

Dr. Helena Popovic MBBS is a medical doctor and international speaker who shows people how to boost their brain at any age or stage of life to perform at their peak throughout their career, eliminate brain fog in menopause, and avoid Alzheimer’s and other dementias in retirement. She also provides a roadmap for living longer, stronger, healthier, and happier. 

Dr. Helena graduated from the University of Sydney and has spent over 30 years researching the brain and teaching people how to reach their full potential. She believes that education is more powerful than medication and that human decisions are more powerful than their DNA. 

She is also the author of three best-selling books: In Search of My Father (a guide to caring for someone with dementia), Adventure Prevents Dementia (shows how people can all build a better brain), and NeuroSlimming – Let Your Brain Change Your Body (a book on how to shed excess body fat without dieting or deprivation). 

NeuroSlimming won a bronze medal in the International Living Now Awards for books contributing to positive global change. Dr. Helena delivers highly effective wellness and peak performance programs to organizations of all sizes. She is one of Australia’s most popular conference speakers.

About the episode

The cerebellum in the brain balances and regulates thoughts and emotions. Dr. Helena shared that people with mental health illnesses and neurodegenerative diseases often have poor balance.

Acknowledging feelings is essential for well-being. It allows you to process and release negative emotions. Holding onto unexpressed emotions can lead to physical illness over time. It is not about wallowing in negativity but acknowledging and learning from it before moving on.

She also shared the risks of developing type 2 diabetes. The main concern is sugar’s metabolic effects on the brain and body. Added sugar, which is found in 80% of packaged foods, should be avoided. Refined starches like bread, white rice, and pasta should also be avoided.

Dr. Helena stressed that sleep deprivation can lead to poor decision-making and impaired brain function. Having enough sleep is important for brain detoxification. According to her, the glymphatic system in the brain washes out toxins during sleep.

Sitting for long periods can increase inflammation and decrease blood flow while standing and spending time in nature can help reduce inflammation and boost energy. Sitting does not stimulate the quadriceps and glutes and triggers chronic low-grade inflammation, which can negatively affect health. Dr. Helena recommends spending time in nature, particularly in forests, to strengthen the immune system.

To end the episode, Dr. Helena shared that boosting brain health and overall well-being involves being aware of the actions, thoughts, experiences, and beliefs that affect people. Acting as if every decision matters and being mindful of what individuals consume and how people relate to others is important. Practicing positive self-talk and acknowledging wins can have a significant impact on well-being.

In conclusion

Exploring well-being and brain health reveals valuable insights into maintaining a balanced and regulated mental state. The cerebellum’s pivotal role in managing thoughts and emotions connects mental health with poor balance.

Acknowledging and processing emotions for overall well-being can prevent the potential physical toll of unexpressed feelings. Watching sugar intake, getting adequate sleep, and spending time with nature can foster overall well-being.

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