Meet the lovely Ruth Curran…

 

I’m so happy to introduce you to Ruth Curran. Of the bloggers I look forward to meeting in real life she is definitely in my top five. Ruth and I have a few things in common, one of which is we both shared a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.

Wait till you see the view from her writing space…

Please join me in congratulating Ruth on the release of her book, Being Brain Healthy.

Author Ruth Curran COVER

 

The Author:

 Ruth drew on her experience successfully overcoming a traumatic brain injury suffered in an automobile accident to become an expert on maximizing brain health and function through lifestyle modification and “turning up the noise on life.” Curran is passionate about the connection between the brain and daily functioning and believes everyone—regardless of age or stage of life—has the ability to use neuroplasticity to live a richer, deeper, more fully engaged life. She has created a series of photo-based thinking puzzles, games, and apps that help players work on cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and executive functioning. Curran has a master’s degree in cognitive psychology as well as more than 28 years of experience as a strategist, business development executive, and organizational behaviorist.

Author Ruth Curran Photo

 

Back of the book:

 The journey to wellness when coming back from a brain injury can be a long one. It is one author Ruth Curran knows well. Faced with myriad cognitive challenges after her own traumatic brain injury resulting from an automobile accident, Curran decided to “turn up the volume” on the things that she loved in order to expedite the healing of her brain. She found ways to work through the discomfort and discouragement that can plague those suffering from traumatic brain injury as well as other conditions, chronic illnesses, and age-related changes that affect cognition and brain health.

In Being Brain Healthy, Curran shares her 18-month path to recovery along with the techniques she used—and continues to use—to amplify her everyday experiences with the goal of maximizing brain health and function. Her book is one of hope, not only for those whose brains have been compromised through injury or illness, but also for anyone who wants to think better and improve their cognitive abilities.

Curran has the unique ability to share her insights on brain health and healing in a manner that makes complex neuroscience matters make sense to even those taking their first frustrating steps toward recovery. Convinced that everyone can build better thinking skills and work their way out of what she calls “the fog” regardless of its cause, Curran shares how she did exactly that and made her entire life more fulfilling.

Being Brain Healthy combines the most cutting-edge research with what works in practice and fits in daily life. Curran helps readers understand how the brain and body work together and how the partnership between the two can be utilized to create a more healthy brain. Curran outlines how the newest science, activities, and exercises can help those with thinking challenges make the most of every day. Her “being” brain healthy methods—and book sections—include Be Active, Be Social, Be Engaged, Be Purposeful, and Be Complicated.

Also included in the book are personal stories from individuals on their process recovering from brain challenges. Their accounts along with insight and information from Curran will inspire readers to amplify their experiences and take their own brain functionality to the next level.

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hammond, IN, one block away from the IN / IL state line – a short train ride from Downtown Chicago.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

My mom was a teacher and preached the value of books, good grammar, and an ample vocabulary. She shared her love of reading with my brother (a recently retired English teacher) and me. It seemed as if my mom always had at least three books on her night stand, a newspaper in her lap, and a stack of New Yorkers waiting for her. As I got older, books were my escape. When I was a teenager my aunt got me into reading mysteries. We picked authors (and their detectives) and followed them from start to finish. I waded my way through bogs, pubs and smoke filled interrogation rooms, and strolled along the streets of so many foreign cities courtesy of amazing mystery writers – ones that took me somewhere I had never been and seamlessly planted me right in the middle of daily life. I am always reading something, listening to at least one audio book, and have a stack of publications calling me.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

Author Ruth Curran write space

Have you always wanted to write a book or were you compelled to write this one for personal reasons?

I remember the day that my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Chang, told me I was good writer. I was shocked. My handwriting and spelling were (and still are) horrendous so I was used to pages filled with red marks and comments about the benefits of taking my time and neatness – nothing beyond the surface and certainly nothing about the quality of my writing. Enter Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein and my passion for writing took another turn. I was going to be a great investigative reporter. Life, as it does, eventually led me in a different direction but every job I had involved some kind of writing.  I don’t think I ever saw myself writing a book until recently. This book got in my head a couple years ago and it was not letting go. I started out writing a much expanded version of my blog on brain health, brain healthy lifestyles, and that connection between how we act and how we think. It was good information with great practical, everyday application but it was not relevant. With great prompting from a dear friend, I saw that I had to tell the story of how I got here and to own the fact that the value of my journey was being lost – especially if I just kept it locked up in a safe in my head.

Other than physical damage to the brain due to injury or illness, what psychological or sociological factors might affect one’s brain health?

The two biggest issues are stress and social isolation. Prolonged stress or periods of isolation – physical, psychological, or sociological –can change how your brain works and how well you adapt to future situations. Both of these conditions can re-wire your brain in the long run.

What is the number one thing people should do daily to boost their brain health?

Smile. Your brain and your body are programmed to reward those things that make you feel good. Smiling is the fastest route to feeling good.

What are some common misconceptions people have about brain health?

There are two misconceptions about the brain that make me absolutely crazy. First, we are born with a certain number of brain cells and there is nothing we can do to make more. That is so wrong. We can absolutely encourage our bodies to grow new neurons and, beyond that, we can encourage our neurons to form new connections. Second, older brains don’t perform as well as younger brains. That too is untrue. Older brains may perform differently but definitely not worse.

The Links:

 The website/blog

 Ruth shares her insights and proven techniques for amplifying everyday experiences at

http://www.craniumcrunches.com

To buy the book:

 http://www.amazon.com/Being-Brain-Healthy-Ruth-Curran/dp/069239995X

 Twitter:

 http://www.twitter.com/@CaptCruncher

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