7 habits to boost your brain health
Many of us are concerned about staying in shape and focus on healthy eating habits. We work out daily and maintain an active lifestyle to keep our physical body in optimum condition. But, when it comes to brain health, not many of us make it a priority. Just as we exercise every day, it is essential to adopt habits that can improve our brain health too. A healthy brain is as important as a fit body. After all, it can help us participate fully in daily activities, increase focus and memory and even lifts our mood.
If you want to lead a vibrant and fulfilling life, it is essential to have a healthy brain. It is not uncommon to lose brain function and experience dementia symptoms as we age. This is why it is necessary to start taking care of our mental health and the choices we make will decide whether our brain’s function will advance or slowly decline with time. The research carried out by Harvard doctors highlights the advances that have been made in the field of cognitive fitness and proves that there is no scientific evidence to support the myth that the mind will weaken as we mature.
So, flex those brain muscles and keep your brain in top shape! Pave the way for your inner genius as you incorporate these seven mental exercises to boost your brain health:
1- Keep your stress levels under control
The secret behind a healthy brain is that it does not take the undue stress. If you feel a little tired after an eventful day, try to reach out for some stress-soothing activities like a relaxing walk around the block or read a book. Keeping your stress levels down can help your brain stay healthy over an extended period of time.
Prolonged spells of anxiety and stress release a hormone known as cortisol, in your blood. This stress hormone wreaks havoc in your brain and wears away the short-term memory regions of the brain. So, learn more about stress management and try to remain calm and composed even when the going gets tough.
2- Say bye to excess sugar
Research proves that food choices loaded with sugar and other simple carbs are not only harmful to your body but also drain the brain. In fact, there is a higher risk of depression among people who consume a significant amount of sugar in their daily routine.
So, ditch the ice-cream tub if you are feeling low and have these foods to boost your brain health, instead.
3- Don’t stop learning
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or learn a new language? One of the finest ways to keep the brain cells running is to learn a new skill. In fact, studies highlight the fact that people who speak multiple languages have better functioning brains as compared to those who only spoke in their native language.
So, make learning a lifelong priority and keep your brain healthy, regardless of your age!
4- Sleep well
You read that right! Sleeping is one of the most restorative phases for the brain. People who get at least seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep have healthier brains which can process information faster.
A good night’s rest not only helps in improving your memory and repairing damaged brain cells but also controls how the neurons (nerve cells) communicate with each other. In fact, sleep affects the whole body – from the brain and heart to lungs, metabolism, immunity and even your mood!
If you are facing problems regarding your sleeping pattern, visit a doctor and get help immediately. Chronic lack of sleep can contribute towards many disorders such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
5- Play games
Yes! Playing games and taking up challenges that flex the brain muscles can help protect it against degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. So, host regular game nights with your friends and family and choose from a variety of mental games such as cards or board games.
It’s the perfect way to keep your mind sharp and also acts as a great bonding time for the whole family.
6- Exercise daily
According to a research by scientists at Harvard University, regular physical exercise can improve one’s memory and overall cognitive skills. Not only does regular exercise prevent you from tons of diseases such as issues related to heart, stroke and diabetes- but also improves mood and protects brain function.
You should work out for at least half an hour daily. Whether it is a fast-paced walk around the local park or an aerobics session that raises your heart rate, choose a physical activity that you enjoy. Stimulating your body physically will cause an instant increase in energy and you will find yourself in a much better state of mind.
7- Don’t be anti-social
If you’ve been avoiding those family dinners and friend meetups, it’s time to rethink your actions. Research supports the fact that social deprivation can cause severe damage to our brain health.
Make it a point to add a little more social interaction in your daily lives. Try to skip the self-checkout register during grocery shopping and make it a point to mingle with people on a regular basis. These small changes will bring a positive change in your cognitive dexterity.
It’s never too late to start working on our brain health. Most symptoms of poor mental health, such as lack of focus or lack of memory are often reversible. Just like you can train your body muscles to look better over the period of time, you can improve your brain function too!
Make a conscious decision to adopt some of these brain-boosting habits and you will find yourself feeling better than ever!