Your brain is absolutely amazing. It regulates the functions of almost every other part of your body and its processes. But so often we seem to invest more time in our bodies in our brain and nervous system than we do, blog here.
This may be in part because our understanding of the workings of the brain is fairly recent and continues to grow. Research takes time to be widely accepted and shared in such a way that a broad audience can understand and act upon it. When research evolves, the details are apparent. We will really benefit from consciously contributing to the wellbeing of our brain.
Until fairly recently, neurobiologists assumed that our brain was completely developed in our early years, so that when we were fully matured it altered slightly, if at all. We already know that the brain is an extremely pliable organ which is constantly changing in reaction to our actions, our perception and the stimulation in the environment around us.
The brain has a wonderful plasticity, creating continually new connections and pathways in the neuronal labyrinth that bundled together creates our ability to think, reason, remember and react to new challenges, information and experiences. Most of these shifts emerge spontaneously at the subconscious and unconscious level, under the surface of our conscious mind.
A substantial body of research has revealed that we can actually influence and enhance the way our brains work on many levels. A number of factors contribute to the way the brain evolves and adapts as we mature. By using some of the same strategies that we rely on for our physical health, we can encourage positive changes, while adding to activities designed for brain health. Here are just a few tips to help you-and yourself-treat your brain in the best way possible.
Eat right: A healthy diet is just as important to our brain as it is to our body. Also, many of the nutrients required for physical health support brain health. For starters, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their beneficial effects on heart health. Recent research shows that they also play an important part in the structure of the brain, as well as in normal cognitive functioning. Likewise, vitamin D supports bone strength but also seems to be associated with mental health. Medical experts now believe many people who have been diagnosed with depression have a vitamin D deficiency. Brain and body are truly inseparable. If you put in you put in you put in the other. Research shows that eating a wide range of different ingredients and relying on a mostly plant-based diet of whole grains is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of both the brain and body.
Regular exercise: Aerobic activity brings more oxygen-rich blood to the brain, which tends to process information and increases memory processing. Work has also shown that doing almost any type of exercise changes brain chemistry, enhancing morale and alleviating unpleasant mental states such as anxiety. If you’re exercising already then keep it up. If not, then put it in. It just doesn’t have to cost money. Go for a walk, chase the kids or take a bike ride around the yard. The research is conclusive; exercise continues to have a positive effect on both the brain and body. And don’t forget to spend time relaxing. Mediation, or self-hypnosis to relieve stress and relax is an excellent way to do this.
Challenge the brain: The brain needs to be kept healthy just as the body does. It has to be used just like a muscle in order to develop and stay healthy. Specifically target the health of your brain by often presenting new cognitive challenges to it. Run a Sudoku or Crossword puzzle. Memorize from a book, a new poem, speech, or passage. Play games that challenge your memory, or require the ability to solve problems. Research has shown that regular mental problems create a healthy brain, resulting in a slower cognitive decline-even if the effect of aging on the brain is taken into account. Think about the things you do every day without having to really think about what you’re doing-and do them differently. Instead of going around your routine instantly, train your brain to maintain it genuinely safe to help improve its ability to change into the constantly changing world. To a large extent, the personality that we have relies on what we want him to do.