Looking after our mental health and emotional well-being is just as important as caring for our physical health. Our mind and body are not separate, they are part of what makes us whole.
The brain is without a doubt, one of the most important and amazing parts of our body. Everything that you are able to do outside of your body was executed by the brain.
Whether it’s coming up with new ideas or demanding your hand to reach for that milk box, or storing your childhood memories, the brain does it all.
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Despite all of the wonderful things the brain does for us, we sometimes take it for granted.
According to Elise Caccappolo- PhD, an associate professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Saying: “Many people don’t start thinking about their brain health until they notice some cognitive changes and memory loss in their 60s or 70s”.
In fact, there’s no single “miracle cure” for memory problems or other brain changes that come with aging. But there is cause for optimism.
In brief, Science shows a combination of social factors and healthy habits that—taken together—can help you build, preserve, and protect your brain’s function over time…
Plenty of Quality Sleep
A good night sleep for 7-9 hours is crucial for a healthy brain.
Accordingly, Romie Mushtaq, MD, a neurologist and integrative medicine specialist. She mentions that “Sleep is the most important thing you can do to reset the brain, allow it to heal, and to restore mental health.”
New research shows that during sleep, the brain clears out toxins called beta-amyloids that can lead to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Create a bedtime routine: set a fixed time for sleep every night and stick to it. Also, turn off all electronics devices at least 30-60 hours before bedtime.
Nevertheless, Leave all your worries on papers: Write down any concerns you still have or prepare a to-do list for the upcoming day. This will help ease the brain off of any racing thought or anxiety.
Meditation: Mindful meditation has been proven to have great benefits for calming down the mind. Even if you don’t have a lot of time for it, spending 5-10 minutes meditating before bedtime. That can still reduce a great deal of stress and anxiety, putting you in the right headspace for sleep.
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Eat a Mediterranean diet….
As you may know, Good health is gut health. In fact, your diet plays a big role in your brain health. A diet that has been highly recommended by nutritionists. For instance, the Mediterranean diet, which comprises plant-based foods, whole grains, fish and healthy fats, such as olive oil. It also requires much less red meat and salt.
Studies show people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than people who don’t follow the diet. Furthermore, research to determine which parts of the diet have the biggest impact on your brain function.
However, we do know that omega fatty acids found in extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats are vital for your cells to function correctly. Especially, appears to decrease your risk of coronary artery disease, and increases mental focus. For this reason, That also slows cognitive decline in older adults.
When you’re socializing, the blood circulates to several different parts of your brain as you’re listening and formulating responses. Thus when connecting with your friends, you’re less likely to be depressed.
We all know the negative effects of depression and anxiety. They can make the brain become so occupied with what-ifs. And worries that it’s not able to give 100% to learning new things.
Social interaction can help fight these memory loss contributors. Instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through social media, spend time with your friends or loved ones. There is research that links solitary confinement to brain atrophy. So remaining socially active may have the opposite effect and strengthen the health of your brain.
Try New Things
Another way to keep your brain healthy is through learning new things. The more intellectual stimulation you have, the more various neural circuits are used. Besides, the more circuits you have, the harder it is for the changes associated with neurodegenerative diseases to manifest.
So if there’s a Chinese dish you want to learn, or an instrument you want to know to play, do it. Indeed, you will do a lot of good for your brain.
Although, specialists have stated in favor of real-world skills over online “cognitive enhancement” games. These games are fun and can improve certain aspects for some people. But they are not as effective as real-world activities.
Multiple research studies show that people who are physically active, are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function. And having a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
New research from Italy suggests that working your leg muscles, may be key to getting the maximum brain benefit from physical activity. The researchers found that when you use your legs in weight-bearing exercise. The brain receives signals that spur it to make healthy new cells.
Aim to exercise several times per week for 30–60 minutes. You can walk, swim, play tennis or any other moderate aerobic activity that increases your heart rate.