The brain is one of the most complex and vital organs in the human body. Contrary to popular belief, humans use a lot more than the reported 10%. That number is a myth and only exists because of the sensational nature of the information. Scientists believe that the majority of the brain is active all day, every day. However, there are different ways in which the brain functions, and not all of those activities help keep it sharp. Here a couple of things you can do every day to try and maintain an active and healthy mind.
Every day, people go into a sort of default mode network. A 2013 study by Harvard’s Israel Medical Center found that people who often engage in deep meditation suffer less stress. The study also showed deep meditation plays an important part in slowing and delaying the progression of age-related mental disorders. These disorders include Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc. Meditation helps reduce daily stress and keeps the mind at ease when making important decisions.
Brain Training Games
Just because the brain is always active doesn’t mean that it’s exercising. Activities, such as binge-watching t.v., might make the mind think, but other activities are created to keep the brain active. Games such as crosswords or bridge are great daily activities with which you can start your day. If these games are too familiar and aren’t challenging enough, then find brain training games that challenge your mind. Playing easy games won’t challenge the brain as much as games that are unfamiliar and challenging. Make sure to mix it up as well. Some games might challenge memory, and others might challenge quantitative thinking. Training all areas of the mind and keeping them engaged makes for a happy and healthy brain!
Training muscles can be just as important as training the mind. Luckily, doing physical exercise addresses both of these areas. During exercise, your brain releases endorphins and hormones, which relaxes the brain and provides an ideal state for the development of brain cells. Exercise also increases the amount of oxygen that the brain receives. This added oxygen keeps the mind alert and sharp. Moving every day will not only provide the body and mind with these benefits but also give the body added energy. An active body and mind make for a healthy and confident life.
Training, exercising, and engaging your mind will not be impactful if you are not getting adequate rest. The mind does not shut off while we sleep, but rather it goes over everything that happened during the day. Meaning that while we sleep, the brain takes time to process, interpret, and lock-in the learnings of the day. If this crucial resting time is consistently cut short or ignored, then the brain suffers. New information may not be retained and can also make it difficult to focus since the mind is trying to rest and catch up from yesterday. Sleep ensures your brain is in a prime condition before starting to exercise it. Think of it as a warm-up or pre-race stretch! If you don’t prepare your body, you won’t get the best results possible.
Contact Foothills Neurology for more information and get an expert’s opinion and give your brain a boost!