Maintaining a healthy body is an integral part of our everyday routines, but how often do we think about ways to keep our brains healthy? Maintaining brain health is just as critical, mainly as we grow in age, like the rest of our well-being. When we lead an unhealthy lifestyle, this could cause a variety of illnesses that could affect our mental and brain health. However, there is a myriad of things we can do to maintain good health daily that has excellent health benefits for our brains. We’re going to examine eight ways to keep your brain healthy, as well as why this is important.
1: Practice Meditation
Do you lead a stressful life? There are countless benefits neurologically to the use of meditation with regards to brain health. Not only does it help improve clarity and concentration, but those who are experiencing issues with their emotional well-being, anxiety, and stress are adopting this practice. You can join a group or start with a few minutes daily.
2: Become Mentally Stimulated
When you embrace learning, it allows you to strengthen your mental health the same way you’re able to improve your muscles when exercising. Not only are you staying sharp, but you’re growing your brain’s capabilities. You can help keep your brain agile by learning a new language, developing some DIY skills, or picking up a musical instrument, for example.
3: Maintain a Healthy Diet
When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your brain will experience benefits from those efforts. The Mediterranean diet, for example, has many brain healthy benefits because it includes the moderate intake of foods including dairy, eggs, fish, healthy fats, poultry, and small amounts of red meat.
4: Become or Stay Social
Maintaining an active social life isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s a critical component for maintaining brain health, as well as optimal mental health. In addition to creating a positive support network, socialization helps create a buffer against depression and isolation while simultaneously boosting feelings of well-being. When we’re social, we also experience increases in our cognitive and memory skills.
5: Make Sure You’re Sleeping Well
If you’re not sleeping well, you’re not feeling rejuvenated or regenerated for the next day. In addition to helping us feel rested, sleep is necessary for helping the brain stay sharp, your mind calm, and your memory powerful. Rather than focusing on the number of hours you’re sleeping, it’s best to think about your quality of sleep. Many believe that sleeping between seven and nine hours is optimal. However, if that isn’t a restful sleep, then those hours are moot. Instead, if you feel rested after you’ve slept, then those are the number of hours your body needs to sleep well and for your brain to remain sharp.
6: Communicate with Others
It’s critical that you communicate with a healthcare professional or loved one if you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety, fatigue, lack of energy, or feelings of worthlessness. These individuals can help you find solutions and make the proper recommendations. There are always people there to help when you need it, and it’s essential to know that mental health conditions come in many forms.
7: Break Bad Habits
While this could sound easier said than done, bad habits will put your brain health at risk. For example, those who smoke have a higher risk for developing dementia. Those who consume alcohol are also known to worsen their feelings of anxiety and depression. Therefore, it’s best to eliminate or keep these habits to a minimum.
8: Don’t Forget to Exercise
We’ve already mentioned that exercising is essential for maintaining a healthy body, but this is also a beneficial way of keeping your brain healthy as well. For example, those who engage in aerobic exercise have been found to have an increase in the size of the area of their brain where their memories are formed. Additionally, when you’re remaining physically active, it’s a good way of managing feelings of depression and anxiety.
Why are These Tips Important?
As we continue to age, our mental and brain health will continue to experience changes. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to be diligent and ensure we maintain optimal health for our brains and our mental health. These efforts will help us maintain mental clarity, cognitive skills, focus, memory, and our ability to prevent neurological issues from potentially occurring. These efforts will also help us prevent the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress from overwhelming our mental health. If you still feel too challenged or if symptoms become too much, speak to a loved one or your primary care physician.