Just like it is important for us to take care of our bodies, it is important to take care of our brains as well. You fuel your body with healthy foods and exercise. You can mold and define your muscles, and loose or gain weight to change your appearance. So what can you do to take care of your brain? Well, here are ten things to do to get you started. Follow these ten steps to take care of your brain and you may find that you are a better student, you may even learn something!
1. Work it out
Your brain needs exercise just as much as your body does. It is actually possible for your brain to atrophy just like your muscles. You can exercise your brain by making it think. Make your brain think by doing a crossword puzzle or play a word game with a friend. Read an interesting book, (reading is a big one), watch a though provoking movie and get creative with a hobby. All of these things can stimulate and work your brain causing it to function better. If you are having a hard time with homework or an assignment try taking a break and doing one of these things.
2. Get Moving
Our bodies thrive on physical exercise, even our brains. When you exercise your heart works harder to pump the blood through your body increasing oxygenation in your brain which is, in a way, exercising your brain. It is a good idea to go on a walk in between classes or take a break from homework to exercise to get your mind working.
3. Challenge Yourself!
Learning new things creates new avenues in your brain and challenges it. When you learn new information your brain becomes healthier. Try learning something new, go to a cooking class or learn yoga. Play chess with a friend or travel, after all “travel broadens the mind”. It is important to be learning new things constantly for the health of our brains.
4. Eat Brain Foods
Yes, they exist. Brain foods are foods that provide vital nutrients to your brain. First of all always start your day off with a balanced breakfast. Eating breakfast wakes you up and gives you the nutrients you need to start thinking and functioning. Studies show that people that eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day and have a higher functioning metabolism as well. Foods full of antioxidants like blueberries, and pomegranate are good for your brain along with fish, avocado, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
Your mom always told you to take your vitamins, and she was right. Your brain thrives on the nutrients in vitamins and supplements so make sure that you are putting them into your body. Omega-3, vitamin B, E and C, grape seed extract and plenty of water are only a few of the things that you should be mindfully adding to your diet to keep a healthy brain.
6. Avoid, Avoid, Avoid
There is opposition in all things. Just like there are good things for your brain, there are also bad things for your brain. For instance drugs and alcohol can actually kill brain cells. You should also avoid or use in moderation substances like caffeine, hydrogenated vegetable oils, heavily processed foods and fast foods. And last but certainly not least, do not smoke. Cigarette smoking robs your brain of oxygen and can cause many problems. In fact, there are studies out there that link some Alzheimer’s patients to smoking.
7. Protect your Noggin
Protecting your brain from injury is definitely one way to keep it healthy and smart. Accidents involving your brain can be devastating to the way that your brain functions. Always wear a helmet and wear a seat belt. Be careful when playing contact sports like football and rugby. Repetitive injuries to the brain can cause serious damage that cannot be repaired.
8. Chill Out
Stress can be really hard on your brain. It is in your best interest to reduce stress as much as possible for your mind and your body. Reducing stress can also improve your mental health and state of well being. If you’re feeling like you’re close to the edge, try to bring the stress levels down a notch. Watch a funny movie, go for a walk or take a bath. Be positive and have fun try not to let stress bring you down and your brain will be a lot better off.
9. Stimulate your Senses
Aromatherapy, massage, working in a garden and baking are all things that can stimulate your senses and influence your brain. When your brain is subjected to multi-sensory activities stimulates your brain and helps keep your mind sharp. For instance when you bake cookies, you combine the ingredients, knead the dough and smell the cookies.
10. Be a Social Butterfly
Your brain is stimulated when you talk to friends and family. When you share experiences and emotions your brain gets stimulants that it needs. Having and making friends is also good for your mental health. Feelings of isolation and loneliness disappear when you surround yourself with loved ones.