Healthy Mind

8 ways to boost your brainpower

Written by Healthy Living

Improving your brain’s memory, ability, and cognitive function is always a great thing. Your mind is a muscle like every other part of your body and needs to be exercised regularly to stay in shape.

Story: Patrick W. Dunne

Working out your brain by doing various exercises is helpful in the long run. You’ll have less stress and reduce the risk of depression, insomnia, and other mental illness. Elderly citizens especially need to work out their minds to stave off conditions like dementia.

1. Meditation

This practice has existed for thousands of years and has been performed by many East Asian religions such as Buddhism. The effects of meditation cannot be understated. Practicing five to 20 minutes a day can reduce stress and increase cognitive function. Furthermore, a study by the Department of Neurology at the University of California at Los Angeles tested 50 meditators against 50 non-meditators to compare brain scans over time. After eight weeks, the meditators’ brains kept the same mass while the non-mediators’ brains slowly withered.

2. Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is always important. Adults need about seven hours of rest each night. Sleeping improves your brain by getting rid of the toxins and regenerating cells. It boosts memory, mood, cognitive functions, and productivity in general.

3. Read

In the age of computers, internet, smartphones, television, video games, and social media, reading seems like a thing of the past. However, it’s not. Reading reduces stress, a major brain killer. Reading also improves analytical thinking and creativity. What you read makes a huge impact. For example, author Tom Corley documented in his book “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” that most successful people spend at least half an hour a day reading self-improvement books to advance their career.

4. Diet

Do you remember when your mom made you eat that gross broccoli before you got dessert? These acts of love mean you appreciate how great fruits and vegetables are for you. Diet affects mood, brain, and body. Eating fruits, vegetables, certain meats, and vitamins may mean you’re more energized, motivated, and positive. If you’re reluctant to touch apples, blueberries, and other fruits, try making a smoothie. Simply pick a few different fruits, throw them in a blender, and drink your newly created masterpiece.

5. Socialize

Studies note that people with close relationships are 24 percent more likely to retain brain power later in life. Similarly, socio-economist Randall Bell found people who frequently dine with family are 41 percent more likely to be happy and 43 percent more apt to make at least $100,000 annually.

Network, volunteer, or just call friends every once in a while. Humans have a fundamental need to connect with one another.

Conclusion: You don’t need to learn rocket science or solve complex math equations to keep your brain going. A few simple daily tasks such as reading a book or going for a jog can greatly improve your cognitive power. It’s the small everyday choices that lead to bigger results.

About the author

Healthy Living

Healthy Living is unique in a sea of health magazines that only present information on nutrition and exercise. Published by Akers Media Group, Healthy Living goes much farther by focusing on the four pillars of a true wellness — physical, mental, spiritual and financial health.

Healthy Living promotes a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle with easy-to-read features, try-it-at-home exercise programs, and expert advice from financial planners, mental health professionals, and a variety of other leaders in their respective fields.

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