Dr. Herbst Shares Her Secrets to LIVE LIFE HEALTHY

I like to listen to podcasts on self-growth. I enjoy reading historical fiction. I love music– I think it’s an expression of feelings and emotions that are hard to convey. I have an appreciation for the arts and for nature -I love being outdoors; it’s very calming. I love warm soft fuzzy socks after a hike or a shower.  I love my windows open at night- fresh air when I’m sleeping is the best. I have to sleep with something heavy on me at night but I love it to be cold. I sleep best with a big fan blowing in the room making lots of noise. I love one on one conversation, really getting to know someone. I recharge alone, in solitude and peace, preferably in nature.

No, this is not an advertisement for a dating website. 🙂  I simply honor the importance of these small enjoyments and try to incorporate them into my life on a daily basis.  I’m talking about Neuroplasticity here, and I love to share with my patients the importance of focusing on lifestyle changes for brain health. 

According to the National Institute of Health, Neuroplasticity is the capacity of brain cells to change in response to environmental stimulation.  It is believed to be critical for enhancing and maintaining cognitive function.  Scientists used to think the brain, its matter, and nerve cells, along with our personality, our desires, and our skill sets were permanent once we are grown and developed. This is not true!!  Things happen to us, they shape us but they are NOT who we are- we have the options to change and evolve.

A key part of healing is learning who we are, who we want to be, and what makes us happy -what makes our souls light up with passion. Finding my purpose in life was the first step, doing things that make my heart sing as a second step and not being afraid to try was a third step. My fear of failure was once a dominant part of who I was…now not so much.  When I released that fear I was able to try new things.  I started painting! It’s been freeing to put paint on a canvas and to watch it evolve, morph, and eventually finalize into something that you feel is an expression of you. I also used to think you didn’t have to go to a counselor unless you were really mentally ill… Oh, was I wrong! You can go to someone whose specialty and skill set is to help you develop, grow, and talk through things so that you can find the ultimate truth for yourself. Or you can go to someone who is skilled as a counselor or therapist or a psychologist or even hire a health coach, to help you work through some of your challenges- to discover what fears are holding you back from pure joy.

That’s what I’m talking about –getting over fears, expressing who you are, and learning to be vulnerable.  So for now, exercise, laugh, challenge yourself with new hobbies, brush your teeth with the opposing hand, eat clean and focus on anti-inflammatory foods.  Don’t be afraid to try new things, listen to podcasts, read good books, talk to your friends, go to a counselor.

We shouldn’t leave out the spiritual and emotional part of healing.  Maybe it’s the most important part of the healing journey.  It’s never too late to grow! I challenge you, do something new, do something you’ve always wanted to do, make a bucket list and start every one of them NOW!!

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