What do you think is the key to unleashing your brain potential? A new drug or supplement? Learning more about how the brain works? A particular mental exercise on the computer? Each of these have value in supporting the health of your brain, however, for most of us, the greatest opportunity for brain optimization lies in the field of behavioral change.
I recently attended a presentation by Dr. Longo, the Head of Neurology at Stanford University. He mentioned that physical exercise and a Mediterranean Diet can help to improve our cognition and/or slow mental demise. At the end of the presentation I asked him, “What are the best strategies to ensure long term compliance with these lifestyle alterations?” Dr. Longo then mentioned that while he does recommend lifestyle changes, many of his patients do not comply. He implied that compliance is a problem.
This is a very concerning problem! There are key lifestyle modifications many of us can make that would drastically enhance our cognition. However, most of us are not using effective approaches to sustain these behaviors.
The key for most of us to unleash and maintain our brain power is to appropriately plan for long term lifestyle improvements. No profession will do a better job of helping most of you accomplish this than the Health Coaching profession. While Medical Doctors are great at diagnosing what’s wrong with a person, they are not trained in facilitating lifestyle modifications. This is exactly what a Health Coach is trained in. A recent study showed that 89% of patients achieved at least one of their health related goals in a 6 month time frame1 with the assistance of a Health Coach. This is particularly relevant considering that compliance with lifestyle modifications from Medical Doctors is approximately 25%2.
Some of the key ingredients in a successful Health Coaching Program are:
Goal Setting (both short and long term goals)
Motivational Interviewing (Asking leading questions (by the coach) that stimulate the client's self realization of the best solutions and forms of motivation)
If you want to improve your odds of sustaining a lifestyle improvement, consider working with a professional health coach.
As always, before setting out to make a lifestyle improvement to sharpen your brain, be sure to ask yourself this very important question… “What Is The Greatest Opportunity For The Improvement Of My Brain?”
Lawson K, Jonk Y, O'Connor H, Riise K, Eisenberg D, Kreitzer M. The impact of telephone health coaching on health outcomes in a high-risk population. Global Adv Health Med. 2013;2(3):40–7
Jin et al. Factors affecting therapeutic compliance: A review from the patient’s perspective. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Feb; 4(1): 269–286.