Whether you are a student looking for more efficient ways to digest what your teachers say, an adult trying to become more efficient at work or a senior citizen striving to maintain an active lifestyle, keeping your brain in shape is an important part of any self-improvement project.
The good news is that there are a number of different ways to improve your brain power, especially if you’re willing to do some things consistently over a longer period of time. Let’s explore eight ways that you can support your brain health.
No, we don’t mean any kind of cognitive exercise, although these certainly won’t hurt. What we mean is just plain old physical jerks, preferably done regularly.Performing physical activities increases blood flow to the brain, encourages the production of nerve-protecting compounds, lessens the risks of cardiovascular diseases that hamper brain function and can lead to stroke – in other words, you simply can’t go wrong by moving about, the more the better.
- Do something new
When you experience something ‘new’ that actually ‘stimulate’ your brain! Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same old things – the only way to change the structure of your brain is to do something new. This creates new neural pathways, increasing your intelligence level. You could take a new route to work, try a new recipe for dinner, or even a new form of exercise – mix them up!
People always say that laughter is the best medicine, but it also stimulates different areas of the brain, allowing people to think in a broader and freer manner. Laughter is also a natural stress reducer and stress is something that inhibits and limits brainpower.
Remind yourself to laugh, especially if it is just before that big test or writing that final essay. Put a funny background on your computer, or keep a funny joke nearby as you study. Refer back to it occasionally, to stimulate a laugh.
Meditation is a trending topic among many entrepreneurs right now, and its benefits are hard to argue with. Not only does meditation reduce your stress levels, it can also prevent age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This speaks to the importance of self-care. Taking a mere 10 to 15 minutes out of your day to practice meditation could extend your cognitive longevity and allow you to reduce your overall stress levels too.
- Eat healthy
Our diets have a HUGE impact on brain function. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen that we consumed – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff! (i.e. fresh fruit and veg & plenty of OMEGA 3 oils found in oily fish)
- Sleep well
This can be another tricky area for entrepreneurs. Early mornings and late nights sometimes come with the territory, and the stresses or excitement that come with building and growing a business can have undesirable effects on sleep patterns.
Sleep is required to consolidate memory and learning. If you don’t get enough sleep, your gray-matter volume in your frontal lobe may begin to decrease. Your frontal lobe supports and controls your working memory as well as executive function, making it particularly important.