Most of us take our brain for granted. We know that it controls how we think, act and feel, as well as our voluntary and in-voluntary functions. However, we do not take the time to think about what we can do to improve our brain health.
Stop taking your brain for granted. You only get one brain so it makes sense to protect it. Here are some easy tricks to make sure your brain is both healthy and happy.
1. Stop Negative Thoughts
Ever wake up on a cold rainy morning and want to roll over and stay in bed? It's really easy to let yourself fall into a slump. What's surprising is that you can turn your mood around in just a few minutes. Find something that makes you laugh. A funny joke or video, your goofy cat, or maybe a silly story your kid told you yesterday.
People spend too much time and energy focusing on what's wrong instead of what's good. Take a few seconds and write down 5 good things that you experienced today. With a little bit of practice, you'll begin to concentrate on the positive aspects of your life without even trying.
2. Stop Starving Your Brain
When you hear your stomach growling, you automatically think you must be hungry. Have you ever listened to your brain when it told you it was hungry? Headaches, fatigue, and poor memory are common signs that your brain needs to be fed. However, it's important to make sure you are feeding your brain the right food.
You may think your body is craving ice cream, candy, hamburgers, and French Fries. These cravings may be a trick your body is playing on you to boost your blood sugar levels. As we have all experienced, a short-term, energy boosting sugar rush is usually followed by a 'crash' which makes us feel tired, unfocused and hungry. Your brain actually craves healthy fats (lots of omega 3s!), Quality whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables. These foods give you sustainable energy, focus and satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time than those quick sugar blasts. Make your brain happy and feed it quality, nutritious food.
3. Do not Isolate Yourself
Humans are very social creatures. Just look at the explosion of social media to see how much people like to interact and share with others. While computers and smart phones are great tools to keep us connected, your brain wants you to get out of the house. When you are actively social (instead of being active on social media), you are more likely to be engaged in activities that excite the body and mind. When you move, think, and talk you are stimulating multiple areas of the brain. So make sure you meet with your friends for a walk, talk, or other activities instead of just posting on Facebook. Your brain will thank you.
4. Protect Your Brain from Trauma
Everyone has bumped their head on occasion. Minor bumps are a part of life. Unfortunately, there is a long list of people who thought they could not get hurt biking, snowboarding, skating, or long-boarding who ended up with life altering injuries or death. Professional football players are also coming forward and warning people of the dangers of brain trauma. Even with helmets, repeated collisions which occur in many sports has left players with debilitating headaches, mood issues, dementia, cognitive decline and other problems.
Even if you do not play sports, you can also protect your brain by always making sure you wear your seatbelt. Even if you have airbags in your car, there are cases when they do not deploy. It's sad that even today we hear news reports of people killed in car accidents who were not wearing seat belts. Do not become another statistic. Protect your brain and your life.
Your Brain Takes Care of You When You Take Care of Your Brain
Do you think you can worry about your brain health later? Studies show that dementia and cognitive decline begin in the brain 30 years before the first symptom is observed. You are never too young to protect and nourish your brain. Remember, you need to start taking care of your brain today, if you want it to work for you tomorrow and in the future.
Positive thoughts, good food, good friends and a little bit of caution can go a long way to ensure your brain will be healthy and happy. It's so simple, we can all do it.