Ten Habits For More Brain Power

A recent issue of a magazine includes a list of 10 activities to boost your brain health. The list includes many activities I would call important for overall wellness. In this competitive environment there is a tendency to forget health and focus intensely on a job search or a job. It is important to take a step back and make sure that we are taking care of ourselves too. You may want to try a few of these 10 activities:

  1. Go for a walk with a friend. The article suggests walking with a friend so that you talk as you walk. Social connection, physical exercise and mental stimulation are brain strengtheners. I’d add that the exercise is good for weight control and also stress control.
  2. Add variety to your life. Do not follow a set routine day after day. Wake up your brain with something new. Try a new route to the office. Go to a new networking group. Memorize a new poem.
  3. Be a Life Long Learner. Study something in depth. This is good for your brain and your career. Learn a new language and begin to speak and write it. (I just started an improvisation class which is good for my brain and fun!)
  4. Solve Puzzles/Play games – Try cross word puzzles, Sudoku, bridge and/or chess. They suggest trying to beat the clock because that inspires quicker thinking. In my improv class games we have to think of a word on the beat of a rhythm started by the instructor. It is not easy but you do get better at it with practice. Reminds me of a Miss Mary Mac, a game I played as a child.
  5. Clear the mind – Use meditation, yoga or a walk in the woods to help clear your mind. Most of us have very active minds today. Some of the chatter is noisy and negative. It is important to regularly take time to clear your mind. While you are at it take some deep breaths to cleanse your mind and body.
  6. Get 8 hours sleep a night – Your brain needs a rest too. This is the time for it to consolidate the day’s memories. Give your brain time to do this by getting a full eight hours of sleep. Lots of research shows people in the US don’t get enough sleep!
  7. Be creative – Use your imagination every day. Take the time to paint, add to your journal, create a new website, write a poem or do anything that uses the right (creative) side of your brain.
  8. Spend time with friends – Staying by yourself all the time can put your brain into slowdown mode. (Solos be aware.) Friends, family and colleagues help keep you engaged in life and that keeps your brain active and working. Being sociable is good for your brain and your spirit. People with a strong community of friends and acquaintances live longer and happier lives in general. (Networking is good for your brain!)
  9. Eat a proper diet – Include fruits and vegetables in your diet along with whole grains and fish. My parents used to tell me fish was brain food. I guess they were right!!
  10. Have regular check ups with the doctor – Blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, cholesterol all are important to proper brain function. Make sure yours are in the normal range and if not work with your doctor to get them in check.

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