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 ...
 
This podcast is about my dad, and me, and our relationship. It's also about death, old age, care, love, history, change, mental health, science, medicine, art, dementia and friendship. It brings together memoir, clips from over 10 years of recordings of my father, sound design, and interviews with experts. It takes you on a journey down to a sunless sea. This podcast includes content funded by the British Podcast Awards Fund and the Wellcome Trust.
 
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show series
 
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…
 
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 …
 
Tapping (or Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a tool used to help reduce emotional distress, worry, stress, etc. This technique involves using your fingertips to tap along specific points on the body (primarily on the head and face) in a particular sequence. While tapping, the individual focuses on the issues they wish to address. Meridian tapping i…
 
Everything is energy. The sun, the stars and the earth are all energy. You are energy, and the flow of energy between you and your surroundings is constant. Your energy is being exchanged with every breath, feeling, and heartbeat. When you feel love ~ that is energy. It has been said that love is the frequency of the universe. Love transcends time …
 
How can you leverage the power of bioenergetics to improve your health and help you get into a “Thrive State”? There are seven critical elements of bioenergetics that work together to optimize how your cells function. They include: Sleep, Nutrition, Movement, Stress Management, Mindset, Relationships, and Purpose. Tune in to learn more about bioene…
 
In this episode, we share the audio from an interview Dr. Andrea did on the Create Up Podcast with Will Ennis. Create Up is a podcast where Will shares unfiltered conversations and stories with a roster of talented musicians, directors, comedians and more. In Dr. Andrea’s discussion with Will, she talks about getting out of your comfort zone, the p…
 
In this episode, we share audio from one of Dr. Andrea’s past workshops where she talked all about brain resilience + creativity. Specifically, Dr. Andrea covers what you can do to cultivate a dynamically wired brain and how to protect it. She also explores the role of creativity in building and maintaining a resilient brain. Tune in to learn more …
 
Many people are navigating (or have navigated) the journey of caring for aging parents and their own children at the same time. Understanding the struggles and the growth opportunities that are found within the sandwich generation can be tremendously beneficial. How can you check in with yourself and give yourself the empathy, flexibility, and care…
 
The Brain Vitality Blueprint (BvB) is Dr. Andrea Wilkinson’s 90-day signature methodology that teaches you how to craft your lifestyle + mindset to increase your physical energy and mental vibrancy (www.brainshape.ca/blueprint). In this episode, a past BvB client joins us to share her experiences working with Dr. Andrea 1-on-1, the struggles she fa…
 
In this episode, we cover how to take the control back in your life and create your next best chapter. Where do you start? How can you begin to identify the blocks and barriers that are keeping you from showing up as the best version of you? Rediscovering who you are and transforming your life while in the midst of a transition is possible with the…
 
Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain outcome to happen; but, hope is more than a wish. It takes both positive feelings and inspired actions. Hope plays a crucial role in our health + well-being and can be cultivated through intentional action. Tune in to learn about the power of hope and how to bring more of it into your life. …
 
The Brain Vitality Blueprint (BvB) is my 90-day signature methodology to help you improve your mental vibrancy + physical energy through the integration of a healthy lifestyle. Together we optimize your daily habits and get to the root cause of the mindset blocks that are getting in the way of you showing up as the best version of you in Phase II. …
 
In this episode, we share some of the audio from a past workshop where Dr. Andrea outlines the fundamentals of memory and how it works. She also covers how the memory centre of your brain (called the hippocampus) changes with age and the lifestyle factors that impact this special part of your brain. To get the most up-to-date information on virtual…
 
Everyone’s health journey is different. Some are at the beginning stages, while others have been on their health journey for many months, years, or decades. Regardless of where you are on the journey, one thing remains constant across all individuals – dedication. Every day you have to make the conscious choice to put in the effort. Health doesn’t …
 
What are essential oils, and how do they impact health? Essential oils are concentrated natural extracts derived from plants, and they have been used since the beginning of human history for different purposes. Tune in to learn how essential oils can be used to positively impact your health – including calming your nervous system and optimizing you…
 
In this episode, we share some of the audio from a past workshop called “Sleep from A to Zzzzzz”. Dr. Andrea covers how sleep affects the brain + body and the three sleep systems that work to impact your sleep quality. To get the most up-to-date information on the free virtual workshops we'll be hosting in 2021, join our email list by visiting www.…
 
Exercise has a powerful impact on the health of your brain. While aerobic and resistance training are important for brain health, there is a third category that is less talked about, but extremely valuable. Neuro-motor activity is movement that incorporates both cognitive and physical stimulation. Tune in to learn what neuro-motor activities are an…
 
In this episode, we are sharing the audio from a Gracefully Greying interview where Dr. Andrea Wilkinson shares her story, the evolution of the BrainShape.ca platform, and the four key pillars of brain health. Gracefully Greying is a comprehensive resource hub for a variety of issues relevant to individuals as they age. Topics covered on the Gracef…
 
Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia has many challenges, but there are also some surprising joys. Managing your perspective and maintaining a positive mindset can have a tremendous impact on your experience as a caregiver. If you are presently caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (or anothe…
 
To celebrate our 100th episode, I am going to be sharing some of my favourite moments from the last year. I hope that you enjoy this year in review episode. If you hear a clip from an old episode that piques your interest, I hope you decide to go back into our show archives and listen to the full episode. Read the show notes: https://www.brainshape…
 
Changing your perspective & moving through pain + discomfort is not easy. For many people, their pain is buried so deep in their subconscious that they don't even realize it's there. But, they witness their pain showing up whenever they get triggered or feel overwhelmed. As humans, we have become accustomed to numbing out unpleasant feelings; but, …
 
Sexuality is a core feature of the human experience. It should be celebrated as a positive part of life and treated with respect and care across the entire lifespan. Our guest, Dr. Melanie Davis, is on a mission to transform people’s lives through sexuality education. She helps people feel more confident and empowered in their right to sexual pleas…
 
In this episode, we share some of the audio from a past workshop called “Eat your Way to Wellness”. We cover the vital role your gut health plays in your overall well-being and how to eat for optimal health (brain + body). To learn more about our free monthly workshops on various topics related to brain health, join our email list by visiting www.b…
 
We are currently serving the members of our community by hosting free monthly workshops on various topics related to brain health. If you want to get the most up-to-date information on our virtual workshops, join our email list by visiting www.brainshape.ca/email. In this episode, we share some of the audio from a past workshop called “Create a Res…
 
The year 2020 has been challenging for too many reasons to count. As humans, we have had to adjust to a different type of reality. In addition to forcing us into new ways of living, working, and connecting with our family + friends, 2020 has also created a lot of fear and anxiety in many of us. Fear is the appraisal of danger and anxiety is the unp…
 
For the most part, you breathe without conscious awareness. But, when you bring conscious awareness to your breath, you can open new avenues of communication with yourself. Intentional breathing is the foundation of growth, connection, healing + transformation. Your breath has the power to give you access to a deeper part of your existence. Breathw…
 
Mindfulness + meditation are about creating tranquillity + calm within yourself, so you can fully show up for yourself, the people around you, and your life. Mindfulness + meditation refines your ability to stay focused in the present moment. We spend a lot of mental energy thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We have a difficult t…
 
This is the conclusion of our two-part series on gut health. We’ll be talking about how sleep affects the health of your gut, various gastrointestinal illnesses, and you’ll be also be introduced to the True Wellness Approach to health. In this two-part series, we talk about how the health of your gut affects your overall well-being, the role your m…
 
This is part 1 of a two-part series on gut health. You’ll learn why gut health is so important and gain an understanding of the critical role a diverse microbiome plays in your overall health. In this two-part series, we’ll be talking about how the health of your gut affects your overall well-being, the role your microbiome and circadian rhythm pla…
 
The Brain Vitality Blueprint (BvB) is Dr. Andrea Wilkinson’s 90-day signature methodology that teaches you how to craft your lifestyle + mindset so that you can show up in the second phase of your life with physical energy + mental vibrancy. In this episode, a past BvB client joins us to share her experiences working with Dr. Andrea 1-on-1 inside t…
 
Whether you’re taking care of your own health or helping a family member or loved one with theirs, there are many tools that are available to help support your healthcare journey. Lumino Health is a healthcare platform that connects people with experts, resources, and virtual offerings that suit their needs and can help optimize well-being. Tune in…
 
There are great variations in life expectancy between different parts of the world; but, the global average of human life expectancy is higher today than it was in any country in 1950. What "aging well" means is different today than it has been at any other point in human history. As a society, we’re moving away from conceptualizing aging from a pe…
 
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