Top Daily Habits That Can Improve Your Brain Functions
When many of us think about health, what often comes to mind is maintaining an appropriate diet and staying in shape. But is that all it’s about? Time and again, people will concentrate on how their daily activities influence their bodies while forgetting about the impact on the mind. In just the same way that we carry out certain activities to ensure our body is healthy, we can also develop regular habits that enhance brain power and firm up our focus, memory, and mood. While we all know that continued learning has a huge positive impact on the brain, physical activities also have significant influence on mental and brain health. The following habits can keep you sharp, focused, and more importantly healthy for years to come.
Most scientists have confirmed that sleep is the most essential daily habit to support good brain health. With kids, added screen time, and stress as factors in our daily lives, most people in the Western world don’t get enough sleep. While each individual is different, it is generally recommended that we get between six and nine hours of sleep a night. The right amount of sleep will no doubt help your brain work more efficiently. During sleep, the brain works to repair its damaged cells. This means that skipping out on sleep can result in memory loss, lack of focus, and heightened anxiety. In fact, most of the biological processes are influenced by the level of sleep! After just one night of not enough sleep, metabolic rates, mood, hormone balance, and memory are greatly affected.
If you have trouble sleeping, make sure to put in place a consistent nighttime routine. Include calming teas like chamomile and ginger and turn off all devices a few hours before bed. Meditation or a bath before bed can help to calm down your mind. Exercise will also make you sleepier in the evenings.
Exercise has more brain benefits than many people will think! Physical exercise enhances mood, memory, concentration, and creativity. Regular exercise can also lessen depression and anxiety as well as chances of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that moderate intensity exercise for only two hours per week activated the parts of the brain that regulate memory and cognition. Another studied carried out by the Boston University School of Medicine found that some hormones that upsurge during exercise help to improve memory. And as mentioned above, regular exercise also means better sleep, which also has positive effects on brain health.
For hundreds and maybe thousands of years, meditation has been known to have overwhelmingly positive effects on the brain, including enhanced focus, improved mood, and lessened stress levels. Furthermore, a number of studies have proven that meditation keeps the brain from aging at its normal pace as well as lessening anxiety and depression.
Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study on meditation and established that meditating for 25 minutes a day for three successive days significantly lessens stress levels. In addition, Harvard researchers concluded that the brain chemistry actually changes after two consistent months of meditation. The bottom line is that you do not need to be a guru to receive health benefits from meditation. Just a few minutes each day or a few times a week will keep your brain healthy and happy.
We are what we eat! In order to have a healthy brain, you need to feed your body healthy foods. Here’s a little science to keep you away from those candy bars: the enteric nervous system within the gut communicates with the brain, so whatever you put in the mouth has a direct impact on your brain. One study suggested that introducing a new diet has an impact on the bacteria in the gut that can change brain chemistry only four days. To increase brain health, small changes will do the trick. Include fish, food with probiotics like kombucha and kimchi, grains, and lean proteins into your diet. If you need a bigger boost of brain power, vitamins and supplements such as nootropics will do the trick. The benefits of nootropics are well-documents and keep your mind sharp, focused, and healthy.
Connect with others.
Plenty of studies have concluded that socializing keeps the mind healthy. Note that social media does not count — you need either direct contact or from over the phone. When we interact with others, we are using parts of our brain that emphasize empathy, listening skills, and quick thinking. In addition, a conversation with a friend, acquaintance, or even random stranger will enhance your attention span as you’re forced to focus on the conversation. Apart from retaining brain functions, developing deeper relationships supports a general sense of well-being and can decrease depression and anxiety.
In a nutshell, the mind is something not to be neglected, and is the most significant asset your body carries. For this reason, you should make sure to take great care of it, so cultivate these five habits in order to boost your brain functions and become a happier, healthier you.