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Dr Tara.
meet.
"Brain Specialist"
Ours is a turbulent century. Semaine decided to call up the doctor for a prescription, formulated just for this period in which we want to thrive, rather than merely survive, or struggle through. Enter Dr. Tara Swart: a neuroscientist, award-winning author, psychiatrist, doctor, and the chief science officer of Heights, the world’s first plant-based ‘smart supplement’ designed to boost your brain power, keep your memory sharp, and safeguard your emotional wellbeing via the intelligent daily delivery of 18 key nutrients. It’s the kind of pill a lot of us could use always, but especially in the 21st Century—as an alternative for medication or a quick fix, but as an extra gentle helping hand to support anxious, heavy heads overwhelmed by the news.

Swart has pioneered a number of scientific breakthroughs over the course of her career, including how the law of attraction works (hint: it works!) and how the ancient tools of manifestation can successfully propel us towards a balanced state of confidence and personal fulfillment. Her findings—along with her library of science-backed practical tips—carry a special message of hope in light of today’s fragile climate: “With a change in pace, and by ensuring less mindless distraction, we can really apply our magnetic desire to the truly important things in life,” she says. “[At a time like this] your inner strength, and the quality of relationship you have with yourself before others, is the difference between surviving and thriving. All of these are things that can be nurtured due to the tremendous power of neuroplasticity—aka the ability of the brain to change itself.”
With this in mind, Semaine consulted Swart for a cheatsheet to help tackle modern life with positive perseverance. In response to the feelings of anxiety and fear of the new century, Dr Swart said: “It is important to acknowledge your feelings and keep moving through the curve. If we get stuck in one area it takes longer to get to the end. But, people will move through it at different rates, and we may all have to repeat this cycle several times. Be mindful of what you are experiencing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and that others will be going at their own pace.”
The spectre of change can often be the engine of innovation, and we are, according to Dr. Swart, “at the start of a big change….The Kubler-Ross Change Curve [a model developed by scientists in the 1960s to measure grief-related emotions] indicates that we will go through shock and denial, anger and fear, depression, bargaining and trying to find meaning, and—finally—acceptance with the ability to move forward.” It’s helpful to understand the brain’s chemistry, to have an objective view of the spiralling that occurs within when we experience a stress response: “This can lower our physical immunity making us more susceptible to common ailments, and it also re-routes the blood supply in the brain away from the higher centers, and down to survival mode.” To Dr. Swart, we exist all too often in this survival mode. To lift ourselves out of it, we must “give our brain-body system the rest, fuel, oxygen, and sense of belonging it needs.”
What, then, is Dr. Swart’s verified recipe for life, if you will? Her way of thinking teaches us to listen to the body, as well as lean on a few outside sources of comfort. She suggests: “Apart from good quality and length of sleep, eating a nutrition-dense diet and taking supplements, drinking plenty of water and minimizing alcohol and caffeine, and being physically active, I particularly rely on yoga, meditation, reflexology and magnesium baths to combat stress.”.

By Elsa de Berker

watch.
"How to Think (Better)"
This week on Semaine we're calling the doctor. Medical doctor, neuroscientist, author and Chief Science Officer at Heights she's calling in from self-isolation in the nick of time with practical tips and tools to help us thrive rather than just survive these turbulent times.
stream.
"Streaming Sane"
Get a head start on positive visualization with these recommended downloads. You’ll find nutrition podcasts and mindfulness apps a-plenty.

1:

 

Bulletproof Radio
PODCAST

 

“I have been on The Bulletproof Podcast, and it has the most diverse and interesting guests all relevant to health, well-being and personal optimisation.”

2:

 

Feel Better Live More
PODCAST

 

“I have also featured on the Feel Better Live More podcast. It also has the most diverse and interesting guests all relevant to health, well-being and personal optimisation.”

3:

 

Headspace
APP

 

“Headspace is the simplest meditation app to introduce newbies to.”

4:

 

HabitShare
APP

 

“HabitShare is how I track all my health and fitness goals.”

5:

 

Fast company
WEBSITE

 

“Fast company has very high calibre articles on a wide range of topics.”


6:

 

Daily Stoic
WEBSITE

 

“Daily Stoic is my go-to for mental resilience quotes that never age.”

shop.
"Brain Store"

Unlock your potential with Swart’s essential toolkit for keeping a cool, calm, and collected head.

The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life
Dr Tara Swart
£9.99
The Smart Supplement
Heights
£40.00
Mindful Marks
Lumenkind
£18.00
Magnesium Flakes
Sunday Natural
£9.00
Ergonomic Chair
VLUV
£70.64
Bangles 1 Lb. Weights
Bala
£40.00
explore.
"Brain Away"

Stonehenge
Salisbury SP4 7DE
United Kingdom
“To connect with the ancient and awe-inspiring.”

Hampstead Heath
London
United Kingdom
“To experience an oasis of wilderness in the city.”

Maldives
Muravandhoo Island Raa Atoll
Maldives
“The beach when I need to feel re-connected to the vastness of the ocean. Snorkelling in the Maldives is my favourite.”

Table Mountain
Tafelberg Rd, Cape Town
South Africa
“Gives me a huge sense of belonging.”

Tuscany
Italy
“Tuscany imbues the warmth of the sun and of people.”
read.
"Booksmart"
Take a literal page from the doctor’s book with her go-to list of mind expanding reads.

1.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
by Daniel J. Siegel
“I love the concept of integrated thinking using your whole brain and embracing agility as well as diversity of thinking.”

 

 

2.
The Source: The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain
by Tara Swart
“I wanted a book about spirituality that was secular and explained by rigorous cognitive science so I wrote it myself! ”

 

 

3.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
by Oliver Sacks
“These tales of unusual neurological syndromes inspired me to do my PhD research.”

 

 

4.
The Tell-Tale Brain
by V. S. Ramachandran
“Written by the doctor who invented the mirror box for stroke rehabilitation, this book really highlights the incredible ability of the brain to re-wire and re-invent itself.”

 

 

5.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari
“So much of neuroscience is explained by the evolution of humanity so I found this book fascinating and full of correlations that explain modern society.”

 

 

6.
The Brain that Changes Itself
by Norman Doidge
“The seminal book on popular neuroplasticity.”

 

 

7.
Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain
by Sharon Begley
“Full of case studies and research from neuroscience that back up practical exercises to change your thinking.”

 

 

8.
The Master Key System
by Charles F. Haanel
“This a very old book but it contains a formula for mastering your own mind and transforming the way you live.”

 

 

9.
The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
“A beautiful, ethereal fable of finding all the resources you need in yourself and understanding the analogy of turning lead into gold.”

 

 

ask Dr.
"Never complain, never explain."
Get to know Dr. Tara like you never have before.

What does the word “taste” mean to you?
Dr. Tara:
True beauty – something that stimulates your senses and your emotions.

Do you have a life motto that you live by?
Dr. Tara:
Never complain, never explain.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Dr. Tara:
The small, spontaneous things that happen when spending quality time with friends and family.

What are your favourite qualities in a human being?
Dr. Tara:
Generosity of spirit, warmth, forgiveness.

Who is your hero?
Dr. Tara:
Nelson Mandela

What is your biggest flaw?
Dr. Tara:
Impatience

What is your best quality?
Dr. Tara:
Determination

What would your last meal on earth be?
Dr. Tara:
Caviar

What does success mean to you?
Dr. Tara:
Fulfilling your potential.

If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world, what would you change?
Dr. Tara:
Inequality in all forms.

END.