Good brain health is essential for a long and healthy life, so it’s important to actively maintain it. Here are seven habits to integrate into your life that are sure to boost brain health.
Sleep allows your organs to slow down, and your body to go into “rest mode.” While it’s essential for your body to get this rest, your brain goes through a different process. While you sleep, you dream, heal, process information, and prepare for the next day. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to stay sharp and perform at the top of their game.
Physical activity prompts your brain to produce the hormones it needs to adequately fuel the rest of your body. These hormones also promote brain health and improve your mood. You don’t need to commit to extreme workouts every day to achieve good brain health, but engaging in daily moderate exercise, like a walk around the block with your dog or a quick yoga session will do wonders.
Pay attention to your body.
Your body is different every day. Just because you were able to get through a particularly intense workout the other day doesn’t mean you should force yourself through it if your body cues are telling you to stop. It’s essential to listen to your body because it could be indicative of a vitamin deficiency or the onset of another type of illness. For instance, feeling foggy and tired during the winter months can signal a vitamin D deficiency. Ignoring these signals is detrimental to not just your brain health, but to your overall health as well.
Studies show that dehydration noticeably decreases cognitive function within two short hours. Being intentional about your water intake and drinking before you’re thirsty will promote brain health and maximize efficiency for the rest of your body as well.
Living a well-rounded life requires a certain amount of juggling. There are work responsibilities, home life, family, friends, self-care, spirituality, adequate rest… the list can seem to go on indefinitely. Figuring out what balance works for you will be an ongoing process. Remember that what works well now may need to be adjusted later and that the key to balance is adaptability and flexibility.
Stimulate your brain
Your brain is a muscle that requires exercise just like the rest of your body. Engaging in critical thinking by learning new things, taking up hobbies, and challenging yourself with brain games and puzzles can be a fun way of incorporating brain training and promoting brain health.
Care for your mental health
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, seeking out the counsel of a mental health professional should be your next step. Brain health is intertwined with mental health, and mental health professionals can help you develop strategies and skills that will ensure you can cope with whatever may be getting in the way of achieving a healthy mind.