Brain Budget

From Weekly I/O#10

Balance the brain budget.

Podcast: Lisa Feldman Barrett: Balancing the Brain Budget [The Knowledge Project Ep. #92]

Our brain runs the metabolic budget of our bodies. We have cells, those cells require energy. Our brain makes big expenditures when we get intense emotions.

When our brain is running a deficit, it stops spending. It means:

  • We feel tired
  • We don't move as much
  • We don’t learn about what’s going on around us in the world
  • Eventually, it starts cutting the budget by letting neurons die

The most important things to replenish our brain’s budget are:

  • Adequate sleep
  • Healthy food
  • Exercise
  • Sex
  • Physical and social connections

So if we're continually getting stressed, getting mad, or getting afraid over and over, and the expenditure isn’t paid back, we're not sleeping enough, we're not eating healthfully, we're not getting hugs from our loved ones, we are running a deficit. Running a deficit will translate into illnesses such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes.

Like buying a bunch of stuff using credit cards, we should pay the bill really fast to avoid additional tax and interest. Similarly, what we should try to do is balancing our brain budget fast whenever we make a big expenditure. Replenish our brain’s budget and pay the bill. Don't let the interest of deficit build up over time.

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