Many of us always worry about our physical health and ways to perfect it – this is what drives us to eat healthily and go to the gym. The way we look is also a concern for many as we age, as millions of people use anti-aging skin care products or undergo invasive surgical procedures. Something that many of us neglect while we are young is the health of our minds.
Our brain is the most important organ in our bodies – it allows us to think and react and to feel. Not looking after it properly can essentially lead to certain cognitive issues. Maybe you have started forgetting things constantly, experiencing mood swings and irritability, or brain frog. These are symptoms of a potentially unhealthy brain, and you must act in order to reverse this. In this article, we will provide you with seven ways to keep your mind sharp.
1. Good Quality Sleep
One of the most important things you can do for your body and your brain is to get enough sleep, and the sleep must be of good quality. It is no secret that when your body is resting, it recovers from all the damage that it undergoes through the day. Studies show that our brains are incredibly active as we sleep as neurons communicate with each other. You may have noted that after a night where you were not able to sleep well, that you were unable to focus, forgetful, or were less productive. This is because sleep has actually been found to regenerate the brain and to remove toxins that build up when we are awake. A good night of sleep will make you feel re-energized and ready for the day.
Meditation is becoming increasingly more popular as a way for individuals to relax their body and their brain. Empirical studies have shown that this simple strategy can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, confusion, and fatigue. It can also help you sleep better if you do it before bed, which is essential for the health of your brain, as we have previously discussed. You can sit or lay in silence for about ten minutes, or you can also follow guided meditation videos, which you can easily find online. It may be very difficult at first to be able to control or ignore your thoughts, but this will become easier as you do it more often.
3. Stimulate Your Brain
One of the greatest things you can do for your brain is to allow it to be stimulated. Like many muscles in our body, if our brain is not working enough, it ends up losing the ability to perform. If you find that your daily life is pretty much the same and does not require much intellectual effort from you, you may be more likely to suffer from cognitive issues down the life as you age because neurotransmitters are being stimulated and used. Essentially, ways of doing this are getting yourself out of your comfort zone. Challenge your brain by doing something that you are not used to, something that makes you think hard, such as learning a new skill, new language, or playing a new instrument.
4. Be Social
Some of us absolutely love being around other people, and that is how we feel our best. However, you may not be aware that this is a great way to improve your cognitive health. Simply going out and spending time with others is a way to stimulate your brain. You can be particularly intellectually challenged if those around you hold intellectual discussions that make you think and encourage you to use your brain. Additionally, you also plan game nights with your family and friends, where you can do puzzles or word games, and by deciding to click here, you may be able to get ahead of everyone and increase your chances of winning. Doing this with your friends is a great way to keep your brain healthy while having fun.
Everyone is very familiar with the many benefits of physical exercise on the overall health of our bodies. We know it can make us look good and feel good. However, not everyone is aware of the positive impact exercise can have on the brain directly. Firstly, exercise improves overall mental health, which can have detrimental effects on the brain, mood, and sleep quality. By exercising, you are less likely to feel better overall. Additionally, frequent body movement stimulates the hippocampus growth. This is the area of the brain that is responsible for verbal memory and learning.
6. Healthy Diet
You may be familiar with the expression ‘you are what you eat’ – this simple expression emphasizes the importance of a healthy diet, not only for our bodies but also for our brains. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as some fish and fruits and vegetables, are essential to provide the nutrition your brain requires to be healthy and function effectively. Doctors suggest that one of the most nutritious diets to have is the Mediterranean diet, which comprises a combination of fish, white meat, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
7. Reduce Chronic Stress
Health professionals are constantly trying to make us aware of the detrimental effects stress can have on your health. Surely, we all need a healthy amount of stress in order to survive. This is what motivates us to keep going and increases our productivity. Stress is a normal part of life, but frequently high amounts can lead to chronic stress and high cortisol levels, which is popularly known as the ‘stress hormone.’
This can seriously harm the brain by modifying its physical structure, making people more prone to mental health disorders as well as cognitive decline and memory loss. If you feel that you are unable to reduce the levels of stress in your life, consult with a health professional to determine causes and potential treatment appropriate for you.
Your brain is essential for your well-being; you must look after it well if you want it to continue to work effectively. Make sure to follow the tips discussed above if you want to keep your mind sharp. It is crucial that you look after the health of your brain as much as possible whilst you are young so that you are less likely to suffer from cognitive issues associated with age.