Brain Envy

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 You know, purchasing health books can be a double edged sword.  On the one hand, I am exposed to hundreds of health topics and issues of which I can read up on and become more knowledgeable.  On the other hand, too much knowledge can be a bad thing. 

I currently am listening to the book Magnificent Mind At Any Age by Daniel Amen.  While I was waiting for Youngest Son after school one day, I took his “brain quiz” which basically sums up the damage we do to our brains by certain behaviors.  We were to rate our behaviors from a 1 to a 4 with never being a 1 and quite often being a 4. 

Certain that I would score high I scribbled my answers down confidently at first, and then not so much as the quiz went on.  I whizzed through questions like, “Do you smoke or use tobacco products?” (Ha – NO), “Do you drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day?” (No again) but then things got a little more complicated. 

“Do you drink diet beverages containing aspartame?” (Umm… yes.  Guess I’ll have to make that a 3).  “Do you spend three or more hours on the computer a day outside of work?” (Never mind that my family thinks I’m computer addicted – isn’t blogging a form of creativity?  Oh, FINE I gave it a 2.5), “Are you under constant stress?” (What the hell kind of question is THAT?  I have three kids, I work and the economy is awful.  Of course I have stress! Okay 3.5).  “Do you drink caffeinated beverages?” (Oh come ON.  I had to give that one a 3).

Somehow I ended up in “brain danger” territory without smoking one cigarette, doing street drugs or riding my motorcycle without a helmet.   Apparently worrying, thinking negative thoughts, drinking diet Coke and coffee and blogging are bad enough.

Maybe that would explain the mattress debacle.  Or the fact that I painted the living and dining room a color that doesn’t match my furniture.   Or the fact that I forgot the book “Smart But Scattered” at home today and now it’s overdue.  It’s all coming clear to me now.  Well, sort of… as much as a brain endangered person might be.

Dr. Amen goes on to explain that he too used to have bad brain habits and then, after learning about negative brain behaviors, got “brain envy”, thereby changing his wicked ways. 

I told this all to my husband, adding the fact that excess weight can be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease.  I thought he might be surprised and alarmed by this tidbit of information.  However, his response was, “Well, I guess I’ll thank you now for changing my diaper and wiping my mouth in the future.”

So much for knowledge is power.   I’m not going to waste any more precious brain time trying to change him – he’s on his own.

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One thought on “Brain Envy

  1. I shudder to think how I’d score on this test. I don’t smoke, either, but it sounds like even the most mundane things score big points! I have a vague fear of old age (mostly of the old age of those I know and love, rather than my own) but I ignore it most of the time because, well, what else are you gonna do. I’m not willing to spend time worrying about it.

    I do wish I could improve my own memory, but I’m not willing to give up caffeine/etc. completely to get there.

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