Some healthy habits for a healthy brain.
Brain the most important part of our body (well everybody knows that). We focus on exercise our body, we keep a routine to exercise every important muscle in our body but what about the brain. Do we exercise our brains??? Do we even care about our brains??? Every thought, our behavior is dependent on our mental health. If our brain is functioning properly, we will have a healthy life, if it’s not then everything will start to fall apart. We might lose our motor skills, we may suffer memory problems or even it will affect our behavior which will not only affect us but also the people around us.
I focus on mental health, I like to spread awareness about mental health. In fact, I shared an article about mental health too. The journey for Mental Health started when I read the book titled Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Dr. Daniel Amen. It’s still one of my most recommended books. I learned a lot about the brain after reading this book. I introduced some brain-healthy habits in my daily life which I will be sharing in this article.
Sleep is the most important thing for our brain health. I was a nocturnal person (I still am) but I used to work continuously without getting enough sleep. I used to feel tired all day. I even dozed off during some meetings in my office. I had to try to keep myself awake during the day. Sleep was a no-no for me.
Since I am young my body and my brain was able to manage with lack of sleep most of the time but I could see some warning signs like frequent forgetfulness, inability to focus on a task, and then I realized that I should make some changes in my lifestyle. I still am a nocturnal but only on weekends. I prefer working in the night but my job does not allow me that so, I focus on getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day.
Shocked, don’t be. Exercise increases the production of endorphins in our body which helps to produce positive feelings. It improves mood and decreases anxiety by regulating the secretion of the stress hormone called “Serotonin”.
Exercise is proven to improve brain function and memory and thinking skills. Exercise increases our heart-rate, which promotes blood flow in our body and Oxygen to the brain.
I prefer exercises which will increase my heart-rate, which includes Running, rope skipping, or Simple Jumping Jacks.
Puzzled, yes, Puzzles. Our Brain is a weird organ, the more we give it tasks to work on, the more we put ourselves in some mentally challenging situations (a mild one) the better our Brain will function. Our Brain hates routine, I am not talking about habits, habits are good but if our Brain is not challenged, it will lose its ability to think creatively. It will lose its ability to find solutions in a real-life challenge. It will lose the out of the box thinking.
To avoid that, I challenge myself in small puzzles daily. Puzzles like classic Sudoku or some simple strategy based mobile games. Not just games, I try adding challenges in my daily life also, challenges like trying to use non-dominating hand for Writing or Not using a most common specific word during daily conversation making the brain think better, manage better.
Reading is like food for our thoughts. The healthier the food, the better the thoughts and positive thoughts lead to a positive life.
When it comes to reading, I prefer Non-fiction but I have read some classics like the Harry Potter series. I mostly read 2–3 books simultaneously of mixed genre sometimes, trying to remember where was I in every book, trying to recollect what I read. I also keep a small notebook handy while reading to keep notes of important lines from the book, which I can read in my free time.
If reading is Food for our Brain and thoughts then Meditation is like fasting for our Brain. Fasting is good, it makes sure that all our bodily functions are working smoothly in the same way meditation helps us to reflect within ourselves. It removes Negative emotions and fills positive feelings in our Brain. Meditation has proven beneficial for improving brain health.
I follow a simple meditation routine, I meditate at least 10 minutes every day. I do it before going for a shower, every morning. Mostly, Now I am able to do it without guidance but when I started, I used to follow the following simple guided meditation video.
6. Letting out the negative emotions
I would be lying if I tell you that I never had negative thoughts or I never got disappointed. Yes, I have failed sometimes, I have been in miserable situations, I have been through terrible moments in my life but I try to practice to let go of these negative emotions. Channel these negative emotions to avoid affecting my life.
I believe that,
If negative emotions are not released properly, they stay in your head multiplying themselves to create a negative life.
So, I try to let out all my negative emotions without hurting anyone. If I am feeling negative whether I am sad or angry, I write about those emotions with great details about my mental state and my thoughts, every single thing possible and once it’s out of my head there are no chances of it multiplying in my head. Not just writing I cry, I take a walk in a park alone, I plug-in my earphones and listen to some calming music. Those are just a few things to share but it’s not necessary that these will work for everyone since we all are different.
Our brain not only controls our body but it also controls our emotions, our thoughts. A healthy brain can find a solution to every problem whereas an unhealthy brain can find a problem in every solution.