By Maggie Catlow
We pay so much attention to looking after our physique, but what about the fitness of our brain? We don’t often consider ways to keep our brain active. The way we live today often allows our brain to take the easy way out. If we forget something, we simply ‘Google it.’
In our present time and culture, many of our daily doings are often entertaining yet somewhat mind numbing. Not dissimilar to constantly consuming of high-calorie, low-nutrition food. It is easy to undernourish our minds and unfortunately there is no magic pill to improve brain health and our memories. Just like getting a bangin’ bod, keeping your mind sharp takes some training but don’t stress, you won’t have to work up a huge sweat to see results.
It’s easier than you think to keep your brain in shape.
Try these 5 approaches to improving your brain health:
I have started with this one because it seems like an easy thing to do. But for many people, a good night’s sleep comes few and far between. The human brain requires rest to run smoothly and a proper slumber can boost your ability to recall as some shut eye allows your mind to process all the information it has received during the day. Try preparing yourself for bed by mentally unwinding first. Avoid using or looking at computer screens or mobile phone screens as the subtle blue light keeps us awake. In Chinese Medicine, eating heavy foods close to your sleep time can increase your heat within the body and this might make it hard for you to relax and sleep well. Eat light foods early in the evening and don’t drink coffee after midday. If you have trouble sleeping, book an Acupuncture appointment today or try Rescue Remedy, a natural remedy based on flower essences.
Adopt a nutrient-rich diet
Over-consumption of high calorie food is a major issue for modern society. Foods that promote brain health includes Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as fish, flax seed, and nuts. Foods with naturally occurring Vitamin E and Vitamin C have an antioxidant effect. Folate may also help to reduce the risk of some neurodegenerative illnesses. Try and avoid stimulating food and beverages (yes, that means your 3pm ‘pick me up’ caffeine fix) if you are having trouble falling asleep at night.
Turn off the TV
Have a little time out from the television and immerse yourself in a good book or puzzle. You could even join a book club for some extra motivation to finish that novel. Frequent reading is associated with reduced risk of dementia and meeting people for group activities enables new connections and pathways for communication which keeps your brain active.
Fun and games
When you have a spare moment, instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media, play a brain training game. There are hundreds of different games to play to stay mentally fit. Luminosity can be downloaded from the app store and has numerous cognitive games to challenge the brain. Developers of the app say that just one session a day can improve mental skills.
Bring more Zen into your day if you wish to live with vitality. Becoming more mindful allows us to recognise the conditions of happiness that are already present within our lives. You don’t have to wait to experience happiness, it is present in every moment of your daily life. When you breathe in, be aware that in that inhalation, you touch the miracle of being alive. By centering your attention on your breath, the mental discourse stops and thoughts, stresses and fears cease for that duration. Aim to release tension from the body by sitting or lying still, whether that be in nature or to a relaxing soundtrack. Walking meditation is another way to still the mind and enjoy your natural surroundings. When you walk allow your body and mind to be together and fully present. Make every step enjoyable, bringing you peace and joy. Sometimes we tend to overthink and make poor decisions due to clouded judgement. Taking time to be mindful of and in harmony with your body promotes better thinking and choices once you finish meditation.
Whether it’s to focus at work, do better at school or simply to keep your brain as sharp as a tack, testing your mind daily is vital. These are just a few tips to get you started on making positive changes to your mental wellbeing. Your future self will thank you for staying committed to nourishing and exercising your mind.This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.