show episodes
 
Host Dr. Andrea Wilkinson has a PhD in Psychology, with a specialization in Cognitive Aging. She has been studying brain fitness and cognitive maintenance for over 15 years. The BrainShape Podcast discusses the hottest issues, topics, interests and concerns related to healthy aging and brain health for aging adults, older adults, seniors and baby boomers who want to learn about how to stay mentally and physically engaged for as long as possible. What are the tips and techniques that promote ...
 
Don't settle for someone else's story about your life! Your 3rd Act of life is the time to be fully you. In our 3rd Act series. you'll learn to thrive post-midlife; In our StoryPros series, you'll learn how stories can transform your life in our StoryPros series. Sally Fox, Ph.D., veteran coach, consultant and writer interviews thought leaders who are shaping the narratives that are shaping the world. Find out more at www.vitalpresence.com.
 
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show series
 
From where does consciousness originate? Many people would intuitively say from the brain – your head brain to be more specific. But, in fact, humans have three brains: the head brain, the gut brain and the heart brain. Each plays a critical role in your human experience. In fact, some argue that we (humans) would benefit from getting our head brai…
 
What does reality mean to you? Understanding what reality is and how it is created + perceived is not an easy topic to discuss. What if everything we have been taught is leading us in the wrong direction? In our current day society, we live predominantly in a distracted state and are becoming more disconnected than ever. We are disconnected from ou…
 
Every day that you get to live your human experience is a miracle. How do you remind yourself to live each day to the fullest? Whether you realize the power you hold or not, you can choose to make the most out of what you have been given. Needless-to-say, this is easier said than done and some days feel more effortful than others. But, how can you …
 
What does reality mean to you and how do you think it is created? Do you ever wonder how or why you are here? What does being “here” even mean? Each and every one of us holds the ability to alter the reality that we are collectively experiencing. This may feel far fetched for some, but awakening your consciousness to this inherent capacity is requi…
 
In order to love the skin you’re in, you need to quiet the busyness of your critical mind and connect with your true essence. Your mind is a very busy place. What often blocks us from “loving the skin we’re in” is the voice inside that is quick to pass judgement and criticize. By quieting the mind, you can tune into your true self – also known as y…
 
There are many well-known bad habits for the heart such as drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, smoking and eating unhealthy foods. Some lesser-known bad habits, include lack of sleep, stress, and held in emotions. To keep your heart healthy, consider some alternative approaches – such as going barefoot and grounding (also known as earthing).…
 
What do you turn to when you want to numb the pain that you feel inside? An awareness of the habits and patterns that you use to distract yourself away from your discomfort is an important first step. Another critical step is a willingness to become the learner and go back to the basics. Transforming pain into empowerment requires the courage to pr…
 
Refueling your mind, body, and spirit is important at any age – but, many women struggle to prioritize themselves and their needs. For women, during and after menopause, there are many changes that take place in the brain and body. Understanding what these changes are and how to mitigate unwanted symptoms – such as brain fog and cravings - can empo…
 
In this episode, we're sharing Part 2 of Dr. Andrea’s interview on the Feeling Forwards Podcast with Elizabeth Gould. Elizabeth is a best-selling author, entrepreneur & personal reinvention coach. She teaches women how to reach through any challenge using Feeling Forwards to create their dream life. Elizabeth has also been a guest on the BrainShape…
 
By understanding the science of how to optimize the health of your brain and body, you can be empowered to take the control back in your life and how you feel. In this episode, we're sharing Part 1 of an interview Dr. Andrea did with Elizabeth Gould on her Feeling Forwards Podcast. Elizabeth Gould is a best-selling author, entrepreneur & personal r…
 
In this episode, we share the audio from an interview Dr. Andrea did on the Becoming Your Best Version Podcast with Maria Leonard Olsen. Maria is a civil litigation attorney, podcast & radio show host, and author of “50 After 50 - Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life.” Maria has also been a guest on the BrainShape Podcast – so if you want to lea…
 
What does forgiveness mean to you? What feelings or sentiments arise inside of you when you think about forgiveness? Exploring how you can offer forgiveness to yourself, or others, can be a profound pathway to healing. For some, forgiving an individual or group of people who have deeply hurt you may seem unrealistic or undesirable, but forgiveness …
 
If you (or someone you know) is suffering from narcissistic abuse, then you’ll want to listen to this conversation with recurring guest Dr. Mariette Jansen. Narcissists have an inflated sense self, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Those who suffer from narcissistic abuse experience gaslighting, mental trauma, and are of…
 
The year 2021 was a wild one; so, we thought it might be fun to reflect on some of the incredible episodes and fascinating guests we had on the show. Tune in for Part 2 of our two-part series highlighting some of Dr. Andrea’s favourite BrainShape Podcast episodes from 2021. Buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/brainshape Read the show note…
 
The year 2021 was a wild one; so, we thought it might be fun to reflect on some of the incredible episodes and fascinating guests we had on the show. Tune in for Part 1 of our two-part series highlighting some of Dr. Andrea’s favourite BrainShape Podcast episodes from 2021. Buy me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/brainshape Read the show note…
 
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the tasks in front of you that you are rendered almost paralyzed in your ability to “do the work?” An overactive nervous system can be debilitating. This is because when your stress response is activated - and your go into survival mode - your brain’s limbic system takes over and prevents your rational mind from…
 
Happy New Year!! As we embark on a new year – I just want to take a moment to share my appreciation for you. It has been such an honour having you as a listener in 2021 and I am excited for the new growth and transformation that 2022 has in store for us. So, what is your vision for yourself for the new year? What do you want to create more of in yo…
 
How do you feel about the year that has just passed? What accomplishments have you achieved in 2021? What are you most proud of? Reflecting on the changes you’ve made in your life (no matter how small) is an essential part of your growth and transformation. Tune in as we reflect on 2021 – both a bizarre and very magical year. Read the show notes: h…
 
Creating a life that you desire is within your reach – but it requires that you are brutally honest with yourself about who you are and how you want to show up for the rest of your years. Michael Clinton (author, Roar) shares four critical steps in the process: 1. Re-imagining yourself and your future; 2. Owning who you are and where you came from;…
 
During times of crisis, chaos, and traumatic experiences, you enter into “survival mode.” Traumatic stress can disrupt your ability to function effectively – because when you go into survival mode, activity in the thinking and rational part of your brain is dimmed. There are, however, mind-body therapeutic approaches that can help your brain proces…
 
Many people suffer from chronic pain. It is estimated that one in five people live with chronic pain – but the numbers are likely even higher than that. Healing the body and maximizing recovery potential is of the utmost importance. But for those who suffer from pain (whether chronic or acute), managing discomfort can often feel out of reach. Findi…
 
Are you struggling with content overload or feeling overwhelmed? Feeling swamped with information and can't get ahead? Then you don’t want to miss today’s conversation. When you feel like you are under a mountain of information, getting your mind clear and focused can be challenging. To help you understand the meaning of coaching, listen in as I ta…
 
Practicing gratitude is NOT about constantly feeling happy or ignoring the bad feelings that invariably come up in life. You are a human, after all, and for better or worse, this human experience brings with it a vast array of emotions. Gratitude is about shifting your attention to the moments of joy, love, and happiness that happen throughout the …
 
What is underlying your insatiable food cravings? Eating to suppress unpleasant emotions is extremely common. The first step to getting a handle on unwanted cravings and emotional eating is awareness. Can you be honest with yourself about what is triggering your behaviour? When you eat to avoid unwanted feelings, you're often left feeling worse tha…
 
Sleep rejuvenates the brain and body. It helps with memory consolidation as well as emotional regulation. On average, humans require about 7-9 hours of sleep each night - growth hormones are excreted, the body cleans itself and cells are rejuvenated. If you’re not getting the right amount of sleep that your specific body needs, you can be left feel…
 
Brain fog, hot flashes, and insomnia are all common symptoms reported by women as they go through the various stages of menopause. The hormonal changes that take place during this time drastically impact a woman’s brain and body. Being armed with the right information and tools to help you have a midlife refuel - can be transformative. Tune in to l…
 
The human body is a whole, interconnected system. Keeping your body in balance is a cornerstone of health, and your gut is a key player. One of the reasons the gut is so foundational to health is because the gut is the primary centre for the immune system. Inflammation that starts in the gut can affect your entire body – or become “system-wide.” Tu…
 
With 2022 right around the corner, it is the perfect time to determine what matters to you most and how you are going to go about achieving it. If you're struggling with constant stress + overwhelm, can’t get a good night’s sleep, or want to boost your motivation and mental focus, listen up. To help my clients achieve their goals and show up for th…
 
Film is a powerful medium that can open us up to new experiences, new cultures and new perspectives. Film is a portal that can help entrench us in the experiences of others – and by doing so – can help us cultivate a deeper understanding of what others may be going through. A film can even help illuminate the journey that we – ourselves – are navig…
 
Talking about aged care homes (assisted living or long-term care) is not often at the top of people’s lists. But some important considerations need to be discussed with your loved ones ahead of time to ensure that your care needs and desires are adequately met. Care homes are designed to take care of people’s needs when they (or their loved ones) c…
 
The choices and behaviours that you engage in daily impact how your body functions as a system. For example, sugar triggers the release of dopamine in the brain – which feels good. But, over time, your dopamine system can get reset – resulting in dopamine levels that dip below the baseline and lead to sugar cravings. By taking care of your health –…
 
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Every year on September 21, World Alzheimer's Day is commemorated to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Lancet publications (2017 & 2020) identified 12 major risk factors for dementia, including: less education, hypertension (high blood pressure), hearing impairment, smok…
 
Your mindset consists of a series of perceptions and beliefs that you hold about yourself. What you believe about your abilities and your capacity to learn + grow will ultimately dictate how much you can evolve in this life. The concept of fixed vs. growth mindset was first introduced by Carol S. Dweck in her seminal book: "Mindset: The new Psychol…
 
A habit is formed when a behaviour becomes automatic and takes place without much conscious thought or effort. In this way, habits play a significant role in your life because your brain thrives off of automaticity. If your mind can set something on default, it will – because the more you put on your mental plate, the more overwhelmed your brain wi…
 
Rowing is a full-body workout that increases endurance and boosts aerobic performance all while being easy on your joints. “Rowing is for EVERY body. It will meet you where you are and take you where you want to go” - UCanRow2. One of the most beautiful aspects of rowing is that it takes away the comparison dimension of fitness, which keeps many pe…
 
A coach can help you integrate new information for sustainable lifestyle changes. What most people don’t realize is that information is not sufficient – you need to be able to incorporate novel knowledge into your everyday life. A coach can help you identify and work through the barriers that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Tune in to li…
 
Most self-help books focus on thinking your way to happiness + success; but, Feeling Forwards is a book that talks about how to harness the power of your emotions to help you bring the reality you desire into your life. The book, “Feeling Forwards,” teaches us all about the unique concept of harnessing emotions to bend time and to help you bring a …
 
How do you measure your mental health? Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how you think, feel, and act. And it can also help determine how you handle stress. Mental health isn’t static. It can ebb and flow given the life circumstances that you are currently trying to manage. Identifying your own …
 
Listen to Dr. Andrea's interview with Sherry Jibb for her "Happy & Healthy in Midlife Summit." A favourite part was talking about how feelings of overwhelm cue your brain to go into protector mode. Use the science of how your brain works to overcome feelings of overwhelm so you can take on your *big* goals and aspirations. Your brain will always tr…
 
Optimize Your Energy is Dr. Andrea's new 8-week online course where she'll be taking a small group of new students through her signature methodology – the Brain Vitality Method. She'll teach you how to craft your lifestyle and daily habits to cultivate the energy and mental vibrancy you need for Phase II. Tune in to learn more! To join the early-bi…
 
Sleep plays a foundational role in your overall health. Yet, there remains a low diagnosis and treatment rate of sleep apnea (a common sleep disorder). Tune in to learn about the links between sleep disorders, joint pain (such as TMJ; temporomandibular joint disorder), and migraines. Our guest, Dr. Dave Shirazi, specializes in treating TMJ and slee…
 
Savitha Reddy Pathi is the Deputy Director of Climate Solutions, a nonprofit in Seattle that's focused on accelerating clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. In this episode, Savitha and Tim talk about: How Climate Solutions is helping fight the climate crisis How relationships with donors have changed due to COVID-19 What motivates people t…
 
What you eat (and don’t eat) plays a crucial role in the health of your brain. A large (and growing) body of research has linked specific dietary patterns - found in the Mediterranean and MIND diets - to protecting the brain and preserving mental functions with increasing age. Tune in to learn all about the vital nutrients you should be consuming t…
 
Human DNA is a vibrant molecule that moves all the time, opening and closing, turning on and off genes, and generally sensing and responding to the environment. How well your DNA is functioning relates to the speed at which you age biologically. What can you do to support your DNA so that works optimally for as long as possible? Tune in to learn ab…
 
“Aging well” is an all-encompassing term that is defined as a holistic approach to growing older. It includes not only taking care of your physical body and your mind – but also your soul. According to our guest, Angela G. Gentile, there are ten dimensions of wellness that can be assessed and examined to optimize how you’re feeling on a daily basis…
 
Have you ever struggled to lose weight? Most people have been dissatisfied with their bodies at some point in their lives and have tried to lose weight using a "calories in vs. calories out" approach. However, most people don't realize that their body is always seeking balance. So, if you eat fewer calories than your body needs to function, it will…
 
Staying socially and physically active is a cornerstone of health and well-being. When COVID-19 became a global pandemic, most people experienced a change in their daily routines and habits. But, the impact of social isolation on older adults - in particular - has been profound. How are you staying active and making an effort to maintain your menta…
 
Your mental resources are limited. What are you doing that either preserves or drains the quality of your mental energy and vibrancy? In this episode, Dr. Andrea covers three tips you can use to help preserve your mental energy: 1. Monitor your consumption; 2. Do an energy audit; and 3. Implement healthy lifestyle behaviours. Tune in to learn more …
 
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