20 Things You Can Do Starting Today to Think Better, Be More Productive, and Age Smarter
We all want to live long, productive lives but sometimes we get so wrapped up in everyday life that we put our health on the back burner. Instead of ignoring our health, let’s move it to the forefront of our minds and make some concerted efforts to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Here are 20 things we can add into our everyday lives to improve our brain health. A healthy brain will make good decisions which lead to having a healthy body. Aim for doing at least one each day. Don’t make it complicated; all it entails is making time for yourself to do something enjoyable.
1. Learn something new. Your brain was meant to learn new things and challenging your brain makes it grow. So start those piano lessons you always wanted as a child or learn a foreign language (or any other challenge that excites you).
2. Get out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is a safe place which allows your brain to produce dopamine, which makes you feel happy. Taking on new activities and doing something that makes you nervous are what keep your brain growing. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost of self-esteem when you complete that new task.
3. Meditate. Silencing your brain regularly allows grey matter to increase in the regions of the brain which control memory, focused attention, and deep thought. This same meditation also quiets the parts of the brain associated with depression, anxiety, and anger.
4. Read daily. Different parts of your brain work together to decipher the text and this process heightens brain connectivity. You also improve your focus and concentration as well as spark your imagination.
5. Sleep more. The brain needs sleep to consolidate learning and memory. Sleep also boosts productivity and improves concentration. If you want to know what supplement I recommend to help you get the BEST SLEEP EVER, contact me for a recommendation & link.
6. Exercise daily. Exercising every day increases the blood flow to the brain, which increases brain cell production. Intense exercising, such as running, produces more dopamine, which has an affect similar to that of antidepressants. Amazingly, the brain can make new neural pathways and connections, and exercise helps that process. If you want to know what supplement I recommend to help your BRAIN, contact me for a recommendation & link.
7. Eat whole foods. With the onslaught of GMOs, preservatives, and pesticide use, finding organic whole foods and ditching the packaged foods will do wonders for improving your brain function. Lowering your intake of processed carbs will also help alleviate “brain fog.” If you want to know what SIMPLE supplement routine I have been doing for 5 years that is the BEST I have ever found, contact me for a recommendation & link.
8. Foster your relationships with family and friends. Loneliness is a real problem, especially among older adults whose children have moved out of their home. Elderly patients in nursing homes also experience some depression and anxiety if they don’t see regular visitors. Socialize in person when possible or spend at least 10 minutes a day in conversation to alleviate that lonely feeling.
9. Journaling. Keeping a journal teaches you how to prioritize your tasks and clarify your thinking but it also relieves anxiety. Judy Willis MD, a neurologist, and former classroom teacher explains, “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.”
10. Unplug from electronics. Hard to do in this technological world but silence is a good way to refocus your brain to live in the moment. Blue light that emanates from these devices also adversely affects the quality of your sleep.
11. Eliminate sugar from your diet. Experts say sugar has the same level of addictive qualities as heroin. High sugar levels consumed daily adversely affect your blood sugar, insulin resistance, and the production of neurons in the brain. If you want to know what supplement I recommend to help kick the sugar habit and curb your cravings, email me back for a recommendation & link.
12. Enjoy nature. Escape the big city or your stressful job and head toward a park, walking trail, or lake to reconnect with nature. If weather permits, take your shoes off and put your feet directly on the earth to feel grounded. Many people say this helps melt away their stress, along with taking deep breaths of fresh air.
13. Go on an adventure. Turn off the GPS and drive on new-to-you roads. Explore the countryside, visit quaint antique shops, grab lunch at a hole-in-the-wall diner. Getting out of your comfort zone helps your brain grow and you’ll exercise your brain by relying on your sense of direction instead of GPS.
14. Find joy. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so often we lose track of our joyous moments or those hobbies or activities that bring us comfort and joy. It’s time to disconnect from our work and find time to relax and find joy once again. Revisit an old hobby, join a local sports club, or become a member of a charitable organization.
15. Reconnect with your faith. Believing in a higher power can help alleviate anxiety attacks, helps you achieve an optimistic outlook on life, and helps you cope with medical problems more calmly. Socializing with others in your religious community also fosters a sense of belonging and combats loneliness.
16. Play mind games. Sudoku, crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, and jumble puzzles all help work the brain to keep it sharp. Even doing simple math problems in your head helps improve cognitive function.
17. Listen to white noise. If you need help relaxing more or getting better sleep, try using a white noise machine. White noise blocks out background noise, helps to de-stress, and helps you reach deeper meditation and sleep levels. The better your meditation and sleep, the more rested you’ll feel, ready to face your day with full energy.
18. Use time blocking or the Pomodoro method at work. These simple time management tools allow your brain to focus strictly on one task at a time. Multi-tasking only slows down your productivity, so either set aside a block of time or a kitchen timer to focus on one client or on a single task. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can finish those tasks simply because you’re concentrating more deeply.
19. Play strategic board games. Chess, checkers, and Monopoly aren’t just for kids. Strategic board games help your brain fight cognitive decline and improve memory formation. When your brain is engaged, it’s strong and powerful. This power makes it more difficult to succumb to mental diseases.
20. Don’t let your age hinder your activities. You’re never too old do try new things. Josefina Monasterio was 59 when she started body building. Now she’s in her 70s and has won hundreds of competition trophies. President George H.W. Bush went skydiving on his 90th birthday. Renowned chef Julia Child was 49 when her first cookbook was published and 51 when her first television show debuted. No dream is too silly or out of reach at any age.
Now, grab a notebook and start a brainstorming list of all the things you’d love to try.
Let your creativity go wild.
No idea is too silly or outrageous.
When your list is complete, decide which of these things to tackle first and go for it!
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