Tips to Strengthen Your Mind - NL-029
Your brain is an amazing tool. Did you know you can rewire your brain with positive changes in your lifestyle and outlook? While some changes in your mental functions are inevitable as you age, you can stay mentally sharp by cultivating habits that constantly challenge your mind and body. Your brain has an amazing ability to learn, re-learn and adapt. This is called neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to reorganize and restructure itself by forming new connections and neural pathways. Are you ready to give your brain a workout and keep it healthy?
1. Mindful meditation
The practice of mindful meditation not only helps you relax and find your centre, it also provides neurological health benefits. There is scientific evidence that meditation actually changes the structure of the brain. These changes are associated with improved learning, memory and ability to process information. Mindful meditation also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
2. Learn a new skill
Like meditation, learning a new skill also alters physical structures in the brain. When you are learning something new, it stimulates neurons and creates more connections and neural pathways. It rewires your brain and promotes neuroplasticity, the ability of your brain to reorganize and adapt to changes.
This improves learning, memory and performance. Research suggests that learning a new skill can even reduce the risk of dementia. Music, dance and exercise are some of the best ways to help your brain re-wire and trigger neuroplasticity.
3. Play boardgames
Playing board games is a wonderful exercise to sharpen your mind and even stave off depression and loneliness. It stimulates areas of the brain that engages cognitive functions such as memory, focus, decision making and problem solving. It also improves the brain’s ability to retain information. Board games also delay the cognitive decline associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Playing board games not only improves mental health but also strengthens social relationships, lowers stress and stimulates the body to release happy hormones.
Exercise not only improves your physical health; it goes a long way in improving your cognitive functions. Regular physical exercise improves blood flow to the brain and induces physical and functional changes in the brain. These changes stimulate neuroplasticity, rewire your brain's connections and delay premature cognitive decline. Regular exercise is a great way to improve mental well-being, improve mental clarity, reduce stress and improve mood.
5. Sleep well
Getting high quality sleep is one of the most important pre-requisites for your brain health. Chronic sleep deprivation affects cognitive functions such as memory, learning, processing time, reasoning and problem solving. When you sleep, your brain consolidates memory, processes complex information and removes toxins that can damage brain cells. Poor sleep contributes to cognitive decline and may even increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.
6. Eat healthy
This tip is a no-brainer. Healthy, wholesome food is full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein and antioxidants. All these nutrients and micronutrients not only nourish your body and mind, they protect the brain tissue from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, colourful fruits (especially berries), and dark chocolate are some excellent foods that help boost brain health. Intermittent fasting is also emerging as popular trend to improve cognitive health.