Brain is the store house of all our memories, information and experiences. It also controls the overall functioning of the body and determines a person’s I.Q and creativity. Hence a healthy brain is a prerequisite of a healthy and intelligent “you”. An unhealthy brains is characterised by foggy thoughts, lack of focus, disorganised thinking patterns, nervous and cognitive disorders etc. Following healthy lifestyle, having a nutritious diet, engaging in brain stimulating activities and practices can help promote sounder, better and enhanced mental health. 5 ways which help to improve brain functioning, upgrade the intellect and create a smarter “you” are:
Sleep not only helps to regenerate and rejuvenate the body, but it also is primarily important for ensuring proper brain functioning. Proper sleep is associated with enhanced thinking capacity, memory, logical reasoning and creativity. It improves overall performance of the individual and strengthens the control of the brain over behaviour patterns. It betters the health of the brain and overall health of the body.
Exercise and Meditation
Exercising helps the brain to function at its optimum capacity by promoting nerve cell multiplication, strengthening the cellular interconnections and protection against damage. The nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors while exercising that promote neural health and cognitive functions. Further, exercise improves blood circulation in the brain and also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Meditation, yoga and deep breathing also relieve stress, calm the mind, and promotes increased levels of brain functioning. They activate the “prefrontal cortex” of the brain, the region responsible for performance and advanced thinking ability.
Stress stimulates and increases the production of the hormone called cortisol in the body which is detrimental to the health of the brain. High levels of cortisol damage and kill the brain cells and suppress brain functioning. One should thus avoid both physical and mental stress to keep the body and mind alert and healthy. Reading a book, drawing and painting, listening to music, thinking positive etc are some easy ways of calming the mind, relaxing and distressing effectively. These practices help to charge and energise the body, rejuvenate the mind, increase stamina and performance, and improve the overall mental health and capacity.
Engaging in healthy debates, questioning, solving puzzles, playing brainpower games like crossword, chess, etc; learning a new language etc help to stimulate and activate the thinking ability, alertness, logical reasoning of the brain. Such mind challenges thus improve the brain’s ability to generate quick and apt response to stimulus, memory and information retention capacity and thereby boosts intelligence and creativity.
Eating a healthy diet packed with essential nutrients helps to improve brain function. A diet rich in vitamin D, vitamin B 12, omega 3 fatty acids, glucose etc boost memory, focus, clarity in thought, and organised brain processes and also prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s . Lack of vitamin B12 leads to brain shrinkage, cognitive disorder, foggy thoughts etc. Vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in the brain and increase one’s thinking, planning and memorising capacities. Sun exposure, dairy products, banana, nuts etc are vital sources of vitamin D. Essential omega 3 fats like DHA, from fish oil, animal fats etc, are structural fats that help in creation of neurons, formation of the brain and nerves, and strengthening of the nervous system. It improves the I.Q and prevents degenerative brain disorders. The most essential requirement for healthy brain functioning is glucose. The brain feeds on energy that it produces by breaking down glucose. Coconut oil is a vital source of glucose for the brain.
Junk food and excessive alcohol decreases the energy in the body and increase foggy, disorganized thinking and brain activity. Reducing the intake of these foods and beverages helps to calm the mind and improve brain focus.