6 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young, Sharp and Healthy
The older we get, the more our memory and thinking skills deteriorate. While the slowing down of brain functions with age is a normal process, it’s also something we have some control over.
If you make some changes to your lifestyle, adopt new habits and exercise your brain more often with the right techniques, you can actually slow the decline.
You can reverse brain aging and keep your mind sharp for as long as possible. Here’s how:
1. Always try new things.
It’s often said that new is always better. In terms of mental decline, it happens faster when people are living an ordinary life with no excitement and challenges, and who are doing the same things for decades.
But your brain craves novelty as it keeps it young. Any new hobby, piece of information, skill, travel experience, and person in your life contributes to being mentally healthy and having sharp thinking skills.
Moreover, such a lifestyle means you’ll always do what you’re passionate about, will appreciate what you have, will create great memories and have a bigger social circle.
2. Exercise keeps your brain healthy.
The benefits of regular exercise don’t just concern your body, but also your brain.
Working out helps you decrease anxiety, depression and stress, all of which are factors that slow down your brain functions.
Exercise is proven to boost your learning and mental performance. It improves your ability to focus and minimizes the risk of Parkinson’s Disease, which is connected to damaged brain cells.
Helping others is great for society and in turn makes you feel good about yourself. But it also leads to better mental functioning.
Some of the mental benefits of being a volunteer include finding a purpose, not feeling isolated, providing a sense of accomplishment and thus increasing your happiness levels, and lowering your stress hormones.
4. Be social.
Another great and fun way to maintain brain health is by socializing.
Take care of the relationships you have with your loved ones and make time to do things together. Aside from that, have quality time with good friends and make new ones whenever you can.
Even being in public itself is a social activity and better than just staying at home. You can choose group sports or go jogging in the park, take long walks in your neighborhood, visit cafes, and even take trips on your own. These are all opportunities to meet new people too and that expands your network.
Socializing is good for the brain as interacting with others often helps you beat depression and provides support. People with many friends also have a lower risk of dementia and enjoy a longer life.
5. Get better sleep.
Uninterrupted, solid sleep strengthens the connections between brain cells, helps process and retain new information from the day before, and makes you calm.
Bad sleeping habits, on the other hand, can lead to mental issues such as poor memory, depression and even psychotic episodes.
Make sure you sleep enough and aren’t disturbed during the deep sleep cycle by factors such as anxious thoughts, full or empty stomach, devices in the room that make noise, or else.
6. Beat anger.
Did you know that every time you get angry, you activate the stress hormone cortisol and release adrenaline? Before these reach your body, they first affect your brain negatively.
All the emotional stress we go through is processed through our brain, which alarms the rest of the body and we see symptoms such as elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.
Stress increases the risk of mental illness, changes our brain structure and kills brain cells. Do what you can to avoid anything that brings stress if you’re determined to keep your brain sharp and slow down brain aging.
These 6 things are enough to help you turn your life around. With a bit of discipline and a change in your habits, you can easily stop damaging your brain and instead boost its power.