Caring For Your Brain – Part 2
While a healthy body can help keep the brain healthy, you have to keep your mind in tip-top shape too to have it working at maximum power. Of course, you can't do jumping jacks with your brain but there are some exercises that you can do to keep your mind functioning in highest level. Keeping your brain active also keeps you from cognitive decline which results to forgetfulness and eventually to dementia or even Alzheimer's Disease. A cognitively active elderly person is 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia and AD than those a cognitively inactive person. So think of the benefits: you get to know your grandkids better and you'll have a more fulfilling life.
One of the things you can do to keep your mind in shape is to try to remember lists. These lists could be your grocery shopping, or phone numbers of your friends, or even names of your new acquaintances. Remembering and reciting lists is a way to train your brain as these activities build synapses in the brain, and creates vital neural connection and thought pathways. It helps build memory and eventually it makes learning a lot easier. Also, doing puzzles like crosswords and sudoku also help in keeping the mind sharp and active.
It's one thing to keep your mind active, but it is bad to put it under too much stress. Stress shrinks certain areas in the brain including the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the seat of memory in our brain. Our brain can almost literally burn out if we are under stress. This is one of the reasons why you can't think at all if you are under a lot of stress. While stress can't be entirely avoided, you can reduce it by meditating, doing yoga, exercising or even just stopping for a while and breathe deeply. There are a lot of ways to de-stress and the methods are as varied as you, me and the rest of the world. Find a method that works with you and once you feel the stress creeping, try to stop a few minutes and just let go of the stress. Believe me, it's good for your brain so much that after de-stressing you might find yourself thinking straighter than a few moments before.
Learning helps keep your mind flexible. While you're employed, the routines of your daily work life is enough to keep your mind in great shape. Attending seminars not only help your edge in the workplace, it also benefits your mind's health. But as monotony doesn't give your mind the challenge it needs, you can add some extra activities like continuing education or taking up adult classes in painting, cooking or even a new language. You can also engage yourself in brain activity games to further enhance your brain activities. You can purchase softwares like Mind Fit and Brain Fitness to help you train your mind and train different faculties to enhance yourself or you could visit sites like Brain.com where they can give you brain activities online for free. Else, you also have the option of doing crosswords and sudoku puzzles, or engaging a friend in a game of chess in your free time. These activities help train your mind and they don't cost much, also, in the case of chess, you can bond with a friend or make a new one at the same time.
But the best way to help your brain stay in its prime is thinking positive. It is easier said than done but small things can help in changing towards a more positive you. Try smiling more everyday. In a small way it could uplift your mood day by day, and you can even make someone else's day. Small things can go a long way.
In keeping your mind fit, you can keep yourself feeling young and vital. So take good care of your body and mind, live long and live happy. Start now.
Warren Tattersall has been a full time nutritional consultant for over a decade and works with people all over the world to help them improve their health, increase their personal energy levels and to use supplements to assist with diet related health issues.
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