One great way to take care of your brain is by getting enough rest. Sleep is so precious for so many reasons. It helps your nervous system function properly and helps keep your coordination and memory sharp.
When you don't get enough sleep, your hurt your brain by depriving it of that vital rest that helps it get ready for a new period of work and concentration. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting 7 - 9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is not just important for kids, but for adults too. Your brain absolutely loves when you get a good night's sleep because it helps you improve focus needed for everyday activities, as well as even boosting your mental health.
Here are some tips for getting the best sleep possible, the article also features an infographic on some interesting and bizarre sleeping habits of famous people.
Doing something new and unusual can be another wonderful way to engage and care for your brain. You could step out of your comfort zone by trying a recipe you've never done before or changing your schedule up a bit. Feed your mind with new knowledge and have fun exploring. Stepping out of your comfort zone will help your brain to adapt more quickly to unknown circumstances and you'll become more confident.
As this article says, stepping out of your comfort zone is also great because it brings novelty into your life and stimulates chemicals in the brain that make you feel happier and more motivated.
Another interesting way to take care of your brain is simply by making the effort to socialise with people during your day. Building positive connections with others can be very up-building and also have a superb effect on your brain.
There are specific groups of nerve cells in the brain that are directly influenced by social experiences. Moreover, studies show that social interaction can help protect against dementia and can help strengthen our cognitive abilities. Enjoying rich and meaningful relationships with others is a key part of having a fulfilling life, and it's good to know that it can help prevent mental disease too.
There are many ways to benefit from a positive social setting such as having lunch with a dear friend or organising a group exercise date.
Your brain loves being challenged with complex and interesting things. Another way to take good care of your brain is by participating in activities that stimulate it. This could be anything from playing crossword puzzles to more physical puzzles like twister.
Think about all the games you like to play that encourage the thinking process. Have a go at solving riddles or challenge your friend to a game of chess. Many people have apps on their phone like Lumosity that they like using before work or school to really wake their brain up and get ready for the day.
The key is to keep trying new games and ways to develop yourself, never getting complacent. A popular tool to help you keep your brain sharp and active is 399 Games, Puzzles and Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.
It contains lots of really cool riddles and brainteasers to engage your mind, help you form neurons and basically, grow your brain. There are many games that are arranged in order of difficulty and tell you exactly what brain function you are exercising.
Last but by no means least, you can also take care of your brain by trying to avoid stress as much as possible. Stress is so toxic for the brain. In fact, it shrinks areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, which is vital for memory.
Stress lowers your ability to make good decisions and can make you feel unmotiviated and depressed. Cortisol, a stress hormone, halts the production of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a hormone that helps form new brain cells and keep the existing ones healthy.
For all the above reasons, it is strongly advised that you find ways to reduce stress even if that means stepping up with your organisational skills or practising techniques like breathing in deeply whenever you feel like you've got too much on your plate.
Thinking about the ways we can positively or negatively affect our brains can be so fascinating. There are even books like this that show you the weird and wonderful ways your brain works at each step of the day, from the moment you hear your alarm in the morning to when you lie down on your pillow at night.
Our brains are marvellous, and we definitely have a role to play in keeping them healthy and in the best shape. If you think about it, the steps mentioned above are not that hard to do, but they surely bring us huge benefits.
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