Tips For Managing Stress
The stress-busting, memory-boosting benefits of meditation
The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up. Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, memory, and learning and reasoning skills.
Meditation works its magic by changing the actual brain. Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity. Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cellsall of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability.
Try one of HelpGuides free Audio Meditations.
Four Ways To Keep Your Brain Healthy And Active As You Age
Boost brain health with exercise, memory games, social time and the best foods for your mind.
Good brain health is top-of-mind for many aging adults. Memory loss is affecting more people as the population ages and people live longer. I saw it in my Grandma Lorraine, who spent many years as a nurse and a strong, independent woman who loved to cook. In her later years, she lived in a memory care facility.
More than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimers disease, according to the Alzheimers Association. The World Health Organization expects this number to triple over the next three decades. But today we know there are ways to keep your memory sharp from brain-boosting foods to exercise and brain games.
Feed Your Brain Antioxidant Foods
Diet plays a very important role in the overall health of our brains. Youve heard the term brain foods, right? Well, consuming them does have a positive effect. Include food items such as: fatty fish , oranges, coffee, eggs, dark chocolate, blueberries and other brightly colored berries, broccoli, turmeric, pumpkin seeds and nuts. Reap the mental health benefits of following the Mediterranean diet.
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Healthy Relationships: The Ultimate Brain Booster
Humans are highly social animals. Were not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brainsin fact, interacting with others may provide the best kind of brain exercise.
Research shows that having meaningful friendships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.
There are many ways to start taking advantage of the brain and memory-boosting benefits of socializing. Volunteer, join a club, make it a point to see friends more often, or reach out over the phone. And if a human isnt handy, dont overlook the value of a petespecially the highly-social dog.
Sign Up For Something New
A world of learning opportunities has opened up over the last couple months. Why not take advantage of your ability to learn a new skill while at home?
Various companies offer a subscription to kits that are delivered regularly. These kits often contain everything you need to get started on a new hobby or challenge yourself in a new skill.
The kit may come with your supplies, video links to instructions, and further learning. By accessing a part of your brain that may have been dormant since your school days you are giving your synapses a chance to grow.
Why not try a subscription for a kit such as:
- Soap Making
How To Keep Your Brain Healthy Young And Youthful
As people around the world spend billions of pounds on cosmetics to retain a youthful appearance, many arent aware of the importance of keeping the brain young and youthful.
In fact, maintaining a healthy brain could safeguard against cognitive decline and diseases like dementia.
Whilst recognising the benefits of accessing new memory loss treatments in clinical trials, Dr Emer MacSweeney, Consultant Neuroradiologist, comments:
Prevention is better than cure and the earlier you start employing lifestyle changes, the better for your brain
The brain is just like any other part of your body, it needs to be looked after and exercised in order to keep it fit, strong and functioning effectively.
Tip 4: Make Time For Friends
When you think of ways to improve memory, do you think of serious activities such as wrestling with the New York Times crossword puzzle or mastering chess strategy, or is it more lighthearted pastimeshanging out with friends or enjoying a funny moviethat come to mind? If youre like most of us, its probably the former. But countless studies show that a life full of friends and fun comes with cognitive benefits.
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How To Boost Brain Power At Any Age
A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether youre a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, theres lots you can do to improve your memory and mental performance
They say that you cant teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the brain, scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isnt true. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and changeeven into old age. This ability is known as;neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.
The brains incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information, and improve your memory at any age. These nine tips can show you how.
What Signs Point Towards Someone Being A Genius
There is no real way to tell if someone is an actual genius without testing them first. However, certain things might give away how intelligent they really are. Theres usually something about these people which makes them stand out as knowledgeable individuals even when theyre young.;
For example, how early did the child learn their numbers in kindergarten? Or were they able to solve complex math problems before entering high school? Then theres always those who seem like prodigies at only a young age. These are all signs that someone might be on the path to becoming an actual genius!
If this isnt your story, you mustnt be discouraged. You dont have to be born a prodigy to be smart.
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Learn Discover And Find Purpose
While puzzles may not be the answer to cognitive decline, we do need to stimulate our brains with learning and discovery, writes Gupta. Learning creates new neural pathways and promotes brain resiliencysomething that may help stave off the outward symptoms of dementia even if you develop the telltale brain plaques associated with Alzheimers.
Think of it as a big backup system in the brain that results from enriched life experiences such as education and occupation, he writes.
Building cognitive reserve doesnt happen overnight, he warnsit results from a lifetime of challenging your brain through education, work, social relationships, and other activities. However, just because you dont have a college education doesnt mean you will experience greater cognitive decline, either. Aiming to challenge your mind throughout your life is more protective than a formal degree.
Gupta warns that the majority of commercial brain games are not effective at staving off dementia, though they may improve memory, because they dont train problem solving or reasoningkeys to cognitive reserve. People would be better off taking a traditional class or learning a second language, he says, because these activities offer more complex challenges and social contact, tooalso important for brain health.
Keep Your Brain Active By Playing Games Or Solving Puzzles
These activities help stimulate how we think through problem-solving skills, which are essential for intelligence levels and how fast our brains process information. If you do these types of things regularly, it will also improve your memory.
To stay sharp with smart brain function, try playing crossword puzzles regularly this is how to increase concentration and how much you remember. You should only take twenty minutes out of your day to complete one activity, though, because taking too long causes stress instead, which isnt good for staying calm throughout the course of a day.
If you dont like how word puzzles work, try playing a game of chess or checkers with another person instead! This is how to increase your cognitive function and how much focus you have throughout the course of a day because having something else in front of us will cause our brain to consider other strategies that we might not have if it were us thinking about how to solve a problem.
The most important part is that youre always trying new things to keep your brain active! The more it learns, the smarter we become, so its crucial how much exercise our grey matter gets regularly!
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How To Know Your Mind Is Inactive
While one tends to feel fuzzy, tired, or unfocussed at times due to a hectic day or lack of sleep, that should not worry you much. But experiencing these symptoms for a longer period can be worrisome.
Here are few symptoms that show your mind is slipping into inactive mode and you need to press the activate my brain button NOW.
- Low motivation
But Why Exactly You Experience These Symptoms During Long Home Confinement
Over a period of time, the pandemic plays havoc with your mental health. It is all the stress, fear of getting the virus, financial insecurity, anxiety from watching the news that affects our mind. The lack of physical activity, eye strain due to increased screen time, lack of enough sleep because of disturbed routine are the contributing factors. Ignoring these issues can be harmful in long run.
Your brain is so used to the routine that it goes on an auto-pilot mode for most of the activities that we do so regularly. Changing these activities and involving all the senses or at least most of the senses helps in stimulating the brain, says Dr. Vora.
How To Keep Your Brain Healthy And Active
Your brain is the most important hardware part of your body. Researchers have found that your blood flow in blood vessels determines a lot about your brain health. The research from the University of Edinburgh also revealed that many factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking affect your blood flow and hurt your brain.
With time these factors are said to make your brain deteriorate. They expose you to the risk of suffering Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia. The part of the brain responsible for complex thinking deteriorates and dementia develops slowly.
The university researched by comparing the brain scans of similar age, sex, and size. They found that diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure can affect your brain.
They contribute a lot to the loss of both white and grey matter of the brain. It is only high cholesterol that was not associated with brain deterioration.
Vascular Risks Factors Risks your Brain health.
The research was able to find out how much brain is lost when you get exposed to these vascular risk factors. You can lose up to three percent of your gray matter when you compare yourself to people without these risk factors.
Grey matter is a crucial part of the brain tissue which is the home of many neurons. Neurons are responsible for communication from your brain to your body. When they are affected this communication is not effective.
Lifestyle that can boost your brain health
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Dementia And Brain Health
Dementia is common, particularly in the elderly. It is estimated to affect around one in three people over the age of 65. Most of us will have had our lives impacted by dementia, either within the family or in someone else that we love. The environment and our genes contribute to each individual’s chance of developing the condition but research suggests that lifestyle is responsible for more than 75% of the brain damage associated with the disease. So, by adopting healthy habits, you can increase your brain health and prevent dementia in the future. In fact, by living a healthier life, you could slash your risk of dementia by more than a third.
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Stay Sharp Enjoy Your Retirement
Some 50 million people around the world live with dementia. As Americans age, we need ways to keep our brains healthy and slow or stop cognitive decline. While we all age, there are ways to exercise and stimulate our brains that help keep them in shape. Follow our nine ways to promote brain health and you will not only be exercising your brain, but you may also reap other rewards too physically, emotionally and socially.
One way to get started is to move to a supportive living community. Supportive living communities like The Cabana at Jensen Dunes provide assisted living and memory care services that help you be more active, both physically and mentally. The Cabana at Jensen Dunes is just minutes away from Stuart and Port St. Lucie in Florida, both beautiful places to enjoy your retirement. We also make wellness a way of life and celebrate senior living in an environment that honors dignity and respect, so both team members and fellow residents will help you pursue your goals and keep your brain active. Contact us for more information or if you have any questions about how we can help you feel at home while living a stronger life.
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Manage High Blood Pressure
Preventing or controlling high blood pressure, not only helps your heart, but may help your brain too. Decades of observational studies have shown that having high blood pressure in midlife the 40s to early 60s increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life. In addition, the SPRINT-MIND study, a nationwide clinical trial, showed that intensive lowering of blood pressure lowers the risk for mild cognitive impairment, which is a risk factor for dementia.
High blood pressure often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. Routine visits to your doctor will help pick up changes in your blood pressure, even though you might feel fine. To control or lower high blood pressure, your doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and if needed medications. These steps can help protect your brain and your heart.
Keep Your Brain Healthy As You Age
Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Whats the key to keeping your mind sharp and your brain healthy as you grow older? Online puzzles? Nutritional supplements? Mall walking? Pickle-ball tournaments?
The truth is, theres no single miracle cure for memory problems or other brain changes that come with aging. But there is cause for optimism. Science points to a combination of social factors and healthy habits thattaken togethercan help you build, preserve, and protect your brains function over time.
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- Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes which affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related.
- Keeping an active body is crucial if you want an active mind.
- Some of the conditions and events more common to old age that may hinder brain function include dementia, Parkinson’s disease and atherosclerosis.
Watch Your Blood Pressure
Check your blood pressure regularly, or at least every six months. Watch for signs of a creeping increase.
This study indicates that the 2017 high blood pressure guidelines, which state that high blood pressure is now defined as a blood pressure greater than 130/90, is on the money, Mintz said. The new guidelines for high blood pressure will help us recognize people at earlier ages who are at risk for lifelong high blood pressure.
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Draw A Map Of Your Town From Memory
While you might feel like you can navigate the streets of your neighborhood with your eyes closed, try challenging your brain by actually drawing a map of your town or neighborhood from memory. No cheating! Try to include major streets, major side streets, and local landmarks.
Once you are done, compare your memory map to a real map of the area. How did you do? Are you surprised by some of the things that you missed? If you found this activity too easy, try drawing a less familiar area from memory, such as a map of the entire United States or Europe, and try to label every state or country.
Navigating your way to the supermarket or doctor’s office might seem simple and almost automatic when you are behind the wheel of your car. However, forcing yourself to remember the layout of your neighborhood as well as draw and label it helps activate a variety of areas of your brain.
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- : A classic way to search for your favorite songs, music videos, or instrument tutorials. You can listen to your favorite songs while learning to play them.
- Spotify: A popular platform that includes new and older songs from all around the world. Create playlists easily, and listen to your favorite songs anytime you want.
- Pandora: Stream music for free and check out new artist or song recommendations. You can easily discover new music based on artists you already like and build your catalog.
- Take Lessons: Schedule a lesson online or in-person with an instructor at a price that works for you. Group lessons are available too, so you can learn with loved ones.
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