How To Eat Your Way To Iconoclasm

Einstein, MLK, Gandhi, Malala…we look at their lives and are downright amaze,d because how do these admirable people do what they do, they are so Time magazine it makes me feel so small and unsatisfied with my first place in the third place spelling bee in which I won a vintage (vhs) video about pioneers.

We might call these people iconoclasts, or those who do things that others say can’t be done. Simple maybe, but not so much replicable. Or is it? What if we could pinpoint with more certainty what goes on in the brain of most iconoclasts? Maybe then we can find out how to re-wire our brains closer to those magical properties of awesomeness.

Just so happens that this guy Gregory Bernsfound in his research that there are 3 major characteristics that make iconoclasts different; one is that they haveĀ less rejection-sensitive brains. In other words, iconoclasts have brains that are wired/have been re-wired to not care so much about whether or not their views will be accepted by others. Doesn’t sound incredibly interesting? It is. Cause hold on a sec. You might live and breathe IDGAF but if you actually have normal or low levels of this neurotransmitter serotonin, chances are you actually GALOFs (figure that out you clever self-proclaimed iconoclast). This is because our brain responds to social rejection using physical pain circuits, so we are built to experience very real pain when we do things people around us don’t agree with. That’s a hard evolutionary self-preservation mechanism to fight even with a really good Avril Lavigne song (sorry, not ashamed).

There are, of course, ways to alter your brain chemistry just by doing simple things like eating certain foods or deliberately engaging in certain activities. Dr. Joel Roberts, clinician and director of the Robertson Institute, talks about some of these ways that I’ll summarize below.

Basically, if you want to give yourself an iconoclast boost (hey Jamba take some notes) to defend aliens at that weird but fun rally in the park or just stand up to your boss, here’s some ways to eat (and move) your way to lower rejection-sensitivity and iconoclasm (or something like that) by yours truly:

To increase serotonin levels (increases your confidence and lowers fear from rejection):

  • Eat foods rich in carbohydrates i.e. whole grains, sweet rolls/pastries (yum), the whole damn potato family (don’t go overboard though, the equivalent to 2 slices of bread should do the trick, and the effects are immediate).
  • Avoid red meat or animal proteins
  • Engage in “quieting, meditative, life supportive” activities i.e. meditation, a walk in the park, stretching, reading

To increase norepinepherine/dopamine levels to increase focus and problem-solving skills:

  • Eat protein like low-fat fish (salmon, cod, halibut), eggs, tofu and bean products
  • Avoid milk (takes away from your concentration)

Interested in learning more? Recommended reading:

  • Peak-Performance Living by Joel Roberts
  • Iconoclast by Gregory Burns
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