The stressors of adult life can take a serious toll on your brain and make it feel aged and rugged. Along with this, various life-threatening diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure also seem to have a negative effect on the brain. There is no denying that mental functioning changes with age and becomes more mature as we grow older. However, severe stress and trauma can have detrimental effects on your brain and make it unhealthy. The following are 11 simple ways with which you can keep your brain young and healthy:
1) Get Adequate Amount of Sleep
Several research findings have proved that poor sleep or inadequate quantity of sleep is associated with the worsening of overall health. It leads to an increase in a variety of vascular risk factors, including overall weight gain and high blood pressure. It is important to get adequate sleep so that the nervous system has time to get rejuvenated and prepare itself for the upcoming challenges. All work and no sleep make your brain dull and groggy.
2) Perform Mentally Stimulating Activities
Just like your body requires exercises to keep it agile and sharp, the same can be applicable for your brain as well. The brain is part of our organ system, and you need to work the tissues to keep them alert and active. If you especially have a tedious job profile, it is important to challenge your brain with some stimulating activity from time to time. This can be with the help of mobile games like puzzles and crosswords, or you can even start learning a new language. Anything that motivates you to learn or use your mental facets should be utilized.
3) Practice Mindfulness
Regular stress and anxiety have the potential to make you feel completely hopeless. One of the best ways to keep your brain healthy amidst such environmental stressors is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being alert and awake while functioning a particular or any activity in general. There are various resources available for guided mindfulness, or you can try to be alert about your body and mind practicing your day-to-day activities.
4) Eating food
Like your physical health, your mental health is also affected by the kind of food you eat. A Balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber is essential for keeping up with the cognitive abilities that are required with age and keeping your mind sharp at the same time. Healthy food is imperative for keeping your brain healthy. However, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to delectable food to keep your brain happy and for a fresh release of happy hormones.
5) Physical Exercise is Key
Physical exercise has been associated with a healthy brain because exercise promotes the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your brain. At the same time, a healthy body is rudimentary in the development of nerve cells and the maintenance of synapses. Not to mention exercise brings the stimulation of hormones that release hormones like oxytocin and endorphins, which are important for brain health. You can get hold of some basic fitness equipment for your home setup and start treating your body better.
6) Understand Your Coping Skills
Stress cannot be eliminated from life, and it is important for developing motivation and resilience. However, chronic stress leads to the innovation of neuroplasticity and the decrease in the growth of neurons. Hence when it comes to brain health, you must be able to understand what level of stress you can manage, which is stimulating and why not having a detrimental effect in your life. It is necessary to recognize your coping skills and continue working on them.
7) Stay Social
Social engagement is an important factor when it comes to keeping your brain active and young. Social interactions help to keep your brain boosted and help in better cognitive development. Research has proved that those who actively engage in social settings are at a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Social engagement is Hence a huge priority that you must keep in mind. There are various volunteering opportunities that you can take up, leading to the holistic development of mind and body.
8) Stop Smoking
Nicotine addiction can have a detrimental effect on your brain over long-term use. If you have just started smoking, it is time to quit as soon as possible, and while it is still easier. For long-term smokers, you must engage in therapy or other search practices that will help you quit smoking. The brain of chain smokers has shown a significant decrease in cognitive abilities as well as emotional abilities.
9) Accept Your Emotions
You must maintain a healthy relationship with your emotions no matter what your feelings are. Whether you feel angry, happy, jealous, joyous, bitter, deprived, or exhausted, you must accept your emotions for what they are and not blame yourself for what you are feeling. The way you perceive your own emotions affects your brain health. You must be accepting of all your emotions and find healthy ways of coping with the negative ones.
10) Take Care of Your Health
To keep your brain healthy and young, it is important to take good care of your health. High blood pressure, diabetes, or high levels of cholesterol has been found to have a direct effect on your brain health. Not only do they create a sense of helplessness, but they also lead to diminished cognitive abilities in old age. They have been tied to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Hence you must take care of your overall health for a healthy brain.
11) Say No To Drugs
The use and abuse of drugs and alcohol undeniably have a terrible effect on your brain. They alter brain chemistry and can have detrimental effects over long use. Not only do they make your brain slow and less perceptive, but they also are a significant health hazard. Stay away from drugs at all times and limit your alcohol consumption to healthy levels.
It is, therefore, needless to mention that it is important to take care of your body and mind for a youthful and healthy brain.