When was the last time you did something to improve the health of your body?
Today? Yesterday? Last week?
Now, when was the last time you did something to improve the health of your brain?
When it comes to health, the scales are so often tipped towards the body. We all want to lose weight, gain muscle, or get leaner.
But we don't often think about training our brain and the various ways we can boost our cognitive health.
In order to help you enhance your onboard computer, we've put together a list of 5 simple ways you can boost your brain health:
1. Ditch Multi-Tasking
Aren't you tired of the age-old debate between sexes about who can and can't multitask?
Well, the good news is - no one can. At least not effectively.
Multitasking diminishes mental productivity, increases brain fatigue and creates stress. By trying to share our concentration and attention across more than one task we, in turn, give neither of the tasks the due care they deserve.
This scattered form of thinking creates a habitual cycle of distraction because your brain is trying to cover all bases.
If you focus on one task, you'll get things done much more effectively and efficiently while avoiding the mental fatigue generated by multitasking.
2. Practice Meditation
Meditation is rapidly becoming a widespread phenomenon. The ancient practice once exclusively associated with Buddism is being adopted across all cultures and demographics thanks to its wide-ranging benefits.
Taking as little 10 minutes per day to practice mindful meditation can reduce stress, calm your brain and improve memory & concentration.
This growth has kindled a tremendous amount of research into its effects. Scientific studies have found that meditation can also decrease physical pain, alleviate depression and increase happiness.
Practising meditation is probably the single biggest boost you can give your brain health.
3. Get Good Sleep!
One of the most powerful things you can do to protect your mental and physical health is to get good quality sleep.
On top of getting into the right routine, an adequate amount of sleep is key to restoring and refreshing your brain from day-to-day.
Sleep cleanses your brain of the toxicity caused by stress and worry, and it is also vital for storing memory. On the other hand, lack of sleep causes a range of problems for your brain.
Dips from a normal, healthy sleeping pattern can cause a lack of concentration, falls in mental sharpness and increased irritability.
4. Start Yoga
If you're already familiar with meditation, why not try and practise yoga too?
Practising yoga has been shown to enhance cognitive performance and prevent cognitive decline in older people.
Scientific research of the benefits is so positive that yoga has been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression and even eating disorders. It has also been proven to improve wellness and self-control in large prison populations.
While there are various different types of yoga, the most simple form to get you started is Hatha Yoga. If you want to feel mentally revitalised, yoga might just be the refresher that you need.
5. Give Your Brain a Workout
Along with your trips to the gym this week, give your brain a workout by taking on a new cognitive challenge.
Learn a new language, pick up a musical instrument or take on a new puzzle. The benefits of taking on new cognitive challenges are extensive for your brain, particularly as you age.
For example, learning a new language can increase brain elasticity and improve the speed that our minds can process data at. Research at Edinburgh University has also found that speaking 2 or more languages can prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Even learning a musical instrument has been shown to ward off cognitive decline later in life and improve our hearing and listening skills.
What kind of cognitive workout will you give your brain?