The brain is the capital of the human body, the engine room that controls all other activities. As your body grows, your brain grows with it. Just like every other part of the body, the brain can be adequately catered to in brain-boosting activities. Our minds consist of five main cognitive functions: memory, attention, language, visual-spatial skills, and executive functions. Keeping these areas mentally sharp is the key to increasing brain activity and reducing brain fog. A healthy brain is necessary for a healthy life.
Below are some of the ways to keep the brain sharp and healthy.
The omega-3 fat ocosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an essential structural component of both the brain and retina. Approximately 60 percent of the brain is composed of fats—25 percent of which is DHA. DHA is also highly concentrated in breast milk, which is likely the reason why breastfed babies are said to possess a higher IQ in comparison to formula fed babies. Omega-3 fats such as DHA are very important and they have to be consumed from food, as the body does not produce it. Foods rich in omega-3 acid include fish, liver, and salmon.
Daily activities of the body require a lot from the brain. Exercise activates countless neurons, which generate, receive, and transmit all kinds of information from the brain to the nervous system. These neurons coordinate all activities of the body’s five senses and all the complex interactions of bodily systems. Physical exercise can keep your brain healthy with age and may prevent diseases such as dementia. Exercise helps the flow of blood in the body and provides the brain with oxygen, as well.
Sleep is not only beneficial to the physical frame but it is imperative for reaching new mental insights and the creativity of the brain to tackle everyday complexities. Sleep removes the blinders and helps freshen your brain work more effectively. Researchers from Harvard indicate that people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping. Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help the brain relax and function properly.
Meditation is one of the ways to stimulate and strengthen the brain. Meditation has been shown to increase your IQ, relieve stress, and promote a higher level of brain functioning. Meditation also stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the area of the brain responsible for advanced thinking, ability, and performance. Yoga has been known to be one of the best ways of meditation. It relieves stress and tension, and helps the brain relax and focus when necessary.
Music can enhance cognitive functioning and mental focus. A research team from Stanford University Medical Center showed that music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions, making decisions, and updating events in the memory. Research has shown that listening to music while exercising boosts cognitive levels and verbal fluency skills in people diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Listening to music has also been associated with enhanced cognitive functioning and improved mental focus among healthy adults.
One of the simplest methods to boost your brain function is to keep learning new things all the time. The size and structure of neurons and the connections between them change as you learn. This can take on many forms beyond the normative way of learning. Learning activities like traveling, playing a musical instrument, speaking a foreign language, picking up a new hobby, or participating in social and community activities presents a whole new activity to the brain that can help strengthen memory.
Humans are social beings, and according to the publications in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, we need a variety of brain stimulation, including social activity, to keep our minds sharp. This is especially true later in life when aging takes its toll on memory and other complex neurological processes. In the study, older adults who were less socially active than those who were more socially active had both cognitive and physical limitations. Socialization opens both the brain and mind to new knowledge and challenges presented to the brain strengthen it to help it perform better and adapt to new information.
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